It seems like just yesterday we were getting hit with polar vortexes and providing tips for EV driving in cold weather, but temperatures are already starting to heat up as summer nears. As you scope out beach charging spots for your upcoming vacation, let’s talk about some ways EV drivers like you can keep cool as the mercury rises. (One of my personal favorites: drive a white car!)
1. Don’t sweat it: Run the A/C
Go ahead and run the air conditioning in your EV, even when it’s hot out. Unlike the comparatively battery-draining heater, the air conditioner has minimal effect on range, so you can stay sweat-free while driving electric.
2. Precondition, precondition, precondition (and prevent)
Preconditioning is your friend: cool your EV off while you're still plugged in to arrive at the right temperature without dipping into your battery capacity. Just as with any car, parking in the shade, tinting your windows or using a sunshade can help keep your car from heating up so you don’t have to crank the AC when you get in.
3. Stay plugged in when possible
Many EVs have thermal management systems that moderate battery temperature when the car is plugged in. Staying plugged in when possible, like at home or work, will help these systems keep your battery cool.
4. Chill out on DC fast charging in the heat of the day
It’s always a good idea to avoid extremes, like frequently fast charging your battery to full or running it down to (almost) zero. This becomes even more important when it’s hot. If possible, don't fast charge at the hottest times of day, and aim for 80% charge. Fill up when you need to, of course, but try not to drain or fast charge the battery daily.
5. Ease up on the accelerator
Although the instant torque of EVs is hard to beat, resist the urge to floor it frequently in the heat. That will stress your battery more than necessary. Slow down a bit and enjoy the journey instead.
Bonus tip: Heat can bring thunderstorms. Electric cars, like other electronic devices, can be affected by power surges. All EVs have some form of surge protection built in so they're no more sensitive than any other device in your home. But as a rule of thumb, if you'd unplug your TV, unplug your EV too.
When the hottest days of summer arrive, try our tips and let us know how it goes. Or, share your own tips for summer driving on social media!