The Dangers of EVs in the Summer and How to Beat the Heat

Business Insights

Electric vehicles (EVs) have transformed our roads. These silent, sleek machines represent the future of driving. But summer poses unique challenges for EV owners. The heat can turn your smooth ride into a steamy mess. Worse still, run out of charge and you might end up with a fine. Let’s break it down with advice from Dominic Watt, the Motoring Expert at First Vehicle Leasing.

Feeling the Heat

Imagine cruising under the bright sun with the windows down, wind in your hair. It sounds idyllic, right? But high temperatures can wreak havoc on EVs. Your EV’s battery is sensitive to heat. When it gets too hot, the battery must work harder to cool down, which drains more power.

During a heatwave, it's not uncommon to see a decreased range. Think of it like running a marathon in the blazing sun; you tire out quicker.

Dominic Watt explains,

“EVs consume more energy to manage internal temperatures, reducing their overall efficiency.”

Preparing for the Heatwave

Prepping your EV for summer is like packing for a beach day. You wouldn’t forget sunscreen, so don’t neglect your EV’s needs. Here’s how to protect your vehicle:

Park Smart: 

Always aim for shady spots. If you park in direct sunlight, your EV is in for a sauna session. Shade keeps the cabin cooler and reduces the strain on your battery.

Pre-cool Your Car: 

Use your EV’s app to cool it before you even step inside. This uses grid power instead of draining your battery’s charge.

Check Tire Pressure: 

Hotter air expands, meaning your tires could be overinflated. Check them periodically to avoid blowouts.

Monitor Battery Health: 

Regularly check your battery’s health through your EV’s app or dashboard. High temperatures can accelerate wear and tear.

Dealing with Charger Anxiety

Running out of charge on a hot day isn’t just inconvenient – it can lead to fines of up to £5000, especially if you block charging spots. In the UK, this is a growing issue.

Dominic Watt provides this practical advice,

“Always plan your route. Know where the charging stations are. And if in doubt, top it up. Better safe than sorry.”

Range anxiety amplifies in the heat. Imagine you’re low on charge, searching for a station, and stuck in a traffic jam. The dread is real.

Watt stresses,

“It’s crucial to have a back-up plan. Carry a portable charger if possible. And use rapid chargers to minimise downtime.”

Emergency! Running Out of Charge

Picture this: 

you're miles from home, the battery meter's blinking, and the sun's frying you like a fish. The nightmare scenario. But even then, there are steps you can take:

Switch Off Accessories: 

Turn off the air conditioning, radio, and any non-essential accessories. Every watt counts.

Slow Down: 

Drive at a steady pace. Sudden accelerations or high speeds consume more energy.

Seek Help: 

Many breakdown services now offer emergency EV charging vans. Keep their contact handy.

Remember, blocking a charging spot without actively recharging can lead to fines. Treat charging spots as short stays, not long parks.

Battery Basics: Keeping Cool

Your EV’s battery loves cooler climates. But Dominic Watt highlights,

“While you can't control the weather, you can control how you treat your battery.”

Here’s how to keep it cool:
Avoid Full Charges: 

Only charge up to 80% unless you need the full range. This prevents overheating.

Use Scheduled Charging: 

Charge during cooler times, like early morning or late evening.

Regular Maintenance Checks: 

Schedule regular maintenance to ensure your battery’s cooling system is in top shape.

Dominic Watt - A motoring expert from First Vehicle Leasing says: 

"Embrace the summer with your EV, but be mindful of the heat. Smart parking, pre-cooling, and regular checks can save you from headaches. And always, always plan your routes."