Preconditioning - How to increase range and keep you comfortable

Pre-conditioning an electric van is a feature offered in most make and models that helps to overcome certain challenges in electric vehicles, such as helping increase range not just in average temperatures but also in extreme cold and hot conditions. It addresses the situation by looking to optimise the van's performance and help provide a more comfortable driving environment. And we're pretty sure that's exactly what Santa and the elves do to ensure that sleigh is at its optimal temperature, optimal conditions, ready for its big journey and its many deliveries!

This involves preparing the battery system and interior for optimal operation before the driver is going to leave for work or on any journey in fact. This is a really useful feature especially when the temperature is either hot or cold.

In general, electric vehicle batteries like to work within a certain temperature range, usually between 23 and 30 degrees Celsius so getting the batteries up to their optimal temperature range as soon as possible helps increase range. In cold weather the chemical reactions within the battery reduces efficiencies and therefore range, using pre-conditioning this can help prevent it happening. Indeed, in hot weather it helps the battery overheating therefore helping to preserve its state of health and maintaining peak performance.

Of course, this isn't just about the vehicle and the batteries. Pre-conditioning also helps the driver and in-cab environment, for instance, in cold weather heating the cab before you leave helps for a more comfortable driving environment. Conversely, in hot weather the opposite is true, you can cool down the cab and all this can be controlled by an app.

Many electric commercial vehicles have a mobile app that can be downloaded from either in Apple or Android store. These allows the driver to not only set the interior temperature but also the time to start and when to finish, for instance it can be set to be ready for 6.30am in the morning and a 21c temperature.

All this pre-conditioning should take place whilst the vehicle is connected to a charger, this could be at home or work for instance. This allows users to initiate the pre-conditioning process while the vehicle is still plugged into a charging station, using the external power source to prepare the car without using the vehicle internal battery. Furthermore, it contributes to energy efficiency and sustainability by using the power from the grid, this means you could be saving money by using cheaper energy from the grid (which can be around 7.5p per kWh in some cases) to warm up the vehicle and therefore saving the batteries power for the vehicle, and thereby extending the range.

With this cold December weather I think we all wish we'd be a bit more Santa and all have that pre-conditioning app for our sleigh!

  • Reviewed: 07 Dec 2023

Subscribe to our newsletters for latest news and events.