Electric car air-conditioning
Air-conditioning systems on Hybrid and Electric cars aren’t just necessary for a cold, comfortable cabin. EV air-conditioning systems are also essential in ensuring the electric motors, batteries and axles remain cool. Electric car components get very hot when in use and could overheat and fail without a fully operational and well maintained air-conditioning system.
What air-con gas is used for electric cars?
If your electric car needs an air-con regas you may be wondering what air-con gas is suitable to use on an EV.
There are things we need to consider before re-gasing an air-con system on an electric vehicle however the type of gas needed is likely to be determined on when the car was manufactured as opposed to whether it’s an EV. As most electric cars have been manufactured in the last 4 years you’ll probably need the new generation air-con gas R1234YF. Hybrid cars manufactured before 2018 may still require the traditional R134A gas.
The R1234YF refrigerant is a new generation air-con gas that’s typically used in cars manufactured after 2018. This gas was introduced as it has far less impact on the environment than the traditional R134A gas.
This is the traditional air-conditioning refrigerant commonly used in vehicles manufactured before 2014. Since 1st January 2017 manufacturers were no longer allowed to make cars with systems that used R134A in a bid to reduce global warming & damage to the environment.
Electric car PAG oil
Using the correct PAG oil is essential when regasing a Hybrid Electric air-conditioning system. If the incorrect PAG oil was used then there’s a risk is could conduct high voltage to the compressor case or connected components. This could potentially lead to damage to components and even electric shock.
This is why all our air-conditioning equipment uses a universal PAG oil in every regas. Universal PAG oil is suitable for both R1234A & R134YF gas and is suitable to use on both Hybrid and Electric cars.
Signs your air-conditioning needs a service
- Your air-conditioning isn’t as cold as it used to be and may even feel like it’s blowing warm air
- When you switch the air-con on it smells musty and have a stale odour
- You notice more condensation on your windows
- Your EV range decreases. When your aircon refrigerant is low, the aircon system has to work harder to cool the air in the cabin. This extra work uses more power and reduces your EV range.
Do you need to replace the cabin filter on an electric car?
Electric cars have far less filters than a conventional car which means servicing is much simpler than it is for a petrol or diesel powered vehicles.
However, one very important filter they do still need is the cabin filter. Electric vehicle manufacturers usually recommend you change the cabin filter every 2 years.
Does using electric car air-conditioning affect the range?
EV range is the amount of miles an electric car can do on a single electric charge. Using any system, such as air-conditioning, which is powered by the EV battery will impact the range of your vehicle. The good news is that early studies show that the impact isn’t that great with an average range reduction of around 5% to be expected when air-con, heating and demisting features are in use.
EV air-con systems are also essential to ensuring the electric motors, batteries and axles remain cool. These components get very hot when in use and could overheat and fail without a fully operational and well maintained air-conditioning system.
As in all vehicles, it’s important to use the air-conditioning in your electric car throughout the year, including during cold weather. Most drivers only tend to use their air-con during the summer months but it’s actually the quickest way to demist your windscreen in cold temperatures. Using your AC throughout the year also helps keep the system working properly, maintaining refrigerant more effectively.
Using the air-recirculation button in an electric car
Using your electric car’s air-conditioning system in air-recirculation mode uses around 15% less energy than on fresh-air mode. New air-filtration technology in electric cars aims to reduce energy consumption whilst keeping the cabin air fresh and clean. With this in mind, ensuring your AC system is set to recirculation mode is one of the easiest ways to save energy and protect your EV range.