Mr Obernolte, the energy consumption of the ID.3 and ID.4 models increases significantly in winter – particularly when customers make a lot of short journeys. Why is that?
That is an effect that applies to every all-electric car. They use electricity from the traction battery to bring the air in the interior of the car, and any battery cells below a certain temperature, up to the right temperature – this increases consumption and reduces range. This is completely different to a model with a combustion engine, which uses the waste heat from the engine, of which there is plenty, to heat with virtually no losses.
Why does the battery in an electric car need to be kept at a certain temperature?
Because the cells only work at their best in a defined temperature range – this applies to the power output, as well as to recuperation and rapid charging with direct current. And in terms of thermal management, our goal has been to run the battery as sparingly as possible, so that it only ages slowly. It has its own fluid circuit, which keeps it at the right temperature. Depending on the battery’s temperature, in winter we use a powerful auxiliary heater to warm up the coolant until the cells are all at the ideal operating temperature.