With winter upon us, this means cold and often freezing temperatures. It’s worth remembering that owning an electric vehicle (EV) is not an obstacle to having a great driving experience during this season.
It’s well known that colder temperatures increase the internal resistance of the battery cells. This slows down the electrochemical process that takes place during the charging time. In addition, cell wear is higher with cold temperatures.
For this reason, manufacturers reduce the charging rate at sub-zero temperatures to protect the battery. Another measure they take to mitigate the effect of the cold is to use a battery management system that keeps the battery in an ideal temperature range, even at night when the car is not in use.
In addition, at lower temperatures, consumption increases due to heating, and therefore, the vehicle’s range decreases. For the driver, this all translates into less overall range, more energy loss when stationary and a slower charging process, at least until the battery has reached the right temperature.
Juice Technology, the producer of electric charging stations and software and the market leader in portable chargers for electric cars, active worldwide, offers its best tips that electric car drivers should consider to optimise battery charging during the winter.
Top tips to optimise electric vehicle battery charging this winter:
1. Recharge the vehicle when you get home when the battery is still hot: The charging process is slower when the battery is cold, or, in other words, a hot battery absorbs electricity faster than a cold battery. Thus, if you charge when you get home, when the battery has not yet cooled down, it will take less time to charge to full power.
2. Charge the car overnight if you can:
Bear in mind that if the night has been cold, especially if the car is parked outside, you will need more energy until the battery reaches the correct temperature. That’s why it’s a good option to schedule charging with your vehicle comfortably with AC overnight if you have a charger at home. In this way, the battery will maintain a good temperature and reduce the loss of range.
3. Take advantage of the energy from your charging station before you leave:
Preheat the vehicle while it is connected to the charging station because it will draw energy directly from the grid through the charging station and not directly from the battery.
4. Plan the departure time and, with it, the loading:
In this way, the car will be fully charged just when driving starts, preventing the battery from getting cold and needing additional energy until it reaches the right temperature. But just if there is no charging management system used.
5. Plan your route including stops needed to recharge:
Before a car stops due to low battery, the system will have given several warnings and the maximum allowed speed will have been restricted. To avoid unpleasant surprises, it is good to plan your route in advance, especially on long journeys, including stops.
6. Use seat heating while driving:
This way you will consume less energy than using the central heating system.
7. Precondition the battery before charging via the Hypercharger:
If your vehicle offers this feature, for the moment only Tesla, Porsche, with the Taycan, and Mercedes, with the EQ series, allow the batteries to be preheated before DC charging, so that charge is as fast as possible.