Thursday, January 18, 2024

EVs work just fine in cold weather

More electric vehicle myths to dispel. There are several others here, and there will almost certainly be more.

Yes, we quite understand that EV range goes down dramatically in cold weather (as much as 30-40% in really cold weather). My own experience here in Toronto is a range reduction of probably 25-30% compared to summer. Batteries are less efficient in cold weather, that's not in dispute and not a surprise, although a new generation of batteries might reduce that somewhat

They also take longer to charge. That's just the way it is, although some of the recent reports about disgruntled Tesla owners in a frigid Chicago have been somewhat sensationalized and overblown (and occasionally downtight suspect).

But what gets lost in the debate is that the fuel efficiency and range of comventional ICE vehicles also goes down 15-33% in cold weather

Also, Norway's experience shows that there are ways of dealing with EVs in the extreme cold (like preconditioning, built-in heat pumps, using heated seats and heated steering wheels, etc), so that they can still function quite adequately. 

And finally, more Norwegian data suggests that electric vehicles actually fail at lower rates than gas cars in extreme cold. (This is according to a Norwegian road assistance service.) And Norway and Sweden both have electric snowploughs doing the heavy work in low temperatures up in their semi-Arctic regions, quite successfully.

I'm not trying to give the impression that EVs are perfect and without issues. Just that the bad press they get is exaggerated and often just plain wrong. A lot of people really want to see zero-emissions vehicles, for whatever political reasons of their own. 

It's a relatively new (and constantly improving) technology but, even now, it's really not as bad as some people would like you to believe.

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