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How do seasons and temperatures affect range?

How do seasons and temperatures affect range?

Range is a hot topic when it comes to electric cars. In this article we help you understand how seasons and temperatures can affect range.

seasons and temperature graphic

How do seasons and temperature affect range?

Most of the time in the UK, our temperatures don’t make a lot of difference to range. We’ve found that on a Kia e-Niro the range drops about 20 miles in winter from 280 miles to 260 miles. And as things warm up in summer, it can actually increase by 12 miles to 292 miles!

Even if it won’t make a lot of difference to your day-to-day driving, it’s worth being aware of. Let’s take a look at the details…

How does temperature affect range?

Electric cars tend to be most efficient at about 21.5°C. If it’s a few degrees cooler you won’t notice much difference, so if you mostly drive in normal temperature ranges you’d be forgiven for not noticing. It’s only when things get wintery that you’ll notice a bit of a drop.

Why does cold weather affect range?

What do you do when you get in a car in cold weather? Most of us turn up the fans and dial up the heat – and that’s a big reason for that slight drop in range in winter.

That’s because electric cars are a bit different from petrol and diesel. When you’re burning fuel, you can use waste heat from the engine to warm up the cabin. In an electric car, though, you need to take a bit of power from the battery for the heater.

You might also think it’s something to do with battery chemistry. Aren’t lithium-ion batteries less efficient when they’re cold? Well yes, but that’s why car makers spend a lot of time creating complicated heat management systems for their batteries to keep them at an efficient temperature. And it’s these heating systems that use power.

So your range doesn’t creep down because your battery is cold – it’s because your car uses a bit of your charge to keep the battery warm.

There are a couple of other things to think about in the winter. You’ll lose range if you’re driving in strong winds, snow and rain. And do you live somewhere cold enough to run winter tyres? If so, they roll a bit less efficiently. But these aren’t exclusive to electric cars – they affect petrol and diesel too.

Woman charging car

How does hot weather affect range?

In Britain, warm weather normally means you’ll get a bit more range. With batteries at their most efficient at 21.5°C, those balmy summer days help get the most from every charge.

What if you get stuck in extreme weather?

And if you get stuck in a traffic jam in the depths of winter or the height of summer, do you need to worry about running out of charge? Not according to Which?, who tested it out in their Volkswagen ID.4. After an hour and a quarter with air con, heated seats, music and headlights on (plus a tablet charging), they only lost 2% of the charge. That’s just 8 miles. 

How can you get the maximum range in extreme weather?

There are a few simple tips to keep things as efficient as possible:

Heat yourself, not your cabin. If you’ve got heated seats and steering wheels, use them. They’ll draw about 75 watts while heating the cabin’s air can use over 40 times that! You can also choose a car with a heat pump system – an amazing gadget that makes heating your car much, much more efficient.

Use your car’s pre-conditioning. This electric-specific feature warms up or cools down your car and battery before you start travelling. You need to leave your car plugged in and enter the time into your car’s companion app – then it’ll use mains power to get things toasty warm (or frosty cool) before you start driving.

Plug in during extreme weather. If things are really freezing or scorching, a lot of car makers suggest leaving the car plugged in but not charging during really hot or cold weather. This means you can manage your battery temperature and so help it last longer.

And whatever the weather, you can improve your range and efficiency by driving smoothly and efficiently, being light on the accelerator and using your regenerative braking.

So while extreme temperatures can affect range, it’s not enough of a problem for most of us to worry about. 

If you still want to know more about electric car range check out our ultimate guide to range.

This article contains links to other sites. ElectriX is not responsible for the contents of any of these websites.

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When will petrol and diesel cars be banned?

When will petrol and diesel cars be banned?

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When will petrol and diesel cars be banned?

The UK plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2035  

You don’t need to rush out and buy an electric car right away, but at some point you’re likely to have to make the switch. And you might even find it would make your life easier and cheaper to go electric now. 
 
As announced by the UK Prime Minister on 20th September 2023. The UK plans to ban new petrol or diesel cars by 2035, it had previously been 2030. This could easily change, though, as climate change is a major focus for the government, and the date has already been brought forward from 2040.  
 
You don’t need to worry if you already have a petrol or diesel car – you’ll still be able to drive, buy and sell existing ones.  
 
