In the most recent update, ahead of the ID.4 launch in the North America, Volkswagen explains "why winter isn't a worry for modern electric vehicles like the ID.4."

Well, there are two main things - the first is that the winter affects all types of vehicles, while the second thing is that EVs can handle cold weather quite well, through a combination of technical features and a bit of preparation.

"Cold temperatures can affect the efficiency of all vehicles, and it’s not that modern EV batteries perform markedly worse in cold temperatures. Rather, it’s that heating requires more energy. In a fossil-fueled vehicle, typically a third of the fuel burned escapes the engine as heat, some of which can be used to warm the interior.

In an electric vehicle, where the motor may be up to 95 percent efficient, there’s no spare energy lying around to be used on interior climate control.

Powering those heaters will lessen an EV’s range by a moderate amount, especially in temperatures below freezing."

In the internal combustion engine vehicles, there are problems like cold cranking and highly increased fuel consumption during the winter.

In EVs, the energy consumption goes up because the heating consumes a relatively high amount of energy, compared to driving - especially, compared to slow driving in the snow.

Volkswagen proposes to limit the heating energy consumption by pre-heating (using the Volkswagen Car-Net mobile app), so the trip will start at the desired temperature using electricity from the charging station (battery will be full).

Volkswagen ID.4 interior
Volkswagen ID.4 charging

Then, it's smart to use heated front seats and heated steering wheel (both standard in the ID.4) as much as possible, because they are more effective/direct than conventional heating.

"Beyond those features, the ID.4 also has an electric resistance heater as part of the Climatronic automatic climate control system, which is designed to get to temperature faster than the traditional heaters from gas-powered vehicles, which can sometimes blow cold air until the engine warms up."

The conventional heating can be improved if the car is equipped with a heat pump, which consumes 2-3 less energy than the electric resistance heater. Unfortunately, as far as we know, there is no heat pump option for the ID.4 in the U.S. (although it's offered in Europe).

Customer deliveries of the rear-wheel-drive ID.4 are expected to start within several weeks. The more capable, all-wheel-drive version that is coming next will be even more suited for winter. Besides the AWD drive, it will get also a heated windshield.

Once the heat pump option will be introduced in North America, Volkswagen will be really quite well prepared for the winter.

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