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GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR ELECTRIC VEHICLE DURING THE WINTER Considered by many to be the future of motoring in Canada, the electric vehicle (EV) is an increasingly common sight on Canadian roads everywhere. However, despite the technological wizardry involved in the design of these type of vehicles, the hard realities of a Canadian winter can play havoc with EVs, especially when it comes to range. But owners can do a variety of things to get the very most out of their mechanized marvel. A few things you can do to wring the most kilometers out of your EV include the following: Prewarm your car. Prewarming or preconditioning settings on your dash allows the owner to heat the battery and the vehicle cabin while still being plugged into the charging station. Heating before unplugging will save battery power, energy that is better spent on the road. Besides, who doesn’t like to hop into an already warm car on a winter’s morning before beginning your daily commute? Unplug only at the last moment. The longer an EV remains plugged in before hitting the road the longer the range a driver will experience. To receive maximum efficiency it is best to leave the vehicle plugged in overnight, uncoupling it from the charger just as you’re heading out. Regenerative braking modes save energy. Regenerative brakes use electric motors instead of the traditional friction braking system to slow down and stop a car. These systems use less energy than applying normal foot brakes. On icy roads regenerative braking modes also help you avoid skids and slides.
NOT ALL BIRDS MIGRATE - MANY DECIDE TO STAY ALL WINTER An archetypal Canadian image is that of majestic Vs of geese and other birds migrating southward in advance of the chill and storms of winter. While an accurate image, it doesn’t really tell the whole story as many species of birds elect to tough it out and remain in the Great White North throughout the winter. Why do some species elect not to migrate? While hardy birds like Canada geese, a range of ducks and even the common robin fly south every year, avian experts speculate that many different factors make birds choose to remain in Canada throughout the winter. One that tops the list is the inescapable fact that migration can be dangerous. During the long flight encompassing hundreds if not thousands of kilometers migrating birds will encounter predators that may be unknown to them. Human impact is also an increasing risk for migrating birds. Waterfowl may discover that traditional wetlands have disappeared, or that hunters have identified and taken advantage of flightpaths that have been followed by birds for millennia, with serious consequences. Migration is very hard on the body as well. The metabolism of birds operates at a higher level than many other animals, so food intake is especially important. By using up energy in travel, birds may be too exhausted to nest and raise young once they reach their southern destination, which could result in a decline in population.
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