Consumer Reports conducted seasonal testing over the past year to determine how much ambient temperature changes affects electric vehicle range. The testing used several popular all-wheel drive electric vehicles including the Ford Mustang Mach-e extended range, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Tesla Model Y Long Range, and the Volkswagen ID.4 Pro S.
The team found that temperatures do have an impact on EV range. The Tesla, however, showed higher than real world range estimates no matter the weather. Which coincides with reports from other review and investigative outlets of Tesla routinely overestimating range.
Each vehicle in the Consumer Reports test was tested in the same way and by the same drivers. The vehicles were driven in a caravan on three different days (frigid, mild, and warm). Cold weather, the team found, saps batteries by an average of 25 percent of estimated total range when cruising at 70 mph when compared to the mild weather conditions drive. Short trips in the cold with frequent stops requiring a need to reheat the cabin can sap an EV’s range by 50 percent.
Mild weather at 60F was assumed to be the best long-range conditions, but Consumer Reports testing actually found that 80F temps were most conducive to longer range.
The report from Consumer Reports was a preliminary report after a year of testing. The testing is ongoing as a regular part of the magazine’s EV test cycles.
Aaron is an automotive journalist living in Wyoming, USA. His background includes technology, mechanics, commercial vehicles, and new vehicle evaluations. Aaron is a member of several automotive media groups and writes for many well-known publications.