Recurrent Auto, a US organisation that provides vehicle reports on used electric vehicles, has assessed 13 EVs to see how much range they lose in cold weather.

    The organisation aggregated automakers’ on-board telematics data from 7000 vehicles in its community to estimate their electric range in temperatures between 20 and 30 degrees Fahrenheit (-6 to -1°C), compared with their range at a more pleasant 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21°C)

    For some vehicles it went further, using a combination of on-board devices and real-time usage data to arrive at what it calls verified winter range figures. These also include variables such as uneven terrain, ageing batteries, and different driving speeds.

    You can view the full report here.

    Vehicles it says experience the smallest variance between range in warm temperatures and freezing temperatures include the Jaguar I-Pace (-3 per cent) and Audi e-tron (-8 per cent).

    It notes both these luxury SUVs use a heat pump to heat the cabin without draining the battery, and can recapture waste heat from the electric powertrain.

    Vehicles that had a much wider gulf in range between cold and temperate conditions included the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Volkswagen ID.4, with verified winter range figures 30 per cent worse than in warmer temperatures.

    Sitting in between were the Nissan Leaf (-21 per cent), Tesla Model S P100D (-19 per cent) and Tesla Model 3 Long Range and Model X 75D (-17 per cent).

    Recurrent also tested a Model Y variant not sold here, the Long Range AWD, publishing a verified winter range figure of -15 per cent.

    The organisation also published some tips on how to avoid winter range loss, including utilising any battery preconditioning feature your EV has to warm up the battery before charging and using less energy-intensive heated seats and steering wheels instead of turning up the cabin heat.

    Recurrent isn’t the only organisation to test electric vehicle range in freezing conditions. Autocar and Consumer Reports, among others, have also put EVs to the test, and said tests always show EVs lose range in such conditions – though by how much depends on the model.

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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