Teslas are the all-weather electric car champions as per winter EV battery range cold temperature drop study
Long-term Tesla vehicle tests have shown anecdotal evidence that the worst month to drive a Model 3, for example, is in the cold winter temps of February. Now, a new study from Recurrent Auto quantifies exactly by how much does the range of various Tesla models drop when it is cold outside and it turns out that Teslas are actually able to preserve their range better compared to other electric car brands.
Using its proprietary "verified winter ranges," Recurrent's methodology returned just 15% range reduction for the Model Y LR AWD and ditto for the Model X. For comparison, the VW ID4 lost the whopping 30% range from the balmy 70 degrees (21 Celsius) to the freezing 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-7 Celsius) under the same conditions.
The Ford Mustang Mach-E's range also diminishes by 30% in the cold, while Tesla's worst winter weather battery range drop came with the Model S which is rather understandable given its performance car status. The Model 3 manages to do well, too, with just 17% range reduction in the cold according to Recurrent's "research using a combination of on-board devices and real-time usage data providing more than 35,000 datapoints."
Winter weather range reduction is one of the electric vehicles' Achilles heels, as they actually have to use their own battery power to keep warm while the internal combustion engine generates oodles of excess heat that does the job fine in exchange for efficiency. Those drastic range drops of electric cars in the winter even attracted the attention of the Chinese government which established a working group with manufacturers to resolve what it says are misleading range claims that only count perfect conditions.
In the world of electric vehicles, however, Tesla cars seem to be the all-weather champions for now. Even if their range on a charge still drops precipitously in cold weather, it's apparently to a lesser extent than other brands and models.