A few days ago, Virginia – home to this writer – was hammered by a sudden-onslaught blizzard that dumped almost a foot of snow along the I-95 corridor, the name we Virginians use to reference the stretch of Interstate 95 that runs from Richmond up to Northern Va, near DC – before it threads up the east coast to New York and beyond.
The snow was so fierce and heavy it paralyzed traffic on I-95, which became a kind of extended parking lot for much of the distance between Richmond and Northern Virginia, which is more than 100 miles.
Thousands of drivers were stuck inside their cars, for as long as 27 hours – which is more than one full day, if you’re counting. This is extremely inconvenient – as well as uncomfortable, assuming your car isn’t an RV with beds in the back and cable TV.
It could be something else – if your car happens to be electric.
EVs don’t like sudden, unplanned things – because they’re more likely to be not ready for them – since it takes them hours to charge, if not plugged in to a “fast” charger – and none of these are at home. You have to drive to where they are.
This is hard to do if you can’t drive to where they are.
Back-up electricity for EVs is also harder to store – and much less portable. If the power goes out because of a snowstorm and you have a five gallon jug of gas in the garage or shed, you can drive your car – your not-electric car – about 100 miles, easily, even if it’s a “gas guzzler.” Easy to find more gas along the way.
If the the power goes off and your energy hog EV (a Tesla carries around 1,000 pounds of battery pack, necessary to deliver the touted “ludicrous” speed) is empty, it will be harder to find a can of kilowatts.
People who own EVs found out about these limitations during one of the regularly occurring hurricanes that hit Louisiana and the gulf area a few years back; many didn’t have the luxury of time to charge – in time to get away from the hurricane.
But at least they didn’t freeze.
Keep in mind that EVs generate heat by “burning” electricity. It takes a lot of electricity to power an electric heater; ask any homeowner who has a heat pump or baseboard electric heating, the latter being the type of heater most EVs have.
How much “range” on that?
Enough to stay warm – and alive – for 27 hours?
Maybe not. Especially not if you got stuck without a full charge, which you forgot to plan for because you didn’t think you’d be stuck in a blizzard.
And now, you are.
So what now? Jumping jacks?
There’s no way to recharge on the fly, in the midst of a snowstorm – in the middle of a parking lot full of snowed-in cars on Interstate 95.
Most lower-tier EVs like the Nissan Leaf, Chevy Bolt and VW ID.4 have a best-case range of around 150-250 miles or so. Much of that would be depleted by the time you got half-way to Richmond from DC, depending on how were driving. Also upon how much you’ve been using electrically powered accessories such as the heater. And the defroster. These only work by “burning” electricity, which necessarily means less is available to propel the car.
And the reverse.
The EV’s battery pack must also be kept warm, by the way.
There’s electric heating for that, too.
So whatever the advertised best-case range is, it will be less than advertised if you use electrically-powered accessories. Which means all accessories, in an electric car. Including the heater for the battery pack, which must be kept a certain temperature else it cannot be charged.
Many people are unaware of that, for the same reason a shady used car salesman won’t tell a mark about the chassis rust he covered up with black paint.
Electric batteries also lose charge faster when it’s very cold – doubling down on this problem. Imagine finding yourself stuck in a blizzard – perhaps without the heavy clothes appropriate to survival in a blizzard – watching the charge indicator wilt as the car tries to keep you warm.
Of course, you’d be just as stuck in a not electric car. But less likely to freeze – because you could have filled up to full at the nearest gas station, spur of the moment – after having heard the radio reports about the suddenly-here storm. You might even have put a five gallon jug of extra gas in the trunk, for just in case. You would not be stuck for hours tethered to a cord.
The gas-powered car is also better-suited for such frigid emergencies for another reason.
A combustion engine car’s heat is a byproduct of combustion. It takes burning gas to generate that heat, of course. But it does not cost as much energy as it does in an electric car – because idling the engine in a gas-engined car doesn’t burn much gas. But it does create plenty of heat.
Driving an electric car in winter is kind of like taking a “vaccine” that doesn’t immunize. There are better – safer – alternatives, in both cases.
And without the costs.
People got a look-see at those costs a few days ago. They might also have a look at the power-rationing occurring in states like California – where it is generally not cold but where you’ll still be stuck if there’s no electricity available to charge up your EV.
