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Tips for Using Electric Cars in Hot Weather

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Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming increasingly popular due to their environmental benefits and cost savings. However, hot weather can present unique challenges for EV owners. High temperatures can affect battery performance and overall vehicle efficiency. Here are some tips to help you optimize the use of your electric car during hot weather.

1. Park in the Shade

Parking your EV in a shaded area can prevent the cabin from overheating and reduce the load on the air conditioning system. If possible, use covered parking or a garage. This simple step can help preserve battery life by reducing the energy needed to cool the car before driving.

2. Pre-Condition the Cabin

Pre-conditioning your EV while it is still plugged in can help save battery power. Use your car’s app or set a timer to cool the cabin before you start your trip. This way, the car’s cooling system will use grid power instead of draining the battery.

3. Monitor Tire Pressure

Hot weather can cause tire pressure to increase, which can affect the vehicle’s efficiency and safety. Regularly check and maintain the recommended tire pressure to ensure optimal performance and extend the life of your tires.

4. Manage Battery Temperature

Many modern EVs come with battery thermal management systems. If your car has this feature, make sure it is activated. Keeping the battery within an optimal temperature range is crucial for maintaining performance and longevity. Avoid charging your EV to 100% and then letting it sit in the heat; instead, aim for a charge level of 80-90% if you plan to park for an extended period.

5. Use Energy-Saving Modes

Most EVs have energy-saving or eco modes that limit power consumption and reduce strain on the battery. Activate these modes during hot weather to enhance efficiency. Additionally, minimize the use of high-energy features like seat heaters or other accessories that can drain the battery.

6. Plan Your Charging Schedule

Charge your EV during the cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late evening. This can help prevent the battery from overheating and improve charging efficiency. If you have access to timed charging features, set your EV to charge during these cooler periods.

7. Reduce Aerodynamic Drag

Driving with windows open can increase aerodynamic drag and reduce efficiency. Use the air conditioning system wisely to keep the cabin cool while minimizing energy use. It is more efficient to use the AC at lower speeds and roll up the windows at higher speeds.

8. Stay Informed About Battery Health

Regularly check your EV’s battery health status through the onboard system or your car’s app. Being aware of your battery’s condition can help you take proactive steps to maintain its health during hot weather.

9. Drive Efficiently

Smooth and steady driving can help maximize your EV’s range in hot weather. Avoid rapid acceleration and heavy braking, as these actions can put additional strain on the battery. Regenerative braking can also help recover some energy, so use it whenever possible.

10. Use Public Fast Chargers Wisely

Fast charging generates more heat than regular charging, which can stress the battery in hot conditions. Use fast chargers sparingly during extreme heat and opt for slower, Level 2 charging whenever possible to reduce thermal stress on the battery.

Conclusion

Driving an electric vehicle in hot weather requires some adjustments to maintain efficiency and protect the battery. By parking in the shade, pre-conditioning the cabin, managing tire pressure, and following these other tips, you can ensure your EV performs optimally even in high temperatures. Staying mindful of how heat affects your vehicle will help you enjoy a smooth and efficient driving experience all summer long.

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Nick Zamanov is a head of sales and business development at Cyber Switching. He is an expert in EV infrastructure space and he is an EV enthusiast since 2012, Since then Nick strongly believed that electric vehicles would eventually replace Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) cars.

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