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5 Ways to winterize your EV

Getting your EV ready for winter is crucial to maximize its safety, performance, and longevity. Just like an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle, taking a proactive approach to prepare your vehicle for harsh weather makes all the difference. Although seasonal maintenance is a similar concept, the actual steps to winterize your electric vehicle may differ from an ICE in ways you didn’t expect.

Here are 5 ways to ensure your electric vehicle runs smoothly all through our darker, colder months:

Adjust your charging habits

The way you charge matters. It’s best practice to keep your battery charged between 20 to 80% to prevent over-discharging or overcharging. Try to plan your charging sessions during the warmest parts of the day to boost the battery performance of your EV. In cold weather, charging times may increase. Plan your charging stops for the conditions, allowing longer charging sessions and planning your route to include charging stations with reliable, well-maintained EV charging. Visit our public charging network map to find a charger nearest you.

Pre-condition for the win

Many EVs come equipped with a pre-conditioning feature that allows you to warm the cabin and battery while the car is still plugged in. This feature ensures that your battery starts the journey at an optimal temperature to improve efficiency and range. Not to mention, on the coldest of wintery mornings, you’ll be that much more comfortable getting into your already heated vehicle.

Bundle up your battery

Since EVs rely on electricity to function, as the temperature drops, the efficiency of your battery can be significantly affected. To counter this, park your EV in a garage or heated space whenever possible. This helps maintain the battery’s temperature, improving its efficiency and allowing for better charging sessions.

Traction, traction, traction

All vehicles, regardless of ICE or EV, operate best in the winter with winter tires. Having the right traction under your vehicle is crucial for icy and snowy conditions, significantly improving your vehicle’s safety. Unlike ICE vehicles, EVs have instant torque, or rotation, which makes traction all the more critical. With your winter tires, be sure to check and maintain the recommended tire pressure to ensure the tires perform at their best potential.

Check your vehicle health

As the winter season approaches, it’s a great time to do a standard vehicle checkup. It’s essential to check all of the fluids and lubricants, such as brake fluid and coolant, to ensure they’re at the recommended levels for the vehicle. Just as the cooler temperatures can impact your tire pressure, so too can the lower temperatures affect your fluid performance.

Hit the road

Once you’ve accomplished your first winter maintenance, you’ll have it down for every year to follow. Before you get behind the wheel to drive to work or on that road trip for your winter holiday, follow these steps to have the confidence of a safe EV driver. Drive safe!

Go further

Find bp pulse public charging locations

We’re working to build out fast, reliable chargers in accessible locations across the country. Whether you’re commuting to work or driving coast to coast, we’re developing a national network that’s designed for you.


4 December 2023


Meg Dinga Headshot

Meg Dinga

Senior Director, Marketing Operations and Special Projects
bp pulse Americas