. . .
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The Chevy Volt is all electric, but it also has a gas engine under the hood (and normal gas tank in the back) that can recharge the batteries in real-time, while providing heat as a byproduct from the engine. This is why I prefer these over plain EVs. You get the best of both worlds. Sure, the battery is not as large, but it often doesn’t need to be.
Congratulations on making Revolver News’s feed, Eric!
A man in Finland was dismayed by the range reduction of his Tesla which had degraded to the point that he could no longer quick charge it and it would only run for about 20 miles before needing another slow charge. When he took it to be repaired, he was informed it would cost $35,000 dollars to replace the worn out battery pack that isn’t covered by warranty and he would be without the vehicle for over a month perhaps several. So he and his friends took the vehicle out to the quarry and detonated it with construction shaped charges turning the vehicle into shrapnel in mere seconds. They then collected all the bits and pieces. They filmed it all on high speed cameras. It was glorious!
I used a photo of that event as the lead art for my latest article!
Man what a load of misinformation to try and craft a scenario that proves EVs are bad. If an ICE car is 1/4 full and gets stuck in a storm it’s in the same position as a 1/4 full EV. Neither can get refilled and you have to miser out energy consumption to make it through the event.
I have a bunch of ICE cars (I collect) and 2 Teslas. Having a Tesla for 7 year now I can say they are the best cars I’ve ever owned, especially the Plaid. The Plaid having literally the fastest car in the world (0-60 1.9 sec) packed into a big luxury sedan with class leading safety just doesn’t get any better. The Teslas are always full when I walk out to the garage as they are always plugged in. I didn’t buy them for some global warming bs. I bought them because the driving experience is second to none, and never having to go to a gas station is great. I still love my ICE cars but I rarely drive them as they can’t compete.
and where do you live now?
So you were involved in this situation in your Plaid Tesla?
Because you offered no facts to refuse the authors valid points.
You can always get a gas powered generator to put in the trunk to recharge your EV.
Just make sure you have enough gas on hand…
What happens when an EV calls for roadside assistance due to a dead battery? Well a large pickup truck hauling a diesel generator trailer pulls up and quick charges your battery in about 20-30-45-60 minutes and then you are on your way. Longer if it the generator has to let the battery pack warm up first before charging is allowed to occur. But would that truck with the generator be able to get to you on I-95 in the middle of a blizzard? NOPE!
Really poor article, all speculation (mostly wrong) and didn’t bother to look up a single fact! Google Bjorn Tesla keep warm, he demonstrates 70+ hrs of keeping warm in the snow. Dozens if not hundreds of similar real tests out there. All that is needed is heating the air space the size of a small closet, no wonder it only takes ~1kwh or less (with some basic adjustments to settings) in idle with heat… Even with a low charge you’d of made it thru warm and toasty.
I get the frustration with govt subsidies, ice over regulation. But don’t just make up Bs.
How long do you stay warm on a third of full charge? How long if it’s 14 degrees out? Battery performance/range decrease markedly in low temperatures – and you can’t jus charge up on the fly. You have to wait – and plan. No one’s making anything up about the issues specific to EVs.
My wife drives a 2020 model 3. She never leaves the house with a third of a full charge. When I take her car, I always make sure it has enough charge to go way beyond my destination. I drive a 2021 Duramax dually. I get on the highway all the time with less diesel than I need, because I know stopping for more is no big deal. If we had been on that freeway there’s a much better chance I’d have been unprepared rather than her.
Charging can be inconvenient. We are traveling at the moment, and chargers aren’t always close. For the first year she had the car, she never took it to a charger. It charged in the garage at night, and was ready to go when she was. I, on the other hand, had to deal with the gas station dance weekly.
Electric cars are great for what they’re great for, just like my truck is great for what it’s great for. I don’t spend time in parking garages, or like driving on narrow city streets. She’s not driving through snowstorms, or through the mountains of Wyoming.
Your motorcycles aren’t great for snowstorms either. You just need to understand that each vehicle has its strengths and limitations.
I agree with all of that, Ron –
And I’m not anti-EV. I’m anti being forced into EVs. And anti-not-conveying-to-people-the-cons-as-well-as-the-pros of EVS!
