Modified: December 16, 2022

Ford Says Don’t Use Heater in Electric Truck in Winter to save Battery

The news Ford Motor Company has for Ford electric vehicle owners won’t sit well with them as winter comes. Technically meteorological winter arrived in the first week of December, but let’s quickly explore the statement released by the company with Ehline Law and our personal injury attorneys.

Cold Weather Driving Can Result in Significant Range Reduction

If somebody tells you that you can’t use a heater in your freezing electric truck but can warm yourself using the heating steering wheel, you’d want to cut up the person with your laser beam stare. In reality, electric vehicles are plagued with range depletion during cold weather.

Electric Trucks and Vehicles See a 20% Mileage Reduction in Cold Weather

According to the Data collected in Norway, a country with the most electric vehicles on the road and some of the coldest temperatures in the region, electric cars can lose 20% of their range when sitting unplugged outside. 

Ford released a similar statement, stating that it is normal for electric vehicles to lose range in cold weather.

AAA Automotive Research Center Reports up to 57% Drop in Range

The North American Council for Freight Efficiency stated that an electric vehicle loses range as temperatures drop below 30 degrees Fahrenheit; for every 10 degrees below that, it loses 10% range. 

What’s interesting is that AAA Automotive Research Center reported that the electric vehicle range drops by 57% when the temperature remains at 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

According to RecurrentAuto, depending on the electric vehicle model, the car can lose up to 35% of the range in freezing conditions because the battery has to work harder to make the vehicle move.

It’s Not Just the Ford F-150 Lightning Plagued with Range Depletion

It’s not just the Ford F-150 lightning affected by cold weather but every other electric vehicle. Rivian R1T owner, Doug, took his frustration to the Rivian forum to discuss how his truck lost range in the winter.

According to Doug, the rated range of the R1T is 314 miles but driving at 75 mph in sub-20-degree temp and 18 mph winds, the electric pickup truck only does 200 miles on a single charge. The battery capacity further drops if the driver drives fast or in snow.

8 Cold Weather Tips Electric Vehicle Drivers

The Ford Motor Company explained the science behind range reduction in colder weather, stating that the electrolyte fluid in the battery slows down, affecting how much power is available for discharge and the vehicle’s charging capacity.

Ford released some recommendations for F-150 Lightning owners to reduce the drop in battery power during winter. Whether you own an electric vehicle owned by Ford or any other company, following these recommendations can help preserve range:

  1. Keep your electric car in your garage, away from direct cold weather.
  2. Whenever you park your electric vehicle in your garage, plug it in to improve the battery life.
  3. Pre-warm the battery by preconditioning the electric car with departure times if you’re going on a long drive. You can do this by accessing the trucks center screen or using the app if your auto manufacturer offers one.
  4. Rely on heated seats and heated steering wheel to warm yourself and help reduce energy consumed by HVAC.
  5. When using Direct Current Fast Charging, it’s best to turn down the heater or switch it off.
  6. Remove the snow from your electric car before driving to eliminate extra weight that causes drag.
  7. Driving at high speeds requires more energy which can reduce the vehicle’s range. Electric car owners should improve their driving habits and maintain a moderate driving speed.
  8. Ensure that your electric car’s tires are at proper pressure before setting out on your journey.

Diesel fuel does not react well to extreme temperatures, and many drivers idle their diesel engines rather than shutting them off when parked. The recommendations made by Ford are similar to what diesel engine drivers do. It focuses on electric car owners plugging in their vehicles to heat the battery pack and the passenger compartment.

Batteries Are Unreliable and Can Lead to Serious Accidents

For those driving an electric vehicle, you may have felt winter for quite a while if you follow these eight cold weather tips. 

Even a gasoline engine takes a bit of a mileage hit during winter, but you don’t have to spend hours recharging and heating the battery to get more range.

It’s scary to find yourself in the middle of nowhere in the cold weather with no range left in your vehicle’s battery. Such situations can happen even if you’re careful in maintaining good driving habits and following the company’s recommendations.

Batteries can be unreliable, unlike gasoline engine cars, and they can slow down during the cold and even heat up and malfunction, just like the recent burning Tesla news. Ford says don’t use heater in electric truck in winter to save battery, but what if you’re stuck in heavy snow with nowhere to go?

Many unthinkable situations can happen if you get stuck in heavy snowfall in the middle of nowhere. What if help is hours away? What do you do then?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hypothermia develops when the body temperature drops below 35°C, and if it drops below 32°C, it can be life-threatening. Who is responsible for such situations?

Schedule a Free Consultation with Ehline Law Truck Crash Attorneys

It is the responsibility of the manufacturers to spend their time and test the product before launching it in the market. Many electric car manufacturers are competing with each other, trying to launch as soon as possible to grab a big piece of the consumer market.

In such intense competition, car manufacturers make sacrifices at the expense of the consumer while taking in profits. If you suffered injuries from a defective battery pack or a faulty vehicle, contact us at (833) LETS-SUE for a free consultation to discuss the case and know your legal options with a top rated truck crash attorney in Los Angeles.

Top Notch American Injury Lawyer, Michael Ehline

Michael Ehline

Michael is a managing partner at the nationwide Ehline Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC. He’s an inactive Marine and became a lawyer in the California State Bar Law Office Study Program, later receiving his J.D. from UWLA School of Law. Michael has won some of the world’s largest motorcycle accident settlements.

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