You might want to look at making the switch earlier, particularly if you drive a lot in cities or towns. Some urban areas have already created zones where petrol and diesel cars are heavily charged or banned. Often called Ultra Low Emission Zones or Zero Emission Zones, they’ve been set up to tackle greenhouse gases, air pollution and congestion.  
 
With more of these zones set to spring up over the coming years, urban drivers might want to snap up an electric car sooner rather than later. It’s pretty frustrating to have to plan routes to skirt these areas – and the cost of congestion and emission fees can really add up.  

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Navigating electric car models

Navigating electric car models

As more and more manufacturers introduce electric car models into their ranges, how do you know which one is right for you?

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Want to know if an electric car is the right choice for you?

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Are you looking for a small compact for short commutes into a city or do you need a family SUV with a big range to travel over 300 miles on a single charge? In this blog, we’ll help you navigate the types of electric cars you can drive today and explore some of the most popular models in more detail.

 

Types of Electric Cars

Compact. Family. SUV. Performance. Electric car choice is now wider and more varied than ever. So whatever type of car you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it.

Small city cars

Perfect for getting around town and for short journeys. Usually they come with a smaller battery with faster charging times but less range. 

Family cars 

The mid-range, these cars are a good option for families who need a car with a bit more space. A bigger battery means slightly longer charging times but more range for bigger journeys. 

SUVs 

These cars are just as at home in the country as they are in the city. Combining practicality with performance. Expect bigger batteries and range, with many going over 300 miles on a single charge.

Performance

Being kinder to the planet doesn’t have to be boring. Many performance manufacturers including Porsche, Lotus, Maserati and Audi offer sporty EV models. 

Looking for a small, compact electric car for commuting, city driving and shorter journeys? Here are five of the most popular small electric cars.

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Peugeot e-208

The Peugeot e-208 is a stylish and practical electric car with a range of up to 248 miles on a single charge. Well-equipped, it comes with features like a touchscreen infotainment system and a rear parking sensors. 

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Fiat 500 Electric

The Fiat 500 Electric is a fun and stylish city car with a real-world range of up to 199 miles on a single charge, perfect for the daily commute

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Renault Zoe E-Tech

The Renault Zoe E-Tech is a popular electric car with a range of up to 239 miles on a single charge. Ideal for daily trips and longer journeys. 

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Mini Electric

The Mini Electric is big on fun with a range of up to 145 miles on a single charge. Well-equipped, it comes with features like a touchscreen infotainment system and a reversing camera. 

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Nissan Leaf

No list would be complete without the iconic Nissan Leaf. Now you can charge faster to go further with up to 168 miles on a full charge.

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Need a car with a bigger battery for longer journeys? Here are some of the most popular long range electric cars:

Mercedes-Benz EQS

Boasting the UK’s biggest range up to 452 miles, the Mercedes EQS provides a luxurious ride and state-of-the-art infotainment system for those long journeys.

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Jaguar I-Pace

Enjoy up to 292 miles on a full charge in the Jaguar I-Pace luxury SUV. With its comfortable interior and practical boot space, it’s made for weekend adventures.

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Lexus UX 300e

The Lexus electric car with the longest range is the UX 300e, capable of up to 279 miles fully charged. Upgraded in 2023 with a new battery for more range, it also features new multimedia, driving and safety systems. 

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BMW iX

The BMW iX luxury crossover SUV was released in 2022. Boasting a range of up to 380 miles, it’s a great choice for those who want a long-range electric car that’s also stylish, practical and spacious. 

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Want a car that’s going to maximise energy efficiency? Here are some of the most popular energy efficient electric cars:

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Hyundai Ioniq 6

 The Hyundai Ioniq 6 is one of the most energy efficient electric cars on the market, with a range of up to 338 miles. It is also one of the most stylish electric cars on the market, with a sleek, aerodynamic design.

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Hyundai Kona Electric

The Hyundai Kona Electric is a compact SUV that is known for its affordable price and long range. It has an estimated range of up to 300 miles.

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Encouraging friends and family to switch to an electric car

Encouraging friends and family to switch to an electric car

Help your friends and family switch to an electric car

So you’re all-in on how great electric cars are – but are your loved ones? Lots of people don’t know anything about going electric, so why not help them out? This quick checklist can help people see if it’s right for them. 

