There are a few factors that need to be satisfied in order for a car to offer decent winter driving capabilities. The most important factors are the tires as even a rear-wheel-drive sports car with wide tires can be of great use in the winter if equipped with proper winter rubber.
Furthermore, higher ground clearance, all-wheel-drive, and a sophisticated traction control system also increase a car’s winter driving capabilities. The Aiways U5 does not come with AWD, but it does offer a sophisticated traction control system and a relatively high ground clearance.
All Aiways U5 models come with a single electric motor capable of delivering up to 150 kW (201hp) and driving only the front wheels. Either way, the U5 can be a good snow car if equipped with decent winter tires.
It’s also worth mentioning that the U5 does not offer heated seats nor a heated steering wheel in its Standard trim level while heated seats are included with the Premium model. All in all, the U5 is an SUV after all, so if you invest in a set of decent winter tires, the U5 should easily do the trick in both snowy and icy conditions.
Aiways U5 – The driving experience
The Chinese Aiways U5 crossover/SUV weighs around 4000 pounds which does make it a fairly heavy car, but not as much as some other competing EVs. The added weight makes the car less likely to stop in a short distance, but it also increases traction while driving.
Either way, the 150kW power output is decent at the very best as it does not offer similar levels of performance as some of its competition. The U5 is tuned to be a comfortable everyday type of car which means that you should not expect it to be a sports car by any means.
As far as winter driving is concerned, the U5 does benefit from higher ground clearance. Most SUVs do come with the option of an AWD system while the U5 is exclusively available as an FWD car. FWD is indeed better than RWD in the snow, but AWD is the best pick of the bunch if traction is your main concern.
All in all, the U5 feels decently sophisticated to drive without being overly comfortable. There is quite a bit of wind and road noise at highway speeds because the U5 offers substandard sound isolation.
Aiways U5 – Winter driving technology
The best winter-friendly cars on the market come with a myriad of software features that increase stability and make them a lot safer during tricky situations. The U5 does come with a relatively sophisticated traction control system that should easily detect any loss of traction and cut the power down for the car to stop sliding.
The U5 also comes with ESP (Electronic Stability Programme) which also increases traction and makes the car more stable during adverse weather conditions. Active braking is included with the Premium trim while hill descent control and hill start assist both come as standard in all U5 models.
Brakes are controlled electronically which means that they benefit from electronic brakeforce distribution which can tailor the braking pressure depending on the specific scenario. Furthermore, the U5 also comes with all the necessary advanced driver assistance systems which should keep you safe at all times.
Winter tires – An essential aspect of winter driving
No matter if you own an SUV, a sedan, a sports car, or a hatchback, a set of winter tires is the most important factor when it comes to winter driving. Even if you own an SUV with high ground clearance, AWD, and lots of safety software, you will need a decent set of winter tires to benefit from such a system.
Most governments around the world either recommend or even mandate you to equip your car with a set of winter tires because they are indeed essential. All-season tires can also do in winter, but only if you rarely ever drive your car in snowy or icy conditions.
All-season tires can endure mild winter weather while winter tires are specifically designed for everything winter can offer. A set of summer tires is a definite no-go in the winter because these tires are made differently, and should not be used in the snow.
This does not mean that you should use a set of winter tires yearlong as warm weather can wear out winter tires more quickly.
Which electric car is best for winter driving?
If you want a superior winter driving EV, you should definitely take a look at the Audi e-Tron SUV, the new Rivian SUV, the Jaguar I-Pace, and the Tesla Model X. All of these cars come with high ground clearance, AWD, and lots of clever safety features that should help keep you on the road.
However, a set of winter tires is essential if you often drive in the snow, and even the best winter-friendly EVs need a set of winter tires to work optimally.
How does cold affect electric cars?
If the outside temperatures are cold, but not freezing, your EV should not behave all that much more different than a regular ICE car. However, if the outside temperature is below freezing, EV batteries can take a massive hit because cold weather slows down the chemical reactions within individual battery cells which makes them less efficient.
Some studies have shown that extreme cold can eat into your maximum range by as much as 40%. Furthermore, EVs don’t have engines which means that they need to use electricity from the battery to heat the cabin.
How does warm weather affect electric cars?
If the outside temperature soars above 90-100 Fahrenheit, your EV is also going to suffer because you can decrease your overall range by as much as 15-20% by constantly using your AC. This is also the case with an ICE car, but ICE cars use less fuel-derived energy for the AC.
Extreme temperatures can also cause your EV to overheat a lot more easily when compared to an ICE car so be sure to adjust your driving style accordingly.