4 Tips to Maximize Your Electric Car’s Range When It’s Freezing Outside

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With very cold temperatures comes a number of challenges for the owners of electric vehicles.

Says MIT Technology Review:

… cold air limits battery performance, and running the heater drains the battery. As temperatures go below freezing, some drivers accustomed to traveling 250 miles on a single charge have seen their car’s range drop to 180 miles.

Conditions vary depending on the make and model you drive. But you’ll want to maximize your car’s range for winter driving as much as possible. So, what’s the solution?

Green Car Reports recommends that you keep the battery plugged in, even once the vehicle is fully charged, to stabilize the temperature of the battery pack while the car is sitting at home.


  • Use seat heaters in lieu of cabin heaters since they tend to drain the battery quickly.
  • Preheat the cabin prior to departure to preserve your battery while on the road.
  • Store your vehicle in the garage because it tends to be a few degrees warmer than outdoors.

Whether you choose to plug the car in for a few hours or the entire day, keep in mind the minimal charging times so you won’t get stuck with a drained battery.

Do you have any other tips for maximizing the miles between charges of your electric vehicle? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

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  • Akita_girl

    In regards to stretching miles, I have found that taking the surface streets greatly increases the amount of miles I can go. I do this sometimes when I am running low and trying to make it to a station, or I don’t have time to charge. Skip the freeway and extend your range. I ease out of lights on green, then more or less coast. Watch your meter and try to keep it in the neutral, or not using power position. Also, you gain power when you break, so the stopping and going works out almost even in power usage on surface streets. Going about 60 miles on the freeway greatly extends range as well. I know it can be a bummer to go a little slower on the freeway, but if you are in a pinch, it is a lifesaver. Keeping the windows up makes a big difference too. The car is very aerodynamic, and the slightest drag reduces range. Keeping the tires full, and balanced, i.e. the pressure needs to be the same across all four, helps tremendously as well. And keep in mind that going up hill takes more power and going downhill charges. I live in the northern part of the phoenix valley and when I travel into the city I know it will use less miles because much of it is downhill. I generally budget more miles for getting home. Hope this helps my fellow EV drivers! Charge on!