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Electric Vehicles? Don´t Get ´Em Cold!
Power Line, by John Hinderaker

Original Article

Posted By:Pluperfect, 2/10/2019 5:07:46 AM

Are electric vehicles the wave of the future, or expensive toys? This shocking news story–shocking if you live in the North, anyway–suggests the latter. 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. *** 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

      


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Reply 1 - Posted by: Sunhan65, 2/10/2019 6:19:31 AM     (No. 11898214)

I grew up in weather where guests would leave parties every 40 minutes to start their cars outside. The alternative was their car wouldn´t start at all. We also routinely plugged cars in at night, not because they were electric but because they wouldn´t work if we didn´t.

Cold weather bricks cars, whether electric or gas, and you need to be careful with either. Although gas cars don´t suffer the same range reduction as electrics, they still suffer some. People use remote starters to let their gas cars warm up in the morning, resulting in a 20 minute idle times. Multiply that by seven days a week, and mileage from a tank is significantly reduced.

As for you suffering, any car is a potential death trap once temperatures drop below zero. Make sure you have plenty of fuel. If you stop somewhere outside, make sure you either plug in the block heater or the charger. If the car stops itself, do not leave the vehicle unless help is immediately visible.

Do carry candles and matches in the car: You actually can survive in a closed vehicle with just a burning candle for warmth provided you are dressed properly. Dress properly. Also, keep a blanket in the car. I bought thin blankets made from thermal foil at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, and I´m sure they´re available elsewhere. Always let people know where you are and where you are going next.

Bottom line: Traveling in sub-zero weather is like traveling through outer space. You need careful preparation, a reliable vehicle, the right apparel, and some special equipment. Otherwise, Houston, you could have a problem.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: Kitty Myers, 2/10/2019 7:28:51 AM     (No. 11898248)

#1, you and I grew up in the same weather. I´ll add to your suggestions that when traveling with children, make certain you have plenty of provisions for them.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: Kitty Myers, 2/10/2019 7:33:39 AM     (No. 11898249)

FTA: But I wonder whether green energy advocates who toss around the word “batteries” much as they might say “magic” have considered the impact of cold weather.

For green energy advocates to consider anything would thinking, something they are unable to do.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: Bur Oak, 2/10/2019 7:44:49 AM     (No. 11898256)

People can buy whatever type car they want. What I object to is subsidizing other people´s car purchases and operating expenses.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: franq, 2/10/2019 8:52:02 AM     (No. 11898335)

It´s in the penumbra of the Constitution, #4.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: Twinkle93, 2/10/2019 9:35:30 AM     (No. 11898390)

There is a good reason why car batteries are rated by their cold cranking amps.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: stablemoney, 2/10/2019 9:57:00 AM     (No. 11898422)

A battery is merely a storage bank of energy put there by some other form of energy, and not green energy.

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Reply 8 - Posted by: Vaquero45, 2/10/2019 11:06:19 AM     (No. 11898523)

One of my neighbors owns a fancy Tesla - the kind with the doors that open like a Lamborghini Countach - and it´s a constant source of amusement to those who know him. Last week, one of the other guys in the ´hood was going to travel with him to a casino up in the mountains. They guy was grilling the Tesla owner about battery range and charging stations, and sources of emergency power, and charging times using 110V versus 220V; he was worried they´d get stranded in the mountains in a $75,000 electric car that wouldn´t move. They sounded like officers in the battalion S-4 planning a convoy.
The three other guys (including me) sat there bemused by the conversation.

Electric cars are big expensive toys. Don´t count on them for anything serious.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: Fosterdad, 2/10/2019 11:19:27 AM     (No. 11898543)

That´s why I have a plug-in hybrid electric. No matter how cold it gets, I can still use the gasoline engine. BTW, I love the car.

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Reply 10 - Posted by: StormCnter, 2/10/2019 11:22:17 AM     (No. 11898544)

Our daughter has one, too, #9. And she also loves it.

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Reply 11 - Posted by: Smart11344, 2/10/2019 12:57:21 PM     (No. 11898633)

At age 75, you´ll never see my buy an electric car.

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Reply 12 - Posted by: dvc, 2/10/2019 2:01:39 PM     (No. 11898671)

All batteries lose charge as their temperature drops. Fundamental law of physics is that all chemical reactions slow as temperatures drop, pretty dramatically, too.
The first time this was of practical interest was when we were backpacking in the Wyoming mountains in the 70s. Cold weather, say 10F, made our flashlights nearly useless, necessary to cook and such if we hiked too late. The solution was to keep your flashlight in an inner pocket, not always convenient.

So, keep your car in an inner pocket.

Hybrids require subsidies, stealing from normal people to subsidize an expensive bandaid. The ONLY part of the driving cycle where a hybrid is not less efficient than a normal car is under braking. They recover some of the energy dumped while braking and store it in a battery, reuse it later.

The weight of motor/batteries reduces the fuel efficiency at all times, and the cost is uncompetitive. You would save more by prepurchasing a gas credit card with the extra money you spent on the hybrid - except that the government steals my money to subsidize the hybrid folly.

If your driving cycle has lots of braking, a hybrid can provide improved overall fuel efficiency. If it includes little braking, like long stretches of highway driving, fuel economy will be a bit worse than the same body shell with just the gas engine, lightened by the lack of electric motor, batteries and controllers.

The first things that the hybrid makers did when they brought out the hybrids was stop selling their smallest, most fuel efficient car models, because they cost much less and equaled the fuel economy. So they were ERASED. Look up Honda Civic HF, for High Fuel efficiency.

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Reply 13 - Posted by: rolfnader, 2/10/2019 2:20:27 PM     (No. 11898693)

If your electric car runs the risk of stopping because you use the heater, I would suggest a nice little coal-fired heater on the floor between the front and back seats.
Or, as my great-grandparents did when traveling in the winter, heat up two stone slabs on your woodstove and put your feet on it as you travel.

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Reply 14 - Posted by: Charactercounts, 2/10/2019 10:17:06 PM     (No. 11899042)

Relatives live in that territory, #1 and #2. I recall them saying to keep old metal coffee cans, to be used in conjunction with the candle to make a crude heater. So, several metal coffee cans and a bunch of candles, plus a sleeping bag, can keep you from freezing to death.

Unless you´re unlucky, like the neighbor they had whose disabled car was plowed under by the giant snowplows--and he was trapped and didn´t survive.

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