Driving an electric car in cold temperatures isn’t quite as simple as it sounds, especially if it’s battery-powered (BEV). Batteries don’t like freezing temperatures, as your smartphone will likely have told you at some point.
(Batteries also struggle – even more so – in extremely warm environments.)
Winter mode is a feature on the Hyundai IONIQ 5 (and other vehicles). It involves a heater, used to raise the high-voltage battery temperature faster. This makes it last longer and improves charging performance, reducing damage.
On this page, you’ll learn how to activate winter mode on the IONIQ 5 and why you should.
All the information is verified by the IONIQ 5’s owner’s manual. Read your manual before operating this system to ensure your safety.
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What is the Hyundai IONIQ 5 winter mode?
Winter mode is an option in your IONIQ 5’s settings. It’s a reasonably straightforward system consisting of a battery heater.
Using winter mode is recommended for improving battery health in the long run. In the meantime, you’ll notice reduced range.
It’ll turn on when driving or activating prescheduled air conditioning, provided the battery temperatures are low. Once it warms up, the battery heater turns off.
Winter mode won’t come on if the high-voltage battery charge level is too low. Ensure your car is plugged in and charging for optimal range efficiency.
Of course, this option is only available for models with the battery heater fitted. The setting might not be included in your specific vehicle.
How to turn IONIQ 5 winter mode on
Turning winter mode on in the Hyundai IONIQ 5 is as simple as it gets.
- Use the central touchscreen.
- Go to EV Settings.
- Select the Winter mode tab.
- Check the box next to Winter mode.
Winter mode is now active.
The battery heater won’t necessarily switch on. It’ll only activate once the battery temperature reduces to a cold enough point.
Deactivating Hyundai IONIQ winter mode
Deactivate winter mode on the Hyundai IONIQ 5 from the same menu and checkbox.
- On the infotainment system, go to EV Settings.
- Choose the Winter mode tab.
- Uncheck the box to the left of Winter mode.
Winter mode is now deactivated.
The battery heater won’t activate, even if it’s cold outside.
This setting isn’t recommended. It means your battery will deteriorate much faster, impacting range and long-term battery health.
Why does heating the battery extend the life?
Batteries are persnickety things. They work best at very specific temperatures – the ideal is generally taken to be around 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Below 60 degrees, they function less efficiently, and once you hit 32 degrees, there’s a noticeable change.
By heating the batteries, you’re preventing degradation and maintaining range.
In terms of average environmental temperatures, the colder it gets, the lower the charging current should be. The charging current must also decrease in sweltering temperatures (say 100 degrees F or more).
It’s particularly relevant for DC fast chargers. By their nature, these use high currents and create a lot of heat. This damages the battery if it’s too cold, especially if it happens every day throughout winter.
Fast chargers (DC chargers) often come with temperature limitations. They won’t work unless it’s between approximately 40 and 115 degrees Fahrenheit.
This is even relevant when driving. Most EVs come with regenerative braking, an onboard charging system. If the charging current is too high for the temperature, it’ll quickly deteriorate the battery.
Winter mode helps to raise the battery temperature, allowing for a higher regenerative braking charging current.
Side effects of using Hyundai IONIQ 5 winter mode
Using winter mode is a trade-off.
- General battery health is better, and the range is extended. Charging is also more efficient.
- High-voltage battery range reduces.
The range reduces because the batteries divert significant amounts of charge to the battery heater. While this might seem counterintuitive, it actually means they perform better and last longer.
You must read your owner’s manual before using winter mode. You’ll find a copy of it below.