By 2040, electric vehicles will make up 54% of all new car sales worldwide. Electric cars are steadily growing in popularity, thanks in part to their eco-friendliness and fewer maintenance requirements. However, EV owners should pay close attention to how they maintain and operate their automobiles, especially during the winter.
While some drivers in the South may already be looking forward to the early spring promised by Punxsutawney Phil, those up North may still worry about late March cold fronts. If you’re new to electric vehicles, here are a few quick tips to help you get where you need to go this season.
Don’t Forget to Check the Tires
While EVs require less maintenance than conventional gas vehicles, their tires are still affected by cold temperatures. Generally speaking, tires lose around 2% of their air pressure for every 10-degree drop in temperature. Keep an eye on the air pressure and on your EV’s tire pressure warning light: if the tire pressure gets too low, reinflate them to the manufacturer’s recommended pounds-per-square-inch (PSI). You may also want to think about having snow tires installed if you live in an area prone to significant snowfall and ice.
Prepare For Adverse Weather
Whether your area is known for its cold temperatures and excessive snow, or you plan on traveling somewhere during the winter, it’s always a good idea to plan ahead and be prepared for the worst. Make sure your car is well-stocked with windshield wiper fluid and that you’re equipped with a snow brush with a scraper.
And while EVs are uniquely equipped to handle slippery roads (thanks to their lower center of gravity and even distribution of weight), make sure you know how to handle skids and slips. Even if your vehicle offers autopilot features, you should always stay alert and ready to take control in bad weather or an emergency. This can keep you safe and prevent the need for costly repairs.
Expect Changes in Charging Efficiency
One of the most important things EV drivers should know about driving during winter is the need to find commercial electric car charging stations along their routes. While cold weather does affect all vehicles, EV drivers especially must be aware of changes in range and energy efficiency.
Lower temperatures can impact how well your car’s battery accepts and holds a charge, which means you may not be able to drive as far between charging sessions. Your charging sessions may also take longer than usual for your car’s battery to reach maximum capacity. Be sure that you take the time to locate publicly available commercial EV charging stations along the way, because depending on your vehicle, you may not be able to travel more than a hundred miles without stopping.
For many Americans, electric vehicles are convenient for winter travel because they can warm up quickly and charge overnight at home. As long as you check your tire pressure regularly, prepare for challenging weather, and plan your route, the rest of the winter will speed by.
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