Cold weather can reduce the battery range of an electric car by a THIRD, according to a study – NewsFinale

If you’re thinking of buying an electric car, you should know that they don’t like Britain’s freezing winters and won’t perform at the levels quoted by their manufacturers.

That’s according to a new study published at a time when parts of the UK are experiencing plummeting temperatures and snowfall.

It found that the actual range of popular electric vehicles (EVs) can be reduced by almost a third when it’s very cold outside.

We explain why electric cars do not work so well in winter conditions.

Winter woes for some electric vehicles: In a new study looking at the impact of colder temperatures on electric car battery ranges, these five models were found to have the largest shortfall in real-world conditions compared to winter conditions. official figures.

A review of 12 of the nation’s best-selling battery-powered cars found that the worst fell 32.8 percent short of its claimed driving range on a full charge.

The least impressive performer among the EV selection was China’s new Ora Funky Cat, which starts at £31,995 in the UK.

The study, conducted by consumer magazine What Car? – found it could only go 130 miles before running out of battery in colder conditions. That compares to an official figure of 193 miles on a full charge.

The Ora Funky Cat is one of the latest electric vehicles to hit the UK market. The Chinese supermini is claimed to return 193 miles on a full charge, but this winter test found it only managed 130. That’s a shortfall of almost 33%.

Did you know that colder temperatures have a big impact on the range of electric cars? What car? says drivers should know the pros and cons of electric vehicles before buying one

Other poor performers include the Renault Megane E-Tech, of which two versions were tested.

The plug-in French hatchback was found to fall 30 to 32 percent below its claimed battery range in controlled cold-weather tests.

Other notable EVs tested include the MG4 EV, which is the cheapest family-size electric car on the market today starting at £26,995.

It has an official range of 270 miles, though when What Car? During cooler outside temperatures it ran out of charge after just 196 miles, which is a deficit of 27.6 percent.

Volkswagen’s new retro ID.Buzz MPV, which costs a staggering £58,044 in UK showrooms, should get 255 miles on a full battery, but ran out of power in 196 miles during Volkswagen’s winter test. What Car?. That’s the equivalent of a decrease in range of almost a quarter (24.8 percent).

What car? tested two Renault Megane E-Tech crossovers. They were found to fall short of their official claims of a range of 30% to 32% in colder conditions.

The Cupra Born, essentially a rebadged VW ID.3, is claimed to go 255 miles on a full charge. However, in winter conditions, it was only able to go 182 miles before the battery died.

The MG4 EV is one of the most affordable family-size electric cars on the market, but it didn’t perform well in winter testing either. Ran out of range at 196 miles, not the official 270 miles promised

In contrast, the EV model that came closest to its official range in the market review was the £55,890 Nissan Ariya SUV.

However, even that model fell 16 percent short of the official claimed range figure, covering 269 miles instead of the 322 suggested in the sales brochure and online.

The £52,990 Tesla Model Y Long Range came in second in terms of coming closest to its official range, posting a shortfall of 17.8 per cent of its 331 official miles, having driven 272 miles before the battery died.

Commenting on the surprising findings, Will Nightingale of the What Car test team said: “More and more people own or are considering electric cars, and it is important that they understand the pros and cons of this technology, especially in terms of how likely is to go between loads.

While cold weather is known to negatively affect battery performance and efficiency, especially if the car’s heating system is in use, the What Car? It is designed to give car buyers the clearest possible understanding of how many miles you will normally be able to cover in British winter conditions.

Volkswagen’s ID.Buzz has an official range of 255 miles. But in winter testing it could only manage 192. That’s a range deficit of nearly 25%.

Jaguar’s I-Pace costs over £65,000. However, in winter conditions it loses its official scope by 24.6%, according to the study.

BMW’s i4 sedan has an official full-battery range of 340 miles, but in winter conditions this drops to just 261 miles. That is 23.4% less than what is promised to drivers

To ensure that the tests were conducted in a controlled manner, all the cars were driven at the same time at a chosen test location to eliminate any variables that could make it difficult to compare results.

