Stating the Obvious

Since I’ve been telling people this for years, I find the sudden revelation that the batteries of electric cars drain more rapidly in cold weather pretty amusing. From the Tom Krisher at the Associated Press:

DETROIT (AP) — Cold temperatures can sap electric car batteries, temporarily reducing their range by more than 40 percent when interior heaters are used, a new study found.

The study of five electric vehicles by AAA also found that high temperatures can cut into battery range, but not nearly as much as the cold. The range returns to normal in more comfortable temperatures.

Many owners discovered the range limitations last week when much of the country was in the grips of a polar vortex. Owners of vehicles made by manufacturers including Tesla, the top-selling electric vehicle company in the U.S., complained on social media about reduced range and frozen door handles during the cold snap.

I think there are plenty of use cases for electric cars, particularly in eastern cities without strong public transportation systems, but the argument in their favor is a lot harder to make north of the Mason-Dixon line. Driving an electric vehicle in rural Minnesota, for example, would take a special kind of dedication.

3 comments… add one
  • Gray Shambler Link

    Since the juice has to be generated somewhere, any Green mandates need to plan for that. I would understand if L.A. , for instance wanted to encourage battery powered autos, smog, and moderate climate.
    But here in Nebraska? A toy for rich people. Unless they mandate it, then we’ll have to shut down in bad weather. Anything to save the planet.

  • TastyBits Link

    Frozen batteries are not much of a problem down here, but there used to be a commercial about freezing temperatures and the Die Hard battery. So, I assume that people up north would know about this.

  • Gray shambler Link

    Not just cold, plowing thru snow takes power too.

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