Here's How To Protect Your EV In Extremely Cold Temperatures
You actually join me in the rivian right now, just out running errands uh, but I checked the weather and it seems like the entire us is getting hit with a giant cold snap this week, uh. So much so that its going to be negative, 22 degrees, Fahrenheit uh near Cheyenne, where I do most of my efficiency testing. So, of course, Im like oh so many videos we can film uh, but Ive also received a ton of messages from you guys about hey its going to be cold. You know freezing temperatures in Florida. What do I need to do to take care of my Eevee in the cold weather and honestly, I theres not much you have to do, but I thought Id make a quick video just to give you some best practices uh, so that you dont break your battery Pack, when it gets this cold but um, I just want to assure you all of the mass production vehicles that are out there have all been tested to temperatures way colder than what were experiencing this week. However, there are some things you can do you to better protect your battery pack and just good general knowledge in cold weather anyway. So lets touch on some of those Lets test. Uh touch on some of the testing that I want to do in this extreme cold and uh. Yeah just have a very quick video for you today. Well, it is currently 30 degrees which feels nice and warm actually uh this morning, its about 10 a.
m and um yeah lets talk first, you know the title of videos heres what to do if it gets cold so lets get into that, and then I want to Talk about the things that Id like to do uh, you know, of course, in this cold temperature. Of course, if you have any ideas or things you want me to test were going to have two extremely deep freezing nights and of course, you guys know all the cars that that I own and we have access to and Im Im gon na, be doing a Lot of experiments during those cold temperature nights, because its really some of the coldest temperatures weve ever had here in the uh Front Range, so Im really looking forward to this uh, but first lets talk about battery Care Health and what to do so. The best thing you can do, um, ideally, is uh. You know just put the car in the garage. If you can now we have more cars than we have garage space. Of course, we also have friends who live in apartments who dont even have home charging. So you know Step One is like: if you can just throw in a garage, live normally dont think about it. Just do that. Secondly, if its going to stay outside, my recommendation is to not let it go below roughly 30 or 40 percent state of charge for an extended period of Time, Low state of charge and really cold temperatures are not great for your battery pack, and so I would Charge it maybe a little bit higher than you typically would now I tend to charge my cars anywhere between you know, 40 and 70 percent on average is where they live Ill, probably bump, most of them up to 80 percent a just.
So we have more driving range in the cold because, of course, the cold weather is going to limit the amount of usable capacity in the battery pack, as well as running your heater maxed out the heated seats, heated steering wheel and headlights and all that stuff youre. Just going to be putting more drain on that car, more load on that car and so youre going to have less range. For example, our e tron can very easily go over 200 miles in the summertime, without even trying I charged it up to 90 percent uh. The other day at a DC, charger, wet and everything was warmed up, and it was predicting 125 miles now, of course, were running the heater in the car, but like okay winter does have an impact more on some cars than others. I noticed that my Teslas dont really get hugely affected by cold weather. The rivian doesnt seem to be hugely affected by cold weather, but thats some of the testing Im going to do so. If you have a commute where youre using a lot of your battery pack, charge up a little bit more just for buffer um, if you can leave the car plugged in thats really the best solution and and even better than that, the best best solution is to Try and time it so that you can start your cars charging later on into the session. You dont want to just arrive home unless youre at very low state of charge.
You know make sure youre above 40, but if you want to leave it 80 in the next morning, try and have it. So it starts charging at one two, three oclock in the morning, so that by the time you leave on your commute its just completed charging the charging process will warm up the car warm up. The systems keep the fluid running in the high voltage systems and um. Honestly, youll have better efficiency because the battery will be warmer and the car is pretty much ready to go. What you dont want to have happen, its not the end of the world really. But what you want to try to avoid is big charge and then let it cold soak for the next few hours and then leave and go on your commute better to just have it charging and completing right when youre ready to go Teslas have a function. For example, that you can set scheduled departure and it will basically time your charging and your battery preconditioning in your cabin preconditioning to all start at that point I know Audi has it BMW has it others have it as well, um and so yeah, maybe utilize that Function when its minus 20 minus 30 in some parts of the country gon na get really cold. Of course, now I have some friends of mine that cannot charge their car at home at all. They have to rely on either workplace charging or something like that and theres – really not much.
You can do in this case other than just making sure your car isnt very low state of charge, so theyre, probably going to charge up to 80 90 percent at work. Drive home cars probably going to sit at 70 75 percent state of charge in the Deep Freeze, totally fine um theres, no risk of damaging anything in these temperatures. Again. Most of these cars are cold soaked down to minus 50 minus 60, which is really really really cold and colder than were going to see this week. So I just know, for example, uh Volkswagen battery laboratory has a full car cold Soaker. When some of my colleagues went there to in Tennessee – and they had an id4 running at minus 60 inside this uh cold chamber, its pretty cool Im, not sure C or F, but either way very cold. Minus 40 – I know – is the same: CNF uh, so yeah. If youre gon na leave the car unplugged overnight, what I would do is just you know, try and get as much battery state of charge in there as possible precondition it before you. Can you go out in the mornings to drive it just let everything warm up but then, most importantly, I would really try to limit extreme acceleration or deceleration. Ive been starting to hear some reports on um. You know hammering the car, when its extremely cold can lead to some increased degradation. Now, of course, the car has safeguards in place, youll, probably notice, either no regen or very little regen.
