Breaking down five EV myths

Breaking down five EV myths

Is there any truth to these common beliefs held about electric vehicles?

There is a lot of information surrounding EVs out there. Some of it’s true and some of it’s bogus – and sometimes it’s a little of both. Let’s break it down.

Myth #1: Cold weather decreases electric vehicle (EV) range, which dramatically impacts how far users can drive

Reality: Cold weather does impact the range of an electric vehicle, however, the impact is often exaggerated. The cold does slow down the chemical reactions inside the battery, leading to a temporary reduction in range. This is caused by increased resistance in the battery cells. This, in turn, affects the entire pack’s efficiency and performance.

A study conducted by battery health startup Recurrent Auto tested a pool of over 10,000 cars comprised of the 18 most popular electric models in the US, EVs retained 70.3% of their range in freezing temperatures.

Modern electric vehicles come with sophisticated battery management systems, also known as BMS. The BMS can preheat the battery before you start your commute to ensure optimal performance. Most electric cars also feature regenerative braking, which helps offset some of the negative impacts of cold weather to minimize range loss.

To preserve energy in the cold I tend to use my heated seats to avid running my HVCA system, essentially keeping the ventilation off will allow the heat pump to use all the heat for the battery pack.

Myth #2: You can’t charge an electric car in really cold weather

Reality: You can definitely charge your EV in cold or inclement weather. Depending on the ambient and battery pack temp this will impact how quickly your vehicle charges. EVs are very sophisticated machines and can take a lot of the guesswork out for us. As a best practice, especially on colder days, you should utilize your vehicle’s navigation to identify the charging location you plan to use. This will allow for your vehicle to precondition and prepare its charge since you have basically notified the car of your intention to plug in. Most cars will do this automatically if fast charging is part of your route. Now if you skip this step, and just plug in at a fast charger, especially in cold weather the battery will still have to get to the desired operating pack to receive the charge and this could slow down your charge time until reached. This is why some individuals experience charging issues in colder temps, especially when vehicle SOC (explain this) is almost depleted.

Myth #3: Electric vehicles are difficult to drive long distances, especially in extreme weather

Reality: I would not say difficult, I would just recommend proper trip planning. I have driven my personal vehicle and other EVs in all types of temps in extreme temps with a single drive. Ideally, you would ensure adequate fuel in your gas-powered vehicle, in an EV ensuring the battery is adequately charged is key to ensure you mitigate any disruption to your commute. And utilizing your vehicle’s navigation, as stated earlier, will help simplify your long commute by identifying all of the charging station locations.

For reference: The optimal operating temperature range for an EV’s lithium-ion battery pack is between 67°F and 113°F. So if the outside temperature drops below about 67°F, your vehicle will use some of its electricity to increase the battery pack temperature and maintain its optimal temp range. Keep in mind this happens even when your EV is turned off, so if you leave it parked outside on a very cold night and don’t plug it in, you will see much more range loss compared to leaving it out in milder temperatures.

Myth #4: Replacement EV batteries are extremely expensive and EVs should be avoided over 50K miles.

Reality: This price for battery repair will vary by manufacturer and pack design. Fortunately, most of the EV manufactures offer up to an 8-year, 100k+ mile warranty. That said, TERREPOWER, a division of BBB Industries, works directly with the OEMs to offer a sustainably manufacture option to bring the price down for the consumer whose battery may need to be replaced outside of the warranty period.

Myth #5: EVs are expensive to maintain and charge

Reality: EVs tend to have lower running costs due to having fewer moving parts compared to ICE counterparts. With the exception of an unlikely out-of-warranty battery replacement, EVs will have significantly less maintenance and charging fees especially if you primarily charge at home.

This video is sponsored by TERREPOWER.

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