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Studies show cold temps cripple EV range

  • Magazine Article
  • 19AUTP05_12
Published 2019-05-01by SAE International in United States
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  • English

It was a tough winter in much of the U.S. Even normally temperate seasonal regions like San Diego, Los Angeles and Las Vegas were hit with harsh and, in some cases, record cold this year. That's particular bad news for the growing number of owners of battery electric vehicles (EVs) who have discovered the impact extreme temperatures can have on both range and charging times.

“I'm consistently seeing a 30% degradation” in range on cold days, said Henry Payne, an automotive reviewer for The Detroit News and owner of a Tesla Model 3. He's by no means alone. “I can get 270 miles [range] no problem,” from his Chevrolet Bolt EV with a fresh and fully charged battery, said Timothy Grewe, chief engineer at General Motors' electric propulsion lab. But Grewe notes that when temperatures fell into negative territory, “I got around 170.”