How to Drive an EV in the Artic

When you think “Arctic Region,” thoughts of polar bears, Eskimos, and tundra probably come to mind. But would you also think Electric Vehicles? While Iceland, Norway, and Sweden all feature frigid temperatures and record snowfall, they also sport some of the highest market adoption of electric vehicles in the world. This is in part backed by government incentive. However, Scandinavian automobile owners seek out EVs for other benefits too. And some of the factors that have led to that adoption resonate with the same EV adoption we are seeing in Ohio and throughout the Midwest.

1) Cheap Electricity

While cost of living is relatively high in many of these Scandanavian countries, the price for electricity remains low due to cheap hydroelectric and geothermal generation. This helps with EV payback, allowing vehicles to charge for a cheaper price than what can be found at the gasoline pump.

Ohio and the broader Midwest region also carry cheaper-than-national-average electric rates which contributes to competitive ROIs for consumers and fleets that adopt electric vehicles in our region.

2) Lots of Around Town Driving

Around town driving is notorious for poor MPG due to stop-start traffic and high idling. EVs provide greater MPG within the city thanks to regenerative braking and lack of idling. It should be no surprise, then, to hear the majority of European EVs are owned and operated within city centers. Reykjavik, Iceland (the capital city) has the largest population density with a vast share of the entire country’s population living in the metro area.

Ohio too consists of many city centers which require short trips for errands and driving to work, on par with the majority of Americans who face a 20 mile roundtrip work commute daily. Suffice it to say, the majority of these trips are easily covered by battery range of current and future electric vehicles.

3) EVs Save More Money In Cold Weather

FleetCarma did a recent study on the impacts cold weather has on EVs vs. conventional gasoline vehicles. While EVs see drops in MPGe and drivetrain efficiency during cold weather similar to gasoline vehicles, the rate of declined performance is worse for gasoline than electric. EVs provide a far cheaper operational cost in cold weather when compared to gas, offering a greater payback than in warm weather.

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