Monday 24 February 2020

Bleak winter outlook for electric vehicles

Operators of battery and fuel cell powered heavy-duty electric vehicles may be disappointed to find that their range is substantially reduced in cold weather.

An American study funded by a National Fuel Cell Bus Program grant found that ambient temperatures between -5 and 0 °C reduced the range of battery buses by as much as 38 per cent and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by up to 23 per cent.

The figures were calculated using data from four fleets operating battery buses and four fleets operating fuel cell buses, and compared their ranges at ambient temperatures of +10 to 15°C to their ranges at -5 to 0°C.

These results may come as no surprise to operators who have experience of electric vehicles in the light-duty segment. For example, the Renault Kangoo Z.E’s ‘real world’ range of 124 miles in summer declines significantly to 75 miles in winter conditions, according to consumer website confused.com’s guide to new electric vans.

Image: DVSA Crown copyright

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