A common situation where EVs fail miserably

Here in the Upper Midwest, our interstates are fast and our winters are cold. Speeds north of 70 miles per hour combined with near-zero (F) temperatures wreak havoc on an electric vehicle’s range. While a typical internal combustion engine (ICE) car might suffer only a 10-15% reduction in highway driving range under these conditions, a typical EV currently on the market will have its range dip 30-50 percent! Elevated power output from the motor coupled with electric heating for the cabin increase energy draw from a cold – and thus reduced-capacity – lithium battery. This means that a 274-mile rated Kia EV6 might mange just 160 miles of range in bone-chilling cold, a 278-mile rated Mustang Mach-E might get 180, and a Tesla Model Y could optimistically go about 200. If you’re thinking about a winter road trip, maybe to visit relatives for Christmas or Thanksgiving, in a shorter-range EV like a Kona, Bolt, Leaf, or Niro, forget about it.

Compounding the problem of drastically reduced driving range is the generally inept charging infrastructure along highways in the Upper Midwest. DC fast chargers are few and far between and when you get to one there’s a decent chance it won’t be working. Even if you do find a charger in good operational order, fast charging in cold temperatures can take twice as long at freezing (32°F) and three times longer closer to zero compared to when temperatures are in the seventies. The reason? According to the Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory, “cold temperatures impact the electrochemical reactions within the cell, and onboard battery management systems limit the charging rate to avoid damage to the battery.” For most EVs, this delay translates to about an hour and a half or even a two-hour ‘fill-up’ to 80% battery capacity. Yikes.

Trending on Hotair Video