Winter Care Tips for Electric Vehicles

February 22nd, 2023 by

Leaving your car exposed to cold temperatures and using DC charging in below-freezing temps can negatively impact the performance of your electric vehicle. 


Mercedes-EQS-Electric-Car-NJLuxury electric vehicles, in so many ways, represent the future of driving. Superior technology and efficiency are the hallmarks of today’s electric vehicles. But there are some differences in driving performance and conditions that may take some getting used to. 

These changes are not necessarily a bad thing, either. For instance, EVs tend to offer smoother acceleration than gas-engine cars, which is a definite advantage. But there is an adjustment period required for drivers switching to electric cars for the first time.

Another change to be mindful of is how your electric vehicle performs in the winter. Cold weather can affect battery health and performance. As such, it’s important to take steps that counteract the impact of low temperatures on your electric vehicle. Here are some basic winter weather tips for owning and operating a luxury electric vehicle.

EV Battery Care Tips for Winter Weather

Avoid Fast Charging When Possible

Fast charging, or DC charging, is often the most convenient option for on-the-go EV owners. But using fast charging when the temperature is below freezing is less efficient, and can potentially cause damage to your battery. Your battery will be better off in the short and long-term if you stick to slower charging speeds in the winter. In fact, Level 1 charging, while the slowest option, is actually the best option if you’re charging in the cold. An indoor Level 2 charger at home is also a safe option if the battery and EV are not too cold.

Park Indoors if Possible

Over-exposure to extreme temperatures (hot or cold) is bad for your EV’s battery and long-term health. For this reason, you should try to avoid leaving your car parked outdoors throughout the winter in cold climates. If you live in an area that experiences harsh winters, you should keep your EV parked in a home garage. Occasionally parking outside for short durations is fine, and often unavoidable. However, you should always try to avoid leaving your electric car inactive in the cold for long stretches of time. (The same rule applies to extremely hot temperatures during the summer).

Preheat Your Electric Vehicle Before Going Out

Porsche-taycan-Electric-Car-NJIf you followed the previous step, then your electric vehicle has been safely parked in a warm area for hours. But if you start your car and leave that warm spot too quickly, you could still be over-exposing it to cold weather. Just as it’s good to let a gas-engine car warm up in the winter, you should do the same for your EV.

Allowing your electric car to warm up before driving in the cold puts less strain on the battery. This means you’ll have more range that day, and you’ll be preserving your battery’s long-term health. Plus, it makes the cabin more comfortable for you once you’re on the road.

 

Don’t Overheat the Electric Vehicle

This may seem counterintuitive based on the previous tip. But you should always be careful not to overdo it when heating your EV. Remember, it’s not just extreme cold that can damage your car’s lithium-ion battery. If your car runs too hot, your battery can become damaged, just as it can from the cold. 

Also, when you use more electricity to heat your car, your car will have less range. Set your car to a moderate temperature and let it warm up gradually. If you have heated seats available, you can also use this feature to stay warm more efficiently.

Ray Catena Auto Group is committed to helping tri-state area drivers get the most out of their luxury electric vehicles. Contact us today to learn more about LEVs at Ray Catena dealerships, or learn more about how LEVs perform in the snow.

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