Well we are in total agreement then. I’ve been reading you for years, and finally decided to chime in. Nice to meet you.
And your comments anticipated my latest; see here: https://www.ericpetersautos.com/2022/01/12/hating-evs/
one of the big limitations of EV is people that rent, live in cities or complexes etc. There’s no personal spot to charge your car.
The real-world tests have already been done.
How many Teslas were towed off the I-95?
I’ll help you out. ZERO.
I, too, would have agreed with this author until I bothered to research it for myself and discovered he is, to be polite, not in the building.
You miss the point. Which is that when there are lots of EVs in circulation in areas where it gets very cold (there aren’t, yet) the problems described in the article will become apparent.
They’re not disputable, either. EV battery pack performance (capacity) decreases markedly in cold weather. That means even less range. It means if you started out on a trip assuming you’d be able to recharge soon – but can’t, because of weather or some other issue – you have a much more serious problem than you would if you were driving a non-electric car with just a couple of gallons in the tank (which by the way will still give you range comparable to a fully charged Nissan Leak or Chevy Bolt).
More hassles. Less convenience. Diminished mobility. Greater expense. These are what you get with EVs.
Also: Always with the personal attacks. It’s a sure measure of incapacity or unwillingness to debate the facts.
70 hours may be true on a full charge. The point is that you don’t know when an emergency will occur. Do you recharge your car every time it hits 75%? I’m sure you don’t. So what if you’re stuck in that snow storm with 25% charge left? Do you still feel so confident in that EV?
Further. When my IC car is 7 years old, it will still travel the same distance on a tank of fuel, as it did when it was new.
My experience of battery packs is that their capacity decays rapidly with age and with charging cycles.
Exactly, Bob –
That – and the spontaneity which EVs eliminate. No more spur-of-the-moment, the flexibility to change plans with changing circumstances. Everything must be planned-ahead for. The problem there being that, sometimes, unplanned things happen.
I have an elctric car, too.
Its like I’m always stressed about running out. Puny range. Wish I didn’t buy it. Never know if I’ll make it to next town. Nothing but stress. When expensive battries are needing replacing, I will go back to gas power.
The truly tragic thing is that EVs have a niche… as short-range/urban-suburban A to B vehicles. These could be built and sold for less than $15k (such vehicles are being made and sold in places like China) and for many people, would be a boon. Instead, we’ve got a boondoggle…. government-mandated EVs that are more expensive and less versatile for the kind of driving most people need and want to do.
I live in the Florida Panhandle and my neighbor was notified of a home owner insurance change for those who have electric vehicles. He told me his insurance do longer covers loss due to fire if the source of the fire is found to be charging an electric vehicle indoors. He called his insurance company to get clarification because he has an electric golf cart. He was told electric vehicles include golf carts, cars, motorcycles, bicycles, etc. that can be ridden. They have a separate “add on” policy available for EVs or he could try including his golf cart (not road registered) in his auto comprehensive policy.
He is trying to sell his electric golf cart so he can purchase a gas golf cart but is not having any luck. Everyone is wanting gas golf carts.
His insurance company is operated by idiots. Electric golf carts use standard lead-acid 12V batteries. Probably of the deep cycle variety. The likelihood of them starting the house on fire is extremely low.
I suppose someone has made a li-ion battery golf cart by now but it would just be a stupid waste of money. Why go to a special battery pack for something like a golf cart? Sure it might last longer than the lead-acid batteries but it will be so expensive to replace that you could replace the lead-acid batteries multiple times over if not several times for the same money.
I read somewhere it cost like $3,000 to change an EV battery? That’s more than my gas vehicle battery of $60.
A Finnish man blew up his out-of-warranty Tesla just before Christmas when he was told it would cost him over $20,000 for a battery replacement.
The Chevy Volt was designed to alleviate range anxiety. It provides a gas engine so if you run out of battery it will recharge it in real-time using gasoline. You should think about trading in for one. They don’t make them anymore, but there are still really nice used ones out there – 2017-2019 models.
I agree, Rob –
I’ve said the same, in several articles. It’s not ideal for me because I need a truck – but for many, it’s a sound concept.
