It is a fact, the performance of electric batteries depends significantly on temperature. When the weather is rather good, even hot, the electric batteries of electric cars are able to deliver their most optimal autonomy. On the other hand, below a certain temperature, in winter, the autonomy decreases.
We find the same problem with all manufacturers, but some models are obviously better than others in this area. The firm Reccurent Auto has thus analyzed the autonomy of some 10,000 participating cars to better compare what happens when the temperatures are negative with the autonomy when the temperature exceeds 21°C (i.e. 70°F – the figures are in Farenheit and distances in miles in the source study).
This list shows the electric cars that retain the most range in winter
For some vehicles, Recurrent Auto was able to obtain verified winter range figures under various conditions (solid blue bar). In others, the firm offers a simple estimate of the autonomy delta (dotted blue bar). The yellow bar represents the autonomy observed in ideal temperature conditions. You can find the list of the most interesting models in the infographic at the end of the article.
First observation: few manufacturers provide verified range figures in winter. Overall most models with relatively reliable figures are therefore Tesla (Model S, 3, X and Y). There is also Volkswagen with its ID.4 and Ford with its Mustang Mach-E. When comparing these more reliable figures, we notice that the Tesla models are the ones that are doing the best.
The actual autonomy thus only reduces between 15% (Model Y Long Range AWD) and 19% (Model S P100D) in winter. This shows that the Long Autonomy option is also accompanied by better cold/winter autonomy. Nissan is close with its Leaf 62 kWh (-21%). While the Volkswagen ID.4 is likely to see its autonomy melt by 30% when it is a little too cold.
Taking into account the estimates is interesting, but of course, it must be kept in mind that these figures are not verified in real conditions. Because we discover competing models that potentially do better than Tesla in this area. This is the case of the Jaguar I-Pace whose autonomy would only decrease by 3% when the temperatures drop a little too low.
The Audi e-Tron Premium Plus is also a good challenger with an 8% loss in winter alone. According to a study by the Norwegian Motorists’ Association, the average range difference between summer and winter is around 18.5%. Any performance below this figure is therefore necessarily reassuring for consumers.