Electric vehicles are in an entirely different class compared to internal combustion engine vehicles. Rather than an internal combustion engine, EVs draw their power from rechargeable lithium-ion battery packs. This grants them several advantages over conventional cars, including eliminating emissions at the tailpipe; however, it also results in cons that typically don’t affect traditional cars.
One of them is the effect extreme weather conditions can have on range. Each electric vehicle battery is capable of holding enough charge to cover a certain number of miles. Ideally, an EV with an estimated 200-mile range could drive 200 miles on a single charge. However, several factors affect energy consumption and reduce an EV’s overall range. Extreme weather, for starters, can impact battery performance and cause your EV to use up its power much faster.
In temperatures higher than 95 degrees, the AAA says that reactions in the battery happen faster, eating up electrical power faster and even causing the battery to degrade faster. In temperatures below 20 degrees, EV batteries can experience a temporary drop in range that bounces back once temperatures rise. The AAA estimates that cold weather can cost an EV up to 41% in range, especially on long drives with the car’s heating system turned on.
Most of the electric vehicle models on the roads have in-built cooling and heating systems meant to regulate temperature. Recurrent notes that Tesla has particularly efficient temperature-control systems that can surreptitiously regulate temperatures with little prompting from the drivers. As a result, different EV models will react to cold temperatures differently. But at the end of the day, Recurrent says, this dip in range disappears once temperatures rise and return to baseline.
Excess heat, on the other hand, can be dangerous to lithium-ion battery packs. As heat speeds up the chemical reactions in the battery pack, it can cause the battery to degrade much faster than it would have with regular use. While extremely high heat will cause the batteries to explode and catch fire, this rarely happens thanks to liquid coolant systems designed to keep battery packs cool.
With players in the EV industry such as Mullen Automotive Inc. (NASDAQ: MULN) constantly working to develop new and more efficient technology, we can expect technological advancements to limit the impact of cold weather on range. Solid state batteries, for instance, are a potential replacement for current EV batteries as the lack of a liquid catalyst eliminates the issue of slowed battery reactions when the catalyst becomes viscous.
Topping up your EV throughout the day will help you protect the battery, especially if you keep the charge between 20% and 80%. Try and park your car under some shade when temperatures are hot, and make sure you let the EV cool down for a few minutes before you plug it in. In cold weather, you can help to preserve range by letting the battery and car first warm up before you begin your drive.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Mullen Automotive Inc. (NASDAQ: MULN) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/MULN
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