No one ever talks about battery replacement costs. I understand that, at a minimum, a Tesla’s battery is $20 grand to replace. That brings up another question: what happens to that old battery? Is it reused? Does it end up in the dump? The other issue is that China now owns 90% of the lithium market since they are going around buying up mines and production facilities throughout the world. What happens if we go into another trade war with China? Do you really think that they will be price competitive with lithium batteries? I doubt it. Tesla has a lot of part manufacturing in China, not just the batteries. They are, like Apple and Android, are subsidizing the Chinese Communist Party by placing major manufacturing facilities in that country. That alone makes me shudder.
Yup. I try to shout this out as often (and loudly) as I can. As with the “vaccines,” people are simply not being informed about the cons – while the pros are relentlessly touted…
No Australia is the largest producer of lithium and China ranks 3rd
Sure Rob, we all know how you acolytes really hate facts that interfere with your religion.
these arguments going back and forth should easily be resolved by parties with first hand knowledge of the situation. That is.. they were there and they were in all electric automobiles. If they would just chime in and share their experience I believe this could be settled in a day or two. it would seem that a mix of good experiences and just plain awful experiences would have been offered up by now. crickets.
I think that Eric touched on the fundamental issue. Compulsion.
It’s really impossible for us to conclude which vehicle is the best choice for an individual … any more than we could say, “Blue is the best color.”
But, I hope we can agree that it is unjust to compel a man to choose Electric, against his wishes.
Debating the EV’s lack of versatility, which is the very purpose of individual transportation, is like arguing with a flat-earther. They cherry-pick their debating points, which don’t hold up under their own arguments, and when presented with any evidence to contradict their “religion”, their response is “that’s stupid”, lol!
If highways (and railroads) were privately owned, at some point it would be cheaper to enclose (cover) selected sections of the roadway than to suffer continued financial losses. Government lacks the market incentive to do such. Instead, the taxpayers and road users are saddled with the losses.
Or, since highways obviously use up a great deal of REAL ESTATE, it makes sense to privatize them for several reasons:
(1) A private highway could and likely would charge tolls, and impose higher ones for peak demand. A way to price demand.
(2) The construction could take into account OTHER uses for the land, and there can be creative ways to enhance the land use. A highway could be built either elevated or sunken, with other uses ranging from parking lots, stores, warehouses, even noisy factories where the din of traffic is not an issue.
(3) The same investment companies could also own properties adjacent to the highways, which would make use of THEM in a manner which mutually benefits both. Naturally, there’s be an incentive to promote smooth flow of traffic.
We were supposed to have heated pavement by now. Too cheap to meter energy.
Also the private company with the lease on the Chicago Skyway hasn’t covered it yet. Still plowing and salting.
On the other hand, if the highways are owned by a corporation like the current globohomo companies, you can find yourself banned from driving on them because you don’t have correct political opinions. Be careful what you wish for.
And your comment wins the day Paul
You can make a small, light-weight car, with an IC engine … that has a range of 600 miles or more. Fairly trivial exercise, even with the enormous Regulatory burden.
Impossible to replicate this performance with electric drive. Or, that’s my understanding.
Seems that the only reasonable niche for electric, revolves the larger, heavier vehicle. For example, the Teslas are pretty chunky, for cars with such modest range. From what I have read, they weigh-in at two tons-or-so. You can’t tell me that it’s ‘Green’ to haul about two tons of motor-car.
It’s NOT. There’s a reason that great-great-granny’s electric Riker got around…SLOWLY…and not very far, and also why the Stanley Steamer was relegated to the museum.
The hybrid MIGHT, just MIGHT be a solution in cases where the weight penalty of both IC engine and electric drive and batteries is offset by use of the electrical part ONLY for a short trip, and to shut off the engine when idle at the light. As a long-distance vehicle, absurd, since all that happens is that extra weight gets hauled for many miles.
We have wireless phones. Nicola Tesla demonstrated wireless power in Colorado in 1898. The “promise” of wireless power (if it ever happens) would remove the 1,000 lbs of batteries in electric vehicles, as well as the need to “refuel”.
After more than 120 years, what do we have? We have wireless chargers for phone batteries that require the phone to be in physical contact with the charger. That is pretty pathetic progress.
The energy to transmit radio signals which are the heart of a cell phone’s communication is virtually negligible. It takes more power simply to light up the screen.
