Winter weather causes havoc annually in countries that aren’t able to have year-round measures in place to tackle snow, sleet and ice. The UK in particular is infamous for grinding to a halt once the first snowflake hits the tarmac, even though most cars are built (or can be adapted) for driving in these conditions.
Or are they? Electric cars are relatively new when compared to their internal combustion cousins, and although winter has come and gone many times since their invention, the way they deal with snow and other cold climates may not be common knowledge.
Allow us to explain just how electric vehicles (EVs) cope in snow.
How Do Electric Cars Handle In Snow?
The anti-EV crowd may already be crying out that these cars can’t possibly perform better in the snow than an internal combustion engine car (ironically, often abbreviated to ICE) but in fact, it is true!
Now, we’re not trying to argue that a Renault Zoe is going to plough through the white stuff better than a Land Rover Defender, but when comparing two similar types of car, the EV can be expected to fare better. For example, match up a Tesla Model 3 with an Audi A6 and Elon Musk’s creation should come out on top. The simple reason for this lies in the weight of each vehicle, or more specifically, where that weight is distributed to.
Electric cars have their batteries fixed to the bottom of the car and those things are heavy. This gives the car a much lower centre of gravity compared to a car with a bulky engine that’s elevated and at either the front or back end. In turn, this weight distribution glues the car to the road surface and gives it better traction.
There’s also the fact that EVs are gear-less, meaning that they can accelerate and go through the motions much more smoothly than a manual ICE car could. This also helps keep traction and prevents the wheels from spinning when you try to put your foot down.
On the downside, electric vehicles are typically fitted with tyres designed to reduce energy usage – lower rolling resistance and higher pressure – at the expense of road grip.
How Do Electric Cars Heat Up In Winter?
Once again, EVs outperform ICE cars on this front, too. Electric cars use active thermal management, allowing you to remotely heat the vehicle, often from an app on your phone. Some will also give you the ability to schedule this in advance, so if you’ve got an early start you can sleep easy knowing your car will be toasty inside by the time you get into it the following morning. This will also get the components of the car heated up to a suitable level, so in extremely low temperatures, nothing (windscreen included) will be frozen over once you need to leave.
The Range of Electric Cars In Winter?
This is where EVs suffer the most during the colder months. While they may handle well when driving through snow, the distance they can cover will be reduced – sometimes quite significantly – when the car’s battery is subjected to frosty temperatures, with around 40% shaved off their driving range in very cold climates.
Driving range is also limited by the use of the aforementioned heating devices. Sure, you can defrost your car before you’ve even left the house, but you may need to brave the cold if you’re planning a lengthy journey.
If the thought of driving your petrol or diesel car down the UK’s slushy roads this winter sends a shiver down your spine, then maybe an EV could calm your nerves? Or, perhaps you’re in the opposite camp and already have an electric car that can barely make it to the supermarket and back as soon as the temperature drops into single digits?
In either case, Scrap Car Comparison can help sell your car as scrap or salvage today. Petrol, diesel, electricity – our scrap dealers will buy any vehicle from you and we’ll ensure you get the best price for it. In fact, we can find you the best quotes in just 30 seconds and thanks to our nationwide network of Authorised Treatment Facilities (ATFs), we can even get someone to collect the car for you at no extra charge! So, use our online valuation calculator today and find out how much cash you could make from selling your scrap or salvage car with Scrap Car Comparison!