Winter is coming: seven tips to optimise e-charging in winter
Winter usually brings cold and even freezing temperatures. EV owners are likely to experience slower charging speeds and reduced range in winter – but there are ways to manage EV battery performance.
Juice Technology believes that owning an electric vehicle is not a barrier to having a great driving experience during this time.
How car manufacturers protect e-batteries from the cold
The cold increases the internal resistance of the battery cells, which slows down the electrochemical process that takes place during the charging time. In addition, cell wear is higher with cold temperatures.
For this reason, manufacturers reduce the charging rate at sub-zero temperatures to protect the battery. Another measure they take to mitigate the effect of the cold is to use a battery management system that keeps the battery in an ideal temperature range, even at night when the car is not in use.
In addition, we must say that at low temperatures, consumption increases due to heating, and therefore, the vehicle's range decreases.
For the driver, this all translates into less overall range, more energy loss when stationary and a slower charging process, at least until the battery has reached the right temperature.
Winter, be my friend
For this reason, Juice Technology points to seven tips that e-drivers should consider to optimise battery charging during the winter:
- Recharge the vehicle when you get home, when the battery is still hot: The charging process is slower when the battery is cold, or, in other words, a hot battery absorbs electricity faster than a cold battery. Therefore, if you charge when you get home, when the battery has not yet cooled down, it will take less time to charge to full power
- If you have the possibility, charge the car overnight: bear in mind that if the night has been very cold (especially if the car is parked outside), you will need more energy until the battery reaches the correct temperature. That's why it's a good option to schedule charging with your vehicle comfortably with AC overnight if you have a charger at home. In this way the battery will maintain a good temperature and reduce the loss of range
- Before you leave, take advantage of the energy from your charging station: Preheat the vehicle while it is connected to the charging station, as it will draw energy directly from the grid through the charging station, and not directly from the battery
- Plan the departure time and, with it, the loading: in this way, the car will be fully charged just when driving starts, preventing the battery from getting cold and needing additional energy until it reaches the right temperature. But just if there is no charging management system used
- Plan your route, including stops needed to recharge: before a car stops due to low battery, the system will have given several warnings and the maximum allowed speed will have been restricted. But to avoid unpleasant surprises, it is good to plan your route in advance, especially on long journeys, including stops
- Use seat heating while driving. This way you will consume less energy than using the central heating system
- If your vehicle offers this feature, precondition the battery before charging via the Hypercharger. For the moment only Tesla, Porsche (with the Taycan), and Daimler (with the EQ series) allow the batteries to be preheated before DC charging, so that charge is as fast as possible.