Is There A Link Between Weather And Electric Car Battery Performance?

Electric cars give you the advantage of avoiding trips to the gas station to fill the tank.  The electric car does not cause as much pollution as a non-electric vehicle.

Since the electric motors require less maintenance than the internal combustion engine many owners of electric cars appreciate the cost savings.  Electric cars have strong acceleration and smooth performance.

When you purchase your electric car you are given a projection of the number of miles  you can travel on a charge.  If you live in a climate where the temperature is moderate you probably can depend on the estimated mileage.  However, if the temperature in your area  becomes either very hot or very cold the mileage you can expect from your electric car will diminish.

In a study done by the AAA Automotive Research Center in Southern California it was determined that an electric car with a certified EPA range of 84 miles only traveled 36 miles in cold weather before the battery was depleted.

Scorching hot weather will likewise affect the battery life, but not as severely as the cold weather.  At a temperature of 95 degrees an electric car with an estimated range of 105 miles may only get 69 miles from the battery charge.

In a very cold climate the weather may hinder the ability of the battery to accept a charge.

Using the heater in the electric car during cold weather puts a great strain on the battery life.  In order to keep the interior of the car warm the electric car uses an electric powered heater and this draws down the battery life.  Other items that use the battery are the seat warmers and the radio.  If you are willing to bundle up and skip using the seat warmer, radio and heater you can get more mileage from your charge.  Of course, you will have a very unpleasant drive since you’ll be cold.

Most people are driving the electric car commuting relatively short distances.  They are likely within the shorter range of the electric car’s battery.  If the driver of an electric car gets caught in a traffic jam or snowstorm backup for a long period of time he may have a problem.

You can help extend the mileage from the battery of your electric car during cold weather  if you take a few common sense precautions.

If it is possible park your car in a garage so the temperature is more moderate.

Try to avoid the use of the radio and seat warmers and limit the use of the car’s heater.

Don’t idle the care before driving in an effort to warm the interior.

Try to combine trips to save wear on the battery.

Use the cold weather type oil the manufacturer recommends.

It is prudent to observe how your own car is affected by the weather and determine just how much mileage you can expect under various conditions.