Tips for Using Electric Cars in Hot Weather

A guide providing advice on driving your electric car in hot weather and tips for dealing with heat to improve efficiency and prolong battery health.

Last updated: Apr 25, 2024 4 min read


EVs are perfectly safe to use in hot weather conditions during UK summers. They’re most efficient when driving at around 20°C and 25°C.

The relationship between electric cars and heat

Weather conditions in the UK are fairly mild most of the year. It’s rarely extremely cold or severely hot for extended periods of time. However, heatwaves have become a more common occurrence in recent years, meaning you need to be aware of a few considerations when it comes to electric cars and heat.

If you’re taking your EV abroad to somewhere like the south of France or Spain, where you’ll be driving long distances, it’s important to understand how to get the most out of your electric car in hot weather.

Your electric car battery and hot weather

A common concern among EV drivers is the effect of extreme heat on the lithium-ion battery. Electric cars are less efficient in hot weather because the high temperature reduces the power output, which translates into a lower-than-usual range.

When your EV battery overheats in hot weather, it’s more difficult for it to cool down than it would be for a combustion engine. Again, this contributes to a reduced range and can compromise battery health in the long term if not managed correctly.

You may also notice that it takes longer for your electric car to charge in hot weather. That’s for the same reason as described above. Heat slows down the battery process, whether you’re discharging or storing energy.

What temperature is best for my EV?

The optimal ambient temperature for your EV sits at around 20°C to 25°C. In this range, electric cars are most efficient and will give you peak battery performance, resulting in a longer range and shorter charging times. This makes them no different from combustion engine cars, which also achieve better results in certain temperature ranges.

How to avoid EV issues in hot weather

Here are a few easy-to-follow tips that will help you avoid issues with your EV in hot weather:

  • Pre-condition before driving

  • Reduce air conditioning use

  • Minimise on-board entertainment

  • Use eco mode

  • Park in the shade

  • Check tyre pressure

Pre-conditioning is often associated with cold weather, but it’s just as important in hot weather. Keep your EV plugged into your home charger and set it to bring the battery and cabin temperature down to a more optimal range. It’ll extend your range and cool the cabin without losing charge.

Once you start driving, turn your air conditioning down. You may prefer a cold cabin on hot summer days, but using the air conditioning excessively will eat into your range. Similar to air conditioning, any additional parts or devices in use like the infotainment system will reduce range.

Consider using eco mode to limit the power available to the electric motor. It adjusts performance to conserve battery power, like reducing acceleration levels. In return, you’ll enjoy an extended range.

When parking your EV, pick a shaded spot to keep your EV and battery cooler without using pre-conditioning. It’s a free way to manage hot weather!

Finally, check your tyre pressure. Underinflated tyres can increase inefficiency, and bringing them up to the recommended PSI will improve your range.

Is the summer heat dangerous for my charger?

Heat on a normal summer’s day poses no risk to your EV charger. The Pod Point Solo 3 is made to withstand a wide range of weather conditions, including UK summers and occasional heatwaves. It’s safe to operate in temperatures of up to 50°C. Simply put, a bit of sunshine won’t stop you from charging your electric car even on a hot summer’s day.