TECH BYTE: Electric Cars Impacted by Extreme Temperatures

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — We’ve told you before that extreme temperatures, whether high or low, can impact your cell phone.

The same is true with electric cars.

How hot or cold it is outside can impact how far you can drive your electric car.

AAA found in a recent study, that icy temperatures can cut your car’s range by nearly half.

“When you would’ve been able to travel 100 miles, it makes it 59 miles,” said Karen Sanchez, AAA field manager. “Same thing when it is warm outside. So when the temperatures are 95 degrees, and you’re using your air conditioning system, it does reduce your travel distance only by 17 percent, so it’s not quite as drastic.”

Going green with an electric vehicle doesn’t always save you green. More charging in extreme temperatures also increases the cost of driving the car.

“It is important for them to be aware that in those temperatures, the increase for instance at 20 degrees Fahrenheit in the cost of operating that vehicle is about $25 for every 1,000 miles that you would travel,” Sanchez said.

To help with your mileage, it’s good to plan ahead before you even hit the road.

“Leave your car plugged in while the interior of the car is heating up when it’s cold outside, or while it’s cooling down when it’s hot outside, so that does reduce the amount of wear on the battery, because it’s charging while it’s heating or cooling while it’s plugged in,” she said.

It’s also good to know where car charging stations are available, since you’ll have to make more stops in extreme temperatures. You don’t want to be stranded anywhere.

“You can find those on the AAA mobile app, or if you do come to AAA and get a TripTik Planner, those locations are available through the TripTik process, as well,” Sanchez said.

It even helps to park your car in a garage to help stabilize the cabin temperature.

The good news is, if your battery does die, and you have AAA, they can come out and help.

If you’re not a member, hopefully you have roadside assistance with your insurance company.

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