First, it’s a good idea to talk about why an electric car is such a great choice. It’s much greener than petrol or diesel, and you can often save money when you take everything into account like fuel and maintenance. 

They’re also a joy to drive. There’s no engine clattering away, no gears to crank and it’s a really smooth, serene ride. Not only that, the power is instant – so they’re much punchier than petrol or diesel cars. Most people who drive them wouldn’t dream of going back. 

Then you could run through these questions with your friends to help them decide whether they’re ready to make the switch. 

Where do you usually park?

If you have a private drive or garage, you’re laughing. You can get a charger and be ready to go the next morning – and if it’s a smart charger, you can set it to charge when electricity is cheapest overnight if you’re on the right tariff. There are even government grants to help with the cost if you live in a flat, apartment or rental property. 

If you don’t have a drive, it’s a little trickier but certainly not a deal breaker. There are over 55,000 public chargers and this is growing all the time.

Woman charging her electric car

Do you rent or own your home?

If you own your home, it’s super simple. You call the shots! If you rent and want a home charger, you’ll need to ask your landlord. They can get a government grant towards it so hopefully they’ll be on board, especially if you offer to pay or contribute. 

Where do you live?

It actually doesn’t make that much difference, though. Electric cars are perfect for city driving because they don’t release pollution and particulates at the tailpipe – which is better for air quality and saves money in low emission zones. If you live in the countryside they’re also a great option – though you might want to look at longer-range models or check local chargers if you’re covering mega miles. 

How many miles do you drive each day?

Most electric cars these days can easily go 200 miles on a single charge. And the good news is that most people don’t drive anywhere near as many miles as this daily. So range is very unlikely to be a reason not to go electric. 

If you do regularly drive more than 200 miles a day, you’ll want an electric car that charges easily overnight and gives you decent mileage on a single charge. You can find out more in our Ultimate Guide to Range.

And do you ever go on longer trips cross-country or abroad? 

Again, even if you take occasional trips the length of the British Isles or over to the continent, an electric car won’t let you down.  There are lots of handy apps that helps you plan routes and find chargers right across Europe.

Do you regularly go somewhere with charge points?

This could be a supermarket, gym or even your workplace. Lots of these places now have chargers available (and some are even free), so it can be a good way to charge while you’re doing the shopping or having a workout. 

How many people do you usually have in your car?

If you normally just have five or fewer people, including yourself, in the car, you can choose from pretty much any electric car. But if you need one that seats more people, they do tend to be pricier or have lower range. The good news is that the choice is getting better all the time. Some models you could check out include the Citroen e-space Tourer, Peugeot e-Traveller or Vauxhall Vivaro-e Life.

Lastly, do you need to tow anything heavy?

You won’t have quite so many options when it comes to choosing an electric car if you need to tow heavy things like caravans or trailers, but there are more options coming onto the market all the time. You could have a look at the Tesla Model X, the Audi Q4 e-tron or the Volkswagen ID.4 to see if they can tow the weight you need – and there are plenty more out there.  

We hope that helps your friends and family make up their minds about going electric. Once they’ve decided they want to make the switch, there are a few more choices to make. Like whether they should lease or buy, if they want to install a home charger, and the really fun part – which car to get!

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Electric car jargon buster

Electric car jargon buster

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Click on a term below to bust the jargon on all things electric…

A vehicle that’s 100% powered by electricity, and needs to be plugged in to charger. Also, sometimes called an electric vehicle (EV).

This is the name for the control electronics that look after the battery pack. It keeps the cells in the battery at the right voltage and temperature, and makes sure that the current that goes through them isn’t too high. 

At rapid chargers you’ll generally find the cable you need to power up already attached. There are two kinds of rapid charging plugs – CCS and CHAdeMO.

Rapid chargers convert AC electricity to DC before it reaches your car, which means the juice goes straight into your battery so it can charge much faster.

You’ll find CHAdeMO on a handful of older cars, but you’ll see CCS on most electric cars today.

Charging is the electric version of fuelling up your car. And a destination charge point is when you use your own cable, plug in, leave (usually at places you are at for a good amount of time) and come back when you’re ready.

A vehicle that’s 100% powered by electricity will need to be plugged in to charge. Also, sometimes called a battery electric vehicle (BEV).

