(StraightNews.org) – Low temperatures in Chicago caused electric vehicles (EVs) to shut down and create a “bunch of dead robots.” Tyler Beard, a resident of the Windy City, told Fox News that he spent hours in the freezing cold trying to charge his Tesla vehicle. Other motorists reported “abandoned” cars as drivers took refuge from the intense cold.
Tesla owner Chalis Mizelle said, “This is crazy. It’s a disaster. Seriously.” She said she abandoned her car and asked a friend for a ride because the charging station was not working. Another driver said he arrived at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport to find his vehicle wouldn’t start. He hired a flatbed tow truck to haul the car to a charging station.
Mark Bilek of the Chicago Auto Trade Association described the charging process and said, “It’s not plug and go. You have to precondition the battery, meaning that you have to get the battery up to the optimal temperature to accept a fast charge.”
The Consumer Reports group states that the driving range of EVs reduces in extreme temperatures. Devin Pratt wrote in 2021 that the main reason is the impact on battery chemistry and the draining of batteries that occurs to heat the inside of the car. He added that cold temperatures can decrease the driving range by about 20%. Recharging also takes longer in bad weather.
Online magazine Inside EVs advise that to make the most of an EV during winter, it is best practice to keep the battery pack as close to its optimum temperature as possible. Andrei Nedelea added that drivers should familiarize themselves with the vehicle’s thermal management system and understand how it works.
The optimal temperature for an EV’s lithium-ion battery is between 68°F and 113°F, and if the battery temperature drops below 68, the car will use electricity to bring it back up. This feature is why EVs lose power in bad weather, even when not being driven.
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