If your car sits outside in these temperatures and thats fine, you really dont want much energy flowing into this battery pack at all. When theyre freezing so dont plan on a charging session uh, you know if you DC fast charge to work or something like that charge up the night before, because it may not even charge at all when its that cold. You know it has to run a battery heater and they may not be strong enough. Like my old Leaf, may not have a strong enough battery heater to get it warm enough to actually accept a charge um. So try not to drive the car too hard. Youll notice decreased power, output and power input to the battery everything just moves slower when its that cold in a battery pack. So try not to hammer the car too much just drive it gently. Normally, it will probably be running its battery heater one trick. I might do actually is actually select a supercharger in the Tesla to force warm up the battery pack just so uh. You know everything comes up to temperature, even quicker, but again that does put a strain, at least in my car on uh. You know PTC heater for the cabin the new cars have heat pumps like my Model S and then, of course, its running waste heat from the motors. It does strain the system a little bit more, but I I like to have a warm battery.
When I drive so um there you go youre going to notice. Decreased acceleration decreased regen, nothing to worry about, just try not to hammer it too much. Try not to DC fast charge the car unless you absolutely have to, but that is the quickest way to warm. It up, of course, is just to put a constant intake load on it. The car is going to run maxi and everything and uh yeah. I would say really not much to worry about just keep in mind your if you do short trips, your range will be greatly decreased as it runs the heater and I really think its going to be no major problem at all so again. 30 degrees, 20 degrees. 10 degrees Fahrenheit, no problem for these cars when we start getting into the minus 10 minus 15 minus 20 minus 25 Fahrenheit. Okay. I honestly dont even have that much experience in those cold temperatures with these cars, which is why Im so excited to get out and do some testing. I think the coldest Ive had in electric car is maybe minus 15 minus 18 Fahrenheit, and that was just recently up in Finland and it was no problem at all. It was great. Actually, charging sessions worked great Chargers worked great. I definitely want to see how Chargers react in this cold Im going to show it with warm batteries. Cold batteries, all the stuff, so lets get into what Im planning to do in these cold temperatures.
Well, one test – I really am looking forward to doing is actually parking, my leaf at a DC, fast charger Ill leave of course Ill park it a couple spots over but enough where the cable can reach it Im going to let it sit at maybe 30 overnight. Something again because I dont really care about the battery in that car. Whatever happens to it be interesting, I kind of want to recycle it with redwood and put a new battery in it. I think thatd be a great video, so I dont care about the longevity of that car lets, use it for experiments. What I want to do is let it cold soak minus 20. You know let it really come down to temperature and then plug it into the chatimo charger and see if it accepts a charge at all or faults out, or I dont even know what to expect. I know I think it only has like a tiny battery heater and it has no battery Cooling, so thatll be kind of interesting. The other thing I think Im going to do is talk about efficiency. I actually want to run this rivian at 32 degrees on a loop, and then I want to run it at 20 on a loop and I might run two different Loops at 20. I might run the first one cold soaked and then Ill charge it and try and get it up to temperature, which would simulate more of a road trip and then Ill run.
It warm warm battery warm cabin at that same speed and then say on that same loop. I think, would be very interesting plenty more to do. Of course, I think its uh. We should probably do that same test with our model 3 and a supercharger to see if that charges, because, of course, Tesla has a much more powerful battery heater to look at how that works. I have a heat pump in my Model: S resistive Heating. In my model, three different cars, but maybe theres a story. There really curious to see what you guys want to know about these cold temperatures and um yeah, just lots of videos to film lots of cool stuff. Very rarely do we get the opportunity to film in this level of brutal cold. So there you have it quick video, nothing to worry about if its getting cold for your car, maybe a little bit extra precaution plug it in try and time it. So it completes charging right before you leave, keep in mind DC fast charging is going to be way slower than Youre Expecting, especially if your car doesnt have on Route battery preconditioning, which is sadly most electric cars on the road today, maybe not in terms of volume, But in terms of models, so every Tesla just put in the supercharger itll precondition rivian will do the same. Lucid has manual preconditioning, GMC, Hummer EV has manual preconditioning utilize those functions if you need to charge but uh yeah.
I really am excited comment below with your experiences, of course, in this cold. If you have any other suggestions to other viewers, I highly recommend you go down below and and read the comment section. So many experts watching these videos and uh yeah really appreciate everyones input and feedback. Sorry for the very quick video today were actually going out and filming some more FSD beta driving stuff just after this with a follow car. So you can understand what the car looks like in its uh driving environment, which is really kind of fascinating, so many things to do. Cant wait its gon na get cold and uh yep see you on another one.