AAA's research shows that, on average, the range of an electric vehicle drops by 41 percent when temperatures fall to 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-6 Celsius). Additionally, an electric vehicle with a compromised driving range will require charging more often, which increases the cost to operate the vehicle.
AAA tested five electric vehicles, all with a minimum EPA estimated driving range of 100 miles, in partnership with the Automotive Club of Southern California's Automotive Research Center.
A new study has found that cranking the heat in an electric vehicle when the temperature outside drops below zero degrees drastically reduces the car's driving range and can add significant energy costs.More news: Judge Approves Lampert's Sears Purchase
The study concludes that electric vehicle owners should be aware of environmental conditions and plan for reduced range during periods of hot or cold temperatures. AAA tested a Chevy Bolt, a Nissan Leaf, a BMW i3, a Tesla Model S 75D, and a Volkswagen e-Golf in hot and cold weather, with HVAC on and off.
"Drivers need to understand that there are limitations when operating electric vehicles in more extreme climates", Greg Brannon, AAA's director of automotive engineering told the Associated Press.
Real-world driving conditions were simulated using a dynamometer, essentially a treadmill for cars, in a closed testing cell where ambient temperature could be closely controlled. When the heater was turned on, the range dropped by 41 percent, AAA said.More news: Florida DUI suspect dances way through sobriety test
AAA found range also declined when the air conditioner was on in 95-degree weather. The company said that based on data collected from its cars on the road, "the average Model S customer doesn't experience anywhere near that decrease in range".
For example, AAA's testers determined that the Tesla's range when fully charged at 75 degrees was 239 miles, but it fell 91 miles, or 38 percent, at 20 degrees. "It would easily use double the amount of power for that 15-mile trip", said Hughes, who owns four Teslas and runs a business that refurbishes and sells salvaged Tesla parts. The association also advises motorists to heat or cool the cabin while their auto is still plugged in to avoid draining the battery on-the-go.
AAA advises electric vehicle owners who live in areas with extreme weather to plan ahead, especially during the winter months.More news: Ceferin re-elected unopposed as UEFA President