Over the years, friends and family have tested my love for electric vehicles (EVs) by airing their grievances about range, cost, safety, and charging—common issues I know how to refute. But this question stumped me: “How do EVs do in the cold?”

I started my research on Manitoba Hydro’s website because it calls Winnipeg, Manitoba—one of the Coldest Canadian Cities in Winter—home. And Manitoba Hydro didn’t disappoint. The utility dedicates a section of its Electric Vehicles page to ensuring you know how to use your EV in winter. Cold weather affects EV performance the same as it would gasoline- or diesel-powered vehicles. But if you follow some simple steps, your EV will be ready for the snow—even in Manitoba.

Manitoba Hydro created an engaging video that shares five actions you can take to best operate your EV in winter. The utility advises you to:

  • Keep your vehicle plugged in
  • Preheat your vehicle while plugged in
  • Use seat warmers
  • Park in a heated or insulated place
  • Keep an eye on tire pressure

Manitoba Hydro’s advice for harsh, winter EV driving

Manitoba Hydro offers its customers five tips about getting the most performance out of their electric vehicles in cold weather.

According to the E Source Canadian Residential Customer Insights Survey 2017 and the E Source Residential Customer Insights Center, only 14% of Canadians and fewer than one in five Americans are very familiar with plug-in EVs. Therefore, education is key. Giving customers information about how EVs operate—and specifically, how they operate in a given climate—better serves their interests.

Contributing Authors

Director, Portfolio and New Product Strategy

Luke Currin and his team strive to understand utilities’ needs to improve E Source’s demand-side management, distributed energy...