Looking for an electric vehicle to take on a ski or snowboarding trip? Here are the things you should consider
If you’re planning on hitting the slopes this winter, you’ll need a vehicle with enough space for equipment and the right capabilities for handling harsh weather conditions.
For winter sport enthusiasts looking for a zero-emission option, there are a number of suitable electric vehicle options on the market today that boast long-range, off-road driving capabilities and spacious interiors.
Below, Electric Autonomy has compiled a list of some things that should be considered when selecting an electric option to take you on your next ski or snowboard trip.
There are a handful of considerations to keep in mind when selecting the right EV for a winter sport trip, with range being a top priority.
Like with a combustion vehicle, winter temperatures can impact an EV’s battery performance. Colder weather can reduce an EV’s estimated range by up to 35 per cent for some EV models, according to Recurrent Auto, a Seattle-based clean tech research firm.
Earlier this year, Recurrent released a report measuring range loss in 7,000 EVs at temperatures between –7 C and –1 C.
Leading the pack with the lowest range loss (making it good winter driving choice generally) is the fully electric Jaguar I-Pace. The I-Pace has an estimated range loss of just three per cent.
The report also highlights other vehicles that experience less than a 20 percent drop in range during the winter season.
These include the Audi e-tron premium plus trim (eight per cent estimated range decrease) and the Tesla Model X and Model Y (15 per cent reduction in range).
Additionally, the Hyundai Kona is a strong contender for journeys to the ski resort, with an estimated 19 per cent decrease in range during the colder months.
But, with several ski resorts from coast-to-coast installing EV charging stations — including Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort in British Columbia, Blue Mountain Resort in Ontario, and Mont Tremblant and Le Massif de Charlevoix in Quebec — winter range concerns for all models of EVs are being alleviated.
The luggage quota for most skiers and snowboarders is not small. To accommodate all this gear, something every winter sport-friendly electric vehicle needs is ample cargo room.
When it comes to cargo space, top contenders are an electric SUV or an electric pickup truck.
The Rivian R1S has one of the highest cargo capacities for any EV on the market. Folding down the third and second rows of seats opens up 104.7 cubic feet of cargo space. The vehicle also has a front trunk (“frunk”) that has an additional 11 cubic feet of room.
The Tesla Model X has a maximum cargo capacity of 92.3 cubic feet with the driver and front passenger. With the third row in place, you have 15 cubic feet of cargo space available. When the seats are folded down, it increases to 33 cubic feet. Folding both rows of seats opens up 85.8 cubic feet of cargo space.
The BMW iX, available in all-wheel drive, offers 35.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats. Fold down the seats, and you’ve got 77.9 cubic feet for all your winter sport essentials.
The Volkswagon ID.4 comes with 30.3 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and 64.2 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded flat.
Finally, the Kia Niro EV offers 22.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, expanding to a generous 63.7 cubic feet when you fold those seats down.
If you find yourself near snow-capped mountains and rougher terrain, you’ll require a vehicle capable of tackling these rugged road conditions effectively.
The Rivian R1T all-wheel drive (AWD) comes with eight different driving modes, including an off-road mode.
According to the automaker, the vehicle has a 37.8 centimetres (14.9 inches) of ground clearance and a range of up to 643 kilometres.
Under the hood, the R1T features four electric motors in its AWD system, two at the front and two at the rear, with the ability to independently adjust torque at each Rivian R1T wheel.
“Controlling power at the individual wheel enables torque vectoring, the ability to neutralize oversteer and understeer to keep your vehicle steady and responsive through sharp maneuvers while off-roading and in the snow,” says Rivian on its website.
The Ford F-150 Lightning is also another option for off-roading.
The Lightning comes with a dual-motor AWD configuration standard. To enhance its off-road capabilities and prevent it from becoming stuck, Ford includes a mechanical rear locking differential standard on every trim.
Additionally, the F-150 Lightning comes equipped with Pro Power Onboard, which provides access to 11 outlets, including both 12V outlets and USB ports. The electric truck also provides a 240V outlet in the truck bed for added versatility.
The good news is there are lots of electric vehicle options to support drivers’ winter sport passions. There may be some tough choices like weighing out range versus cargo space, but with some research (and a lot of measuring) drivers can enjoy all four seasons in an EV.