Why do electric vehicle batteries fail in cold weather?

Cold weather across the central US has caused significant issues for electric vehicle (EV) owners, including reduced driving range and long wait times at charging stations. The freezing temperatures have impacted EV battery performance and charging capabilities, with some owners reporting their cars not charging at all.

Studies have found that EVs can experience a range loss of 10% to 36% in subzero temperatures. The cold weather slows down the movement of lithium ions through the battery’s electrolyte, reducing energy output and depleting the battery faster.

Additionally, slow electron movement results in longer charging times. However, experts suggest that with proper planning and adjustments, EV owners can still travel relatively normally in cold weather conditions. EV batteries will need to be preconditioned before charging to warm them up, which can take up to 30 minutes.

Automakers are also working on improving battery technology to better withstand cold weather conditions and maintain battery life. As the EV market continues to grow, there will be increased development of models suited for colder climates to ensure better performance. Overall, experts remain optimistic about the future of EVs in cold-weather regions, as advancements in battery technology are expected to continue.

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