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Make the most of your EV this winter

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Tuesday 04 February 2020

As with all new technology, it can take a bit of time to understand all the tips and tricks that make our lives easier. At OVO, we love electric vehicles – but we know they can have unique problems in winter. 

If your car doesn’t have thermal battery management, you might not be able to drive it as far in cold weather. It’ll also take more energy to run the heater. But there are ways that you can limit the effects of the chillier months.

To get the most out of your EV, it’s a good idea to shift away from traditional winter driving techniques. In a regular petrol or diesel car, you should pull away in second gear when conditions are slippery. However, EVs are automatic and have excellent torque (they’re really powerful), so you’ll be taking an alternative approach that we’ll explain later.don’t even need to think about it. 

If you understand the technology behind your PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) or BEV (battery electric vehicle), it can help you to get the most out of the car. It’ll save you time by increasing your EV’s range, which means you don’t need to charge it as often. 

We’ve put together a few tips to help you this winter – based on thousands of miles driving an EV in cooler weather. 

Go eco

Your EV’s eco mode helps you to stretch out its range. But it also means that when you start driving, it’s like pulling away in second gear in a traditional petrol or diesel vehicle. Eco mode dulls the throttle response, putting less energy through the wheels when you start moving. So you’ll have no problems nipping out at junctions.

Turn up the heat

Some plug-in hybrids and EVs have a pre-heat setting so you can set the car’s temperature remotely when it’s plugged in. Pre-heating your vehicle like this draws energy from the charger rather than the battery, saving you energy once you’re on the road – so you can drive even further.

Keep your car toasty

Batteries don’t work as well in cold weather, so try to keep your car warm when you can. You could pop it in the garage overnight, or park it somewhere that gets a lot of light in the day. With the sun hitting your car and reflecting off the ground, your EV’s much more likely to stay in tip-top condition.

Drive efficiently

It’s always a good idea to drive efficiently and make the most of regenerative braking (regen). This charges the car when you brake, and can boost your driving range by 10-15% if you do it right.

Keep cables off the ground

If you’ve got a home charger, you’ll probably have cables outside during winter. It’s a good idea to keep them off the floor – if your cable’s on wet ground that freezes, then it might get stuck in a patch of ice.


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