Tesla in a fast charging station in the snow (avatar)
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From: Marcus Effler

It’s common knowledge that cold isn’t exactly what electric cars like. The test reveals the specific loss of a combination of different models – it is clear that one brand wins.

Seattle (USA) – It’s one of the very loud arguments against electric mobility: the sharply decreasing range, and even a breakdown in winter. In fact, faster battery depletion at lower temperatures is an understandable fact for two objective reasons.

First of all, cold inhibits the chemical and physical processes in the battery cells, which reduces their performance and also means that charging takes longer – or, conversely, charging at the same time leads to a lower range. Second, the energy for internal heating must also be obtained from the battery, while the heat in the case of a combustion engine is to some extent the waste of the drive. (E-car in winter: the cold devours the range – this is how you extend battery life)

Tesla in a fast charging station in the snow (avatar)
Stromer in the Snow: Not all electric cars lose much range in the cold. (avatar) © MiS / Imago

Electric cars in cold check: range really goes down a lot

With solutions such as pre-heating on the cargo box or large heating surfaces as in the interior of the BMW iX, manufacturers are trying to mitigate the problem. But it cannot be completely eliminated. But how severe is the drop in range in practice? (ADAC tests batteries in electronic cars: This is how battery capacity drops)

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Electric cars in the cold check: Even one car gained in the run

To find out, Recurrent, a US service for determining battery capacity, began a comparison test — measuring the range of 13 electric cars at 21 degrees Celsius nonetheless at temperatures near freezing point. Here are the results (ranked from bad to good):

What is particularly noteworthy is the good performance of the Tesla models – the Model Y allegedly gained little range in the cold, but this may also be due to fluctuations in the tests. The result certainly demonstrates Americans’ often-rumored leadership in battery technology.

In addition, the latest generation of German electronic mobile phones, such as the Mercedes EQS with advanced temperature management of battery cells, was still missing from the test drives. It will be interesting to see how these models perform in future cold tests.


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