My Car Quest

January 30, 2023

The Politics of Cold Weather and Electric Vehicles

by Wallace Wyss –

I am watching the TV commercials showing electric trucks powering through Colorado or Idaho, snow no problem. But then I go to this YouTube series called Now you Know, admittedly 100% Tesla fans, but on this episode they bought a Rivian EV truck and a Ford EV truck and planned to take both on a 91 mile trip, watch here – Tesla Lies, Ford Tries, Rivian Dies | In Depth

But it was 18 degrees F, outside and even though they had fully charged both the night before the Rivian wouldn’t start. The Ford started but it had lost a measurable percentage of range because of the cold. At least the Ford told them in miles how much they had lost but the Tesla only gives percentages lost.

Tesla in snow

So they went on their trip in the Ford but found as soon as they turned the heater on, their estimated range dropped. So they tried driving without the heater but the windshield would ice up every few miles, so they were forced to use the heater.

And then they had the problem of a charging station. They saw one was reachable once they got to New Hampshire but they had only one to choose from on the route. If they had been in their Tesla they would have had more. I think the fanatics that want us to go to full adoption of EVs live in warm weather states–they don’t realize how much a danger they are putting the public in by advocating a complete switchover to EVs.

Why?

-cold weather drops the range, sometimes over 30% compared to a 75 degree F day

-there’s still not enough infrastructure outside of Tesla’s network

I shouldn’t even mention (scare tactic?) that not only do people use their cars to go to the grocery store and work but what if you have a family medical emergency that requires you go to the hospital? Like now. It’s about then you wish you hadn’t sold that ICE car.

What I’m saying is that I am tired of the zero carbon folks painting such a rosy picture of how it will be when EVs rule the roost. The EV fanatics should go to a place where it’s cold and see how an EV operates. And oh by the way if the Electrify America charging station they found in New Hampshire has only level 2, it will take hours to charge it, so even a 200-mile round trip might mean adding a few hours to your trip time.

It’s a crying shame that the automakers don’t loan the producers of that show test cars–they are forced to buy them to get the truth out to the public. But Thank God they are exposing the flaw in this plan to go all EVs…

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss art

THE AUTHOR Wallace Wyss (rhymes with reese) is a fine artist specializing in commissions from exotic car owners. He has done guest lecturing at the Art Center College of Design.

 
 
 
 
 

Summary
The Politics of Cold Weather and Electric Vehicles
Article Name
The Politics of Cold Weather and Electric Vehicles
Description
How do electric vehicles perform in very cold weather? Maybe not so good.
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Comments

  1. Excellent article and thank you for pointing out important issues that only us gear heads would be concerned with. Clearly Tesla is ahead on the infrastructure front.
    You didn’t mention towing. To me and many, our pickup trucks is all about tow capacity and what happens to your range on your EV pickup when towing your 10K pound car, horse, boat or camper trailer? The range would be pathetic, and I can’t imagine trying to pull into a charging station with a big trailer in tow.
    The next generation “Ram Revolution” is talking about incorporating an onboard generator which would offer massive range and they may have something there. In the meantime. I’m loving and probably keeping my Ram hemi!
    Many thanks for an always informative article.

  2. Mike Miles says

    Yep!
    And when you’re out the tow truck can’t simply give you 20 miles of charge as easily as pouring a gallon of gas in the tank.

    Commercial EV truck and bus fleets are starting to learn this as well.

  3. Rob Krantz says

    Excellent article. This is one of the big concerns I have about full scale adoption of electric vehicles being rammed down our throats. I happen to like Teslas and have driven the Model S and Model 3 and have been impressed by both. Nevertheless, these are not practical vehicles for either long trips or in cold climates as the article points out. Imagine a major snow storm with multiple cars and trucks snowbound on a New England freeway. I’ve seen stories as such in the past where there’s a pile up that causes 50 or more vehicles to be stuck. It is bad enough with an IC vehicle and one with less than a full tank of gas to power the heater. Imagine all electric vehicles in a similar situation! Or, how about a full scale evacuation scenario as happens when it’s hurricane season in Florida and thousands of cars are gridlocked on freeways leaving the area to be impacted….those cars and trucks will end up running out of juice or there won’t be sufficient charging stations for all of those vehicles. A pending disaster scenario. The full scale adoption of EV’s being pushed by our government and getting full scale buy in by all auto manufacturers is I’ll advised and frankly, dangerous to the general public. EV’s are not the panacea being touted so widely due to the intense mining operations of rare earth materials to make the batteries as well as our weak electric infrastructure to even charge all of these future EV’s. Brown outs or black outs are common now during peak electric usage in California without every house having EV’s. Gov. Newsom in CA even asked people not to charge their electric cars during such times! Imagine if you must charge and need to use your EV in an emergency. IC vehicles remain, in my mind, the only viable means to allow the general public to get around. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”

  4. I suppose you gotta start somewhere. I’m not suggesting that all of the arguments put forth are not correct, but like every new “invention” it takes time for the infrastructure to catch up. Gas cars needed gas stations, trains needed tracks, telephones needed lines, electricity needed power stations and lines, cell phones needed cell towers, etc.
    Living in the Bay area, ground zero for the EV revolution, everyone I’ve spoken to seems quite happy with their purchase as the infrastructure is fairly convenient. I have a friend who drives her Tesla SUV back and forth to Florida a few times a year and claims she has is fine with the infrastructure, once she figured out what to expect and plans accordingly. So yeah, still some growing pains and major hurdles to replace ICE vehicles world wide but that’s what humans do, keep at it until something more viable comes along. I still think hybrids are currently a good alternative.

  5. lennoxmcneely mcneely says

    In Northern Canada our mindless government has not planned to exclude such areas for EV adoption rules –often long distances to medical clinics and other necessary services and simply won’t work at 30 below.. Where I live I keep nearly full gas tanks in the summer ( and also in my hybrid)–need the mileage to flee a forrest fire at short notice. Even this morning a 45 minute ride into our town (Whistler) was 3 hours with traffic back-up–no charging stations in sight.

  6. Sorry to disagree with Phillip but this EV deal seems ill-conceived. It puts Biden’s stupidity on display. Yes, EVs may have a place perhaps as a second car with limited travel range. What are all the apartment dwellers going to do?
    First, we should have standardized plugs and charging facilities. Clearly Tesla has the best infrastructure by far, but it is not accessible to a non-Tesla. Can you imagine going to one gas station to fill your Ford and having to go across town to fill your Chevy. In Europe they may have standardized charging. This is so ill conceived, not to mention the other shortcomings. I don’t mind being a pioneer, but let it be well thought out. We shouldn’t get into politics, but we don’t need more Gavin Newsoms!

  7. Rob Krantz says

    I agree with Byron and that Phillip’s comments, while I agree that you have to start somewhere, there has been no real planning for all of this and the technology is not ready for mass production of vehicles that can perform like IC vehicles. Again, my example of either 50-100 cars stuck in a snowstorm on a freeway or a mass exodus related to hurricanes in the southeast U.S. You cannot charge hundreds of cars and trucks stuck on a freeway due to their batteries running low like you can bring cans of gasoline to fill up cars such to get them started and off the road. I watched the YouTube video linked in this story and it is a serious issue for EV’s and performance in the cold! This literally is a disaster waiting to happen when idiots like Newsom put out an arbitrary date for stopping sales of IC vehicles and the auto industry going along blindly.

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