Electric car range drops dramatically in the cold.

Yes, we are all well aware of the fact that cars don't like the cold. But not as well known is that charging a cold battery is slower than when warm, too.

The easiest method for warming a battery is either a DC fast-charge session. Even better is to never let the battery cool. The latter can be accomplished by parking in, say, a heated garage. However, the DC fast-charge scenario isn't so easy. Who owns one at their residence? Put your hands up to indicate yes.

With no hand-raisers out there, is there some over method to quickly warm a battery so that it can charge fast? Or maybe just so efficiency and range increases?

If you own an EV, then you'd likely know that highway driving heats the battery quickly. And that some brief, but strong, regenerative braking does too. So is this the key to the battery warm-up for charging faster?

The video focuses on a Chevy Bolt, but the method would apply to other EVs too.

Video description:

Can you quickly warm up the high voltage battery of an electric vehicle in the dead of winter? More specifically, can I make it happen on our 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV?

Following cold and warm battery charging sessions that show either end of the DC fast charging spectrum, I wanted to test a viewer suggestion to hit highway speeds and then pull back with maximum regenerative braking.

Hopefully, this would provide sufficient action for the battery pack to warm up and be ready to accept a charge rate closer to that of the second session (43kW), rather than the piffling 15kW rate we saw in the cold session.

Cold battery DCFC link Warm battery DCFC link

This video covers mainly my first attempt to make that happen but also references a subsequent test with more extended highway driving towards the end. Both yielded similar results and should provide useful insight for Bolt EV drivers - or potential owners - considering how they'll use the car. There's also a reminder that Tesla owners aren't immune from this issue, as my Model 3-owning in-laws experienced on their way over to Boston from Cleveland, OH this past Christmas!

Let us know about your experiences with cold battery charging in the comments and thanks again for watching.

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