Tesla’s wireless power scheme still required an extensive grid of transmitters to work. Again, a reason to invest in all that wiring.
“Nicola Tesla demonstrated wireless power in Colorado in 1898…” WRONG
Even if it had worked, and it didn’t.. it was never meant to be both wireless and mobile.
There seemed to be some “circular argument” here, but this is the Politifact Article that the Leftists use to glorify teslas stuck in the snow.https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2022/jan/07/facebook-posts/theres-no-evidence-electric-vehicles-fare-worse-ga/?fbclid=IwAR0_85as_WuODsBXYeus8DoB28X49p5Znt9xfGbcc4xVPynwR0aLMVD-URY
The main point not addressed by the opinion checker is that EVs are far less flexible, require far more planning. For example, I only have a couple of gallons of gas in my truck right now, which presents no impediment to my traveling 300 miles, right now. Because I can just go down the street to the gas station and fill to full in less than 5 minutes. Station’s closed because the power’s out? No worries. I have a five gallon jug in my shed – enough to give me a right-now range of 100 miles. If your EV is low on charge, you have to wait – possibly, for hours. If the power is out and your EV’s not charged, you’re not going anywhere.
Caught in a snowstorm? It’s possible to hike a few miles to a gas station and come back with fuel – or for a roadside service to do the same. It’s essentially impossible to bring a “can” of kilowatt-hours back to a dead EV and while charger trucks are available, they’re not common and you still have to wait an obnoxiously long time relative to what would be the case with a gas car.
Just the very look at the smug mug of the “opinion checker”, Mr. Cerrone, gave me an overwhelming desire to bitch-slap the smugness right off him. Never mind the flimsy “facts” about how little energy he THINKS (and is dead wrong) running the heater to stay warm while stuck in traffic of an EV, versus a gasoline-powered IC only or even hybrid, or how he fails to understand that traffic jams and bad weather don’t necessarily happen just as one’s vehicle is FULLY charged…and, as your OP pointed out, how cold weather severely hampers battery performance.
But that’s par for the course for a smug, libtard apologetic site like “Politifact”, which seems to simply argue leftist talking points, and cherry pick their own “facts”. Just ask Mr. Cerrone this: where the hell did he study automotive, mechanical, or nuclear engineering, as I have? Does he have over 35 years in professional practice in civilian and military capacities? My guess is this bloated soy boy doesn’t know jack shit.
Indeed, Doug –
There’s no reasoning with these people. The same as attempting to point out to them that a “vaccine” which you never have to stop taking isn’t one.
There’s an element to the I-95 closure no one has noticed.
Early news reports said the interstate became blocked after six heavy trucks all just happened to collide and jackknife. That started the 24–hour standstill.
So you have six big rigs that just happen to shut down one of the most heavily traveled highways in the country near the nation’s capital—almost as if it was planned.
Maybe it was. Sorry, but this sounds a lot like a terrorist act, or maybe a dry run for a future one. Lots of foreigners are driving trucks today, and I don’t mean just Mexicans. Is any criminal investigation underway about the cause of the backup?
I live not far from I-81, which is similar to I-95 in that it is jammed with heavy truck traffic. I can see a chain reaction accident happening naturally. Especially in a blizzard. I’m not discounting the possibility it could have been something else. I just think it was probably a natural occurrence.
I agree with you, but it wouldn’t hurt for the authorities to check.
You also have to believe that certain bad actors have taken notice of how easy it was to have a disaster on that interstate.
Now that I’ve said that, I’ll also admit this: I-95 between Richmond and Washington is bad all the time now. Used to be Saturdays and most of Sundays (until Sunday evenings) were clear sailing. About 15 years ago backups near Washington on Saturdays became noticeable. Now it’s all the time.
When I head to Pennsylvania, now I take US 1 to US 17 in Fredericksburg. I-95 is invariably stop-and-go, bumper-to-bumper.
I work at a warehouse. Some drivers are just stupid and terrible. Weve had trucks that take hours to park at our dock. They knock down trees, get stuck burst the steeting hose or breake the gearbox. Then open it up and everything is spilled over, our stuff is mixed with other deliveries, stuff is leaky or broken and it takes all night to unload them. Others can park in 5 minutes and their load is all perfectly palletized and we can fork them off immediately.