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This can mean any car that has some kind of electric credential. So everything from a fully electric car that needs to be plugged in to charge to a mild hybrid. This is a very basic hybrid vehicle with no electric-only range – it’s 100% fuelled and powered by petrol or diesel.

Sometimes called a hydrogen car, or hydrogen fuel cell car. It powers the wheels using electricity, just like an electric car. The electricity comes from a hydrogen tank in the car, this then creates through a chemical reaction of mixing hydrogen and oxygen.

A standard three-pin cable that you can use in any normal household plug socket to charge your electric car. This isn’t a great way to charge an electric car though.

100% refuelled using petrol, but it can use some of that petrol to charge up a small battery that lets you drive a handful of miles using electricity.

The battery is mainly there to grab energy from regenerative braking – a clever system that recycles power back into the battery when you brake, just like in an electric car. 

ICE stands for Internal Combustion Engine. So an ICE vehicle is just your everyday petrol or diesel car.  

Units of electricity, which you can think of like a litre of fuel for your car.

You’d check the price of a litre of fuel at the garage. And with electric cars you check the price of a unit of electricity.

A very basic hybrid vehicle with no electric drive. It’s 100% fuelled and powered by petrol or diesel.    

A mild hybrid generally has a small electric motor and can often use regenerative braking, which recycles power back into the battery when you brake.

The electric motor can also sometimes help the petrol engine a bit with power – but it can never power the car by itself, unlike regular hybrids.

Plug-in hybrid EVs can be powered by petrol, diesel or electricity, with the option to plug it in to recharge the battery.

The battery is normally much smaller than in an electric car – it’s only able to go about 20 to 30 miles on each charge.

The petrol engine does the heavy lifting on long journeys and they can take quite a while to charge.

How many miles an electric car can go on one fully charged battery.

An electric car that also has a petrol engine to charge the battery. You get some of the performance upsides of electric but often not as many miles as pure electric.

Most newer electric cars can rapid charge, which you do when you’re out and about – similar to how you fill up with petrol or diesel.

It’s a little more expensive than charging at home but it can be quick, charging your car in minutes rather than hours.

So you’d tend to rapid charge on a long journey or if you’re in a rush. 

Electric cars cleverly recycle power back into the battery when you brake.

As soon as you ease your foot off the accelerator, you’ll feel the car slow much quicker than other cars.

This gives you more miles and creates less wear on your brake pads, so it’s a handy money-saver.  

Real world range is how far your electric car will actually go on a single charge. This will vary depending on your driving style and weather conditions. Often the real world range of a vehicle will be less than the figure provided by the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), the official test of fuel efficiency for all cars. 

To use and pay for some public chargers, you’ll sometimes need a special card, called an RFID card (radio frequency identification card).

You tap this against the charger to start and stop your charging session.

Some companies offer a scheme called salary sacrifice. This helps you save a bit of money when leasing an electric car.

Salary sacrifice works when lease payment is taken from your full salary, before tax and National Insurance (NI) is taken off. This means your gross (pre-tax) salary is lower, so you pay less tax and NI.

Although it sounds great, you should check this is right for you. For example, it can affect benefits or mortgage applications  because your take-home pay is lower. 

Learn more about salary sacrifice

This is just another name that some car manufacturers use for a hybrid electric vehicle.

The car doesn’t magically produce electricity out of thin air – it’s just talking about using the petrol engine to charge the battery and regenerative braking .

This is where it recycles power back into the battery when you brake and is normal in every electric car or hybrid, 100% fuelled by petrol and you can’t plug it in to charge.  

This is like your petrol or diesel gauge. It lets you know how full the battery is so you can keep an eye on how much you have left. 

This tells you how much capacity your battery has now, versus how much it had when it was new.  

These are kinds of charging plug. Nearly all UK public charge points have Type 2 sockets and you’ll usually use your own cable to connect your car, though some come with the cable already attached.

A few older cars have a Type 1 socket. But they also have a Type 1 to Type 2 cable for charging when you’re out and about, so you can plug in anywhere.  

Some urban areas have created zones where petrol and diesel cars have to pay a hefty admission fee or are even banned.

Often called Ultra Low Emission Zones or Zero Emission Zones.

A lab test that measures how efficient an electric car is, and how far it can go on one charge.

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