Electric vehicles (EVs) function well in all environments, but in colder weather, they have the double task of bringing both the interior and the battery system to the right temperature. While in other EVs, this can have a detrimental effect on range, Audi EVs are specifically designed with solutions that preserve range and performance. These include:
- - Intelligent Thermal Management
- - Preconditioning
- - Intelligent Battery Management
- - Audi-specific Electrochemical Processes
Here is how Audi ensures that their EVs hold their range during the colder months.
Intelligent Thermal Management
Audi provides outstanding performance and range in its electric vehicles, even in the winter, because it deploys special protective mechanisms to ensure long battery life. Audi's intelligent thermal management selects the most efficient methods to heat both the battery and the interior appropriately in the winter.
Thermal management is responsible for distributing the heat flows between the interior, the high-voltage battery, and the drive system. The heat pump system present in Audi EVs converts energy from the powertrain or the surrounding air. This use of the surrounding air as an energy source is relatively unique to Audi, as it is then made available for the battery or for the interior.
Preconditioning works alongside the intelligent thermal management system to distribute the heat flows where it is needed most. Just like you might start a gas-powered vehicle and let it run for a few minutes to warm it up before driving, preconditioning preps Audi EVs for driving.
Preconditioning not only heats up the vehicle, it also has a positive effect on the battery, its range, and its lifespan. Preconditioning charges the battery to a preset level and a favorable temperature as close to your chosen departure time as possible. By heating the battery, the loss of range is significantly reduced.
A great thing about Audi is that it is possible to remotely precondition your vehicle through the myAudi app, setting your precise time of departure from the comfort of your home.
Cold Weather Charging
Cold weather decreases EV range, and it also causes longer charging times. For this reason, Audi EVs feature an intelligent battery management system (BMS) that communicates with the charging point or wall box to optimize power for the gentlest possible AC charging. It does this by monitoring the voltages in the individual cells and balancing them as needed. The BMS also monitors the battery temperature. If it falls below a certain limit, the system automatically reduces charging to prioritize the battery and have a positive effect on its lifespan.
Here are some other tips to consider when charging your Audi EV in colder weather:
- - Use the preconditioning feature. You can warm your vehicle while it is still plugged into the charging outlet, saving your range and enabling safer charging.
- - Charge as soon as possible after driving. A warm battery charges more gently and quickly.
Cold Weather Range
The performance of high-voltage batteries, like the ones present in Audi EVs, are fundamentally dependent on the charge level and temperature. When it is colder, the battery provides less power. When there is less battery power, the driving range is decreased.
To combat this issue, Audi considered the electrochemical processes that lead to the decrease of the battery's usable capacity. Audi created a battery that protects itself by releasing less amperage at a lower temperature, which allows it to retain its maximum range. In addition, the battery is designed to absorb the waste heat from its liquid-cooled high-voltage components to remain warm with less power output.
Driving an Electric Audi in Winter
Audi knows that its EVs do not just live in warm weather climates. They are popular across the world, and the automaker has taken the steps necessary to protect its EVs and create systems and components that eliminate the cold weather driving range loss.
In addition to taking advantage of Audi's remote preconditioning system via the myAudi app, you can also take a few other steps to ensure a smooth journey in your Audi EV during the winter:
- - House your Audi EV in a garage to combat how cold the car and battery get
- - Use Audi’s remote preconditioning system via the myAudi app
- - Plan journeys in advance, knowing where to charge your vehicle
- - Ensure optimal range by charging a warm engine
- - Do not reduce your EV’s range too low, in case winter weather conditions worsen and your journey time is significantly increased
Built With Winter in Mind
Audi EVs are built with the winter, and its colder temperatures, in mind. While the switch from warm to cold air might affect some EVs, your Audi EV is going to perform just as well as ever. With its intelligent thermal management, battery management system, preconditioning ability, and more, you will be warm and toasty while enjoying the maximum range that your Audi EV has to offer.