Winter Weather Hits EV Range

Mon 21st Mar 2022

New analysis from one of the UK’s biggest consumer affairs champions has found that many electric vehicles  are not meeting their advertised range during the colder winter months.

It’s a well known fact that icy temperatures have a big impact on the performance of all car batteries, with many motorists find themselves stranded on their driveway requiring a jump start due to a flat battery. And while most modern EVs don’t actually suffer the same problem, research from What Car? has found that the driving range of some of the biggest brands takes a significant hit.

What Car? and EV site Move Electric conducted tests in winter conditions and found that some cars saw a reduction of range by up to 40 per cent, compared to the same journey in the summer months.

“Range remains one of the key considerations for electric car buyers, but when deciding whether a particular model can go far enough on a charge to fit into your life, it’s important to bear in mind that batteries don’t work as well in cooler conditions,” said What Car? editor Steve Huntingford.

The team behind the research are advising consumers to consider a heat pump when buying their EV as this car reduce the strain on the battery by drawing excess heat from the electric drive train and warming the interior of the car.

In the tests, the Fiat 500 (without a heat pump) saw its range fall by 40 per cent, while the Ford Mustang Mach-E fell from an advertised range of 379 miles to 247 miles in winter conditions.

James Attwood, editor of Move Electric, added: “If you do plan to push the range of your electric car in winter, we’d definitely recommend choosing one with a heat pump fitted or ticking that box on the options list, because these can significantly improve an electric vehicle’s range in cold driving conditions.”