EVs endure Canada’s deep freeze despite infrastructure hurdles

While EVs and ICEs will start on even the coldest of mornings as long as they’re kept warm overnight, EVs are built with a preconditioning feature that warms the battery to ensure it starts up.

EVs can take longer to charge and will travel smaller distances in cold weather, but ICE vehicles also lose efficiency when the temperatures fall. Mark Vejvoda photo via CBC News.

This article was published by The Energy Mix on Jan. 26, 2024.

By Christopher Bonasia

Last week’s cold snap brought North America its lowest temperatures so far this winter, precipitating a flurry of reports about electric vehicle batteries failing in the cold—but EV drivers in some of Canada’s frostiest parts have their own story to tell.

In the Northwest Territories, where winter temperatures go as low as -45°C and stay below -30°C for weeks at a time, conditions can be challenging for EV batteries. And yet, the YK EV Share Co-op has been running successfully in Yellowknife since 2020, and operating year-round, even in bitter cold weather. The co-op started off with a 2016 Chevrolet Spark EV, then added a Chevrolet Bolt in 2022. It cars are used by 40 shareholding lifetime members, and more than 120 drivers are registered.

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