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New study shows bitter cold hurts the range of electric cars

Local News

There are over 75 plugs for electric cars available across Monroe County open for public use. Many of these are located at libraries and town halls. 

These can be a hot spot to be for electric vehicles in the winter as batteries can drain a bit faster in the cold. 

Most electric cars have batteries that provide a range of about 250 miles and Redi Imports car shop owner Ryan Lynch says cold air brings that number down. 

“You can actually see anywhere between a 20-40 percent decrease in an electrical vehicle,” says Lynch. The battery runs everything from startup to lights to heat, so more heat on a cold day means less distance for the battery. 

If a car has a 100-mile range on a trip to Syracuse when it is 5° the car may only make it to Auburn. The electric car battery can be impacted by the cold weather just like the battery in a cell phone or just like the battery in a regular car. 

Doug Beck at Victor Chevrolet sells electric and hybrid cars and says General Motors only sees a drop of about 15 percent knowing they are manufactured up north where winters are harsh. “It’s not like the guys working on it live in Florida where it’s normally warm,” said Beck. “The production on some of the systems are pretty local for the weather.” 

He says technology is constantly improving and expects batteries to continue to improve in cold weather. Many cars come with plugs that can fit in any standard outlet, so his advice in the cold is to always keep the plug handy.

You can get more information on the electric vehicle in cold weather here.

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