Impact of AC on EV Range and Battery Drain

Impact of AC on EV Range and Battery Drain

24 8 月, 2023

The debates on electric cars versus their combustion engine counterparts are a talk of the past; a new frontier has emerged: the battle of the breeze. That’s right, we see more discussions on the impact of air conditioning (AC) on electric vehicles (EV), whether it’s a reasonable must-have or just an optional feature. Let’s explore experts’ opinions and other features to weigh out a clear winner.

Within this article, we will discuss the power for improved efficiency in current and future EV models. By identifying the energy output of an EV while using AC, we will gain a better understanding of how an air conditioner impacts the range and battery life of an EV. 

Not just that, you will also get to know some optimizing strategies for reducing the consumption of an EV battery caused by using AC. So, what are you waiting for EV drivers? Are you ready to maximize your car’s efficiency and help the environment with Piwinev Charging?

Piwinev Charging

The importance of  electric vehicle range and weather

Talking about electric vehicle range and weather, it’s crucial to realize why it’s essential in the first place. For proper functioning, electric vehicle batteries work similarly to humans in that they, too, operate best in the same hot-cold range. Low temperature slows down the chemical reactions in battery cells, impacting the vehicle’s performance and increasing range charging times. While high temperature also decreases the charging speed.

It’s best to keep temperatures between 40-110 degrees F for the best operation of electric vehicle batteries. Going outside this range can cause decreased performance, including issues with driving range, battery life, and wait times for a full charge. To counteract this problem, many electric vehicles come with built-in heating and cooling systems to maintain the recommended temperature range.

What are the pros and cons of AC in Electric Car

Pros of AC in Electric Car

A traditional combustion engine in most gas-powered cars can create unwanted heat while running. Electric vehicles, however, do not generate such heat. Additionally, electric motors have larger batteries than traditional combustion-engine ones, allowing their air conditioning to run for more prolonged periods without reducing the range of the vehicle that much. 

Plus, with their zero emissions, using your AC in an electric car means you are helping the environment. AC brings comfort and a better driving experience – especially during hot climates – and can also aid your vehicle’s performance while lessening noise inside the cabin.

Cons of AC in Electric Car

Electric vehicles do not create pollution themselves, but the electricity necessary to power them may come from sources that harm the environment. Furthermore, the use of cooling or heating features in hot and cold climates, respectively, can add more energy consumption and likely increase costs while reducing the car range by 10-15%. Further, setting up AC outputs could substantially increase the price of the vehicle by requiring extra equipment and labor. Finally, the AC unit (not in all EVs) might not be as effective as the one in standard cars.

Factors Affecting Your EV Range: Boost Your Vehicle’s Performance

When the thermometer rises, so does the power consumed by your electric vehicle’s air-conditioning system. The battery drained by running the AC is a significant factor in reducing your EV’s range. Here are a few tips to help you maximize your range, even when the temperature is sweltering:

1. Battery Capacity

An EV with a battery that isn’t at its maximum capacity affects the energy available to power the AC. If your EV is already low on charge, having the AC on for more than a few minutes can significantly reduce the remaining range. Therefore, it is best to use it for shorter lengths of time when the battery is not charged up.

2. Temperature

The outdoor temperature can have a significant effect on energy utilization. When it’s summer, and the air conditioner is required to work harder to chill the inside of your EV, it uses up more electricity and decreases your range.

3. Driving Conditions

Are you someone who drives in a rush? Doing so with more velocity, quicker acceleration, and deceleration will consume battery power. Not to mention if you have the air conditioning on, the battery will deplete even faster. At times, it can be a challenge to maintain your automobile’s miles while running the AC.

4. AC Settings

How you regulate your air conditioner determines the distance your EV can travel. If you set the AC to a colder temperature or use the “max” option, your electric vehicle will expend more power than set at a warmer temperature or using the “eco” setting.

Optimizing EV Performance: Maximizing Range and Acceleration

Want to take a long road trip with your family this summer without worrying about running out of juice in your electric engine? Don’t fret! We have some great tips to make sure your EV will keep running for as long as you do. Follow these simple habits, and your electric vehicle range will be optimal in no time. Some precautions need to be considered for better optimization and range. Let’s get going:

1. Regular Car Maintenance 

Regular Maintenance can help you keep a smooth and efficient vehicle. For example, checking filters, oiling all parts of the cars so they can function smoothly, and ensuring they are up to date.

2. Use of windows

Consider rolling down the windows on cool days rather than using an air-conditioner.

3. Battery Care

Make sure your battery is functioning correctly, taking care of it. By charging the battery regularly, you can keep your car’s performance at its peak level all the time.

4. Modifying The Cooling System

Adding up some cooling systems can also work. It would be a bit expensive, but it will help reduce air conditioner use.

5. Speed Limit 

Driving steadily will help reduce battery consumption, especially on long drives.

6. Tire Pressures

Lastly, regularly checking whether the tire is inflated is also essential, as it provides stability and better fuel efficiency.

7. Plan Your Route

Take the time to correctly map out your journey in an EV before setting out. It prevents any worries about finding yourself short on charge when you’re far from home – and it helps to ensure your trip goes as smoothly as possible. Worried about recharging on your journey? Mark Piwinev Charging station along the way to ensure you always have your EV charged.

8. Pre-Cool Your Car

Before you get into your EV, see if it can be pre-cooled. Thus, it cuts down on the amount of time you’ll need to enjoy the AC on the move, which can keep your range to a maximum. Rather than activating the cooling whilst traveling, pre-cooling will take you less energy and time.

9. Use Eco Mode

Many electric vehicles come with an ECO setting! It’s the best way to reduce the energy needed to cool your car’s interior. That way, you can maximize your electric vehicle’s efficiency and performance. 

10. Park Under the Shade

If you park your EV under a shade, it will save you time as the interior of the car will cool down quickly. In addition, it will help the car’s battery last longer since it does not have to expend energy on cooling down the interior again.

11. Regenerative Braking

Regenerative braking is an advantageous feature of an EV that helps make the most of the energy used. It can help maintain better range by utilizing some of the energy that would usually be lost during braking. Further, it offsets the energy used by the car’s air conditioning system.


The proliferation of electric vehicles (EVs) has heightened our focus on their efficiency and performance, especially when considering the impact of onboard air conditioning systems. Clearly, while air conditioning does play a role in impacting the range of an EV, it shouldn’t deter us from its use. By understanding battery operations, driving habits, and vehicle maintenance, we can maximize our EV range while still enjoying the comfort of a cooled or heated interior.

To fully harness the performance and efficiency of an EV, adopting the right strategies and habits is essential. This ranges from regular maintenance, and proper battery management, to simple practices like parking in shaded areas or pre-cooling the vehicle. Added to this is the consideration of charging.

The convenience of home charging allows EV owners to pre-condition their vehicles while still plugged in, which can offset the battery drain of air conditioning. On the other hand, the increasing availability and convenience of public charging stations like Piwinev Charging ensure that even on longer journeys, EV drivers can maintain their range and enjoy a comfortable drive.

In essence, the use of air conditioning in EVs shouldn’t be the decisive factor in our embrace or rejection of electric mobility. With the right measures in place and the combined benefits of home and public charging, we can enjoy all the environmental and economic benefits of EVs while staying comfortable on the road.

Related reading: The Benefits of Partnering with Piwinev Charging for Businesses and Fleet Owners