The arrival of the arctic storm in deer creates a It’s very cold, with temperatures below zero in many regions of the country. This situation affects the performance of hundreds of thousands electric vehicles and many of them are stranded in different places, especially in charging stations.
A report on Consumer Reports points out that the autonomy of electric cars decreases about 25% in very cold climates. In addition, because of the low temperature power outages which complicates the recharging of vehicles. These factors contribute to stations being transformed into agglomerations of immobile cars, which residents call “Tesla cemeteries.”
Long lines to charge electric car batteries
The long lines of charging stations They started forming on Sunday, when the temperature reached the minimum level in the country. Many drivers tried to recharge their car batteries, but to no avail; Not only are the stations full, but in many cases, They didn’t work either..
One of the main states hit by this problem is Chicago, where various owners are desperately looking for a usable place to load. In particular, problems were reported at a station located at The Evergreen Marketplace at 9200 S. Western Ave in Evergreen Park, where vehicles were stranded due to dead batteries and a lack of power in the area.
The situation worsened over the days as many stations canceled their services, while those operating They are not working properly it takes longer than usual to charge car batteries. Likewise, some affected people indicate that they experience problems opening the doors of your Tesla due to low temperature
Why are electric car batteries so low when it’s cold?
According to repeateda battery research company for electric vehicles, there are two main reasons for the decrease in the range of cars when the environment is low in temperature: one is chemical reaction in the battery and the other is conductor.
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Batteries work through chemical reactions of electrons and ions to move from one side to another. When it’s too cold, all kinds of chemical reactions happen. gently, including those occurring in a battery. This means that autonomy, as well as its capacity, is reduced.
Likewise, people do not do well in the cold either. When a person drives on a cold day, they usually do use heating. In fact, that is a more important factor in reducing the range of electric vehicles than the effect of the battery temperature itself, said Andy Garberson, a member of the specialist company.
In a gasoline powered vehicle, heating hardly affects the duration of the fuel. This is because gasoline engines generate a lot of heat at all times, both summer and winter. In fact, when a car burns gasoline to drive, more energy is converted into calories left over to move. Directing some of that excess heat into the cabin to keep the occupants warm is not a problem.
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In contrast, the electric motors and batteries they produce a lot little residual heat. This is part of the reason they are so efficient, since almost all of the energy in the batteries is used for driving. But if the cabin needs heating, the energy is used for it taken from the kilometers travelled. This means that the autonomy can be greatly reduced and it must be charged more often.
Tesla’s defense for problems with electric cars
Because of this problem, some users They question the viability of electric cars in such unfavorable climates and demanded measures to overcome these inconveniences. Tesla recognizes that increased energy consumption is a normal consequence of low temperatures and provides a series of recommendations through their online support.
The company of Elon Musk recommends as preventive measures to keep the charge of electric cars above 20% and also suggests using the “preconditioning” button to prepare the battery for a more efficient charge.