Keeping the battery of your electric car cool

Electric cars aren't keen on extreme temperatures – like most drivers. Therefore, clever management is indispensable for optimum battery life and capacity.

Find out more about batteries and temperature here:

  • Clever thermal management extends the life of a battery.
  • There are three methods for cooling the electric car battery.
  • By following some simple tips, you can protect your battery in the heat.

Good thermal management protects the battery

As with combustion engine vehicles, the outside temperature directly impacts on the range of the electric motor. That's why an effective thermal management systemOpens an external link, as is used in Volkswagen's electric ID. modelsOpens an external link, is especially crucial for electric cars. The term 'thermal management' covers all the processes that control heat flows in vehicles. To keep the batteries of electric carsOpens an external link and hybrid vehiclesOpens an external link within an ideal temperature range, they need to be cooled in summer and heated in winter. Not only does this ensure the maximum range, but it also increases battery life. A comfortable temperature for effective operation is between 20 and 40 degrees.

couple driving
Electric car batteries need to be cooled at high outside temperatures, to keep them within the optimum temperature range. (Photo: Adobe Stock)

This is because of the composition of the cells in the battery, which are a chemical mixture of lithium, cobalt or nickel, graphite, copper, and aluminium. During the charging process, lithium ions are transported from one pole (the cathode) to the other (the anode) by a conductive fluid between the poles. Like any other material, this electrolyte has an optimum temperature range within which it performs best.

Both very low and very high temperatures can therefore affect battery capacity. To protect the battery, it is cooled in one of three ways.

a rear view of a grey ID.5
A nice shady spot is a bonus for electric cars in summer.

Simple tips for high temperatures

Even with an efficient heat management system, some simple steps to take the heat off the battery will not do any harm. Follow these tips to protect your car battery easily and effectively:

  • Air-cooled batteries are more sensitive to high temperatures than liquid-cooled ones. Therefore, electric cars with air-cooled batteries should be parked in a cool spot whenever possible.
  • At high outdoor temperatures, parking your electric car in the garage or in the shade, when possible, is generally recommended. This keeps the interior cool, and the ground under the vehicle doesn't get as hot – and so neither does the battery.
  • To increase service life, it's advisable not to charge the battery fully when temperatures are high, but just to a level of about 80 percent.
  • Charge the electric car as slowly as possible in very hot weather.

Next steps

Important information :

^If you are selecting a Volkswagen ID.3, ID.4, ID.5, ID.7, ID.7 Tourer or ID.Buzz then prices shown are the MDP (Manufacturer's Direct Price).  This is the price set by Volkswagen which you pay for the vehicle.  Volkswagen ID vehicles are sold by Volkswagen UK, a trading division of Volkswagen Group United Kingdom Limited (please note that you will need to visit an authorised Volkswagen Retailer (acting as agent for Volkswagen UK) to order, purchase and take delivery of your Volkswagen ID vehicle).  The MDP includes delivery to an authorised Volkswagen Retailer (acting as agent for Volkswagen UK), number plates, new vehicle registration fee, the first year's Vehicle Excise Duty and VAT (calculated at 20%).  You can find out more about the Volkswagen model for selling ID vehicles by clicking

If you are selecting any other Volkswagen vehicle (excluding the Volkswagen ID.3, ID.4, ID.5, ID.7, ID.7 Tourer or ID.Buzz) then prices listed are Manufacturer’s ‘On the road’ Recommended Retail Price. Actual prices are set by Volkswagen authorised retailers in their sole discretion – always obtain these prices from your chosen Volkswagen Retailer.  Recommended On-The-Road (OTR) retail prices include: delivery charge, number plates, new vehicle registration fee, the first year's Vehicle Excise Duty and VAT (calculated at 20%). Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information above. Prices are taken from the Volkswagen website - this website contains a large number of products and it is always possible that, despite our best efforts, some of the products listed may be incorrectly priced. Volkswagen may change prices at any time (this includes where there are government changes in regulation and/or legislation). There may be a delay to any price displaying correctly on our materials and it is always possible that, despite our best efforts, some vehicles may be incorrectly priced. Always check prices with your local retailer.

Please be advised we may not be able to provide valuations for vehicles which are outside certain age or mileage ranges, specialist or customised, or not registered in the UK. The actual sale price is dependent on a number of additional factors, which you can discuss further with your retailer. T&Cs will apply.