Reader Question: EV Batteries and Cold

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Horst asks: A friend in France sent me a very interesting video which raised the question of longevity of the batteries in cold weather and traffic jams. Or if one gets bogged down in heavy snow. Will they freeze to death without any help? I never seen this very sensitive problem addressed. I am living in Thailand, in a heavy traffic stop we may end up as roasted chicken and ducks. Anything but promising outlook which ever way one looks at this prospect. It is just one more measure to enslave MAN and reduce us to extinction via dictatorial enslavement.

My reply: Most current electric cars have heaters for their battery packs – necessary, in order to prevent them from “bricking” or becoming impossible to recharge if the air temperature falls below freezing. And, of course, they have a heating system to keep the passengers warm.

The problem is that both are powered by . . . electricity, the sole source of power in an electric car. It’s a problem, because power used to keep the battery pack and passengers warm uses power that would otherwise be used for propelling the EV, reducing its already reduced range (vs. a non-electric car) even more, which means having to recharge more often.

In the freezing (and maybe snowing) cold.

Instead of less than five minutes at a gas pump, at least 30-45 minutes at a “fast” charger. If one’s available.

If not, you freeze.

This danger is a non-issue with a non-electric car because heat is “free” – the cabin is warmed by excess heat generated by the running engine, but it doesn’t use more fuel to run the heater.

In an EV, you may have to ration the heat in order to keep moving.

Nice, eh?

Compounding the problem is that battery performance is reduced in extreme cold regardless – you may recall last winter that many EV drivers were surprised to find that their car’s range in very cold driving fell by 40 percent or more.

The same problem applies in reverse, by the way. On very hot days, battery performance is also negatively affected and if you use the AC, which uses a lot of power, it will decrease the battery pack’s charge and so, your range.

If you’re wondering why anyone would want to buy a car that afflicts its owner with these problems… well, you tell me!

As I’ve repeatedly said, EVs are a step backward. It is the the first time since the advent of the Model T that cars becoming more expensive, less versatile and more inconvenient.

Which, of course, is why EVs are being forced down our throats.

. . .

Got a question about cars, Libertarian politics – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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2 COMMENTS

  1. I really don’t know why they all think there is some magic battery that will appear somehow (and soon!!!) that will solve all these really big problems.

    There really is nothing that even seems promising. Nothing….. But they are all going down that road. But that road will be littered with stalled cars.

    If electric cars ever become practical, it will be because somebody comes up with something beside a battery. Chemical batteries are a dead end IMHO.

    • Electric car proponents have been talking about a miracle battery being just around the corner for something like 50 years now. (Remember Ford’s sodium-sulfur battery?) Granted, lithium ion batteries are a lot better than the old-school lead-acid type used in 1970s attempts at electric vehicles, but they are still too expensive and have too many drawbacks.

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