5 Oct 21

How to prepare your EV fleet for freezing temperatures

As the world enters the year’s fourth quarter once again, one of the challenges around the corner for many fleet managers in the Northern Hemisphere will be maximising the efficiency of their electric vehicles (EV) in the face of freezing temperatures. 

While having your wipers up and out of the way to facilitate the scraping of ice and snow from your windshield will help you regardless of whether you operate EVs or internal combustion engine vehicles, the main trick to EV efficiency is finding the balance between preserving heat and saving energy.  

As the chemical reaction of electrons, or to say electricity, in EV batteries happen at a slower rate in cold conditions, the range of an EV and the speed of recharging can drop significantly in freezing temperatures.  As such, it is crucial to keep your battery operating at optimum temperature. 

Besides parking your vehicle in direct sunlight whenever you can, another way to preserve heat is to schedule vehicle charging so that it finishes its cycle just before you leave in the morning, thus keeping your EV battery as well as your cabin warmer upon take off.

To preserve energy, drivers could simply disable auto-folding side mirrors and make sure to calibrate their tyres appropriately. For a list of 10 tips to maximising your EVs in cold weather, visit here

Besides the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y, among the best-selling electrified automobiles (fleet and non-fleet) in the world are WulingHongGuang Mini EV, Renault Zoe, and Hyundai Kona. 

For Tesla drivers 

  • Use eco-mode to preserve energy and, in Tesla’s, it is called Chill Mode. 

  • Tesla features a battery pack which has been designed to always stay in the best possible temperature zone - not too hot, not too cold - by combining heating, cooling and insulation. 

  • When Supercharger is set as a destination in your vehicle navigation system, the EV battery cells are preheated for charging when cold, making them ideal for charging upon arrival.  

  • Remove snow and ice from the rear window of the Model 3 before opening the trunk as it will slide directly into the trunk. This may not be an issue if you are in the Tesla mecca of the world, sunny California. 

Tesla Model 3 covered with snow in Texas (copyright: Shutterstock)

For more insight about fleet management taking place in Europe, register for the leading international conference for fleet and mobility leaders in the region, the Fleet Europe Summit. Taking place on 9-10 November, themes to be covered include Sustainability, Post-COVID-19 fleet management, Corporate Mobility, and Innovation.

Authored by: Daniel Bland