Electric Vehicles vs Winter in Canada
More and more Canadian consumers are thinking about a switch to EVs. While many of them have concerns – how an electric vehicle will work in harsh winters in Canada. A Canadian driver who has experienced a dead battery on a cold winter day is unlikely to think electric vehicles are a good match for Canadian winters. In this post, we will discuss Electric Vehicles vs Winter in Canada.
In fact, well-designed EVs can handle cold climates, since cold temperatures don’t affect EVs the same way as internal combustion engine vehicles. EVs don’t have the engine parts as gas-powered vehicles do, while the engine parts of a gasoline car can cause them to stall at cold temperatures, turning on an EV is just as easy as turning on a light switch.
One of the biggest concerns of EVs is the range, while extreme cold weather can reduce an EV’s range by as much as half, drivers’ range anxiety may arise when we get into cold weather. Although the range of a fully charged battery should be sufficient to cover the required travel distance, it’s normal that drivers would still worry about running out of electricity halfway and getting stranded during cold temperatures.
In general, the best temperature range for electric-car batteries is at around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Extreme heat or extreme cold can reduce the range. In Canada, where we have a long winter in most of the provinces, it’s true that electric vehicles batteries are less effective and have a shorter range during the cold weather. However, it’s becoming less of an issue today with the new generation of electric cars. If you use your EV for commuting to work or doing daily groceries shopping, these short trips are likely less than 80km, and most electric cars can easily cover this range with just one single charge. Therefore, most of our daily trips should be well covered by the winter range of today’s EVs.
There are also some tips for preventing a significant range loss. Including keeping your EV in the garage, using low-energy settings, warming up your EV while plugged in, not speeding, all will help to increase range in winter. In addition, a network of public charging stations across the country has built up and it’s easy to have your EV get charged.
Alternatively, there is another category of EVs that have both a plug and also an engine. These hybrid EVs allow car owners to drive as many km as possible on electric power alone, and have the security of knowing their car won’t be immobile at the side of the road with the backup of gas. In fact, gas and diesel vehicles also will have a range reduction in cold temperature.
Ultimately, the fear of running out of power is the same as it is in gasoline or diesel cars. Proper planning is the key to tempering one’s range anxiety, running out of electricity should never be a problem with proper planning even in extreme climatic conditions.
Electric Vehicles vs Winter in Canada
In fact, driving an electric car in cold winter is not as worrying as you might think. Actually, an electric car is often at an advantage when driving in snow and ice.
First of all, EVs’ batteries are on top of the axles, so the weight of an EV with winter tires makes for amazing traction. In addition, with a smooth electric motor that has no gears and much fewer moving parts, you are far less likely to slip and slide when accelerating.
Moreover, an electric motor allows you to use regenerative braking, which can provide smoother and safer braking while using the motion of the wheels to recharge the batteries. Regenerative braking can reduce the chance of skidding or sliding and minimizes the risk of losing control. Using the motor for both accelerating and braking is also a significant benefit when driving on ice or snow, as the overall balance of the car remains more consistent.
And lastly, there’s no more waiting for an engine to warm up with an EV. Even in the coldest conditions, the new generation of electric cars can heat up the interior quickly with powerful electric cabinet heaters. Most electric cars have a preheat function that is almost instant heat, which makes you stay warm from the moment you get behind the wheel.
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