Experts answer: Do electric cars consume batteries when in traffic jams?

Experts answer: Do electric cars consume batteries when in traffic jams?  - Photo 1.

Traffic jams in electric cars or gas cars are more worrying? – Illustration: MINH TUAN

The feeling of not having enough battery to complete the journey is a common concern of many people who have been intending to buy an electric car. One of the biggest concerns: Is it worth worrying if you’re stuck in traffic with an under-charged battery?

Strolling through electric vehicle groups will likely come across complaints about the battery draining quickly in traffic jams:

Experts answer: Do electric cars consume batteries when in traffic jams?  - Photo 2.

That is also the question of many electric car users around the world. Many people have shared statuses expressing concern:

Experts answer: Do electric cars consume batteries when in traffic jams?  - Photo 3.

Page Which? of the UK tried to use the Volkswagen ID.4 electric car placed in a hypothetical situation of traffic jams, and found that: Even when operating the air conditioner, turning on the seat heating, the headlights are in automatic mode, playing live music. streaming and playing video in the back seat for 1 hour and 15 minutes, the battery also only consumes 2%, equivalent to a distance of 13km. If you get stuck in traffic with the ID.4’s fully charged 77 kWh battery pack, it will take up to 50 hours to fully drain.

Lisa Barber, editor of Which?said: “There is a lot of misinformation about EVs, including whether there is a chance the battery will run out in traffic jams. However, our research shows that EVs consume very little energy. energy, even when we turn on the music, the air conditioner and the headlights in traffic jams.”

However, Which? also note that the above test took place in warm weather, the weather conditions for the battery to be in the best working condition.

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Before starting the test – Photo: Which?

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After the test period, the battery only dropped 2%. Tests with Volkswagen ID.4 show that electric cars consume very little energy when slowing down or stopping – Photo: Which?

When it’s cold outside, the battery will perform worse and drain its power faster. That’s because the rate at which the chemical reaction that generates current flows in the battery slows down. Many electric cars have built-in cooling and heating systems, to help keep the battery at an optimal temperature, but the system itself also uses energy from the battery. Cold weather also makes charging time longer.

In addition, without an internal combustion engine to generate heat, electric vehicle heaters also have to work “harder” to maintain the right temperature. Some vehicles use a “heat pump” that is more energy-efficient than conventional air conditioning. Therefore, the energy consumption of each vehicle will also be different.

Reuters also agree with the above conclusion. Interviewed experts said electric cars use less energy when not moving and even last longer than petrol cars when stuck in traffic.

David Howey, Professor of Engineering Science at the University of Oxford, said: “Electric vehicles use very little energy when stationary. The motor consumes no power when at zero speed. Only the electronics on it. The new car and heating/cooling system use electricity when the vehicle is stationary, and the amount is relatively small.”

He also said that a fully charged electric vehicle could, in a stationary situation, run the air conditioning and electronics for “at least a day, maybe days”, depending on the vehicle.

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Testing with Nissan Leaf also gave similar results – Photo: CAR Magazine

Dr Katherine Collett of the University of Oxford made a similar opinion. For example, in the case of a Nissan Leaf (standard 40 kWh battery, quite similar to VinFast VF e34 42 kWh battery) stuck with only 50% battery and continuously heating at the highest level, she can still feel secure. 10 hours in the car.

In fact, petrol cars will also consume fuel when stuck in traffic. Even “burning gasoline” while turning on the heater makes internal combustion engine cars much more worrisome than electric cars.

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