So why is this happening? The problem is that battery basics simply do not work well in freezing conditions…
The solution is to keep the battery warm, but the heat comes from the battery itself, so these stricken Tesla drivers are draining the battery just to be able to charge the battery, and we don’t need to explain why that might be inefficient.
You perhaps don’t know this but gas cars also do not work well in freezing conditions. Not unusual to have gas cars not startup in the cold because of a dead cold battery. In addition, the various fluids needed by gas cars change viscosity when cold. That’s why people buy block heaters for gas cars.
In Norway, where it gets pretty cold, it turns out that gas cars fail more frequently in the cold than EVs even when taking into account the relative numbers of each.
Electric vehicles fail at a lower rate than gas cars in extreme cold | Electrek.
Tesla makes preconditioning the battery for charging very simple and it only drops a few miles off the range to do so. Identify a supercharger using Tesla navigation and the battery begins preconditioning. When preconditioned, supercharging in the cold is not much different than normal.
Another benefit of EVs is that no drivers die from carbon monoxide poisoning when their tailpipes get covered by snow. EVs don’t have tail pipes.
Many, many, many, Moons ago I heard that to start heavy equipment in northern Canada they built log bonfires under them to defrost them. It’s hard to move when you are frozen solid.
Like the Music Man said, “You got to know the territory!”
A piece on the “news” the other day also noted that, to keep themselves from freezing, many owners sit in their car, with the (electric) heater going, while they wait for the recharge, which doubles, or more, the charging time.
Local news did a piece in the last day or two about the long charging times, and the number of chargers that are out of service in metro Detroit.
I watched the video earlier today (before I saw this post) and IIRC it mentions that most of the people with issues were uberlyft drivers. A typical EV owner doesn’t use their car all day long, and doesn’t sit in their car all day with the heaters (the “space” heater, and the seat heaters) running in sub-zero temperatures. I am not surprised they are seeing these kinds of issues.
It’s inefficient … compared to an EV in more temperate times. But it’s still more efficient than gasoline powered vehicles.
Also many moons ago, when I lived in Canada. I recall a trucker telling me that for oil changes in that weather they don’t shut off the engine. They take out the drain plug and start pouring fresh oil - when the stuff coming out is clear, they put the plug back in and stopped adding new oil.
I’ve read/seen three stories about the issue (widely covered in USA Today, NY Times, Chicago Media, etc.) and none of them have mentioned Uber drivers. Most of the quotes/videos I’ve seen have been from people who don’t have a home charger and have run down and need to charge at a public charger. Some are “idling” in line, keeping the interior warm, and oops, running out of juice before they even get to the charger. One says that it usually takes him an hour (?) to charge, and this time it was over 5 hours. Another says they couldn’t get any charge at all, and the car was bricked in front of the charger, preventing anyone else from getting to it until a tow truck arrived.
Running out of charge is the same as running out of gas, just a different fuel. They’ll learn. Intelligent EVs could warn the driver/owner. Even god took six days to build his masterpiece.
Building a bonfire under an ICE?
What could possibly go wrong?
They do it in Montana on the ranches. In Montana, across the prairie, at the Hi-line it can get very cold.
Well it’s slightly more than “just a different fuel.”
For one, it’s hard to charge an EV on the side of the road, for an ICE it’s just “bring it a gallon of gas.” An ICE and an EV may have the illusion of “similar mileages on a tank” but the reality is quite different. An ICE produces its own waste heat so it’s trivial to redirect it somewhere useful. An EV has to produce heat inefficiently to warm the battery and the passenger compartment, and that reduces mileage considerably.
They already do. The difference is that there’s a gas station with 12 pumps on every corner, and a fast charger for EVs 12 miles away with 4 outlets, and in Chicago they’re finding that they’re all full with a line waiting. And it takes 5 minutes to fill with gas, and (again, in the cold) they’re finding that it takes 10 times as long to charge the car.
Of course (as I am told) people are polite and helpful and will vacate the charger and won’t charge fully, knowing that there are others waiting in line.
Ho ho ho, hee hee, ha ha ha. That’s a good one.
Not QUITE the same.
Let me know when I can as easily refill my EV in an emergency as I can my ICE car:
Surely that was also the case when the Model-T hit the road. You could get oats and horseshoes everywhere.
Perhaps. But those oat-eaters could still bring a gallon of gas to that model T stuck on the side of the road.
So tell me, how am I supposed to get a couple of kilo watt hours of electricity to the EV on the side of the road?
Only if you’re in one of the 24 cities they serve. Notably, not Chicago. And a AAA member.
** Are portable chargers available? Kinda sorta. You could buy your own portable charger for a few thousand dollars, or you could subscribe to a service that offers on-demand portable charging as a service.**
This one is available in Chicago. The market sees the need for mobile EV charging, and businesses are popping up to provide it.
Fair enough. But doesn’t using an ICE truck to bring a portable charger running on an ICE engine kind of defeat one of the significant selling points of EVs - their “clean energy” aura?
And while I haven’t looked into the cost, I’m fairly certain that the cost of such service has to be significantly higher than the cost of using a fixed charging location (public chargers or a home charger), negating much or all of the cost savings on fueling an EV. So I suspect the “on-demand” portion of mobile charging is going to be a failed business model, even if the emergency portion remains viable.
Granted, in a self-caused emergency (failing to keep your EV charged - which is the same level of self-caused emergency as running out of gas in an ICE) you do what you have to do.
But I think my point stands, you can’t call up your buddy to bring you a kWH of electricity they same way you call your buddy to bring a gallon of gas. You have to call specialized roadside services to get electricity. Or a tow truck.
Frankly, I suspect the tow truck model will eventually prevail. It uses existing, non-specialized, widely available equipment and is likely to get the problem solved at about the same speed. A tow driver can arrive in less than an hour in most cases, (probably a wait similar to a mobile charger where they exist) pick up the car, and deliver it to the nearest charging station about as fast as charging on the side of the road for half an hour or more.