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Minimising winter range loss in your electric PCO car

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With benefits like no Congestion Charge and a more enjoyable driving experience, many private hire drivers have already switched to an electric vehicle, or they’re considering doing so. 

While electric cars can be a fantastic Uber car option, we understand that driving range especially in winter is one of the main reasons why PCO drivers are concerned about making the switch.

As an upfront company, we would like to be honest with you about how cold weather impacts an electric car, and more importantly, how to improve your EV range and maximise your PCO income. 

How does the cold weather affect electric cars in winter?

Temperature affects the efficiency of an EV battery. 

During winter months, a battery is more likely to produce less power and discharge more quickly due to the fact that cold temperatures slow down chemical reactions. That’s why the mileage of your electric PCO car is impacted.

Skoda has a detailed page explaining electric range behaviour, read the full guide here

How much range do electric cars lose in winter weather?

There’s no point talking about EV range loss without some real figures. A study by Recurrent shows the estimated and verified winter range in 21ºC vs -7ºC for popular EV models, such as Tesla Model S, Jaguar I-Pace and Nissan Leaf. Let’s take a look at the table below.

Some electric vehicles can lose up to 35% of their range. The Chevy Bolt, for example, can have 32% less range when it’s very cold, while the Volkswagen ID.4 and Ford Mustang Mach-E can lose 30% in winter. 

As stated in Recurrent’s research, we should keep in mind that the winter EV range is impacted by lots of factors, and each model reacts to winter in very different ways.

How about your EV with Otto Car?

In order to help you better understand the real-world range of your PCO car in winter conditions, we tried to use an estimated average range loss percentage to work out how much mileage your vehicle can lose, so you could take it as a reference and adjust your expectation.

Assuming that an EV loses 20% range in winter, this is what the real-world range will be like:

The good news is that winter range loss is temporary. When the weather gets warmer, the expected range of your electric PCO car should return to normal. 

Electric vehicles have many amazing features that are perfect for PCO drivers, read this article to find out more.

Check out the wide range of Otto Car’s Uber-ready EVs on Rent 2 Buy + here

How to maximise EV range in freezing temperatures?

There are many ways you can do to avoid winter range loss and maintain EV mileage during the colder months. Here are some top tips:

  • Brake smartly – Regenerative braking recharges the battery when you slow down an EV
  • Use the ECO mode – With regulated acceleration, braking and heating features, it is an effective way to maximise your winter range
  • Drive steadily – Just like driving a car with an engine, avoiding aggressive acceleration and braking can improve your fuel efficiency
  • Inflate the tyres – Check the tyre pressure regularly and inflate your tyres if necessary to minimise resistance and drag
  • Turn on heated seats – Use heated seats to heat the person, not the car. Heated seats don’t affect car range
  • Avoid motorways – Reducing your speed from 70mph to 50mph can boost your range by 36%

Related article: How to earn more in winter months

Want to learn more?

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