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The electric car winter weather survival guide

A plug is seen coming from the Chevrolet Volt electric car during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Mich., in this January 2009 file photo. While winter brings cold weather and occasional travel chaos, it can still be a time of year to enjoy for electric car owners, Ingram writes.

Winter is well and truly here for many of us now, particularly in more northerly regions.

It brings with it not just snow, cold weather and a little extra danger on the roads, but also an added dose of anxiety for electric car owners.

Cold weather can play havoc with range, particularly when using heaters, lights and other functions to fight off the cold. It’s a subject we’ve covered on several occasions, so we’ve brought several of our winter articles together into a single guide.

RELATED: Ready for winter? Six tips to winterize your car.

Winter tips

However little or often you plan to drive over winter, it’s always wise to be prepared.

As a result, it might pay to remind yourself of some tips to help you get through the winter–particularly relevant for those with electric cars lacking a thermally-managed battery pack. Dealt with correctly, Winter need not spell disaster for your electric car.

While some tips required with regular, internal combustion vehicles don’t apply to EVs, our post on five ways to maintain good gas mileage could also still be useful–particularly with regard to ensuring your tires are suitable. Many electric car owners already benefit from one of the suggestions–pre-heating the cabin. Plenty of Nissan Leaf owners are already enjoying toasty warm pre-heated cabins in the cold weather!

Winter range

Those same owners, and those who own other EVs without thermally-managed batteries, still need to be careful about their cars’ range this winter. It’s wise, for example, to avoid trips which might push the range of your car–cold temperatures, unexpected traffic and winter-enforced detours may result in you running out before your destination.


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