Winter in Canada means it’s time to bundle up, sip some hot cocoa, and… worry about your electric vehicles range? In the chilly northern winter, an electric vehicles range can take a serious hit due to the lower temperatures. At -19℃, you might as well wave goodbye to your range as it can drop to a mere 42% of the standard range.

But don’t trade in your electric vehicle for a snowmobile just yet. There are ways to manage your electric vehicle’s range during winter. You can start by parking it in a garage or covered area to help keep the battery warm. You can use the vehicle’s preconditioning feature to warm up the battery and cabin before heading out.

Careful planning and preparation can help ensure you don’t run out of power while on the road during the winter. With the average Canadian commute at 13 kilometres, the drive to and from work is likely not an issue for any EV. But for longer trips, monitor your range and adjust your driving style accordingly with slower acceleration, less speed, and gentle braking to conserve the vehicle’s battery power. Avoid idling, which can quickly drain the battery while running the heater. When planning out your route be sure to take into account the reduced range of the vehicle and charging station availability.

Similarly to adjusting your driving style, try Eco mode to help boost the electric vehicle’s range in the winter. By reducing the energy supply to the motor and cabin heater, the Eco mode can help conserve your battery, giving you more range to work with. Many electric vehicles will drive slower in this mode, which can be beneficial for driving on snowy or icy roads.

If you’re a high-kilometre driver (100 km+ a day), consider investing in a Level 2 home charger to ensure you have enough charge at the start of each day. A Level 2 home charger can fully charge an electric vehicle in just a few hours, making it convenient and practical for daily use without the need to rely on less reliable public charging stations.

Check your tires regularly during the winter months to ensure they are properly inflated. As the temperature drops, the air pressure in your tires does as well which can affect your vehicle’s handling and range. Keeping your tires properly inflated helps ensure better handling while driving and maximizes EV battery life by reducing rolling resistance.

Canadian winters can be a beautiful wonderland of ice and snow. With some careful planning, and preparation and following the steps found above, you can make it through the winter with plenty of range to spare while conserving your EV’s battery life.

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