Is It Better to Store an Electric Car Inside a Garage During the Winter
Despite the hype brought by popular electric vehicle models such as the Kia EV6, there’s also a tough responsibility that comes with being an electric car owner. If it’s your first time owning an electric vehicle, it’s crucial to make sure your car remains in top condition. For one, an EV’s battery range and its charging capabilities are among the most important parts of electric car ownership. Most prospective owners of EVs tend to have range anxiety, or the idea of their respective vehicles running out of power before even reaching their target destination.
Although there is an increasing amount of EV chargers being installed in the country, an unfortunate fact you should know is that electric vehicles tend to have lower performance during the winter season. This usually means a shorter battery lifespan, thus translating to potentially shorter distances covered. While the idea of a reduced EV performance is quite dismaying, the good news is that there are quite a few ways to prevent this.
Many owners consider storing their respective vehicles inside their garages whenever the cold season comes around. This is because a warm battery is the best performing battery, and your EV needs to retain the heat to work efficiently.
Here are some reasons why it’s better to store your electric car inside a garage during the winter, as well as some important information to keep in mind.
How the Cold Weather Affects Your EV
The biggest challenge brought by the winter season is that your electric car’s battery often needs to work twice as hard to keep the heat on. As mentioned, its battery performs the best when it’s warm, especially since cold weather tends to force the batteries to work harder, thus draining more power along the way.
Statistics from the American Automobile Association show that there’s a notable decline of 41% in long-range mileage ability in freezing temperatures of 20 degrees Fahrenheit or below when the heater is running. The 41% percentage decline in performance is the difference between the ability to drive a hundred miles in the usual sunny weather compared to 59 miles in the winter. However, this can still differ depending on your driving habits, battery temperature, and how much charge your car battery initially had.
In terms of charging times, a too-cold EV battery can take a sizable amount of energy for it to start. As EVs have lithium-ion batteries which are sensitive to temperature, they generally prefer temperatures that range from 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Why Store EV’s in Your Garage During the Winter?
As it’s essential to make sure your car battery is warm for performance efficiency, it’s best to store your electric car in a garage to make it less susceptible to the cold. One of your best defenses during the winter season is to also ensure that your EV’s charge does not go below 20%. This 20% charge will act as a backup in case the battery of your vehicle becomes too cold, and would need to pull from the stored energy to kickstart the charging process. It would also help to begin your day with a full battery charge and determine where you can find an EV charging point to maximize your vehicle’s range. When charging during the winter, you need to have a reserved plan for finding a charger. By doing this, you can still make it to a charger without being necessarily stranded even though your driving range gets reduced by the cold weather.
Important Tips to Maintain Your Electric Car During the Winter Season
More than simply storing your car in the garage, it’s also important to take necessary precautions to ensure that your vehicle remains in best condition despite the weather. Here are some of them.
1. Prep Your Garage
The first thing you need to sort out is to prepare your garage for the car before the winter season rolls in. Make sure to seal even the smallest openings as these can potentially cause a cold draft. This helps guarantee that no moisture can affect your vehicle while it’s being stored. Seal all windows and garage doors properly as well, including the rubber gaskets if they’re in a good condition to withstand the winter. It would also help to check the lighting and electrical outlets to see if they’re properly functioning.
2. Disconnect your EV’s battery
Your vehicle will be better protected if you disconnect the battery from your EV during winter storage. However, it would be wise to disconnect if you’re storing your vehicle for more than a month to preserve its life since it powers the car’s accessories as well.
3. Maintain moderate temperature
Make sure that your HVAC system supplies moderate heat for your property garage to regulate the temperature properly and to protect your vehicle from the cold. You might also want to run your EV for a few minutes now and then to reach the desirable temperature needed for it to retain heat.
The winter season can be harsh on electric cars, and it’s only natural to want to protect your vehicle from the cold weather. To ensure that your EV is in its best condition despite the winter season, take necessary steps to give it proper protection. Lastly, make sure to check your car’s battery before you hit the road to avoid any unfortunate situations. Follow these tips, and you’re sure to keep your electric car safe and powered up all through the winter season.