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Electric car, smartphone: does the battery really discharge faster in cold ?

The battery of a Citroën ë-C3 © Citroën

It is not uncommon to hear about a rapid drop in battery life of your smartphone during the winter months or notice that the range displayed by an electric car decreases more quickly than expected on a freezing day. And for good reason: batteries are elements based on chemical reactions.

The idea is to create an environment that allows ions to move between an anode (the negative pole) and a cathode (the positive pole). It is this movement of ions that generates an electric current. In conventional batteries such as lithium-ion batteries used in smartphones and electric cars, the anode and cathode are immersed in a liquid solution called electrolyte, i.e. allowing this passage of energy. ions.

It is better to put your electric car in a covered garage (and not too cold) in winter

In cold conditions, the ability of batteries to produce chemical reactions decreases. Because the cold slows down the mobility of ions in the battery electrolyte, making the electricity production process less efficient. As a result, the battery must deliver more power to produce the same result, which can make the battery appear to be draining more quickly.

Electric cars, in particular, are equipped with battery management systems (BMS) which aim to maintain the battery in optimal conditions by acting on the temperature. In the cold, this system can use energy to heat the battery and keep it at an ideal operating temperature, which can also contribute to faster capacity depletion.

The good news is that this effect is usually temporary. Once the battery returns to normal temperature, it most often regains all of its previous capacity. However, it is essential to note that exposing a battery – especially car – Exposure to extreme temperatures too often (whether cold or heat) for long periods of time can reduce its long-term lifespan.

In extreme temperatures , putting your car in the garage, in particular, given the cost of replacing a battery, is therefore a good idea. In the same way, not exposing your smartphone to cold or extreme heat for too long can postpone the moment when you will have no other choice but to have its battery replaced.

Du When it comes to cars, this advice is all the more important if yours is a used car that is approaching the end of the period during which its battery capacity is guaranteed – enough to enjoy the same vehicle for longer, and in certain cases even allow you to resell it more easily.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116