Five tips for charging in cold temperatures

While in some parts of Europe, spring is already on its way, temperatures below 0 degree Celsius are still common in Scandinavia. IONITY’s pan-European network can handle it all: temperatures ranging from -30 degrees Celsius to plus 30 degrees Celsius and beyond.

With the ski season in full swing, many of you may wonder if electric vehicles require additional preparation at colder temperatures.

First and foremost: there is nothing specific to consider when charging at IONITY in cold temperatures. However, due to the effects of the cold on the electric vehicle's battery, some tips may be useful for an optimized charging experience and maximum charging speed.

Jacob Kamhuber, Head of Charging Technology at IONITY, shared his expertise along with his top five tips for charging in cold temperatures. 

Are there things to keep in mind when charging during cold weather?

The battery operates best at a certain temperature. 20 - 30° C is ideal for the chemical processes inside the battery -depending on the vehicle. To put it simply: the cold reduces the reactivity of your batteries potentially slowing down the charging speed.

However, our IONITY High-power chargers still deliver the same power as usual. But to prevent battery damage from high voltage, your car’s intelligent electronics automatically slow down the charging performance. Be prepared for longer charging times than usual. The good news is, there are quite a few tricks to speed up charging while still going easy on your batteries:

Jacob Kamhuber, Head of Charging Technology
  1. Keep Your EV Warm, Even When Not Driving
    To keep your electric vehicle's battery performing well in the cold, try to protect it from low temperatures. If possible, park your car in a garage instead of outside. Also, pre-heat your vehicle, a few minutes before you start your journey. This simple practice helps ensure a more efficient and dependable driving experience in colder weather.
  2.  Warm up your battery by driving
    High-power charging is most effective when your batteries are between 20° - 30° Celsius. During winter, a simple way to warm up your battery is by driving! Begin your journey with a full battery and allow your electric vehicle a few hours on the road to reach the optimal temperature before making the first charging stop. This ensures that High-power charging works at its best, providing a smoother and more efficient charging experience.
  3. Leverage your car's smart features
    A lot of electric vehicles come with a handy feature called automatic preconditioning. This feature warms up the battery before you reach planned charging stops, making sure it's at the perfect temperature when you arrive at the charging station. If your car has this feature, it's a smart move to use it whenever you can.
  4.  Optimize energy use
    During the initial 10 minutes of charging, conserve energy by turning off your car's air conditioning and heating. If your vehicle has the option, use seat or steering wheel heating instead. This ensures that more electricity is directed toward warming up and charging your batteries efficiently.
  5. Save time with an extra stop
    To optimize your charging, aim for a state of charge between 20% and 80% for your lithium battery. Making an extra stop to recharge when your battery has less power remaining allows for faster charging. It's more time-efficient than attempting to charge to 100% in one session. Take advantage of this opportunity to grab a coffee, enjoy the view, and still reach your destination on time.

For more useful tips, check out the IONITY Winter Travel Guide.