Engineering breakthroughs like the Tesla Model S may be burning up the electric car market (figuratively and literally), but they’re leaving drivers cold and under-powered in the face of Old Man Winter.
Cold temperatures have adverse effects on batteries, slowing down the incoming and outgoing flow of energy and inevitably losing some in the process. The 250-mile average range of an electric car in normal climate conditions can see its performance reduced by 70-miles on a single charge in average winter conditions. The colder it gets, the shorter than range.
Not only that, the average winter driver tends to turn up the heat — a function that also puts a draw on the battery uncommon during other seasons.
The combined effect is a significant reduction in the time between charges, and the miles you can drive comfortably warm before you get there. Drivers also feel a reduction in power, even in the formidable 400-horsepower Model S. As energy flow slows down or is diverted to heating functions, so does your acceleration, and so do you.