The range of electric cars falls by around a fifth in freezing temperatures.
I want to be the first to say this, because the first one is definitely being helpful and not annoying or pedantic.
The capital of Canada is not Toronto.
Claro y ameno con información muy útil. Gracias¡¡
FWIW, temperature affects gas-powered vehicles as well. They get crappier power in warm weather (less-dense air reduces the fuel-air volume per stroke) and burn more gas in cold weather (opposite). I just don’t think many consider that.
Short version: Cold weather reduces the range of a ICE vehicle, as well.
One beauty of electric cars is that they do not generate lots of 'waste' heat by burning petrol/diesel. Unfortunately, this means that there is no spare waste heat to warm our electric car in winter. We turn the heating on in our EV in the winter and the projected range falls substantially. The warmer you want to have the car, the more the range is impacted.
Yes, ICE vehicles also suffer from worse fuel consumption, and hence range, in cold weather. Here is the Dept of Energy's take on it:
It would be interesting to directly compare similar ICE and EV vehicles, under the same conditions, with the interior heated to the same temperature. It might be slightly worse for the EV, but I bet it is not much.
BTW, I love this blog, it is very illuminating, Hannah.
"Cold" means different things to different people. I'm in Maine, and like another commenter mentioned, range drops off quite a bit when you get down below -10 C. (In my town, the high school kids wear shorts if it's above 0 C on a winter day.) I agree with Hannah that it would be helpful to know how EVs perform in colder temperatures, but also in hotter temperatures. Something like the City/Highway efficiency numbers, but Cold/Temperate/Hot range (-10 C / 20 C / 40 C). That would help people understand how efficient the vehicle's battery management and climate control systems are.
When I am asked how my EV does in the cold, I clearly understand that they are asking about worst case, not a mild day in March. I'm being asked about -20 F, not -2 C. Not the overall 120-day winter season, but those difficult Jan/Feb days. And I tell them half. Because on my EV, it's 450 Wh/mi at 15 below, vs 220 Wh/mi summer. Yes, still "pretty good", and yes, still totally adequate for most things, but that Supercharger 150 miles away is no longer a safe goal. Dec-Feb I dare not make road trip plans outside of a very few selected charger-blessed corridors. Between range-collapse and charger-availability it really is much-much worse a cold-cost than ICE. This is universally understood by all the EV owners I know in norther MN and WI.
Articles and information about "cold", should, IMHO, be very clear about this. A false sense of safe range at extreme cold is very dangerous.
Of the dozen or so EV owners I know, the only two that went back to ICE did so for this reason, that long distance rural driving could not be reliable in the winter.
I live in a part of Canada where the temperature can, at times, reach the dreaded level where Fahrenheit and Celsius are the same (a bit more harsh than Ottawa, quite a bit harsher than Toronto). While I don’t have one, one of colleagues has an EV. This past winter I had a chance the go for some lunches with him on days when the mercury was around -25C. I have never been in a car that was warmer getting in in the middle of winter. He would remotely trigger the car a couple minutes before we walked out and it was toasty warm by the time we sat in it. For my ICE car it would have still been warming up if I had used my remote start at the equivalent moment (not to mention the EV didn’t appear to need the equivalent of a block heater to keep the oil warm past -15). So I can report that my experience is that they warm up way faster, and since my colleague was only driving about 40km a day he had no problems with the range. Obviously this is something that depends on your needs, but he loves his and after sitting in it on some of the coldest days of the year, I can see why.
You are a good researcher! could you please research cancer rates related to years of e-car ownership compared to years of combustion cars ownership?: 400 V and wattage is huge!
Did you know that in any lithium based battery, going lower than 30% dramatically reduces the lifespan? (ideally don't let them fall below 50%)
Did you know the huge contamination caused by the e-car batteries, which have to be replaced much faster than regular batteries for combustion cars?
Why do they buy them in sub-zero countries? Because of subsidies and e-tax incentives vs. c-tax disincentives and overtaxing c-cars and gasoline… and of course anti-scientific ideology drilled along all years of schooling and university, plus media constant bashing.
EVs are easy to shut down remotely if you don't comply with the future digi-tatorship::
EVs are part of the problem, not the solution!
16 laws we need to exit Prison Planet
Politics got us in, politics is the way out ... after prayers!
Gates-WHO: vaccines can’t reduce population, except by murdering
Proof: they were never for reducing mortality, only for murdering!
The threat of the WHO sovereignty-grab by the 2023 IHR and 2024 International PLANdemc Treaty: we’ve got until November 2023 for Congress to repeal IHR modifications!
I agree with the general thrust of the article (except the capital of Canada), but I have driven my Tesla Model 3 for 4 winters in New England and I can tell you that the hit on cold winter days is more than 19% - it's more like 30%. But, given the ubiquity of Superchargers, this still isn't a huge problem. I don't typically drive more than 3 hours without a break irrespective of the engine type.
Just to be clear, I wouldn't trade the M3 for any comparable gas powered car.
Thanks for an excellent blog, as always. One thing to note: air density (for a given pressure) is inversely proportional to absolute temperature. A 10% drop in temperature, from say 300K (27C) to 270K (-3C) will increase density by 10%. Aerodynamic drag is proportional to density, so that too will increase by the same factor for this temperature drop. I think that this means that no matter what improvements are made to battery technology (or engine technology), energy use for a given journey will always be higher in cold weather, roughly by a factor related to the proportional change in absolute temperature. Battery effects will be in addition to this baseline change.
Would be very interesting to get your take on why there are such large discrepancies between adoption rates in the different countries mentioned.
I love the use of the latitude comparison
So is it just a coincidence that there’s a correlation between cold temperatures and EV adoption then? Is it a third factor that’s causal like GDP that is also correlated with northern latitudes?
Nice Article Hannah. As a Canadian, I wish the temperatures were only 0 to -10C. I’m looking for some data on -40C as family and friends are talking bout 50-60% reductions in range and I’m curious on the accuracy of that. (I’m on my 3rd EV and the wether is meaningless here in Vancouver.)