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Global Economy

Well cooled or long range?

According to the ADAC Südbaden, the performance of the batteries in electric cars could drop by up to a third if the temperatures rise above 35 degrees. The result is increased use of breakdown helpers. However, this is not a specific problem for e-cars: According to the ADAC, combustion engines also suffer from hot weather, and the batteries often give up the ghost there too.

Electric cars have a completely different problem: range. "At high temperatures, this decreases somewhat," says ADAC company spokesman Andreas Hölzel. This is due to the required cooling. The ADAC Südbaden calculates that energy consumption increases by up to 15 percent due to air conditioning. This significantly reduces the range of electric cars.

Higher error rates at charging stations

The automobile club also has tips on how to avoid breaking down on the route: for example, park in the shade or use the air conditioning moderately. Sören Ziems, co-founder of the elvah app, which helps with the search for charging stations, shares this assessment and adds: "Slow charging and economical driving also help."

However, Ziems does not want the topic of range at high temperatures to be overrated. He puts the possible losses at around four percent, which is hardly relevant for drivers. "The temperatures do not pose a safety risk either, the batteries are never exposed to direct sunlight," says the entrepreneur. Charging doesn't go faster or slower when it's hot either. But there is a difference when it's really hot: "We see an effect that the charging stations sometimes have higher error rates."

Lithium batteries are more sensitive

The Association of the Electrical and Digital Industry (ZVEI) does not want to comment on the subject in general terms. The point at which the performance of the battery in an electric car begins to drop and how severe it is depends on the type. According to the ZVEI, it is also difficult to say exactly at what temperature losses can be expected.

But one thing is certain: "Lithium batteries are generally more sensitive to temperature extremes than lead batteries," says Gunther Kellermann from ZVEI. In the end, it means for every cyclist: Always keep a close eye on the battery indicator and drive as economically as possible.

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