Winter Mode in The Hyundai Ioniq 5

How to Turn ON Hyundai Ioniq 5 Winter Mode

To turn on Winter Mode in the Hyundai IONIQ, go to the EV settings on your central touchscreen, then the gear icon, and mark the box next to Winter Mode. You should turn on Winter Mode, but it only kicks in and begins working when your climate is cold enough.

The first few days in the cold winter, I tried driving my IONIQ 5, and I quickly realized I had a lower range because my vehicle’s battery went down pretty fast. I decided to turn on Winter Mode, but I couldn’t see any difference in charging speed or improvement in how much range I had after every charge. So, I reached out to a friend, a drive-train engineer, to help me understand why this mode was there in the first place if it wasn’t doing anything I could see. I’d heard before that it was some heat warmer, but my friend helped me realize why I need winter mode on the IONIQ 5 to improve battery and vehicle health.

So, in this guide, I’ll share with you all the answers to your mind-boggling questions about using the Winter Mode on the Hyundai IONIQ 5 in a cold climate. You will discover how it works and the benefits of using winter mode on IONIQ 5. I will also share tips to optimize your driving and maximize your electric vehicle’s battery and range in winter.

Understanding Winter Mode in the Hyundai IONIQ 5

Electric vehicles tend to struggle in the cold. When driving in winter, it’s easier to see my battery power and range decrease because your car spends more energy trying to combat the winter air and temperature.

That said, even as range and battery efficiency reduce, you must maintain the health of your battery. This is why you need the winter mode.

Winter Mode is a handy feature that raises high-voltage battery temperatures, helping your battery perform better in cold temperatures. This feature is only available to the IONIQ 5 and EV 6 that have not received the battery preconditioning update. If your system is updated beyond this, you no longer have to toggle on or off winter mode as it activates in the background.

Benefits of Using Winter Mode

First, you should realize Winter Mode is not a battery preconditioning mode for charging. So it isn’t a setting you turn on to pre-warm your battery before charging. Winter mode does not also improve the charging speed. Winter mode is concerned with output when you think of power in terms of input and output. It focuses on how power dissipates into the electric motor of your car. In reality, winter mode keeps your battery warm enough to prevent the car from limiting how much power a battery can discharge to optimize range and overall car performance. This, in turn, prevents the degradation of your battery over time.

Hence, winter mode’s overarching goal is to preserve battery function and stop your car battery from degrading due to winter temperatures.

Nevertheless, winter mode may also improve charging speed since it warms up your battery in the background. So, you may notice a slightly increased speed if winter mode kicks off on a road trip. Still, you won’t see a lot of improvement, as you should expect anything from 30 to 50% less in range than you had in summer, even in winter mode.

Activating Winter Mode

To turn on IONIQ 5 winter mode:

  • Go to the central touchscreen of your IONIQ 5.
  • Click on EV Settings and navigate to the bottom left to select the “Gear’ icon.
  • Now select the tab for winter mode and mark the box next to winter mode.

Also, note that turning on winter mode does not allow it to run immediately. It signals to your car that it can switch to winter mode whenever it gets too cold and that your batteries need the extra push to maintain optimum performance. Deactivating Winter Mode requires the same steps.

When to Use Winter Mode

Winter mode is best used whenever the average atmospheric temperature is 20 oC. You shouldn’t wait until actual temperatures to use winter mode since it doesn’t kick in until the temperatures are cold enough. It’s much better to turn on Winter Mode at the beginning of the winter or fall if your climate gets too cold pretty early.

How Winter Mode Works

Winter mode is a passive thermal regulation that helps drivers avoid discharge limits imposed by the battery management system (BMS) of their vehicle at low temperatures. So, your battery normally conserves energy at low temperatures to maintain warmth. It’s also not good for your battery to be charged and discharged at full power in low temperatures.

Hence, your battery management system will also cut down on charging and discharging speeds, thereby attempting to preserve the life of the battery. So, without winter mode, your battery may do a fair job of optimizing its lifespan. But over several winters, you may notice your batteries struggle to charge and discharge super fast, even in the summer.

In contrast, with winter mode, the immediate environment around your battery would maintain a “near-summer temperature,” so your BMS does not minimize power output for your car’s driving. Even so, there’s still a loss of energy. This is because energy is used to heat the battery, which still lowers the range you can get after each charge.

Battery Management in Cold Weather

Winter mode is very helpful in optimizing your battery health in cold weather. But you need to combine winter mode with other winter driving strategies to maintain your IONIQ 5 in the winter. Here are other tips I’ve found helpful in maintaining my electric car.

Reduce Your Driving Speed

Lowering your speed to less than 80/100 km/h will reduce your vehicle’s drag through extra-dense cold winter air and help mitigate heat exchange between your vehicle’s cabin and the outdoors. You should also avoid sudden braking and acceleration. Focus on driving at a slow and steady speed.

Invest in Heated Seats

Try heated seats instead of the AC. That way, you can remain comfortable even when you lower the central heating. Heated seats barely use energy, which you can confirm from your electricity usage screen.

Schedule Charging at Home

Use scheduled charging via the BlueLink app and heat the car a few degrees more than required while the car is plugged into your home charger.

Use Scheduled Climate Control

When charging your vehicle halfway through your road trip, you may benefit from scheduling climate control to heat your car while charging. That way, you can remain warm without additional power consumption.

Charge More with The Level 2 Charger in The Winter

Use more of your home charger (level 2) and keep the DC charging for times when you are already on the road and need some extra miles. Because level 2 charging is much slower, it helps you avoid battery degradation.

Use Winter Tires

Winter tires don’t directly affect your battery but can improve your vehicle’s performance in the winter. Winter tires work well on the road when temperatures are below 7 °C. They offer more grip and traction on snowy and icy roads. Winter tires have more silica in them, making them softer in cold weather. Winter tires also have shorter braking distances, thereby improving safety.

Minimize Using Car Features

Features like radios, speakers, heaters, and other gadgets take away from battery power. So if your battery is still dropping too fast, you should turn off these features and further lower climate control to optimize power.

Consider Increasing Tire Pressure

I am cautious about using this strategy in winter because it offers less surface area between your tire and the road, it also makes your car tires wear out faster. In winter, the lower temperatures make gas contract. Even with the same air volume, the air pressure in your tires is reduced. So, when you increase tire pressure, you have a more rounded tire profile in winter. But then, there’s also reduced safety and performance to consider.

Park in An Enclosed Space

Finally, winter isn’t the time to park in the open. You can help keep your battery and car warmer by leveraging garages and enclosed parking spaces. The goal is to help your car maintain as much charge as possible.

Conclusion

If your IONIQ 5 does not have more recent pre-conditioning modes, you should enable Winter mode all winter and even winter. Winter mode will help optimize your battery health and driving performance all through the cold season. Although you must enable it first, winter mode intelligently activates only when your vehicle’s battery needs it. Beyond winter mode, drive slower, install winter tires, and use more level 2 charging instead of DC charging. With these tips and strategies, you can maintain your EV’s battery health and enjoy a positive driving experience all winter.

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