The Impact of Extreme Heat on Electric Vehicle Range

Heat waves have been sweeping across the globe this summer, exacerbated by the El Niño climate pattern and the formation of heat domes. Phoenix, for instance, has been facing record-breaking temperatures, with air temperatures exceeding 110 degrees Fahrenheit for 27 consecutive days, according to the National Weather Service.

For individuals living in areas with extreme heat conditions, there is yet another concern to add to their list. A recent study conducted by Recurrent, a company specializing in monitoring and optimizing electric vehicle (EV) battery life, reveals that extreme heat can significantly reduce the range of these vehicles by almost a third.

Recurrent analyzed battery data from 7,500 EVs to gain insights into the impact of summer heat on their range. While the study did not specify the breakdown by model or brand, it found that compared to the maximum range, an EV loses approximately 2.8% at 80 degrees, 5% at 90 degrees, and up to 31% at 100 degrees.

It is important to note that the loss of range at 100 degrees is based on limited data, and Recurrent intends to provide a more updated figure as they gather more information. Nonetheless, the company assures users that turning on the air conditioning has minimal impact on an EV’s range.

The study also highlights that EVs tend to experience greater range loss due to heating during winter months. However, the disparity between the ideal cabin temperature and outside temperature is generally smaller in summer than in winter. In fact, cooling the cabin by 20 degrees consumes less energy compared to warming it by 50 degrees.

Although this data might cause concern for owners of electric vehicles, it is essential to understand the implications of extreme heat on EV performance. By staying informed and adopting strategies to mitigate range loss, EV owners can make the most of their vehicles even in hot weather conditions.

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