Avoid your electric car letting you down on your winter holiday

If you are planning a self-drive winter holiday in an electric car, you need to be aware of what your car can handle. The cold is hard on the battery, so it’s essential to plan your trip as well as possible. SOS Dansk Autohjælp offers tips and tricks to help you plan a long winter trip in your electric car.

According to Danish Car Importers (De Danske Bilimportører), three years ago, there were only about 10,000 electric cars on Danish roads. Today, there are over 100,000, and according to a survey by the Danish Car Importers Association (DBI), 52 percent of Danes surveyed expect to be driving an electric car by 2030.The electric cars come with a new factor that Danish drivers need to be aware of in the winter cold:

“It’s well known that battery-operated devices run out of power faster in the cold, and this is also true when it comes to electric cars, which is something to be aware of when driving in winter. Especially if you are planning a long drive abroad,” says Jeppe Damgaard, Technical Manager at SOS Dansk Autohjælp.

The cold shortens the range

As it gets colder outside, the range of an electric car shortens, which is why you should be aware that even though you might be driving from Denmark in plus temperatures, you might hit freezing weather along the way.

“A rule of thumb is that each degree below 20 degrees reduces the range by 1 percent, which means that if you can normally drive 500 kilometres on a charge at 20 degrees or more, at 0 degrees, you will be able to drive 400 kilometres. And if it’s below zero, the range will be even shorter,” explains Jeppe Damgaard.

A rule of thumb is that each degree below 20 degrees reduces the range by 1 percent, which means that if you can normally drive 500 kilometres on a charge at 20 degrees or more, at 0 degrees, you will be able to drive 400 kilometres. And if it’s below zero, the range will be even shorter.
- Jeppe Damgaard

Plan your route before you set off

Because the cold can have a detrimental effect on an electric car’s battery, it’s worth planning your route well in advance. According to Jeppe Damgaard, it can be about finding the shortest route to your destination and also identifying where there are charging stations along the way so you can quickly find power if you run out sooner than expected.

“Today, there are apps and websites to help you find the shortest route to your destination, which can be of great benefit, and it may suggest that you should drive more on main roads because the distance is shorter. And a lower speed can also help the battery last a little longer,” explains Jeppe Damgaard.

Give your car a pre-departure check

Generally, having your car checked before setting off on a long holiday is always a good idea. A quick mechanic’s check can catch any damage to the car before departure, helping to prevent accidents and damage.

Furthermore, it is also worth noting that any kind of resistance on the electric car will affect its battery.

“If the tyre pressure is wrong or the brakes are worn, this can cause extra resistance when driving, all of which affects the battery’s range. So, there is a lot to be gained from a quick check by a mechanic, who can ensure the car is running as it should, so you are using the battery’s power as efficiently as possible,” concludes Jeppe Damgaard.

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