The Chilling Effects of Cold Weather on Hybrid Motors

September usually ushers in the season of Fall in Michigan, the infamous home of the auto industry. However, the industry’s current popular cars, those powered by hybrid motors, may experience a little trouble running in the great state that gave us the American automobile. Hybrid motors do indeed have difficulty functioning in cold weather, the type of weather that Michigan is notorious for.

Cold Weather Hinders Hybrid Motor Fuel Economy (Significantly)

Hybrid cars are known for losing their highly valued fuel economy numbers when the thermostat begins to sink toward 30 degrees Fahrenheit. They can still function, and the drop in fuel economy isn’t so bad when compared to the similar drop in fuel economy for cars that are completely gas powered. According to Hybrid, the drop is between 10 to 20 percent no matter what type of engine you have. It’s just that 10-20% can be a bit more significant when taken away from the mere 40 to 50 mpg that you can typically get with a hybrid engine.

Don’t Expect That Cold Hybrid Battery To Be Any Help

The hybrid batteries that help power the cars are also part of the fuel economy problem. When the temperature drops to the 30 degree Fahrenheit range, the nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries in hybrid cars will have difficulty functioning. This leads to less than desirable performance and an additional factor that wears on the above mentioned fuel economy. The auto stop functions practically cease until the car has been running for more than 10 minutes, making for a further burn in the fuel department.

A Few More Cold Weather Hybrid Car Quirks..

Here are a few other quirks (courtesy of Autoblog Green) that Michigan hybrid auto owners will notice, and those in say, California, will not:

  • The power gauges will show a significant energy draw in colder weather because of the systems needed to heat a car and keep it heated.
  • The silent start disappears until summer, leaving you with a car that roars awake like a sleeping bear.

The Autoblog Green and other sources within the hybrid car universe often don’t recommend these vehicles to the residents of long cold winter states, like Michigan, which gets three months or more of freezing weather.

Eagle Technologies prides itself on creating the best machinery for hybrid motor manufacturing, however we haven’t been able to defeat Mother Nature yet. Michigan hybrid cars owners should thus take heed and thoroughly prepare their cars for the winter season. Start now with preventative maintenance, even if it is September, in order limit cold weather problems in your hybrid car.

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