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Driving Electric This Winter?

MGE has some simple tips help you drive farther in colder weather.

Winter driving is a fact of life in Wisconsin—slippery roads, snow drifts and a cold vehicle in the morning. Vehicles also are less efficient when the temperature drops—and not just electric vehicles (EVs). In fact, gasoline vehicle efficiency can drop 20% or more in the winter.

Electric driving range is reduced in cold weather because cold batteries are less efficient. Although heating the cabin and defrosting the windows use battery capacity, electric motors are much more efficient than a gas-powered engine.

There are other benefits of driving electric in the winter, too. You can safely warm up your vehicle in your garage because there are no tailpipe emissions and drive right by the gas station if you've already "fueled" up at home!

Tips to improve driving range

  1. Preheat your car's cabin while plugged in, if possible. Use grid electricity for this process to save battery capacity for driving.
  2. Park your car in a garage, especially if it stays warmer than the outside temperature.
  3. Keep your car plugged in whenever possible. This keeps the battery charged while any automatic warming functions are underway. Also, cold batteries take longer to charge.
  4. Use cabin amenities efficiently. For example, cycle the defrost function only as needed and use heated seats if available—they require less energy to keep you warm than the cabin heater.
  5. Clear ice and snow from your car to reduce weight and improve aerodynamics.
  6. Keep tires inflated to the proper pressure. In cold weather, the air pressure in the tires drops. This affects driving range.
  7. Drive conservatively. Higher speeds and quick acceleration reduce efficiency.
While there may not be a lot to love about driving on winter roads, there's a lot to love about EVs.

Visit mge.com/LovEV to learn about available models, charging opportunities, cost, benefits and more. Explore My EV helps customers who are considering buying an EV to calculate the total cost of ownership. And, for news and features about EVs, visit mge2050.com/EVRider.

published: Nov-15-2021

Debbie Branson

Until next time,

Debbie Branson

MGE Manager
of Electrification

EV Rider