My sister in law lives in Edmonton, Alberta. She is visiting and reported that the wind chill in her home town is -83 degrees. The weather bomb cyclone that hit as far south as northern Louisiana is bringing extreme cold, snow, and windstorms. So what, one might say. It’s winter. Suffice it to say that she isn’t going home soon.
Well, that’s all good unless you happen to own an EV. The cold weather can drop the range up to 40%. And charging in such temperatures can be problematic – with Tesla charging stations becoming “auto graveyards.” This is not unexpected. Cold weather lowers battery efficiency.
There is more. Hertz has decided to back off on its EV promotion, greatly affecting Tesla sales for the upcoming year. Hertz is concerned that renters aren’t gobbling up the EVs plus the fact that it does take some getting used to when driving the heavier car. They can be accident prone when new drivers are on board. Hertz has found that repairs for the EVs cost twice as much as for a standard ICE vehicle.
Sales of EVs seems to have bottomed out in Europe with every country including China, yes I know China isn’t in Europe, reporting lower sales (up to 30%) compared with last year. Why? My take is that people just don’t want them. For buyers to change their habits, there needs to be an overriding reason. Just what is the upside of buying an EV.
All the hype seems to be misleading. They cost almost as much as an ICE vehicle to power (per mile), they are twice as expensive to repair, range anxiety is real, there aren’t enough charging stations, and won’t be for a long time, insurance costs are high, they are problematic when its cold outside, plus they are 20% more expensive than a comparable ICE vehicle. Plus, battery manufacture is a messy business, far more messy than creating gasoline. It also seems that EVs are aging to the point where expensive battery replacement is neigh.
Looking out my window, I find that the Tesla owner down the street has sold his EV in favor of a Jeep. Gas powered. I haven’t run into him on the dog walk recently to ask why, but I’ll bet some of the reasons in the previous paragraph will come to light.
All that, and the wind chill in Edmonton is still really REALLY cold.