Saturday 12th July 2014
It’s the middle of summer and here in NJ it’s 30℃ outside, that’s on the cool side today, it has been up to 34C. All I can say is “Yuk!” Born and raised in the UK, I don’t operate well at this kind of heat. In the UK we might see this kind of temperature once in a blue moon! I feel lethargic, the heat is so tiring, it’s so not fun. It’s just too hot to do anything unless it is early in the morning before the sun rises, which is probably why I’m up at 5am.But – On the other hand the Electric Cars seem to prefer the heat. The batteries are nice and warm and they hold more electricity. Battery range is increased which means extended driving range – Yeah!
In comparison in the deepest winter months we see our range drop, the batteries are colder, they do not hold as much electricity so less range. Also use of the heater drains the battery range too.
Most Electric Cars these days have some kind of battery monitoring system and they will cool or heat up the batteries as need be. This stops the batteries getting too hot or too cold.
With our summer extended range we can take those lovely, long Sunday afternoon drives without having to worry about charging while we are out.
Charging takes the same amount of time regardless of the time of the year. No positive benefit to all this heat regarding charging.
The increase in predicted range is quite good, in the MINI E days we would often see 125 miles of range. (Compared to 90 miles range in winter).The ActiveE – 112 miles of range. (Compared to 70 – 90 miles range in winter)The i-MiEV – 92 miles of range. (Compared to 60 – 75 miles range in winter)The Ford Focus Electric – 108 miles of range. (Compared to 70 – 85 miles range in winter)
The Tesla Roadster seems to do the best job of maintaining it’s battery temperature and we do not see the significant difference in range from summer to winter as we do with our other cars.
The BMW i3 is still too new to determine any difference. Although with this EV we expect to have better range in the winter as it has a heat pump which uses a lot less of the battery power to heat the car therefore, you are not losing range when you use the heater. But I guess time will tell and I shall report on this when we have gone through our first winter with the i3.
In the meantime, I need to cool things down…