Electric Cars And Making it Through Winter


Recently an issue facing electric cars on the east coast of America is snow. The problems that owners of Teslas, Nissan Leafs, and other electric vehicles are facing are related to the battery. Like an internal combustion engine, batteries perform better at a certain temperature range, that range being 68 degrees to 130 degrees. Outside of that temperature range, the batteries lose up to 22% of their efficiency.

The range isn’t the only issue with EV’s. Teslas, in particular, have a problem with the door handles. When the outside of the car is coated in a layer of ice or sleet, the handles won’t extend out of the door, which means you can’t get into your car. The door for the charging port can also freeze over, and for a car down on range due to the cold, and now you can’t charge it, that makes a bad combination. 

Although not everything is bad about EV’s during the chilly snowy months. Since EV’s don’t have a traditional motor, they heat the interior of the car differently. They use a heating pump to heat the inside of the car and is up to temperature in under 5 minutes. In the typical internal combustion engine, this takes 10-15 minutes.  

Electric vehicles are also easier to drive during the winter.  Because most of the weight is lower to the ground, it has a much lower center of gravity.  When driving on snow, ice, and cold tires the cars are less likely to spin out.  

Electric cars have their place, the issues they face will hopefully one day be remedied. For now, however, these issues will keep buyers on the fence away from them and will give purist one more point to fight with.