Published on October 10th, 2023 | by Sounder Rajen0
Ever Wonder How Much Battery Your Car Air Con Uses? Here’s A Breakdown
So does air con usage in a petrol car use more electricity than running an EV?
Okay, so with the heat becoming unbearable in many countries right now, especially those with colder climates, and the advent of electric vehicles (EVs) globally, many are starting to ask some questions. Some of these questions are very intriguing, for example, does a petrol car running the air con use more power than an EV? Let’s see.
Okay, so we all have heard that an air conditioning unit (air con) in a car is the most power hungry piece of equipment in a car and that we should not be using it all the time, however, as modern technology advances and EVs become so power efficient, is this really still the case?
Moreover, while most internal combustion engine (ICE) cars use a 12V battery to power the electronics in the car, in most cases excessive use of the air con in a car can lead to more fuel being used as well. This is because the bulk of the cooling uses the fuel rather than the battery.
So in general, at any given time most units in most cars in Malaysia will use about 500 watts of power, this is only a portion of its total power capacity which is 1,500 watts. This can easily go up in hot weather and when one turns up the air conditioning all the way as well.
The usage of power is dependent on many different factors, climate is one of them, and as we all know, Malaysia is extremely hot. This means that when one parks their car under direct sunlight, the internal temperature of the car becomes too hot and the air con works harder, using more power to cool down the car faster.
On top of that, with EVs becoming more popular in Malaysia, many are asking, is it more efficient to run an air con in a ICE car or do EVs reduce the power needed to keep cool? An EV with a range of about 161km, would cost the equivalent of running the air con for six hours if fully charged, according to the Department of Energy.
EVs do tend to be quite power efficient but they may not be as green as many claim them to be. This, however, is a different discussion entirely and the air con in most cars tend to never work at full capacity but sometimes they do and running it on an ICE car uses slightly more electricity than it would in an EV.