It is good to clarify it immediately: electric cars work quietly in all seasons. It is true, however, that particularly high or low temperatures can create some problems for cars (battery or not) but in most cases we are talking about something that we can amortize with small measures, such as the adoption, when possible, of heat pumps for electric cars.
What are heat pumps?
Sub-zero temperatures can negatively affect the efficiency of an electric car, as the battery can lose some of its capacity when it is cold, reducing the average distance that can be traveled on a charge. In addition, the cold can also make it more difficult to start the car and reduce the available power, not to mention how the heating of the cabin affects the remaining range.
As we have already had the opportunity to show you, there are some small tricks that could help you during the cold seasons. Among the various tips, we remember: always check the remaining battery, park when possible in warm or sheltered places, use towels to protect the car from cold or ice during the night.
Another solution, certainly more expensive, is the heat pump. Installing it in a car after purchase is quite complex, but this technology is already standard in many cars, such as in the Tesla Model Y for example or in some models of the Volkswagen ID.3.
How heat pumps work
A heat pump is a device that uses a small amount of energy to move heat from one place to another. In an electric car, a heat pump is used to transfer heat from the outside air to the battery, which stores energy and powers the car.
Several studies (such as this one), have ascertained how an electric car equipped with a heat pump is about three times more efficient than a car that does not have one. In addition, this technology not only optimizes consumption during the winter, but is effective at all temperatures.
Some cars in which this technology is present, also allow remote preconditioning, which means that it is possible to set a temperature remotely to the car: this affects the battery less than doing it while the vehicle is moving.
Alternatives to heat pumps
Even in the absence of a heat pump, there are other means of minimizing the effects of cold. Many electric vehicles are equipped with heated seats, steering wheels and even seat belts, so that passengers are warmed up without heating the entire car. Some cars use minimal engine waste heat to heat the battery and extend the duration of the charge.
Is the cold a reason not to buy an electric car? We believe not, as any technology is normal that there are strengths and weaknesses, the important thing is to be well informed and motivated before buying.