What breaks down in electric vehicles in winter: test results


With the approaching winter cold, owners of electric vehicles are beginning to worry about the issue of breakdowns at low temperatures. The issue of breakdowns in cold weather is also asked in China. To do this, regular testing is carried out in the coldest point of the Celestial Empire. The temperature here reaches -58 degrees Celsius. Let’s figure out what conclusions the Chinese experts came to.

Problems with the battery

It’s worth starting with a problem that occurs not only in electric vehicles, but also in gasoline analogues. In the cold, the low-voltage battery may discharge. When idle in the cold, it slowly loses charge. As a result, the battery does not have enough energy to start the electric vehicle. And even if the electric car starts, it cannot leave the parking lot and start moving.

During an independent test by Chinese specialists, this problem was confirmed. The battery has died on several models. It is worth noting that it was possible to completely discharge the low-voltage battery by first discharging the traction battery. Models from the Li Auto, BYD and Nissan brands faced this problem. It was possible to solve this problem by placing electric vehicles in a warm warehouse and then charging them.

This is not exactly a breakdown, but it can be an unpleasant surprise. The recommendation here is the following – do not leave the car for a long time at low temperatures with a discharged traction battery. In this case, the low-voltage battery will quickly discharge.

Let’s add our experience to the material. We left electric cars in the open parking lot for all New Year’s holidays. And after a week of sitting in temperatures below minus 21 degrees Celsius, none of the cars ran out of power. The whole secret is that we pre-charged the traction batteries of our “electric friends”.

Problems with door handles

One of the problems in the cold season can be retractable door handles, which are often found on electric vehicles. This design decision is not just a fashion trend. First of all, it serves to reduce the aerodynamic drag coefficient and increase the power reserve.

Due to the low temperature, the door handles froze and refused to open. This is due to moisture entering the mechanism, which then turns into ice. Such freezing can lead to damage when the door handles are opened. As part of independent tests in China, electric vehicles XPeng G9, Smart #1 and AITO M7 encountered this problem. It was solved by placing the cars in a warm place.

However, there is also prevention. After washing your car in winter, you should dry it and only then drive it outside. You should avoid open self-service car washes and conveyor car washes.

Problems with climate control and other malfunctions

What breaks down in electric vehicles in winter Zeekr 009 Electrocars

In an independent test, electric vehicles experienced an issue with their climate control. In a number of models, cold air began to flow from the air ducts, regardless of the set temperature. Experts explained that the reason for the operation was an error in the logic of the climate control system, when the car shifts priority to the power reserve. As a result, the heat pump of electric vehicles ceases to effectively transfer heat from one component of the car to another.

Testers also noted other problems. Thus, during winter testing, Voyah Dream suddenly stopped gaining speed and was forced to stop. The Toyota bZ4X electric car revealed the impossibility of fast charging from a DC station at low temperatures. And in the cold, the Nio ET5 noticeably decreased the efficiency of the braking system.

We see that, as part of independent testing, electric vehicles still developed various types of malfunctions in the cold. However, the cars did not have any major problems with the electric drive system, and most of the issues were resolved while parked in a warm warehouse. This means that electric vehicles are not subject to serious breakdowns in winter.

You can choose your dream electric car from Electrocars. Read more about the available options on our website. We invite you to get acquainted with electric cars in person at our showrooms in Chelyabinsk and Yekaterinburg. We provide a warranty for electric vehicles of the brands Li Auto, Zeekr, Neta, RISING and Avatr. Along with your dream electric car, you can purchase a home charging station from the global manufacturer Star Charge in our showrooms. Details on the website, on the social network Vkontakte, the Yandex Zen resource and the Telegram messenger.

– Chelyabinsk, st. Svobody, 91 K1A; +7 (351) 750-77-50

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The article is in Russian

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