The winter is here. Low temperatures, snowfall, ice-cold mornings... Are you ready to drive your electric car under these conditions? Check our tips to make your electric drive as pleasant as 'dashing through the snow in a one horse open sleigh'.

Should you fear driving an electric vehicle in winter? Well, just as much as a gasoline-powered car, so no – but it is wise to keep a few pointers in mind nonetheless.

1. Keeping the overall state of the car in order

Make sure everything is in order, including the pressure in your tires. Bear in mind – the quality of your driving also heavily depends on the type and state of the tires.

2. Keeping it inside

If possible, park your car in a garage; don't keep it freezing outside, because heating it up will take extra power off your EV. It's understandable not everyone has the opportunity to do so, but if you can, keep the EV in a garage, where it's always a little warmer than outside. This way, you can also keep potential blizzards and frost from doing some physical harm to the car.

3. Keeping it plugged in

Not only will re-charging in winter take longer (especially without a battery pack heating system installed), it will also lower the amount of energy your battery pack can offer. Keep your EV plugged in until you are set to go – even when the batteries are already fully re-charged, don't unplug.

4. Keeping it connected to power grid

And it's not only about keeping it plugged in. If you have the possibility of pre-heating the cabin using grid power, we recommend you do so. Why? Firstly, it means that by the time you are ready to sit in your car and drive off, the cabin is already warm and comfy, waiting for you; secondly, your battery pack remains fully re-charged, ensuring longer range (as opposed to heating the cabin as you are driving, using a lot of power from your battery pack and losing range).

5. Keeping warm vs. keeping normal range

Lithium-ion batteries don't perform well when they are cold, so most of currently available EVs have a battery pack heating system installed, which prevents the batteries from getting too cold. So, the batteries may be taken care of, but how about the driver and the passengers?

Heating up the entire cabin will heavily influence your driving range (some say for even more than 30 percent), but since people do need to keep warm, rather use heated seats and (if possible) a heated steering wheel.

Also, layers are good – think onions and dress up in layers of warm clothing, so you only need to use little energy for warming up once inside the car.

6. Keeping it in the least power-hungry mode

Choose the EV's eco- or low-power-mode. This way, the car will use even less valuable power.

From your experience, have you got any other advice you wish to add and share with other EV drivers?

Nov. 23, 2015 Guides photo: Profimedia

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