Successful operation of electric vehicles under Canadian conditions requires consideration of the effect of low temperature, not only on the propulsion and energy storage systems, but on the energy required for passenger heating and window defrosting. Thermal management of the propulsion battery is a primary consideration, but other factors such as the protection of the electric systems from road salt are essential. Several approaches to passenger heating and window defrosting are being studied and some systems evaluated in the test fleet. Options based on liquid fuel or all-electric methods will be discussed.
The environmental advantages of EVs for winter use are considerable. EVs operating under these winter conditions, i.e., low-speed in congested traffic due to snow and ice and frequent winter accidents, have no toxic gaseous emissions which is particularly good in comparison to ICE vehicles.