How Cold Is Too Cold For Electric Cars?

Making the decision to swap from a gas-powered car to an electric vehicle (EV) is a big one. So, before you make this decision, it’s likely that you will want to find out more about EVs, and some of the rumors that surround them.

How Cold is Too Cold for Electric Cars

You might have heard that electric vehicles experience issues during periods of cold weather. In this guide, we’ll be taking a look at if this is true, and how cold is too cold for electric cars. So keep on reading to find out more.

Do Electric Cars Have Problems In Cold Weather?

In one word, yes, electric cars do tend to experience problems in cold weather. All vehicles tend to experience issues in cold weather, and even gas-powered vehicles shouldn’t be pushed too hard while they are cold.

However, electric cars are much more prone to issues when the weather is chilly.

In particular, cold weather tends to have a negative impact on the range of an electric vehicle. With electric vehicles, their range is dictated by the battery life of the battery in the car.

Cold weather tends to affect batteries because all batteries have an ideal operating temperature. Think about when your phone overheats, and you are unable to use it, the same thing can happen when technology gets very cold.

When an electric vehicle is cold, the battery will be below its ideal operating temperature. This means that the battery will have to work incredibly hard to try to operate as it is supposed to.

As a result, this usually means that your driving range in an electric vehicle will be reduced during the winter months.

How Cold Is Too Cold For Electric Cars?

How Cold is Too Cold for Electric Cars

So, as we have established, all batteries will have an ideal operating temperature. When the battery is at this temperature, it will operate incredibly efficiently, allowing you to get an excellent range out of your vehicle.

At this temperature, the battery doesn’t have to work too hard which is why there will be more driving range available to use.

At colder temperatures, it will be more difficult for the battery to work, so your driving range will decrease.

This is very frustrating if your electric vehicle already doesn’t have a very large range to start with. But how cold is too cold? Let’s find out.

Well, most car batteries have an optimal operating temperature of around 20 to 40 degrees.

The exact optimal operating temperature will depend on the specific vehicle that you own. However, almost all electric vehicles will have a battery whose optimal operating temperature is somewhere in this range.

With that in mind, “too cold” is anything below this temperature.

Of course, if your battery is only slightly colder than the ideal operating temperature, then it is highly unlikely that your driving range will be impacted. But as the temperature gets colder, you will notice that your driving range will drop more and more.

In the winter, it is difficult to keep your car’s battery at its optimum temperature, which is why you will notice that your EV’s range is significantly lower during the winter than the summer.

How Do I Warm Up My Electric Car?

If your electric vehicle is cold, then you probably want to find out how to warm it up. After all, this is the only way to increase your driving range, and ensure that the vehicle’s battery is operating efficiently.

So, let’s take a look at how to warm up your electric car.

One of the few ways to warm up the battery in your electric vehicle is to let the car run. When you are preparing for a journey, start your car’s engine and let it run for a minute or two before you set off.

If you are familiar with driving gasoline-powered vehicles, then you will know that this is also the way to warm up a gas car. So why does this work for electric vehicles?

A lot of gasoline-powered vehicles simply will not drive very well when they are cold. That is why it is best to let your car warm up for a couple of minutes before you set off.

Electric vehicles are designed to be switched on like a light, so your car will drive immediately after you switch it on.

However, they will still benefit from warming up, and that is why it is good to let your electric car run for a few minutes before you set off on your journey.

This will warm the battery up, meaning that your driving range may not be impacted by the cold weather.

Are Electric Cars Okay in Winter?

So, all in all, are electric vehicles okay in the winter? Well, yes, they are. Electric cars will run fine in the winter, the only real thing that you will notice is that your driving range reduces during these months.

The main reason behind this is the fact that your battery will be colder, and likely operating below its ideal operating temperature.

However, other things, such as trying to keep the inside of your vehicle warm, will also use more battery power than during the summer months.

So, as long as you are happy to charge your electric vehicle more regularly, then your electric car will operate perfectly fine during the winter months.


In short, most electric vehicle batteries have an ideal operating temperature of between 20 and 40 degrees.

Anything under the ideal temperature will be too cold for your battery, and as a result you might notice that your car’s range will decrease.

Thank you for reading!

Jonathan Rice

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