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Winter and the Electric Car: How to Limit Loss of Autonomy?

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Owners of electric cars, no matter which model they own, know that if they don’t take some preventative measures when winter hits and the mercury level sinks below freezing, the autonomy of their vehicle could be reduced as quickly as the temperature drops.

When you warm up your car before driving it, the steering wheel and seats warm up as well, the windows get defrosted and the battery heats up. By keeping the car plugged in while you do this, you increase the autonomy of your car because you’re not using up its battery charge but rather tapping into the charging station. What’s more, if you unplug and start up the car when the battery is very cold, you could immediately lose up to 50% of its charge.

Here is a video posted a few months ago by Nissan Europe, which demonstrates on a Nissan LEAF the effectiveness of warming up your vehicle prior to unplugging.