HomeScience & EnvironmentElectric Car Owners Confront a Harsh Foe: Cold Weather

Electric Car Owners Confront a Harsh Foe: Cold Weather


Charging stations in Norway see longer lines in the winter than summer, since vehicles are slower to charge in colder weather, but that has become less of an issue in recent years since Norway has built more charging ports, Mr. Godbolt said, citing a recent survey of members. Also, the majority of people in Norway live in houses, not apartments, and nearly 90 percent of electric vehicle owners have their own charging stations at home, he said.

Around the world, 14 percent of all new cars sold in 2022 were electric, up from 9 percent in 2021 and less than 5 percent in 2020, according to the International Energy Agency, which provides data on energy security. In Europe, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Finland and Denmark had the highest share of electric vehicles in new car registrations in 2022, according to the European Environment Agency.

Cold weather is likely to be less of an issue as companies update electric vehicles models. Even in the last few years, companies have developed capabilities that allow newer models to be more efficient in the cold. “These new challenges rise up, and the industry innovates their way to not completely but at least partly solve many of these issues,” Mr. Godbolt said.

All vehicles, including ones powered by diesel or gas, perform worse in cold weather, noted James Boley, a spokesman for the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, a trade association that represents more than 800 automotive companies in Britain. He said that the problem was less about the capacity of electric vehicles to run well in cold weather, and more about the inability to provide necessary infrastructure, like charging stations.

With a gas or diesel powered car, drivers have complete confidence that they will find gas stations, so are less focused on their decreased efficiency in cold weather, he said. “If electric vehicle charging infrastructure isn’t in place, it can be more of a concern.”



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