Drive an electric vehicle in the harsh Canadian winter: Here’s what you need to know

by Oct 17, 2022car maintenance, Driving tips0 comments

Driving any electric vehicle in the cold can be problematic for the EV’s performance. While today’s electric cars are built similarly strong for the harsh Canadian winters, for Canadian EV drivers who have to deal with the harsh winters in Canada, driving an electric vehicle will need some special maintenance and attention. On the other hand, extreme cold weather can also cause significantly reduced driving distances as the EV’s batteries deplete power in cold conditions. 

In this post, we’ll go over some advice that EV owners in Canada might consider when determining how to take care of their electric car over the winter and how to increase the lifespan of the vehicle.

Battery life and Performance in Winter

The harsh winters may result in more battery degradation than in other locations with  different temperatures. Battery life should be the first and possibly the primary emphasis when purchasing an electric vehicle and doing maintenance. 

Lowered output and charging rates may be caused by a battery bank’s intrinsic chemical reactivity, which is affected by cold weather. Even if you charge your EV inside or under cover, insulation is still important because the batteries could still become cold while you’re driving. Because an electric vehicle’s motor won’t shut off like it would in a gas-powered vehicle, if you run out of juice while you’re driving, keep in mind that transporting one typically requires a flatbed tow.

When it’s cold outside (below -20 °C), an electric car that is plugged in will perform better in the morning, just like a conventional automobile equipped with an engine block warmer. Additionally, this warms up the passenger area as you get in, a luxury that you can’t enjoy in a gas-powered vehicle without spewing fumes or running the danger of long-term engine damage. You can even set a heating timer in certain EVs. To prepare for the extremely cold winter nights, you might want to consider purchasing underground parking or setting up space in your garage. Rapid charging generates a lot of heat, which could be harmful to your batteries. To maintain proper battery condition, it’s a good idea to exercise and keep the battery between 10 and 40 degrees Celsius. This implies that rather than placing your charging system outdoors in your driveway, you might want to think about placing it inside your home in your garage.

The battery and the car’s economy and performance should always be the key concerns when maintaining an EV in Canada because without the battery, your EV would be essentially useless. Because electric vehicles do not require power to start in the winter, they can start promptly and reliably even in freezing weather. However, they require electricity to power up some devices since cold temperatures may harm your car’s electronics . This power consumption is substantially lower than that required by ICE cars to heat the vehicle sufficiently to start it. Unlike ICE vehicles, electric vehicles consume battery energy that would otherwise be used to move the vehicle to heat the interior,  reducing their range as a result. If you typically drive 65 kilometers each day, you’re good to go with 130 kilometers of overall range in. Make sure to adhere to the maintenance recommendations given by the manufacturer of your EV and check the performance and engine life on a regular basis. Making sure the entire electrical system is well cared for and maintained during the frigid days of the Canadian winter can make your electric vehicle last much longer.

Electric Vehicle Care

Many of the electric vehicle’s safety functions, especially autopilot, depend on the cameras’ ability to see their surroundings clearly, which you might have overlooked. The performance of these safety systems may be affected if snow or ice blocks any of the cameras or sensors on the vehicle’s bumpers. Before you Before you start your drive, locate all your cameras and sensors, and make sure they are all turned off. Making sure the sensors are clean on your electric vehicle, and unobstructed will maintain the quality of the exterior parts and the good running of all the features related.

The use of climate control when operating an electric vehicle in the winter can also have an impact on range. An internal combustion engine generates a lot of heat because of operation, whereas an electric vehicle’s heater draws power directly from the battery. As a result of the shorter days and longer nights, this steals a few miles from the drive wheels, as does using the wipers to clear snow and ice.

electric vehicle

Driving Tips For Winter

The wise thing to do is to extend the battery life of your electric car by driving more cautiously throughout the winter. For example, by not accelerating as quickly and keeping the car plugged in when it’s not in use for extended periods of time. Furthermore, regenerative braking is the last problem that affects winter EV driving. These systems convert a portion of the braking energy into electricity that may be sent back into the battery. Some EVs disable regenerative systems until the battery has warmed up, since a cold battery cannot be recharged effectively. This implies that on a brief journey, you might not receive any additional restorative juice at all. The brake generators also become less efficient in chilly weather, which further cuts into their utility.

In conclusion, just like driving a gas-powered vehicle, an EV’s range decreases in cold weather. To avoid being stranded in the winter with a dead battery, get ready to charge your battery more frequently. The tips should be helpful to make your electric vehicle last longer and perform better during winter conditions, and help increase the lifetime of the EV’s battery and other components, as well as improve your overall driving experience in the cold Canadian winter.

Learn more about the benefits of buying from Carnex. We believe that all clients deserve to know the good and bad of what they’re buying. Because we wanted to know these when we bought cars. That’s why at, we will proudly display every detail every step of the way. Browse all the best cars, automobile buying tips, auto insurance, young drivers, driving techniques, auto industry trends from Carnex Blog.

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