Article | Guide

Maximizing your EV’s battery life in cold weather

08 Jan 2024

7 top tips to help you get the best from your EV battery as the temperature drops—with considerations including when you charge, where you park, and how you brake 

As the temperature dips in the winter months, so can the performance of your electric vehicle’s lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery. Depending on factors including the make and model of your vehicle, EV owners may be able to extend range of their battery by adopting a few good habits. These tips are general advice; remember, you should always consult your vehicle manual for specific guidance. 

Precondition before you drive 

Before you hit the road, warm up your vehicle with the preconditioning function, preferably while still connected to the charger. This makes your journey cosier, ensures your battery is at its optimal temperature, and means you’re less likely to use climate control on your journey which drains the battery quicker. Your vehicle may even be able to set a timer so your EV automatically warms up before your morning commute. 

Top up on the go with regenerative braking 

Regenerative braking is handy all year round, but in the winter months the ability to top up the battery while you’re on the move is particularly useful. When roads are icy, regenerative braking can also add to your control as the motor progressively slows the vehicle.  

Gently does it 

Adopting a gentler driving style also pays off when it comes to reducing stress on the battery through avoiding sudden high-power demands. Efficient driving with less acceleration and braking optimises battery range and can help to extend range.  

Go easy on the heater  

It’s essential to drive in comfort but also worth considering not maxing out the temperature on your climate control. This can easily drain your EV’s battery, so think about turning down the temperature by a few degrees. Also, if your vehicle has them, it can be much more energy-friendly to use functions such as heated seats and steering wheel. 

Maintain a moderate charge 

Maintain a balanced approach to charging, keeping your battery at between 20-80%, where the Li-ion battery is working most efficiently. There will always be occasions where you need to fully charge your EV, but that final 20% charge takes a lot longer and uses more energy, and is also not recommended for the long-term health of your battery. 

Park your EV in a covered area  

If you’re fortunate enough to have access to a garage or indoor parking space, then make the most of it when the temperature plunges. The warmer environment will ensure your battery works more efficiently from the go, and could save energy for your drive.  

Check your tyre pressure  

As the temperature drops, so can the pressure of your tyres. So to keep them working to maximum efficiency keep an eye on the pressure to avoid increased rolling resistance and reduced range  

As well as making sure your battery is happily charged, for longer journeys it also pays to plan your route carefully, so you can easily top up along the way. So remember to download our bp pulse app to find your nearest charging points, and check availability by charging speed and connector type. 

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