How Are Electric Vehicles in Cold Weather?

Winter Tire

Between the freezing temperatures and generous snowfalls, the winters in South Riding and Centerville can be rough on any driver. But if you’re thinking of making the switch to electric, you might be wondering how are electric cars in cold weather? Do electric cars lose range in the winter? Do electric cars lose charge when parked? Find out the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions, along with extra considerations for electric cars in cold climates.



How Does Winter Affect Range in Electric Cars?

Whether you drive an EV or a gas-powered model, any battery can struggle in the freezing cold temperatures. That’s because automotive batteries rely on a chemical reaction to get going, and this reaction is much harder to achieve in the winter. found that gasoline-powered vehicles typically have a 20% reduction in fuel economy at 20°F! 

So, what about electric cars in cold climates? Electric vehicles run colder than gas-powered vehicles because there is no heat from an engine. And while some electric batteries do just fine in the winter, others operate the best in milder climates – like the common lithium-ion batteries. According to a AAA study, “At 20 degrees, the average driving range fell by 12 percent when the car’s cabin heater was not used. When the heater was turned on, the range dropped by 41 percent.” But no matter what type of vehicle you drive, winter is simply a tough time for all automotive batteries.

Do Electric Cars Lose Charge When Parked?

EVs may lose range while driving around the snowy Ashburn roads, but do electric cars lose charge when parked? Not really. Plugin Report reported that an EV with a half-charged battery can sit for months without a need for a top-off. But if you’re thinking about storing your EV over the winter, be sure to contact our service center. We can help you find storage solutions that will keep your battery in peak condition all season long.

Tips for Electric Cars in Winter

Sure, you might need to maintain your electric car in winter. But, any type of vehicle will need some TLC when the roughest parts of winter set in. Here are a few strategies that you can take to maximize your battery life and keep your EV in top shape:

  • Preheating the Cabin: Preheating the cabin is a great way to enjoy a cozy commute. Start the preheating process while your car is still plugged into the charger to take advantage of the extra power.
  • Charge Strategically: Read up on your home charger’s features. Some allow you to set a departure time in the mornings, so you can maximize your charging time before you head out for the day.
  • Use Eco Mode: If you have an Eco Mode, activate it in the winter. Eco Mode will automatically make adjustments to maximize your range.

Get More EV Tips at Mercedes-Benz of Chantilly

There are some considerations to owning electric cars in cold climates, but there are countless benefits as well! Want to know more about the latest in green technology? Stop by Mercedes-Benz of Chantilly for a test drive in a hybrid or electric model. You can also contact us with your questions about our inventory, and we’ll help you find just the right car for your wants and needs.


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