Study Suggests Colder Weather May Benefit Longevity of EV Battery Packs

A recent study conducted by Recurrent, using data from over 12,500 Tesla vehicles in the US, has shown that colder weather can have a positive impact on the longevity of electric vehicle (EV) battery packs. While it is well-known that extreme cold can negatively affect the range of EVs due to the energy spent on regulating temperatures, this study suggests that it may actually be beneficial for the long-term health of battery packs.

Recurrent assigns a “range score” to each battery it tracks, representing the percentage of range retention. The study found that Tesla vehicles in colder and coastal climates typically had a better range score compared to those in hotter climates.

The reason behind this correlation is likened to how heat affects the aging process in humans. Just as exposure to heat can accelerate aging in humans, it can also lead to premature aging of batteries. Heat contributes additional energy to electrochemical reactions in the battery, which in turn can accelerate unwanted chemical reactions that age the battery prematurely. The generally accepted threshold for accelerated battery degradation is around 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit).

This new information could be particularly useful for Tesla owners, as they can consider the benefits of colder climates in terms of preserving the longevity of their EV battery packs. However, it is important to note that colder weather still has a negative impact on the range of electric vehicles, as active thermal management uses energy to regulate temperature.

In conclusion, while colder weather may limit the range of EVs, it appears to have a positive effect on the lifespan of battery packs. This study highlights the importance of understanding the impact of various climate conditions on the long-term health of EVs and offers valuable insights for EV owners.

– Recurrent data from over 12,500 Tesla vehicles in the US