car start button
Car Buying

Do Electric Cars Need to Warm Up Before Startup?

Do electric cars need to warm up? Not necessarily, but we recommend warming up your electric car before driving in extremely cold weather to prolong your driving time. 

Electric vehicles use Lithium-ion batteries that degrade at low temperatures while keeping your car warm, so warming your electric car before driving will preserve its driving range significantly when the ambient temperature plummets to below 20°F.

The good thing about electric vehicles is that they don’t emit gases harmful to the environment, so you can warm them up without the guilt of promoting global warming.

Do Electric Cars Need to Warm Up? Why You Should Warm Up Your EV in Cold Weather

woman checking on, do electric cars need to warm up

Heating a car takes a lot of energy, which reduces the battery life of electric car batteries, especially in cold temperatures. Warming up your car while it’s still plugged in at home will allow you to leave the house on a full battery, enabling you to cover longer distances. It takes less electrical power to maintain the warm temperature after the initial warm-up than starting the process with a frozen car.

Electric cars are usually plugged into a charging point, taking electricity from the grid. This electricity is then stored in rechargeable batteries that power an electric motor. The electric motor then turns the wheels.

You can power your electric vehicle in public charging stations or install one at your home. The distance you can move with your electric car depends on the charge of the car and the model.

The Automotive Research Center in Southern California showed that electric cars cover shorter distances at ambient temperatures of 20°F than they would at 75°F.

A normal gasoline car, for instance, drops its mileage by 12% when the temperature drops that far, hybrid cars see a 34% drop, but electric vehicles show a whopping 57% drop in mileage.

Another study by Geotab shows that when these temperatures get to -4°F, the driving range drops to around half of the manufacturer’s driving range.

How Long Do Electric Cars Take to Charge?

Electric vehicles have three charging speeds: slow, fast, and rapid:


In this charging mode, the vehicle charges overnight at 3kW. This model takes 8-10 hours to charge completely. Such plugs are usually installed in workplaces.


The vehicles usually charge for 3-4 hours in this mode at a 7-22 kW rate.

These plugs are usually installed in car parks, supermarkets, leisure centers, and houses.


Rapid modes are regularly rated at 43kW and are only compatible with the vehicles that charge on a rapid charging capability.

Here, a vehicle takes between 30-60 minutes to charge fully.

Enhancing Your EV’s Battery Performance

We’ve already answered the question “do electric cars need to warm up?” and discussed how cold temperatures can affect your EV’s battery performance. This is what you should do to counter this problem:

Keep the Car Warm

There are several ways to do this. For one, park the car inside if you have a garage, especially during winter. This will work even better if you have a heated garage because your electric vehicle won’t need the extra power to heat up.

You should also keep it plugged in, and these cars come with a smartphone app that can help you precondition your vehicle from anywhere. 

It takes even longer to charge your car when it’s cold, so ensure that you don’t leave your vehicle drained. Keep your battery at a 20% minimum charge so that the vehicle warms your battery.

Go Slow

Speeding up in cold weather will drain your battery faster, and the best way to enhance your battery range is to ease the accelerator. When you speed up, your car’s aerodynamic drag increases, requiring even more power, and you may end up with a dead battery.

You can slow down or go on “Eco Mode” to preserve your car’s performance. Check whether your EV has the regenerative braking feature and adjust it to the max.

Get Heated Car Parts

Instead of heating your car, invest in heated car peripherals, including heated seats and steering wheels, which use up less power. The study by the automotive research center also shows that heated seats use up around 12% of an EV’s driving range, while heaters waste 41% of the driving range.

Electric Cars vs. Fuel Cars

The world is shifting gradually toward electric cars, and knowing the operating and purchase cost of conventional and electric vehicles can help you decide which one works best for you. 

First, consider the cost of fuel and maintenance together with the car’s total purchase price. Electric vehicles are more expensive to acquire than conventional ones.

The operating cost of your electric vehicle depends on your location and the brand of the car. Electric vehicles (EVs) and the standard internal combustion engine models (ICEs) differ in how they are powered. We measure the fuel efficiency of ICEs by miles per gallon.

The price of fuel is dynamic and varies with location. The range of ICEs also varies depending on the car, where most vehicles need to be filled after travelling for 250-300 miles. 

The source of electricity that powers EVs can differ, including burning gas or coal, hydropower, wind, or solar. The standard EV requires about 7.2 kW per hour to charge for 50 kWh fully.

The price of electricity varies across the different utility companies, with some charging more during peak hours. Car manufacturers are joining the electric car craze, which means that we have more of these cars, and soon, there will be more charging stations on your way home. This influx will allow you to travel longer distances without worrying about your car’s battery depleting.

Electric cars are cheaper for maintenance because they don’t require changing transmission fluid, coolant, or engine oil. However, there is a need to take into account expenses such as vehicle insurance, structural repairs, and brake and tire changes that are necessary for both cars. Repair costs on electric vehicles could be higher than on ICEs.

Final Thoughts

All cars lose their edge during cold weather, but these temperatures affect electric vehicles more. Do electric cars need to warm up? Your electric vehicle will need to warm up before startup during winter weather. The best way to go through colder temperatures is to work on preserving your EV’s battery performance, and we have covered the best steps to do so.

Electric cars are an innovation, and it will take some time to get the technology to a place where you don’t need to warm your car. Soon, these cars will be everywhere, mainly because they use electricity instead of gasoline, which is terrible for the environment.