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PHOTO CAPTION: Nissan LEAF in winter.

The Colder It Gets, the Greater the Savings When Driving an Electric Car

UK's FleetCarma does their analysis of what happens as winter weather plummets temperatures to below freezing.

Published: 28-Jan-2014

It's now a well-known phenomena that as it gets colder outside, the performance of an electric car drops; according to FleetCarma, an average of 29% at 0°F (-18° C), 20 % at 32° F (0° C).

Now, in fairness to EVs, cold temperatures also impact ICE-age automobiles and trucks, as well, but not to the same extent. At 0° F, the fuel efficiency of the gasoline engine drops 19%. Logically, it would seem that the colder it gets the more it'll cost you to drive an electric car compared to its gasoline competitor; but apparently that's not the case.

How can that be?

It all 'freezes' down to cost per mile, as demonstrated by FleetCarma's infograph below. At a moderate 73°F (23°C), it costs 2.6¢ per mile to drive an electric car and 15¢ a mile for a gasoline engine automobile. In other words, the EV driver is saving 12.4¢ per mile over his ICE-age car-driving neighbor. Now watch what happens when a Polar Vortex sweeps in.

The outside temperature plummets to 0°F. The per mile cost rises to 3.8¢ for the EV operator and 18.6¢ for the gas car owner, a difference now of 14.8¢.

In short, the colder it gets, the greater the cost savings for the EV driver over the ICE owner.

FleetCarma infograph

A tip of the cap to Autoblog Green for catching this one.

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