December 4, 2023

The Queens County Citizen

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Prepare for winter Plugged into winter

Prepare for winter  Plugged into winter

Myths die hard. In Quebec, where winter conditions are sometimes harsh, it’s not uncommon to read on very active forums that all-electric is not a realistic solution. It is also said that you cannot put the heat on, otherwise the autonomy will collapse. What is it really?

Posted yesterday at 11:45 am

Eric Lefrancois

Eric Lefrancois
Special contribution

Over the past few weeks, several dozen readers of the auto section Press responded to our invitation to share their comments on their winter experiences with an electric vehicle. Here’s what they say.


Denise Grenier has owned a Ford Mustang Mac-E for just over a year. He regularly visits his family which is 550 km away from his residence.

“Last winter, at -20℃, I undertook this trip. Compared to a gasoline vehicle, there are several disadvantages. Autonomy is reduced by about 25%, which means frequent and long stops. Even if you don’t reduce power consumption, the air conditioning system will struggle to keep the cabin comfortable. Electric charging at a 220-volt electric circuit terminal takes much longer, especially when it is very cold. »

He also notes that the panoramic glass roof adds light to the cabin but cools the cabin, which is a significant disadvantage.

These flaws don’t shake its confidence in the all-electric.

A few things

Daniel Bigras owns a 2018 Tesla S 100 D. For his part, he claims to have lost about 40% of his autonomy over the winter. “In summer, I can travel 520 km, in winter 300 km. For Mr. Bigras, there are ways to improve the winter efficiency of electric vehicles. “It’s best to plug in the vehicle and schedule its departure time so the battery reaches its optimum temperature before you hit the road. »

Even Randy Hamlin, the proud owner of a Kia Soul EV, admits to losing “a quarter of the range in the winter,” but that doesn’t worry him at all. “When I use the remote start, after five minutes the windshield is clear and the interior of the car is very warm. And faster than any gas-powered vehicle I’ve owned. »

Let’s get a bit more relative

Vehicles lose up to 50% of their range in very cold weather, with gas-powered vehicles doing little better. Under the same conditions, according to an EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) study, a combustion engine vehicle can consume up to 28% more gasoline. A phenomenon that many motorists do not pay attention to due to the wide network of fueling stations. Moreover, idling for 10 minutes, the gasoline model can emit up to 1200 grams of CO.2. An electric vehicle? nothing

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