Does cold weather affect electric car performance?
Why the Porsche Taycan is an ideal vehicle for driving in winter
Two black Porsche Taycan cars in snow
Winter driving can be a challenge – but is it more so in an electric vehicle? We debunk common myths about driving EVs in winter and show you how to get the most out of your car
In February 2024, the first ever F.A.T. Ice Race to be held outside of its spiritual home of Zell am See in Austria took place in the USA across an action-packed weekend in Aspen, Colorado. Fans had a blast watching high-powered cars tearing up the icy conditions – and right in the thick of the action was the Porsche Taycan. Contrary to what some believe, electric vehicles like the Taycan are more than capable in winter conditions. It’s time to debunk some of the myths surrounding EVs when it comes to winter driving and offer some practical advice on how to keep an EV running smoothly in sub-zero temperatures.Why vehicles, including EVs, perform differently in winterIf you’ve made the switch to an electric vehicle like the Porsche Taycan, you’ll already be aware of the convenience, comfort and performance benefits that they offer. However, as winter sets in, you may have noticed that your EV doesn’t quite take you as far on a single charge. This is a common experience, driven by several factors that specifically affect range in the colder months.The electrical power of any battery decreases in cold temperatures. But when it comes to the Taycan, its battery set-up means that it maintains very high power reserves even in the coldest conditions. However, what will always affect the performance of any car in winter is the increased aerodynamic drag of sub-zero temperatures because cold air has a higher density.
Porsche Taycan 4S on snowy road in forest
There are a number of factors at play when it comes to winter driving range in an EV – heating the car is an especially significant one
One of the biggest effects on EV range and performance in winter is using the heater. It’s only natural to crank up your car’s heater when it is chilly outside. But unlike cars with combustion engines – which use ‘waste’ heat from the engine to warm the cabin – an EV like the Porsche Taycan or new Porsche Macan has to rely directly on battery power for heating, which can affect the range. It will feel more noticeable on short-range trips simply because the percentage of any energy used to heat the car rather than power the drive is higher than on longer trips.Fortunately, a heat pump is optionally available for the Taycan. This uses the waste heat from the car’s powertrain to heat its interior in an efficient fashion. When outside temperatures are below 20 degrees Celsius and with the air conditioning activated, it helps save energy and has a positive effect on vehicle range. And all Porsche electric vehicles are designed with winter driving in mind and tested in extreme conditions to ensure that the battery performance in winter remains optimal.Why Porsche electric vehicles are perfect for winter drivingTo prepare for harsh driving conditions, the testing programme of Porsche electric vehicles take place in some of the most difficult conditions imaginable to ensure that the car is truly winter ready. The 2024 Taycan, for example, underwent 3.6 million kilometres of rigorous testing – including 300,000 kilometres in sub-zero temperatures. But what exactly makes Porsche EVs like the Taycan great to drive in winter?
Porsche Taycan 4S Cross Turismo on winter road in mountains
Every Porsche model, like the Taycan, has undergone a rigorous testing regime – including in harsh wintry conditions
For one, Porsche places great emphasis on the sound of the car in wintry conditions and how it can aid the driver. Here, the innovative Porsche Electric Sport Sound system for the Taycan plays a key role by helping a driver understand how the car interacts with the road to make driving on ice and snow more intuitive. Additionally, the two independently controllable motors on the axles in the Taycan help manage torque and make driving in icy conditions more efficient. They can even allow a driver to drive at extreme drift angles because torque can be applied to the front axle whenever required without having the rear axle spin at the same time. The immediate and instantaneous response you get from the electric motors on the Taycan means that its entire powertrain can be controlled even more precisely than that of a comparable combustion engine car – a real asset for winter driving conditions.How to improve electric vehicle range in winterNow that you’ve learned all about the Taycan car’s helpful driving features, let’s look at what you can do as a driver to mitigate the risks on an icy road.
Porsche Taycan drifting in the snow, forest in background
The significant amounts of torque available across the Taycan range helps ensure confident winter driving and impressive performance
1 Preheat the batteryWarming up the battery of an EV while it’s still connected to the charger can significantly improve performance, making chilly morning starts much more bearable and efficient. This process is called pre-conditioning and it only takes about 20 minutes in the Taycan.2 Inflate the tyresTyre pressure drops as the temperature decreases, so don’t be surprised if your low-pressure warning light comes on more often in the winter. Keeping your tyres properly inflated can improve your vehicle’s range, ensuring both safety and efficiency are optimised.3 Fit winter tyresFitting winter tyres on your Taycan will help reduce slippage and maximise grip. As a result, this helps reduce the amount of power needed to drive the axles. 4 Plan your charging stops in advanceThe impact on the range of an EV in winter means that it’s helpful to plan your route with access to charging stations in mind in order to help counter range anxiety and ensure that you’re never too far from a top-up.5 Be smart about heating your EVKeeping the cabin at a moderate temperature and opting for heated seats and steering wheels rather than using the heater can save battery power and help improve range in winter driving conditions.6 Reduce your vehicle speedReducing your speed, especially on motorways, can significantly increase the range of an EV. Slowing down by as little as 30km/h can improve your efficiency by up to 20 per cent, depending on your initial speed.If you incorporate these tips and tricks into your routine you can help improve your winter driving experience in an EV as well as ensure that you stay safe on the road.
Consumption and emission information Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo (WLTP): Electric energy consumption combined: 22,0 - 19,1 kWh/100 km; CO₂ emissions combined: 0 g/km; CO₂ class: A.
Continue reading
New Porsche 911 Targa 4 GTS (992.2) on twisty road
13 things you need to know about the new Porsche 911 (992.2) Discover how the new 911 – the 992.2 – draws on unparalleled Porsche sportscar innovation and technology to raise the standards of performance, design and personalisation to even greater heights Read more
Porsche Taycan Turbo GT Purple Sky Metallic static on racetrack
Everything you need to know about the new Porsche Taycan Turbo GT With astonishing performance, incredible dynamics and head-turning looks, the record-breaking Taycan Turbo GT is the fastest all-electric production car that Porsche has ever built Read more
Three Taycan cars with owners in a variety of landscapes
8 things you need to know about living with a Porsche Taycan From a smooth driving experience to easy charging to performance, three Taycan owners explain what they love most about their cars Read more