Emission-free winters – Driving an electric vehicle in Prince George

“Before buying I must have watched a hundred videos of Teslas in winter, specifically rear wheel drive models like the the one we planned to drive. The dual motor version was out of our price range and I was apprehensive to buy this Tesla. After lots of research I felt confident we would be ok and our plan was to use the Tesla as much as possible, every day we could.”

Vito, Prince George, BC

Vito from Prince George switched to an electric vehicle in July 2019. He picked up his Tesla Model 3 SR+, with a rated range of 386km per charge, in Vancouver. He did his homework about driving EVs in cold weather, but was still surprised by the benefits of driving electric in winter.

He invested in new winter tires and waited for the snow to fall, wondering how much his family might have to use their second vehicle (an internal-combustion-engine car). He ended up using the Model 3 every day during the winter of 2019/20 except for 4 days with so much snow fall that cars could not get out of the cul-de-sac, battery powered or not.

Electric Vehicle Winter Perks

Vito’s EV provided some unexpected perks over the course of the winter. The weight of the battery gave the car a surprising amount of traction and the EV went up and down icy, snowy hills with no issues. The traction control and other electronics helped him get around too. What Vito really enjoyed was that when it was cold he could quickly turn on immediate heat remotely from his phone app. There were a couple of -40 C days in Prince George last winter and he used the app to heat his car. In 7 minutes the vehicle interior was at 29 C, so when he opened the door and got in he could immediately drive away in comfort.

On cold days he could go into a store and just keep the heater on, not feeling guilty about burning gas, and come back to the car being warm and clear of snow. “Yes,” he says, “your battery takes a hit when it’s cold but we plug in every night and never worried about running out of electricity.”

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