How Do LEVs Handle the Summer Heat?

May 11th, 2023 by

Temperatures above 85 degrees Fahrenheit can cause electric vehicle batteries to run less efficiently. Over-exposure to high temperatures can cause damage overtime. However, drivers can avoid damage through responsible driving and charging habits during the summer.

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Mercedes Benz EQB Luxury Electric VehicleTemperature can affect the performance of luxury electric vehicles. But this fact does not mean that electric vehicles can’t be driven at all during the summer. It is true that over-exposure to high temperatures can make EVs run less efficiently. But drivers can also take a few simple steps to mitigate these problems. Here is everything you should know about driving a luxury electric vehicle in the summer.

How Does Heat Affect EV performance?

Electric vehicles are powered by lithium-ion batteries. This is the same type of battery that powers our smartphones and laptops, just on a much larger scale. Lithium-ion batteries work best within a certain temperature range. Below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, they begin to lose power more quickly. The same is true as the temperature rises above 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal temperature for a lithium-ion battery is between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Unfortunately for most people and their vehicles, daytime temperatures in the summer often rise above 80 degrees. Leaving your EV exposed to direct sunlight on these extra warm days can cause the battery to work less efficiently. Over-exposure to extreme temperatures can also cause long-term damage to the battery, reducing its overall performance. This can shorten the lifespan of your vehicle’s battery, and result in a less efficient driving experience overall.

Tips for Managing Summer Heat in an EV

Warm weather can be damaging to EV performance, but it is not a death sentence. There are steps that drivers can take to protect their EVs from the heat and maximize performance.


Preconditioning allows drivers to set a comfortable cabin temperature prior to entering their vehicle. Preconditioning your EV while it is still connected to a charging station can save a significant amount of battery power. This is because everything in an EV, including the heater and air conditioner, is powered by the same battery. If you blast the AC while driving in the summer, you will lose a bit of range. But, if you cool your car off while it is charging, you will not lose any power. This leads to a more comfortable and efficient ride.

Park in the Shade

There isn’t much we can do to avoid sunlight while on the road. But we can control how much sunlight our vehicles are exposed to when we’re not driving. EV owners should try, as often as they can, to park indoors or in the shade during the summer. This keeps the vehicle’s temperature down while it sits idly throughout the day. As a result, the battery will not overheat and can function more efficiently.

Avoid Fast Charging When Possible

Level 3 DC fast charging is the best way to quickly recharge a luxury electric vehicle. But there is a catch. Fast charging also raises the internal temperature of an EV’s battery while it’s charging. This can be a problem on hot days when the battery temperature is already close to exceeding its comfortable range. Drivers do not need to avoid fast charging entirely during the summer. But the more you can charge your vehicle with a Level 2 charger (preferably indoors), the better. Charging speeds are slower, but come with no risk of damaging the vehicle’s battery.

Don’t Drive Too Fast

Lastly, driving at high speeds can also raise the temperature of the battery slightly. Keeping the speed below 50 MPH as much as possible can keep the temperature lower on hot days, which can prolong the life of your battery.

Ray Catena Auto Group is NY and NJ’s trusted local name in luxury electric car maintenance and sales. Contact us today to learn more about caring for your luxury electric vehicle.

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