The winter months can prove challenging for drivers. Wet weather can increase slip on the roads as well as reduced visibility and ice making for tricky conditions. However, an electric vehicle poses many benefits for the winter months and could be the best way to brighten up this bleak season.
Set your temperature
Electric vehicles have the benefit of being equipped with ‘Pre-Conditioning’ meaning that, as long as the car is plugged in, you can pre-heat the temperature of your vehicle. Not only does this reduce the time spent warming up the cockpit, it also means that the engine will be at an optimum temperature to ensure power efficiency when you begin your journey.
The smart EQ comes with heated seats for the driver and front passenger as standard. You can also opt for rear passenger seat heating and a heated multifunction steering wheel as an additional feature. This alongside a cup holder in the centre console ensures a toasty commute every day!
Drive with eco mode
Most vehicles are less efficient when battling against cold weather, and electric vehicles are no exception. However, electric drive provides you with the option of selecting your drive mode for optimal performance. By selecting Eco Mode in the cold weather the car will regenerate the energy it creates back into power for your battery.
Be realistic about your range
With slightly reduced efficiency comes a slightly reduced range and it is important to consider this before setting out on your journey. Ensure that you have planned your route and charging stops accordingly. Downloading ZapMap is a really useful way to find your nearest charge point so you’re never caught short.
Top up your fluids
It’s always advisable to keep your screen wash topped up but during the winter months it’s even more important as dirt and grime from the roads mixed with salt can block your view quickly. While checking your screen wash also check your wipers. In the cold snap wipers can get frozen to the windscreen, so before turning them on and damaging the screen, lift them away. Also check for splits and cracks as this can impair your vision as they won’t be cleaning the screen fully.
Check your tyres
Before any journey we all should be checking our tyres, but even more so in the winter months. Having the correct depth and pressure can help with traction on the road, without them you could be slipping and sliding all over the place. Here at Mercedes-Benz the minimum tread depth level we advise is 3mm even though the legal limit is 1.6mm. The reason we recommend this is after the 3mm point the stopping distance of a tyre deteriorates rapidly.
The AA reports a 20% increase in the number of breakdowns in the winter months, so make sure you are prepared with the following essentials to reduce the impact if you do run into any trouble:
- Torch and batteries
- Warm clothing and blankets
- Hi-visibility jacket
- First aid kit
- Jumper cables
- Your charging cable
- Snacks and drinks
- Warning signs
- In car phone charger.