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Winter care tips for electric vehicles

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Cold winter temperatures affect both combustion and electric engines alike, but for EV owners, special care should be taken when driving an alt-fuel vehicle winter. A Chevrolet electric vehicle is a wonderfully-convenient car for those living in cities or suburbs with a short commute, but some may find the charge life is decreased and the car acts differently in the cold.

To maximize range, Plug in America recommends drivers “precondition” their cars before they leave their house in the morning.  What this means is keeping the vehicle plugged in as it warms up in the morning. By doing this, the car will be toasty when you enter and have a full charge to sustain it throughout the day.  Another way to conserve battery life is to use the seat warmers instead of the cabin heater when possible. Seat warmers take much less battery energy then a cabin heater. If you need to heat the entire cabin, try alternating between the two to conserve precious battery power.

Another way to protect the life of your EV battery is to park in a garage overnight and during winter storms. If you park outdoors, try to find a spot in direct sunlight to help warm your battery up a bit. Remember, both hot and cold weather can harm your battery, so do your best to keep it protected!

An emergency kit is always a must-have in your vehicle, but for EV owners, it should also include a heavy-duty 200′ extension cord and portable charger. Don’t forget gloves, a hat, or anything else that could keep you warm in an emergency. 120v outlets are not too difficult to find, both business and residential communities have access to them; with your 200 ft extension cord and portable charger, recharging for a couple hours in the case of an emergency should not be a problem.  As a point of courtesy, always ask before you plug in to a place of business and offer to pay for the electricity you’ve used. An added bonus to carrying your portable charger in your trunk is  you may be able to charge during work hours. Make sure you find an available outlet and ask your place of work first. Visit Freeway Chevy and ask your dealer if you can order a second portable charger if you would rather leave your original at home.

While we all love how quickly our EV’s can accelerate, slow down your driving speed on snow, rain, and ice covered roads. The last thing you would want is to skid off the road into another car. By slowing down (and driving your car in its economy mode) you will also extend your driving range as far as possible. If you aren’t in a rush, take surface streets home verses the highway to get the most out of your car.

Please visit a Chevy dealer in Chandler if you have any more questions on how to optimize the driving of your electric vehicle in the winter months.

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