In an EV, the higher the speed, the more energy it requires. Highway ranges are typically about 20 percent less than city ones, which is the opposite of gas-powered vehicles.
Batteries produce weaker current in cold, wintery weather. According to the American Automobile Association, an EV's range at 20 degrees Fahrenheit is about 60 percent less than it would be at 75 F.
Stop-and-go traffic translates to wasted gas, but EVs use very little power while idling (and even recoup some with regenerative braking). City driving can actually improve an EV's range by up to 25 percent.
As a battery ages, its capacity wanes. For cars in heavy use—such as a New York City taxi, which travels five times as much as the average American vehicle—the range will drop more quickly over time.
Combustion vehicles use excess engine heat to warm a car's interior on a chilly day. But any heat in an EV—and in fact all accessories including audio and built-in navigation—draws down the battery, reducing the range.
Like their gas-powered counterparts, EVs operate more efficiently on smooth, flat surfaces, so steep, mountainous terrain and dirt roads limit range as well.