Will electric vehicles (EVs) still work once the weather gets cold? The answer is yes! Electric vehicles will absolutely continue to work in the winter through the snow and through cold temperatures. All gasoline or electric vehicles lose some efficiency in the cold weather, but many EVs come with tips, packages, and snow tires to retain as much battery range as possible.
The first thing you can do to extend the battery life of your car in the winter is to turn the heat on while the car is still plugged in. The heat we turn on in a gasoline powered vehicle is wasted energy coming from the inefficient nature of an internal combustion engine. EVs don’t have any of this waste heat because there is no explosive reaction happening so the heat for your vehicle needs to be generated right from the battery. Heat your car (or heat your seats) while your vehicle is still plugged in so that you can still leave your home with a full charge. If you have a smart phone, you can start the heat from a smart phone application that connects to your car. Some vehicles have cars have the capability to start the heat at a set time as you would do for your thermostat. Heating the vehicle is important in warming up the battery, which will get those electrons moving around more quickly and also extending the range.
The second thing you can do is include a winter package with your vehicle. Some vehicles, such as the Nissan LEAF and Chevy Volt have offered a winter package with their vehicles. The winter package conserves consists of a temperature management system for the vehicle's battery pack, heated front and rear seats, steering wheel, and outside mirrors. Heat is conserved when you focus it directly on teh places you want to heat first rather than releasing to heat the entire cabin of the uninsulated car.
Most people do not drive before roads are plowed, but if you are someone who might have to, a third measure you can take to weatherize your vehicle is to get snow tires. Snow tires work on EVs just as the work on other modern vehicles and are a wise action to take if you expect to be driving through active snow. Even if you have snow tires please drive with extreme caution if you plan to drive in snowy conditions.
Electric vehicle (EV) adoption in Norway is currently the best in the world, with EVs making up 22% of the new vehicle market share. That is more than 14 times what it is in the United States. A Norwegian winter averages about 30 degrees Fahrenheit, which is almost exactly the winter average for Boston. States like Vermont and Colorado, known for their cold weather and woodsy terrain can also boast successful electric vehicle adoption programs (see Drive Electric Vermont and Drive Electric Northern Colorado). There is no reason that New England winters need to get in the way of this transportation movement.
If you are ready to take a test drive in an electric vehicle and see what they are all about, visit www.BraintreeDrivesElectric.com/test-drive or call 781-303-4994 today.
Join BELD, Mayor Sullivan and your neighbors on Saturday, 11/12, at Braintree High School to test drive electric cars, and learn about group-buy deals and discounts, and how BELD is helping you save money on charging.
Braintree High School, 128 Town Street
We will have a Chevy Volt, Ford Fusion Energi, Ford CMax Energi, Volkswagen eGolf, Nissan LEAF, and Kia Soul.
How to shake your range anxiety!
You can also view this article in the Bright Ideas November 2016 issue.
What is range anxiety and how do I know if I have it? Range anxiety is a recent term used to describe the fear that your electric vehicle will run out of battery charge before you get to a charging destination. Range anxiety is often cited as the primary reason drivers are hesitant to switch from driving a gasoline vehicle to driving an electric vehicle. The good news is that recent studies have proven that range anxiety is often overblown and the concern about running out of charge is not relevant for most drivers.
A team of researchers at MIT evaluated the range of electric vehicles against the driving needs of a population. The study found that based on the daily distances people were driving 87% of driving could be replaced by affordable electric vehicles even without the opportunity to recharge in the middle of the day. This percentage remained constant across cities even with varying amounts of gasoline consumption. This finding adds to the support for widespread electrification of personal vehicle travel in the United States. Commuters could easily drive between Boston and Braintree without needing to recharge..
The remaining 13% of driving that goes beyond a typical EV range does not need to be a barrier for most folks either! According to US Census Bureau, 81% of Braintree residents that drive a solo commute have access to two or more cars at home. That second car can be used for the driving days that require extended range. If you do not have access to a second car, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle rather than an all-electric vehicle may make the most sense for your needs. A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle has a rechargeable electric battery as well as a gasoline tank.
Braintree Drives Electric (BDE) is a local initiative designed to highlight the benefits of driving electric vehicles and connect residents to the available rebates and incentives. Residents are encouraged to sign up for no-obligation test drives in one or more of the vehicles that qualify for this program. The test drives will be delivered by a participating dealership and BDE community liaison, and can be scheduled to originate and end at your home or any Braintree address. You can schedule a free drive at www.BraintreeDrivesElectric.com/test-drive or call the program team at 781-303-4994.
Town Hall lobby, August 1, 2016 Braintree Drives Electric is hosting an open workshop at Town Hall from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Swing by for a cup of coffee and a munchkin and learn more about the program offers.
Sunset Lake Concert Series, August 2, 2016 BDE will set up a resource table at the beautiful Sunset Lake Concert Series this Tuesday evening. We will have an electric car there for you to take a look at!
Braintree Farmers Market, August 13, 2016 Come by the BELD tent to sign up for a free test drive!