How Do EVs Perform in the Snow?

February 16th, 2023 by

Electric vehicles are capable of driving in the snow and perform as well or better than gas-engine models. However, drivers should always observe basic safety precautions when driving in snowy conditions.

Luxury electric vehicles have a number of known advantages over their gas-engine counterparts. They are more efficient, less expensive to maintain, and often feature some of the most advanced driving technologies available. But drivers still have many questions about electric vehicle performance. These questions are the right ones to ask. It’s reasonable to do your homework before transitioning to an EV, after all.

One question a lot of drivers ask, especially in colder climates, is, “How do EVs perform in the snow?” Snowy conditions are often some of the most difficult conditions to drive in. So, what factors influence an EV’s performance in the snow? And are they better, worse, or the same when compared to gas-engine cars?

Driving an Electric Vehicle in the Snow

How Do EVs Perform in the Snow?-Red Car Driving In The SnowTo give a short answer, electric vehicles perform perfectly fine in the snow. There is nothing in an EV’s engineering that makes it perform worse in the snow than an internal-combustion engine vehicle would. Just as EVs are safe to operate in the rain, they are similarly fine to drive in the snow.

With that said, you should always take the same basic precautions when driving in the snow regardless of your vehicle type. Reduce speed, keep a safe distance, and make sure your visibility is clear.

In addition to these standard precautions, there are a few other factors specific to EVs to consider when driving in the snow.

All-Wheel Drive Capabilities

Cars with all-wheel drive tend to perform better in snow. This is because all-wheel drive sends power to each wheel individually, providing better steering and traction in slick conditions. Many, though not all, luxury electric vehicles are engineered with all-wheel drive transmissions. If you drive an EV with AWD capability, it will likely perform better than a four-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive vehicle.

Winter EV Tires

Because of the way electric vehicles are built, they tend to require heavier and bulkier tires. This can lead to longer braking times, but also better traction. Both of these factors should be taken into consideration when driving in snow. While improved traction has obvious advantages, longer braking times can become especially problematic in the snow.

Fortunately, you can install winter tires on your electric vehicle with relative ease. Many manufacturers provide winter tires for most LEV models available today.

Cold Temperatures and Electric Vehicles

How Do EVs Perform in the Snow? - Blue SUV Driving In The SnowOne thing that drivers should be wary of when driving in the snow is the impact of cold temperatures on electric batteries. Overexposure to the cold can damage your EV’s battery, causing it to lose range in the short term. This does not mean that electric vehicles will perform worse in the cold, however. 

A few basic precautions can be taken to protect EVs and their batteries from the cold. Parking and charging your electric car in a warm, insulated area can protect it from potential damage. Similarly, letting your car warm up before driving it into the cold protects it from temperature-related deterioration.

Conclusion: Driving EVs in the Snow

So, can you drive an electric vehicle in the snow? Absolutely. 

In fact, some EV models might even perform better in the snow than comparable gas-engine cars. But, even with that improved performance, drivers should exercise caution when driving in difficult conditions. Safe and responsible driving is the most important thing, whether you drive an electric vehicle or a gas-engine car.

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At Ray Catena Auto Group, our expert staff has the answers you need on all aspects of owning, driving, and maintaining a luxury electric car. Find a location near you or learn more about the types of maintenance LEVs need.

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