Electric vehicle drivers warned of issues this winter including braking and charging level

Electric cars: Driver reveals struggle in having vehicle serviced

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Electric vehicles have seen a huge growth in popularity in recent years, with estimates showing over 365,000 pure EVs on UK roads and more than 705,000 plug-in models including hybrids. With extreme weather impacting most of the UK this month, EV owners have been given some safety guidance for the winter.

Regenerative braking

Drivers are advised to turn off single-pedal driving, or regenerative braking in the winter, as it will give them better control on the roads.

In normal conditions, regen braking works by turning the kinetic energy of the car into a chemical energy stored in the car’s battery.

During the winter months, however, it can lead to dangerous, unexpected handling characteristics.

On slippery roads, the brake-like force to the wheels can cause a loss of grip, reducing the tyre’s ability to help steer the vehicle.

This can result in the vehicle going into an uncontrolled and potentially dangerous slide.

Regen braking can be easily switched off through the in-car interface, with further guidance being found in the vehicle manual.

When the weather improves, drivers can turn regen braking back on, with many potentially seeing massive energy savings over the winter months.

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Battery levels

Electric vehicles are often compared to mobile phones, with charging habits similar between EVs and phones, with many putting their car on charge overnight to make sure it’s good to go in the mornings.

Just like a phone, EV batteries don’t respond well to cold temperatures, with some models likely to experience a drop between 10 and 30 percent in range until the battery is warmed up.

Charging speeds can also be affected, with home charging sometimes taking an hour or two longer than usual.

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