How to Take an Electric Car Road Trip in Winter

Electric vehicles (EVs) are revolutionizing the way we travel, but when it comes to winter road trips, they present unique challenges. Concerns about reduced range and charging issues in cold weather can be daunting, but with proper planning and preparation, a winter EV road trip can be just as enjoyable as any other journey. Here are some essential tips to ensure your electric car adventure is comfortable, safe, and memorable.

Quick Tips for Winter EV Road Trips

  • Plan for more frequent charging: Cold temperatures reduce battery range.
  • Have a backup plan: Be prepared for malfunctioning chargers and changing weather.
  • Drive efficiently: Maximize range by adopting a conservative driving style.

Detailed Guide

1. Know Your EV

Understanding your electric car’s capabilities and limitations is crucial. Familiarize yourself with the vehicle’s range and how accurately it estimates remaining battery life. For instance, the Volvo C40 Recharge and XC40 Recharge from the 2024 lineup offer an estimated range of around 290 miles, with highly accurate battery level predictions.

2. Plan the Charging Route

In winter, EVs may retain about 70% of their range in freezing conditions. Route planning should include more frequent charging stops. Utilize apps like PlugShare, ChargeHub, and Google Maps for updated information on charging stations.

3. Have a Backup Plan

With the growing popularity of EVs, charger availability can be an issue. Always have an alternative charging plan. Keep an eye on the weather forecasts and be ready to adjust your route accordingly.

4. Expect Slower Charging

Charging times can increase in cold weather. Factor in extra time for charging stops and choose locations near amenities to make the most of your waiting time. For example, a partnership between Volvo and Starbucks offers charging options at Starbucks locations along scenic routes.

5. Vehicle Preparation

Before embarking on your journey, prepare your EV for winter conditions:

  • Check tire pressure and tread.
  • Top off windshield washer fluid and inspect wiper blades.
  • Pack an ice scraper, snow brush, winter tires or chains, warm clothing, blankets, a portable charging cable, flashlight, and basic tools.

6. Drive Efficiently

Adopting efficient driving habits is vital in winter to conserve battery power:

  • Accelerate gently and utilize regenerative braking.
  • Use “Eco” mode.
  • Avoid high speeds and use cruise control when appropriate.
  • Limit the use of climate control, opting for seat heaters instead.

7. Enjoy the Ride

Embrace the unique aspects of a winter EV road trip. Longer and more frequent stops can be an opportunity to explore new places and take breaks that you might not otherwise have on a conventional road trip.


A winter road trip in an electric car can be a delightful experience with the right preparation and mindset. It requires a bit more planning than a trip in a gas-powered vehicle, primarily due to charging considerations. However, this can lead to discovering new places and enjoying the journey at a more relaxed pace. With these tips in hand, your winter EV adventure awaits!

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