Commercial Battery Electric Fleets Must Address Impact of Temperature Extremes on Range

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2Q 2019 | IN-5452


Range and the Environment


Early production of fully electric commercial vehicles for last mile deliveries, municipal transportation, ports, and refuse has rarely addressed how range and longevity could be adversely impacted by extreme weather conditions. Temperatures, especially those below 40°F or above 115°F, will have a material impact on range. Tesla consumer adoption provides an initial proxy with decreased range of up to 30% in extreme cold temperatures. These challenges are hardly limited to Tesla or battery supplier Panasonic. The American Automobile Association (AAA) recently released a study finding that a battery electric vehicle (BEV)’s range can be impacted by over 40% if an interior heater is utilized. The study included BMW, Nissan, Chevy, Volkswagen, and Tesla. Hot weather and the use of air conditioning reduced range between 4% to 17%. The underlying issues are the vehicle’s lithium-ion battery temperature sensitivity and the need to leverage the battery to power the climate control.

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