As the electric vehicle (EV) market in the United States continues to grow, with 2023 marking a record year in sales, Ford Motor Company offers vital guidance for new and existing EV owners to navigate the winter season. With freezing temperatures affecting the northern U.S., these tips are essential for maximizing EV range and performance in extreme weather.
- Garage Storage for EVs: Storing your EV in a garage shields it from severe weather and helps maintain better battery performance due to a warmer environment.
- Continuous Charging: It’s advisable to keep your EV plugged in during extended parking times to preserve battery health and prevent excessive discharge.
- Preconditioning Your Vehicle: Ford recommends warming the battery while plugged in before driving. This enhances range and driving dynamics. Ford EV users can schedule this via the SYNC touchscreen or the FordPass app.
- Efficient Heating Methods: Utilize heated seats and steering wheels, if available, as the primary source of heat. This approach conserves energy compared to using the HVAC system extensively.
- Manage Heating During Charging: When charging, especially during DC Fast Charging, minimize the use of the heater to conserve energy.
- Strategic Use of Onboard Navigation: Ford’s onboard navigation assists in locating DC Fast Charging stations and preconditions the battery for faster charging in cold weather.
- Moderate Driving Speeds: Maintaining reasonable speeds is more energy-efficient and positively impacts the EV’s range.
- Proper Tire Pressure: Ensure your tires are at the right pressure, as indicated on the door jamb, tire pressure app, or owner’s manual. Correct tire pressure maximizes range and ensures safe driving.
- Strategic Route Planning: Plan your route with strategic charging stops and be prepared for unexpected winter conditions.
Ford’s commitment to EV performance in extreme weather is evident in their rigorous testing. EVs and their batteries have undergone testing in harsh conditions, from Alaska’s cold to temperatures ranging from 140°F to minus 40°F in Ford’s test chambers.