Snow and electric cars

During the night it has snowed and I was wondering what EVs are like driving in snow.
If there is any tips for it.

Personally, I’ve found electric cars easier to drive in those conditions. The lack of gears and a completely smooth power delivery helps with preventing any sudden movements.

As with any car, just be very gradual with the pedal and you will be fine.

Electric cars also sell incredibly well in much colder countries, so that’s also reassuring. For example, approx 60% of new car registrations in Norway are electric.


Tyres are the key differentiator for snow/ice/cold rain weather driving.
Anything below 7 degrees requires winter tyres or all season tyres.
However, Nearly all manufactures deliver cars throughout the year with summer tyres, so they don’t work as well as they should in the cold.
Stopping distances with summer tyres are vastly increased along with grip in the winter, so you need to leave extra space in front of you. Remember EV’s are inherently heavier due to the traction battery compared to an identical ICE car.

Maybe one day manufacturers will see the light. And fit all season tyres which are the best compromise for our weather patterns in the U.K.

Having said all the above, just take extra care, plan ahead and more importantly ‘read the road’ for any likely issues and don’t make any sudden braking, acceleration and turning moves.

EDIT… meant to also say. Front wheel drive vehicles tend to be better in snow/ice etc. As you can steer with the ‘power’, whereas rear wheel drive can only push. All wheel drive is best of all.


And of course, if you get stuck in a drift, you can keep the heater on without fear of gassing yourself to death like could happen with an ICE vehicle :wink:


My Zoe has been the worst car I’ve ever driven in terms of traction. I’ve never ‘lost it’ on a damp roundabout in any other car, but the Zoe seems to be permanently on the limit. And it doesn’t like muddy verges.

I drove it in a very light dusting of snow yesterday, and it was all over the place. Maybe it’s the tyres (although they actually get a good review), maybe it’s the traction control. Maybe it’s my driving style, but I’ve tried being gentle with it. I’m reasonably certain that I’m going to get stuck somewhere this winter.

I doubt Onto will put winter tyres on for me!

Have you tried if using eco mode makes a difference?

I never had my Zoe during these conditions but I sympathise with you because I agree the handling of the Zoe was the worst I’ve ever driven in and that was during summer !!!

I Don’t know what’s with the hate for the Zoe in snow in this thread. I’ve driven A LOT of EVs and Zoe is definitely one of the better cars for bad weather if we’re talking about the basic included tyres.

Some people like to overinflate Zoe tyres. When the weather gets bad it’s always worth bringing it back to the recommended numbers, and if it gets really bad with snow and ice I would drop the pressure just a little further as a temporary thing.

Keep the car in eco mode and take it easy. Just do the same you would in any other car keeping your distance and allowing extra time and space to brake (gently if possible) and of course remember that in all EVs you’ve got instant access to a lot of torque that will just spin the wheels so accelerate lightly too. Also if in a ZE50 use D mode rather than B mode. Lifting off on a very icy surface to be met with more aggressive regen could possibly trigger a skid more easily.

With others like the original LEAF I had to kill the traction control and ABS when driving along untreated, exceptionally bad roads when we had some of the very worst weather. Zoe seems to handle the same conditions just fine on it’s own.

Just drive for the conditions. I really don’t see how the make, model or tyres are at fault.

Millions of journeys are successfully completed each year with summer tyres in ice/snow. If those people are getting to their destinations without any drama, whilst you are sliding across a roundabout, you are the problem.

Speaking generally here, not directed at any specific poster :slight_smile:

In the afternoon I went to my parents as they’re in my support bubble which meant navigating country lanes. I turned on eco mode also put it b mode which was limited due to cold battery and no problems at all.

Thanks, I’ll try Eco mode + D and see where that gets me. Not a ditch, hopefully.

I guess I expected the traction control in a fancy new car to be better than my 2002 Fabia - because of all the torque it has!

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