Cold Weather? No Problem.
Living in the Northeast, we know cold. On more than one occasion, I’m sure you’ve gone outside to find your car completely encased in ice. Word on the street is that electric vehicles don’t work quite as well when it is cold out. This is completely true, but this is also completely true of internal combustion engine cars, albeit for different reasons. The battery packs in electric vehicles do lose a bit of range in the winter due to their chemistry. Things just don’t work quite as well cold. Basic science classes taught us that heat speeds up everything from atoms to chemical reactions. Similar to popping popcorn, when you add heat, atoms bounce around quicker. This causes more of them to bump into each other, which effectively speeds up any reaction taking place. In the absence of heat, the reactions that take place in the battery of an electric vehicle slow down, and this is what causes the decrease in range.
The chart below shows a composite of the daily temperatures from three locations in the state over six years, and breaks it down into the percentages of days where the weather would result in Ideal Operation, Minimal Reduction of Range, Moderate Reduction of Range, and Large Reduction of Range.
•80% of days over six years, temperatures considered to be ideal for operation of an electric vehicle.
•14% of days fell in a range, results in minimal reduction in operation of electric range.
•6% of days fell in a range, results in moderate reduction, AND
•more than 1% of days fell in a range, results in large reduction.