The 15-mile route simulated real-world driving conditions, encompassing 2.6 miles of stop-and-go urban driving, four miles at a steady 50 mph and eight miles at a steady 70 mph, What Car? says.

Prior to testing, tire pressures were set to the manufacturer’s recommendation, before the cars were fully charged and left outside overnight for approximately 14 hours at temperatures ranging from 0 to 2 degrees Celsius.

The cars were then plugged back in to ensure the batteries were full, ‘eco’ driving mode (or the nearest equivalent) was selected, and all 12 drove in convoy, swapping running order regularly to ensure no no benefit was granted for the position on the road. until they ran out of charge.

All cars ran their heating systems to provide an independently verified interior temperature of 19.5 degrees.

This is the Genesis GV60. On paper it should do 321 miles on a full charge, but in winter conditions what car? found it could only cover 251 miles, a deficit of 21.8%

The Mini Electric, which is currently being produced in Oxford (although the new version will be built in China), has an official range of 141 miles, but can only cover 114 miles in real-world winter driving.

Among the top performers was Tesla’s Model Y. The official range for the long-range version tested is 331 miles, but in winter conditions it could only manage 272 (17.8% less).

Of the 12 electric vehicles tested by What Car?, this Nissan Ariya came closest to its official range in winter conditions. It ran out of battery at 269 miles on the test, which is 16.4% less than the 322 miles quoted in the sales brochure.

Of the 12 popular EVs under review in winter conditions measurements, three were repeat tests after taking the cars out in the summer to understand their performance in warmer climates.

These EVs were the Cupra Born, BMW i4, and Tesla Model 3, and the only notable difference in car spec between the two different tests was the BMW with slightly larger (20-inch) wheels in winter testing in comparison with summer test (19 inches). ).

It’s important for people to understand the pros and cons of electric cars, especially in terms of how far they’re likely to go between charges.

Will Nightingale, what car?

In winter testing, the average range achieved by the trio was 18 percent lower than in the summer, with BMW performing worst (261 miles to 317, a drop of 21.6 percent) and Tesla best ( 272 miles versus 304, a drop of 11.8 percent).

The Cupra covered 182 miles, compared to 219 in the summer, a decrease of more than a fifth (20.6%).

“Car manufacturers are obliged to quote official range figures, because they fit the criteria set by European legislators,” adds Nightingale.

“However, we believe our tests are much more indicative of what a typical British driver is likely to achieve and therefore gives car buyers a better understanding before switching to electric.

“Despite missing official figures, it’s clear that many of these electric cars have the advantage of being cheaper than petrol or diesel equivalents, assuming they can be charged at home, even with the price of electricity being so high. at the moment”.

‘The most efficient, the Mini Electric, costs just 8.7 pence per mile on fuel.

“The most efficient gasoline car we’ve ever tested, a Toyota Yaris, costs 11.2 per mile at current prices.”

Why don’t electric cars like the cold?

Plummeting temperatures not only reduce the range of electric vehicles, but also the speed with which batteries charge. We explain why.

It is a known fact that electric vehicles do not like colder conditions.

This is mainly because your batteries aren’t as efficient when temperatures drop to the single digits and below.

The lithium-ion batteries in most modern-era electric vehicles rely on a chemical reaction to store and release electricity, but when it gets colder, the process slows down, thereby restricting battery performance. .

This results in the dramatic loss in usable range as seen in What Car? report.

Manufacturers have tried to solve this problem by equipping their latest models with auxiliary heat pumps to make them more efficient during winter periods.

This warns the battery so it can work more efficiently and faster and therefore reduces the impact of range loss.

Colder temperatures not only limit the range of batteries in electric vehicles, but also how quickly they can be charged.

As charging operator Osprey explained, EV batteries have an optimal temperature of around 20 to 25 degrees; this is the window in which they function with ideal efficiency.

Charging when it is much colder affects the chemical reaction and energy transfer in the battery. This means that the battery can take longer to recharge, especially at night when winter temperatures drop below freezing.

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