Air conditioning in electric vehicles is an essential accessory that enhances the comfort of the passenger. Does the AC affect EV range? How much does it affect? I am going to answer all of the questions today. Besides that, I am also going to share some suggestions on how to maximize your EV’s range even in summer.

How Much Does AC Affect Electric Vehicle (EV) Range

How Does an Air Conditioner Impact Your Electric Vehicle Range?

Indeed, the impact of AC on electric vehicles (EV) depends on several factors that include the outside temperature, the size of the vehicle, and the efficiency of the AC system and many others. In short, the AC system consumes more energy and reduces the range of your EV. That is why, you should read this post to understand how AC impacts the range based on the weather and driving habits.

Now, let’s dive into the main topic:

How Air Conditioning (AC) Affects Your EV Range

Air conditioning is a common feature in most cars, and it is no different for EVs. However, EVs rely solely on battery power so running the AC impacts their range. Below are some of the main factors that affects the EV range when you use AC in summer:

Battery Capacity

The battery capacity of your EV will determine how much energy is available for running the AC. If your EV battery is already low on charge, running the AC uses up a significant portion of your remaining energy, reducing your range. In such a case, you should use AC for a short time.


The outside temperature significantly impacts the energy consumption. In summer, the AC needs to work harder to cool the interior of your EV, using up more energy and reducing your range.

Driving Conditions

Are you a rush driver? Driving at a higher speed, faster acceleration and braking consume battery power. Besides that, if you switch on AC, the battery consumption will be higher. Sometimes it can be difficult to maintain your range while running the AC.

AC Settings

The specific settings you use for your AC also impact your EV’s range. For example, setting the AC to a lower temperature or using the “max” setting will use more energy than setting it to a higher temperature or using the “eco” setting.

How to Maximize Your EV’s Range while Running an AC?

If you are travelling with your family members during summer, you cannot switch off the AC because your wife, kids will be uncomfortable in a long distance journey. Is there any way of optimising the EV performance? Yes! You can maximize your electric vehicle range by following some simple habits:

Plan Your Route

Before heading out in your EV, take some time to plan your route and charging stops. It avoids low battery issues in case you face battery drainage on the road.

Pre-Cool Your Car

If possible, try to pre-cool your EV before getting in. It reduces the amount of time you need to run the AC while driving, which can help maximize your range. Pre-cooling takes less time (consumes less energy) than cooling while you are driving.

Use Eco Mode

Many EVs come with an eco mode! It is the best method to reduce the amount of energy required to cool the interior of your car. It helps to optimize the overall performance of your favorite electric vehicle.

Avoid Direct Sunlight

While parking your EV, find a place under a shade. Otherwise, it takes more time to cool down the interior again. As a result, the battery drains quickly.

Use Regenerative Braking

Regenerative braking is a feature that allows your EV to recover energy while braking. By using regenerative braking, you can offset some of the energy used by the AC, helping to preserve your range.

AC vs. Windows Down: Which Option is Better for EV Range?

Now, one question that often comes up for EV drivers is whether it is better to use the AC system or roll down the windows to stay cool while driving.

While using the AC system does consume more energy and reduce range, driving with the windows down can also impact range due to increased aerodynamic drag.

In general, the best option for maximizing EV range will depend on the specific driving conditions and preferences of the driver.

You can choose any of this based on the weather, driving condition and preference.

The Future of EV AC Technology: Improving Efficiency and Range

As EV technology continues to evolve, there are many opportunities to improve the efficiency of AC systems and reduce their impact on EV range.

For example, some EV manufacturers are developing AC systems that use less energy, while others are exploring options such as solar-powered ventilation to reduce the strain on the battery.

As battery technology continues to develop, the impact of AC and other accessories on the EV range will become less significant after a few years.

Do you want to buy an electric vehicle? You should consult a local car expert to learn more about the available models and features under your budget.

Do you want to learn more before you buy an EV? Please read my other posts too:

How Does Hot and Cold Weather Affect Electric Vehicle (EV) Range?

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