In truth, yes. All cars including petrol, diesel and electric have lower fuel efficiencies at colder temperatures which will decrease the distance the vehicle can travel without refueling. Due to some electric vehicles (EVs) having a lower range than most petrol/diesel vehicles, there are more considerations to make when choosing an EV. Saying this, current EV models are dealing better with the cold weather and will continue to improve as more and more models are released.
How does the cold weather affect the vehicles?
So, in cold weather all vehicles decreases in efficiency. Factors like cold engine oil and vehicles sitting around longer for gasoline vehicles in cold conditions can reduce the fuel economy by around approximately 20%. Overall electric vehicles can be more efficient due to its electric motor it works as it turns stored electricity into motion rather than an internal combustion engine is converting the chemical energy of petrol/diesel to mechanical energy.
There are many factors to consider when comparing a petrol/diesel engine to an electric motor. If you think about a petrol/diesel engine and an electric motor, they both lose energy through heating the vehicle, but where the EV wins is the gasoline engine also loses energy through the tailpipe and the vehicles radiator. Batteries in EVs have lower performance as the temperature dips due to the impact of the temperature on mobility of electrons through the battery. To keep the performance at a high and reduce accelerated aging of the battery, many EVs have a thermal management system built in which means the battery is kept warm through cold conditions and cold during warm periods.
Does your range anxiety heighten during cold condition?
Let’s put this anxiety to bed, yes your range can reduce during the cold periods especially on shorter journeys but only by approximately 10%, around 2-3 miles – which in reality is not a lot!
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