Video - Electric cars in winter... Any good?

Discussion in 'General' started by Andre Laurence, Feb 6, 2021.

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  1. I had not been able to make a video in 2 months because work has kept me too busy, but I finally managed to get a new one posted. What are EVs like in the winter? How do you charge in the winter without a garage? How does cold affect the range of an EV? How does an EV drive on snow and ice? I answer these questions and give updates on two products that I use, but not just on my Kia Niro EV (e-Niro). Thank you for being patient while I made this video

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  3. Great video!
    I made a video about comparing a very consistent commute during summer vs. winter driving showing the difference in range just with varying temperatures. Pretty much everything else stayed the same:
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  4. Thank you, and this is a great video, lots of excellent information. The results are great and very similar to my Niro EV consumption. Thanks for sharing this.
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  5. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Just finished my first, long distance, ~720 mi (1,152 km) each way, 2019 Tesla Std Rng Plus Model 3 test drive in freezing weather:
    1. Built-in trip planner is accurate, make sure you have at least 10% buffer, 15% is optimum. Charging will take longer!
    2. Follow warnings about speeds to reach destination.
    3. Be flexible but try to go SuperCharger-to-SuperCharger. Lowell AR between Joplin MO and Ozark AR was down which mean a deeper, slower charge between them.
    4. At motel, look for exterior 110 VAC outlet to put an overnight, partial charge.
    No experience with snow and ice as it passed around us.

    Bob Wilson
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  6. Thanks for sharing your experience. What kind of temperatures were you driving in? What kind of range were you getting, or what was your power consumption? What speeds were you driving on average?
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  8. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    • Temperatures ranged from 28 F (-2 C) to 36 F (2 C) ... headwinds both ways!
    • From a summer 232 mi (372 km) to ~215 mi (344 km) per the 'guess O meter.)
    • Power consumption was as high as +400 kWh/mile to non-headwind, ~280 kWh/mile. Normal temperatures are just under 250 kWh/mile.
    • Speed limit, ~65 mph (~104 kph) to ~70 mph (~112 kph) BUT when I failed to fully charge for a segment, I would get (and follow) warning as low as '55 mph' (88 kph) or lower on less traveled, State and County roads. The velocity cubed laws to tangibly visible in cold dense air.
    Bob Wilson
  9. Thanks for the details. Not terribly cold, but as you said, headwinds and the dense air do make a big difference. As for speed, some of those are fairly slow compared to what I drive on my long trips so that would explain the power consumption difference. I tend to drive between 113km/h to 116km/h (~70mph to 72mph)... and I am not saying that I occasionally went faster for very short bursts as that would not be totally legal... just sayin ;)
  10. Paul K

    Paul K Active Member

    2018 40kwh Leaf. Difference in absolutely best range in summer to absolutely worst in winter is about 40%. No garage. Car is charged in all kinds of weather. When the charge port has filled with snow I use a "Leaf" blower (groan) to blast the snow out. The charging dock and car itself seem well engineered for safety in all kinds of weather. Testing the limits I have plugged/unplugged in the rain and have yet to receive my Darwin award.

    Electric cars are awesome in the snow if equipped with winter tires. The factory installed eco-tires would struggle up a grade covered with frost let alone snow. The heavy weight pushes the treads into the snow so they really grab. I don't preheat. Just get in and go.
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  11. My Kona EV range went from 500+ kms in summer to 450 in winter. But it hasn't been really cold here yet, 0 - 10C mostly this last month.
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  13. Sounds like you could use a port cover from :)
  14. 0°C to -10°C is still considered summer here :D
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  15. Well, we are supposed to get our first cold spell of the year here where it may get down to an overnight low of -8C in the next couple of days, and then warm up again for the weekend.
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  16. I have a 2019 Leaf with 40kW battery, and I take it on a long haul (about 350 km) every 2-3 weeks, with temperatures ranging between +2C to -15C; I get lousy mileage and have to spend at least 2 hours recharging at DCFC spots along the way because the cold slows the charging they both (cold and distance) heat up the battery too much, even in the cold. Slow charging and hot battery are a bad combination.....No liquid cooling (grrrrrr), but I had no plans for long distance drives when I bought it. However, the comfort and control of the car are great with snow tires, and I frequently plug in cables in the snow or rain without issue. Sometimes I tent a towel over the charging area to absorb the moisture and keep it off the connection.

    I'll be upgrading to an EV with a larger battery and better thermal management sometime in 2021. Possibly an ID4 or Mach-e, though the Bold EUV is supposed to be out this summer.
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  17. Yes, unfortunately the Gen 2 Leaf is not very good regarding battery technology because Nissan essentially used the same thing as in the Gen 1, but added more power density, leading to bigger heat issues. And if you don't have a battery heater, then it is not very good in the winter.
    The ID.4 looks very promising, as well as the Mach-E and the Bolt EUV, but so do the new Ionig 5 and Kia EV5. 2021 is a very exciting year for EVs
    aamyotte likes this.
  18. turtleturtle

    turtleturtle Active Member

    There is so much misinformation about this. Thank you for looking to post real experiences.

    Our city council was debating putting in chargers last year and they started discussing how they “heard” that EVs aren’t good in the winter, so people probably don’t drive them in the winter, therefore they wouldn’t recoup costs from charging fees for half the year. This degraded into a debate about how they shouldn’t put in equipment if only used half the year, a complete misunderstanding of how much chargers are needed in downtown, but an eventual vote “yes” because they had budget for it.

    During the winter months, do EV owners just stay home? Are we actually werewolves?
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  19. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Last weekend I drove 1,500 miles in mostly freezing weather and winter headwinds. Other than charging longer for cabin comfort and local weather, all segments worked even with the Lowell AR Supercharger down.

    I did the last segment going home leaving with 5% reserve. I should have stayed longer, 10-15 minutes. So using low or off cabin heat and slow speeds (night with a lot of deer), got home with ~7 miles remaining. Full charging added 50.36 kWh.

    Rather than “werewolf,” perhaps “bears” who hibernate makes more sense. Perhaps someone might have suggested that people still need to shop and eat even in the winter. Personally, I would approach local stores and shopping centers.

    Bob Wilson
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2021
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  20. Puppethead

    Puppethead Well-Known Member

    I posted about a trip I made in my MINI SE, and with temperatures of -15 ºF to -5 ºF I would have gotten 80 miles or so if not for needing cabin heat. Since the official range of the MINI SE is 110 miles I'm pretty pleased with the performance in such extreme conditions.
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  21. Unfortunately it is a sad truth that people who don't understand EVs could make decisions that are incorrect. At least they voted yes and they will see that the charging stations will get used more than they think.
  22. ericy

    ericy Well-Known Member

    It happens all the time. People make decisions based upon something they "heard" somewhere. In this case, there are still too few people with real-world experience that can counterbalance the nonsense.
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  23. Also a problem is who they are listening to and getting their information from. If they listen to a transportation specialist who isn't well educated and has dealt with ice cars for the last 30 years, guess how that person would be biased.
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