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EDITORIAL: Warm socks for the EV options list

  • Magazine Article
  • 20AUTP11_04
Published November 01, 2020 by SAE International in United States
  • English

“Tips for Improving Range When Using the Climate Control System” are listed on pages 46-47 of the 2020 Hyundai Kona EV's owner's manual. I'll wager that every electric-vehicle owner's booklet or digital download contains info similar to Hyundai's, including variations of this warning: “When using the heater during cold weather or driving at high speed, the high-energy battery consumes a lot more electricity. This may reduce the range significantly.”

It's still fairly rare for automakers to offer up their latest EVs for media test drives when the mercury begins to fall in the northern climes. Batteries, no matter their cell chemistry, don't like thermal extremes. Cold particularly puts a less-than-ideal face on electrification. But the electric Kona that found its way to my driveway seemed perfect for getting me to an OEM vehicle launch about an hour away. The November morning was sunny and brisk (44°F ambient) and the Kona's 360-V, 64-kW-h battery pack was fully charged with 252 miles' (405 km) worth of electrons rarin' to go. The 120-mile (193-km) round trip would be accomplished with range to spare.