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It’s cold, and I’m stuck in traffic in my electric car. Should I be worried?

It’s cold, and I’m stuck in traffic in my electric car. Should I be worried?

It happens, traffic is a daily nuisance and it’s not going away anytime soon. More times than not, it’s going to be either cold or hot outside while we are stuck in the afternoon rush. That means we need the car’s climate control, or HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) system to get comfortable.


But how much does that affect your range? Will turning on the heat or A/C drain your main battery as you patiently wait to get home?


In a nutshell: yes.  Using your EV’s heater or air conditioner will consume some of the energy stored in your battery - there’s no such thing as a free lunch!  But the good news is that although it takes energy to run the HVAC, it’s likely not as much as you’d think. 


But don’t take our word for it!  This video shows just how much energy is used and the difference between starting at operating temperature, and when the vehicle is just taking off.


Feel free to watch the whole thing, or skip right to the end for the results!

If you don’t want to watch the full video, we’ll sum it up for you.


Even at the highest draw, you can confidently be stuck in traffic for over 12 hours! (Remember in winter 2022 when all the bridges in the Lower Mainland were closed due to snow and ice?  You’d be fine in your EV!)


Disclaimer - The vehicle used in this test is a Tesla. However, the Tesla and the Mach-E operate at almost identical energy levels when driving at slow speeds. All information posted in this video is the opinion and thoughts of the uploader and not affiliated with Key West Ford.

Categories: Mustang Mach-E, EVs, F-150 Lightning