New research from AAA reveals that when the mercury dips to 20°F (-7°C) and the HVAC system is used to heat the inside of the vehicle, the average driving range of an electric vehicle is decreased by 41%. This means that for every 100 mi (161 km) of combined urban/highway driving, the range at 20°F would be reduced to 59 mi (95 km). When colder temperatures hit, AAA urges electric vehicle owners to be aware of a reduction in range and the need to charge more often to minimize the chance of being stranded by a dead battery.
“The appeal of electric vehicles continues to grow since a greater variety of designs and options with increased range have come onto the market,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s Director of Automotive Engineering and Industry Relations. “As long as drivers understand that there are limitations when operating electric vehicles in more extreme climates, they are less likely to be caught off guard by an unexpected drop in driving range.”