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How do Electric Cars handle in the snow?

A common question people have is how EVs handle in the snow. Most people know, or at least have heard the stat that EVs put out 100% of their torque at 1 RPM and above.

So how could an EV not just spin its tires incessantly or spin out if you happen to sneeze while driving and stab the throttle? Oddly, a common misconception is that EVs are not reliable in cold weather, with 64% of people polled believing EVs can’t stand up to Canada’s winter climate.

In actuality, Electric Cars handle exceptionally well and can often handle better than their gas counterparts in the snow. Factors such as the vehicle’s weight, sophisticated control systems, and linear acceleration electric motors allow EVs to handle incredibly well, even in the snow belts of Michigan or Toronto.

First off, EVs are usually pretty heavy. The batteries that power them weigh quite a bit even compared to a regular engine in a car. All that extra weight gives the car extra traction when starting off on snowy or icy roads. Even better, instead of having a lot of weight over just the front wheels ( or back wheels for you 911 fans ) an EV usually has a centrally mounted battery pack mounted near the floor of the car giving it an even weight distribution and an extremely low center of gravity. Both of which contribute greatly to the handling of your car.

What about all that torque? No doubt, even on the more “pedestrian” EVs the torque numbers are usually something most regular cars would envy, but that is where the control systems come in.

Having a motor drivetrain allows for instant response compared to a gasoline engine. The software that controls the drivetrain can take advantage of that and continuously adjust the torque sent to each wheel to always maintain traction.

A great many EV’s also come in All-Wheel Drive variants which adds even more traction. Computers can think faster than we can and the traction and stability programs on these cutting-edge cars had made them significantly safer than cars from even 5-10 years ago.

Then there is that linear acceleration. We’ve all become so accustomed to pushing the gas pedal and compensating for the delay in power, then the surge in power, not to mention the varying torque output along the rev range.

An electric motor suffers from none of that. It ramps up from 0-100 and back again in a smooth and linear motion. No torque peaks, and no delays when you hit the pedal. It is all very predictable. As such, it does not upset the car when making transitions.

I would hazard to say more cars lose control on icy roads due to exaggerated inputs than pretty much any other cause. Some of those are steering too abruptly, hitting the brakes too hard, or hitting the gas too much. Electric cars smooth out most of those issues, though it does take a little bit to get used to.

It won’t stop you from steering into a ditch though, but that’s another article.