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Graphic of EV in winter conditions
  • Nov 22, 2023

  • 4 min read


8 tips for driving an EV in winter

Winter is coming. But how can you prepare for the colder weather and trickier conditions? We’ve put together some top tips to help you drive electric this winter.

1. Drive efficiently

The cold weather can cause your EV battery to become less efficient (this happens to fuel-powered cars too). To get the most out of your battery, avoid quickly accelerating and braking wherever you can. Instead, try to maintain a steady speed and give yourself plenty of time to slow down gently. This will help you make the most of each charge.

2. Use eco-mode

Most EVs have an eco-mode to help extend your range by making some adjustments to the car's performance. It might reduce the power of the heater, or dim the headlights to conserve energy. In winter, it's worth using eco-mode whenever possible to help preserve battery efficiency.

3. Cover your EV

If you're going to be parked for a while, it's a good idea to cover your car to protect it from the cold and prevent any build-up of snow or ice on the windows. A simple tarp or frost cover will do the trick, but if you have a garage to keep your car and battery warm - keep it in there.

4. Preheat your car and use battery-efficient heating

Pretty much all EVs have a preheat function. Not only does this make for a more comfortable journey, but preheating the inside before you set off uses less battery power than doing it on the move. You can usually do this via your EV app.

By using the preheat function you’re not just warming the inside either, you’re pre-heating the battery, so it’s at its most efficient temperature as soon as you set off.

If you have heated seats (and/or heated steering wheel), using these instead of blasting the heating can be a much more efficient way of keeping warm. It can help with efficiency, and keep the energy focused on range.

5. Use regenerative braking

Regenerative braking is a feature of most EVs. It’s where the car captures the kinetic energy from braking and uses it to recharge the battery. This can be especially useful in winter as it means you can top up the battery while you're on the move and improve your range.

To make the most of regenerative braking, slow down smoothly rather than braking suddenly. You'll use the brakes less, reducing the risk of skidding.

6. Top-up your tyres

Important all year round, but especially important in the winter. As the temperature falls, your tyre pressure will too. Make sure you keep an eye on the tyre pressure and tread depth.

You want to run at the optimum pressures to allow water and snow to be cleared by your tread pattern effectively. You can check the EV database to find the most efficient tyre pressure for your car.

7. Keep your EV charged

To keep your battery in tip-top condition, it's always recommended to avoid completely running it down. This is also important in the winter, especially if you know you won't be using your car for a while. Where possible, try to keep the battery above 20% charge.

You can charge your car overnight when energy rates are lower and top up for as little as 2.4p per mile with an EV-specific tariff from Octopus. This can help you make the most of your battery and keep charging costs down.

8. Keep informed

Knowledge really is key, especially when it comes to driving an EV. Making sure you’re up-to-date on the dos and don’ts of driving an EV in different weather conditions, can help to keep you and your car safe.

Want to learn more about EVs? Head over to our EV Hub.

Are you ready to make the switch to electric?

Leasing an EV is a great way to get behind the wheel of the latest models without spending a lot of money upfront.

Take a look at our latest leasing deals, and you could be behind the wheel of your very own EV this winter!