Now that winter is finally here people across the country are getting their cars ready for the coming snow. With the cold weather also comes that tried and true “excuse” to avoid EVs, that they perform worse in winter weather conditions, namely watching your battery drain overnight leaving you stranded in the morning.
While lithium-ion batteries do suffer from energy drain in colder temperatures, its often overblown to the point that many believe an EV at 100% charge will plummet to near 0% over a day or two out the cold. Instead of looking at just this potential problem, let's look at what EV could do for any home during the winter months.
While its true battery drain due to cold weather does affect an EVs range, it's not to the point that you’ll wake up with nothing left in the tank. Most EVs today suffer an average of ~20 mi loss. Depending on the vehicle it can be as little as a 3 mi dip, something that's hardly noticeable, to a not insignificant 30 mi. While some of these vehicles could scare those who live in cold weather climates, it's merely a matter of selecting a vehicle that's known to perform well in winter.
As time goes on, most manufacturers will begin to properly insulate their battery systems to ensure that battery drain is kept to a minimum. After all the best-selling cars in Norway is Tesla (not just EVs, all vehicle sales), where the average winter temperatures hover around 36°F, just above freezing. If they’ve found EVs to be an enjoyable winter vehicle there its likely everyone will.
What this also shows is that it's imperative to have access to charging at home. Even driving the worst performing battery drain vehicle, owners likely won’t feel the pain as they’ll have the ability to charge up every night, completely avoiding battery drain altogether. As much investment that's going into public networks, having the ability to charge up at home is clearly imperative. Its why we made the Orange Outlet, to ensure everyone, no matter where they live has affordable access to EV charging at home.
One of the most overlooked aspects of EVs is the fact that in reality, they are just mobile battery packs. This means EV owners can leverage their vehicles stored energy to overcome power outages or even energy price spikes. As shown recently where a Canadian Ford 150 Lightning owner was not only able to power his home for two full days but still had 65% left in the tank once the power eventually came back on.
While this feature hasn’t rolled out to many vehicles, the potential is clearly there. This wouldn’t just come in handy during a power outage, but also avoid or at least minimize any price spikes, as well as many in Texas, are well aware of.
What we are seeing is just the beginning and as battery technology continues to improve and costs continue to plummet more and more are going to switch over to EVs. Not only are they great vehicles in the winter months (thanks in large part to heavy batteries), but they also can save you in an emergency or help lower your overall utility bills. If you are in the market for a new vehicle now might be a great time to start considering switching to EV, just make sure you can get affordable home charging while you're at it!