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Winter Driving in an EV

Simple tips help you drive farther when the temperature drops.

Winter driving is a fact of life in Wisconsin—slippery roads, snow drifts and a cold car in the morning. Vehicles also are less efficient when the temperature drops—and not just electric vehicles (EVs). In fact, gasoline vehicle efficiency can drop 20% or more in the winter.

Electric driving range is reduced in cold weather because cold batteries are less efficient. And, heating the cabin and defrosting the windows use battery capacity. But, an electric motor is much more efficient than a gas-powered engine.

Here are some tips to improve driving range in the winter:

  1. Preheat your car’s cabin while plugged in, if possible. Use grid electricity for this process to save battery capacity for driving. Plus, who doesn’t like a nice, warm vehicle in the winter?
  2. Park your car in a garage, especially if it stays warmer than the outside temperature.
  3. Keep your car plugged in whenever possible. This keeps the battery charged while any automatic warming functions are underway. Also, cold batteries take longer to charge.
  4. Use cabin amenities efficiently. For example, cycle the defrost function only as needed and use heated seats if available—they require less energy to keep you warm than the cabin heater.
  5. Clear ice and snow from your car to reduce weight and improve aerodynamics.
  6. Keep tires inflated to the proper pressure. In cold weather, the air pressure in the tires drops. This affects driving range.
  7. Drive conservatively. Higher speeds and quick acceleration reduce efficiency.

You can drive electric this winter. Did you know that Norway is number one when it comes to EV adoption? It’s also high on the list for cold winters. If drivers in Norway can go electric, those of us in Wisconsin can too! I don’t know if there is a lot to love about winter, but there is a lot to love about EVs!

Be sure to visit the EV Rider section of mge2050.com for more stories about the latest on EVs.

published: Dec-09-2020

Debbie Branson

Until next time,

Debbie Branson

MGE Manager
of Electrification

EV Rider