Tips for efficiently charging your electric vehicle in winter

Tips for efficiently charging your electric vehicle in winter

Posted: Fri 2nd Dec 2022

Winter is coming, and with it also freezing temperatures. If you use an electric vehicle (EV) for your business, here are some great ideas on how to get the best out of it during the cold winter months.

The good folks at Juice Technology, producer of electric charging stations, portable changers and software, have given us seven tips that EV drivers should consider to optimise battery charging during the winter.

How to charge your electric vehicle efficiently

Charge overnight, if possible

Bear in mind that if the night has been very cold (especially if the car is parked outside), you'll 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.

Before you leave, take advantage of the energy from your charging station

Preheat the vehicle while it's connected to the charging station, as it will draw energy directly from the grid through the charging station, and not directly from the battery.

Plan your departure and loading time

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.

Plan your route, including recharging stops

Before a car stops due to a low battery, the system will have given several warnings and restrict the maximum driving speed. But to avoid unpleasant surprises, it's good to plan your route in advance, especially on long journeys, including stops.

Use seat heating while driving

This way, you'll consume less energy than using the central heating system.

Precondition the battery before charging via the Hypercharger (if relevant)

For the moment, only Tesla, Porsche (with the Taycan), and Daimler (with the EQ series) allow the batteries to be preheated before DC charging, so that charge is as fast as possible. 

How car manufacturers protect e-batteries from the cold

The cold increases the internal resistance of the battery cells, which 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, we must say that at low 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.

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. Therefore, 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.


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