How Do I Maximise the Range of an Electric Vehicle in the Winter?

electric car winter

We are currently enjoying the summer, and so too is every electric vehicle. What about when the winter comes in though? Have you thought about buying an electric vehicle but you’re worried about the range of the car in winter? Yes, that is definitely a thing unfortunately! We have plenty of people questioning the performance of EVs during the colder months. However, we’re here to bust those myths and allow new EV drivers to feel comfortable making the switch, even during the winter.



One of the biggest myths around electric vehicles at the moment is that the performance depreciates during winter. Potentially leaving drivers stranded if they don’t plan their route effectively. 

This in fact couldn’t be further from the truth. Electric vehicles are great to drive in the wintery weather due to their excellent handling and weight distribution. There is no notable difference between driving an electric vehicle and a standard internal combustion engine vehicle, other than a minor drop in the range.

Did you know that the weight of an electric vehicle is actually distributed more evenly, meaning they are easier to handle in icy conditions? The majority of electric vehicles are also produced as 4 wheel drives, allowing for an increase in manoeuvrability. How impressive!


Whilst electric vehicles do not experience a drop in performance, they do often encounter a slight drop in range. This is due to the colder temperatures affecting the battery. It can also happen due to the road surface. It takes a lot more energy driving on icy or snow covered roads in comparison to dry roads. 

There is also the increased use of the heaters and any seat warmers, which will eat into the range of the vehicle. So how can you drive an electric vehicle efficiently in the winter, we hear you ask?

Black EV in snow


Preheat the battery

Preheating your battery, also known as preconditioning, will raise the temperature of the battery to its optimum setting.  Allowing you to get the most out of your car’s range. If you warm the car up prior to travelling, and whilst the car is still plugged in you can heat up the cabin and not waste any of your precious miles. 

For those drivers living in areas most likely to get snow and ice, you’ll need to scrap the windscreen before you set off anyway so make the most of being plugged in whilst you do it!

Top up before you get too low

Drivers that have already made the switch to an electric vehicle will have already adapted the way they drive, and when they ‘fill up’. Although range anxiety is still a common thing for some EV drivers, you’ll already be used to not leaving the vehicle too low. So why does this affect cars in the winter months? It is recommended not to set off on your journey with less than 20% battery. As the range of an electric vehicle will drop slightly, we wouldn’t want you to run out of charge before you reach a charger!

As electric vehicles are fitted with a thermal management system to keep the battery warm this will also dip into your battery range. 

Make full use of eco mode 

Does your electric vehicle have an eco mode? If so, we definitely recommend using it!

Eco modes are fantastic for boosting range, and optimising power consumption when driving. When drivers regulate heating features, acceleration and braking using their car’s eco mode this will save you mileage, reduce the torque of the vehicle and make driving in icy conditions a lot safer.

Drive efficiently

Aggressive braking and acceleration can dramatically reduce the fuel consumption, even in an internal combustion engine car. So why should driving electric be any different?

In any vehicle, drivers should embrace an eco driving style to save energy. Regenerative braking in an electric vehicle is also a great perk to make the most of too. 

Check your tyre pressure

Checking your tyre pressure is an important step that needs to be done before any journey, and not just in the winter. If you aren’t checking the tyre pressure as regularly as you should then you could be waving goodbye to some of your range. Due to the increased amount of resistance and drag, your vehicle will use up a lot more energy.

Clear your electric vehicle before setting off

For those lucky enough to see plenty of snow where they live, you’ll be more equipped to drive in snowy conditions. When your vehicle is covered with snow, always ensure you clear off as much as possible before driving. Not only is it safer, but the additional weight on the vehicle will use up more power. 

EV charging in snow


If you’re thinking about buying an electric vehicle, then we’re here to help. We have a wide range of electric vehicles for sale that are ready and waiting for new owners. Whether you would like to find out more about a specific ex-rental car for sale, or you would like to arrange an appointment to come and view our range of electric vehicles, our EV specialists would be more than happy to assist.

Our full stock list can also be found here

Contact us today by email, or call us on 01634 914063.