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The AA claims EVs show 'no evidence' of struggling in colder conditions

By Mathilda Bartholomew | February 14, 2024

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"There is no evidence that the UK’s colder weather means EVs struggle, even if range is slightly reduced."

The AA claims EVs show 'no evidence' of struggling in colder conditions

The AA has contested claims that electric vehicles struggle in cold weather as the volume of callouts for battery failures diminishes during the winter months.

In January, the organisation reported that only two percent of all callouts were due to batteries running out of power, marking the lowest level since September 2023.

AA President Edmund King clarified that electric car batteries faced more challenges in the US, with very few encountering issues in the UK.

He stated, "There is no evidence that the UK’s colder weather means EVs struggle, even if range is slightly reduced. Of course, EVs, like all types of vehicles, are not as efficient in the extreme cold, but our data showed they worked well in January in the UK. Drivers accept that range will be diminished, particularly if the cold means that drivers are using in-car heating and blowers."

Addressing ways to prevent EVs from facing difficulties, King suggested that drivers should adapt to colder conditions by pre-heating and de-icing vehicles remotely before leaving home.

He emphasised the importance of encouraging drivers to transition to electric motoring through purchase incentives, enhanced charging infrastructure, and "accurate information rather than myths."

King added, "It is not surprising that some drivers are hesitant to switch, as the combustion engine has been with us for well over 100 years. Once drivers have made the switch, they will not look back."

The proportion of EV callouts for batteries with limited or no charge was around eight percent in 2015, dropping to four percent in 2021, and two percent last year.

King anticipates a further decrease in callouts for EV battery faults to one percent, bringing it in line with petrol and diesel car breakdowns due to running out of fuel.

As the UK moves towards an EV-centric society, discounts on new electric vehicles have surged by 204 percent since last January, with car manufacturers working to boost sales. Research by What Car? discovered discounts worth £3,149 on new EVs and combined cash and finance discounts for EVs worth £4,603.

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