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Electric vehicles have gotten a bit of a bad rap when it comes to cold weather performance, as lower temperatures have been shown to decrease ranges, putting drivers in danger of being stranded. 

However, according to a new study from Norway reported by Electrek, the challenges that EVs face from extreme cold are actually less than those encountered by gas-powered cars. 

According to road assistance company Viking, Norway’s version of AAA, the country has been experiencing extremely cold conditions recently and responded to 34,000 assistance requests in the first nine days of the year. Despite 23% of cars in Norway being EVs, they only accounted for 13% of the assistance requests.

“Electric cars are better in the cold,” Viking’s Svein Setrom told a Norwegian news outlet, as translated using Google. “Electric cars are almost twice as good as fossil cars in the cold.”

Recently, a bunch of Teslas had to be towed from Supercharger lots in Chicago when the city experienced temperatures of two degrees Fahrenheit, rendering them unable to charge (though Electrek indicated the issues may have been with the chargers rather than the vehicles). 

Tesla has also been fined $2.2 million by the South Korean government for failing to disclose to customers that its cars had shorter ranges in cold temperatures.

However, the data from Norway indicates that EVs do not fail at a higher rate than gas-powered cars in cold temperatures — they simply make more news when they do. Electrek did note that, on average, the gas-powered cars currently on the road are older than the EVs, which may have skewed the data somewhat as older cars fail at a higher rate than newer ones.

But this is not the only recent good news concerning the interaction between cold weather and EV batteries. Another recent study showed that cold temperatures are actually good for the long-term health of EV batteries. The group conducting the study hypothesized that warmer climates were accelerating chemical reactions that aged the batteries prematurely.

“Driving around in bitter cold while low on charge or low on gas is a poor idea. I don’t usually keep my Tesla ‘full’ or plugged in but, in this weather, I do and I have no problems. Trying to crank a gas engine in this cold is more hit or miss. I’ll never go back to gas,” wrote one commenter.

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