It’s no secret that cold weather can reduce the effectiveness of a battery, regardless of the application. A new study by the American Automobile Association (AAA) confirms that electric cars are no exception. Moreover, nothing is worse when owners crank up the heat to keep themselves warm.
Each vehicle is on a dynamometer test in a climate-controlled environment. During each battery-draining run, they altered the temperature in the room surrounding the vehicle, to study the effects different climates have on range depletion.
First, the AAA obtained a baseline range reading on each vehicle at 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The organization then tested the car in both 20 degree and 95-degree weather, with and without the use of the car’s built-in HVAC systems.
In 20-degree weather, the average driving range of the car fell by 12 percent without the use of car’s heater. The tests showed that range dropped by an astounding 41 percent, at the time of flipping the cabin heater. When tested at 95 degrees, range only dropped 4 percent from baseline. When the AC was blowing cool air, the range fell by around 17 percent.
Steps taken by Tesla to provide extra feature
Tesla offers a feature called pre-conditioning, which helps to warm up the cabin, and subsequently, the battery before driving. This is extremely useful for owners who leave their cars plugged in overnight so that they are not wasting precious range while commuting.
Though the northern hemisphere is just over halfway through winter, the cold weather will still be around for several weeks.