(WatchDogReport.org) – Electric Vehicle (EV) owners in the Chicago area are grappling with charging challenges as freezing temperatures render many charging stations inoperable. The extreme cold has turned these stations into car graveyards, leaving EV drivers stranded with dead batteries. One frustrated driver, Tyler Beard, recounted spending hours attempting to recharge his Tesla at an Oak Brook, Illinois charging station, only to face persistent issues.
Due to the extreme cold, the batteries are taking longer to charge, so what should typically take 45 minutes is now extending to two (or more) hours with the available charger.
Across charging stations, long lines and abandoned vehicles underscore the widespread struggle. Brandon Welbourne, another Tesla owner, highlighted the impact of cold temperatures on charging times, with batteries taking significantly longer to charge. He mentioned witnessing numerous cars being towed away due to dead batteries, emphasizing the dire situation.
Chalis Mizelle, facing charging failure, decided to abandon her car and seek a ride from a friend. The severity of the situation prompted one observer to refer to the stranded electric vehicles as “dead robots.”
Kevin Sumrak had to enlist the assistance of a flatbed tow truck to transport his inoperable Tesla, discovered at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, to a charging station in working order. An expert, Mark Bilek of the Chicago Auto Trade Association, explained that cold weather affects electric vehicles’ charging capability, necessitating battery preconditioning for optimal performance.
As EV drivers endure this charging crisis, Fox Business reached out to Tesla for comment, but there has been no response as of this writing. The challenges highlight the vulnerability of electric vehicles in extreme weather conditions, prompting concerns among owners about the practicality of relying on electric cars during severe cold snaps.
“It’s not a simple plug-and-go process. You need to precondition the battery, which involves bringing the battery to the ideal temperature for accepting a rapid charge,” explained Mark Bilek from the Chicago Auto Trade Association. The support website of Tesla advises maintaining the charge level above 20% when the vehicle is not plugged in, aiming to minimize the effect of cold temperatures on the battery.
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