How is the performance of electric cars during the winter months? Does the kilometre range decrease? What do you do if the car loses its charge? How can CAA help if there is no charge? – Chirag

A by-product of combustion is heat, leaving petrol-powered, internal-combustion engines with wasted energy that is diverted into the cabin to keep occupants warm during the frosty months.

Alternatively, the typical electric vehicle (EV) has little wasted energy and therefore has to draw from the main batteries to power the cabin heaters.

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Additionally, the main batteries also need to be kept at optimal operating temperatures, requiring the use of a dedicated heating and cooling management system.

The efficiency of both electric- and internal-combustion powered vehicle drops in the extreme cold, but fossil-fuel vehicle owners have little need to be aware of their actual numbers considering the next service station is usually only minutes away.

Many Tesla owners report an overall range reduction of approximately 20 per cent.

EV ownership becomes reasonably stable after the new owner conquers their range anxiety by adopting new techniques, such as warming up their interiors before they unplug from their charging station.

As with any breakdown, a CAA premium membership will tow you up to 200 kilometres to the nearest charge station.

Lou Trottier is owner-operator of All About Imports in Mississauga. Have a question about maintenance and repair? E-mail globedrive@globeandmail.com, placing “Lou’s Garage” in the subject line.

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