Cold Weather Issues for Electric Vehicles (EVs) in Alaska

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An informal statewide survey distributed by the Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP) at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) in November of 2019 showed there is substantial interest in electric vehicle (EV) adoption in Alaska, though concerns related to cold weather issues remain. To address these concerns, this review of literature and existing information on EVs in Alaska finds that the current generation EVs typically perform well in cold weather, with similar or better handling compared to morphologically similar internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. The most concerning cold weather issues are large range decreases, slower charging times, lower power availability in extreme cold, and the need to keep a vehicle plugged in or in a heated space especially during extended periods with ambient temperatures below about -20°C (-4°F).

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