As you know, electric vehicles are becoming more and more popular. More and more car brands are jumping on the EV trend with announcements for new EV series happening all the time. One of the big questions involving the future of EVs is when we are going to see electricity as the only choice of energy we can get for our cars. While this question remains unanswered, there are quite a few options today if you are looking to go green.
With the start of Winter just two days away, the question arises how well these gasless machines work in the cold weather climate. What happens if you live in a cold area, especially one with a lot of snow? Will your EV be fine? How are Electric Vehicles on snowy roads? With these questions in mind, we wanted to explore further the advantages and disadvantages of owning an EV in the winter.
One positive about EVs is that their batteries are large and heavy which makes their weight suitable for winter driving conditions. Heavy vehicles have better traction on snow and ice. Also, electric engines are gearless, making getting up slowly on snow or ice effortless.
As we have all experienced on a cold morning day, air-dependent gasoline engines take a few minutes to warm up. However, this is not the case with electric vehicles as their engine takes no time at all to warm up.
Another advantage is that most EVs come equipped with active thermal management which can be accessed through an app. This allows for EVs to be warmed up without the need for an engine start. This allows the windows and mirrors to defrost for visibility. The owner can also control many of the vehicle’s actions like turning on the heating right from their phone without even going to the car.
The owner can do all of this while the vehicle is plugged in, to prevent wasting battery life. Unlike gasoline vehicles, there is no loss of emissions when you take that extra time in the morning to warm up your car.
Now that we looked at the many advantages electric vehicles have in cold winter conditions, it’s time to take a look at some of the disadvantages.
EVs typically come equipped with tires with higher pressure for lower energy consumption and low rolling resistance. This provides less traction than softer alternatives. These high pressure tires are terrible for harsh winter weather.
Another disadvantage when it comes to winter driving is instant electric torque. With internal combustion engines, they need to rev itself up slowly to reach higher torque numbers. With EVs, it’s either on or off, so it’s instant. This creates a skidding problem at standing starts and could be very dangerous for new or inexperienced drivers.
Another disadvantage is that according to professionals, cold winter weather may reduce an EV’s range by up to 40%. Features often used in cold weather like the AC, heated seats and steering wheel can contribute to even more reduction in electric range. If you have a hybrid vehicle, chances are it won’t use its electric battery much in the cold because of their high energy demands. The downside to this is that the fuel economy may not benefit as much in the hotter weather.
So, are Electric Vehicles a good choice in the winter?
After analysis, yes, it appears electric vehicles are a fine choice for cold winter conditions. With the electric vehicle continually evolving, and the new entry of different models into the market, they are getting better all the time. With improvements every year, cold weather will affect EVs less and less as new technology is developed.
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