Id say that 10% of truckers are dangerous retards who should not operate any equipment and certainly not a vehicle of any kind.
Many truck drivers are descendants of people who could not invent a wheel, yet now they are driving vehicles with eighteen wheels on them. Truly mindblowing.
You also might want to factor in the utter incompetence of so many Democrat-run state governments. I’ve seen this out here in CA; there was a time it was rare for I-80, I-5, and CA 58 (Tehachapi) to be shut down for long due to winter snow. Now, it seems every snow storm shuts the state off for 2-3 days. CalTrans has become a pathetic joke for keeping our roads clear, just as CalFire is useless at fighting wildfires.
Unfortunately now, we have learned that our government is evil and criminal so we now must assume anything and everything is a conspiracy. They created this mess and now I am armed and angry at all times.
Thanks to NAFTA, which the Clin-Toon administration enacted, which allowed Mexican trucking outfits to run roughshod with their shoddily maintained rigs all over our highways, we have all sorts of these 18-wheeled “Frito Banditos” plying our roads. Probably not many of them are used to driving in winter conditions, so no surprise that they’d cause a pileup due to lack of proper experience.
Of course, if you want to shut down a highway, there’s all sorts of ways, including bribing some truck drivers to stage accidents in the right sequence, as you suggested.
People didn’t learn from the all the wars of the 20th Century, especially now that all the ww2 generation have passed away. 1 freak blizzard, which was a regular occurrence when you I were younger, is not going to stop today’s generation from going ahead and repeating all the same stupid mistakes. Only today’s technology is going to make the outcome worse for even more people. I’ve had a semi-decent life, but I don’t like the prospects of my waning years.
Thanks for the report on what happened and your thoughts. I heard of something happening but hadn’t read up on it.
A couple of ideas:
1. You, I, and several other commenters here mentioned having a winter car kit and being prepared. It might make for a useful article to list out items that should be in all car kits, a separate list for winter kit supplements to that basic kit, etc.
2. As others have mentioned, I wonder how many EVs had to be towed, per capital, vs. gasoline powered cars. Besides actually moving the car down the road, heating an EV’s interior is the most energy-consuming function on the car. As you mentioned, the batteries used to power EVs do not perform nearly as well in cold temps and have built-in battery heating elements (usually an electric blanket around/under the batteries. This doesn’t draw as much power as heating the car interior, but it is critical to battery chemistry functioning. Usually discharging the batteries will generate some degree of heat on its own. It’s the reason your cell phone case gets warm after a long phone call. Below a certain temperature (which varies depending on the battery design but is often around 15-20 degrees F), a lithium-based battery cannot discharge effectively and cannot be charged, either. To get around this, most EVs have those aforementioned electric blankets that warm the batteries enough to accept a charge, but cannot warm them if they are too cold or depleted (or both) to provide the electricity in the first place. All that to say, I suspect there’s a greater chance that an EV would have to be towed, at least to the nearest place to be able to be plugged into a charger, than a gasoline powered car. Plus it’s a lot easier to stick 2 gallons of gas in a car in 5 minutes at roadside and drive to a gas station than to provide a similar range via charging at roadside for an EV.
This reminds me of the Texas winter storm of Feb 2021 when the electric grid went down. Everyone with an EV was stranded, but since most gas station pumps were also down due to lack of electricity, it was also difficult to get gas.
Weird side note: if it gets cold enough, propane will not flow from those 5 lb, 10 lb, and 20 lb propane cylinders you can get at the hardware stores, etc. It’s stored as a liquid in the cylinder, under pressure, and as it converts from liquid to gaseous form, it has to absorb heat energy from the surrounding atmosphere outside the tank (the same reason an aerosol can gets cold/icy after prolonged discharge). If it’s too cold outside, it won’t change state from liquid to gas and therefore won’t flow down the hose. This is somewhere in the neighborhood of subzero temps F. Similarly, if too cold, your little butane Bic lighters to light your fires will struggle to operate, too. Good, old fashioned matches are a good go to.
Old tech is sometimes the best tech. What is old is new again.
Eric, thanks for this timely article. Many excellent observations!
In all of the ballyhoo about this extended highway shutdown, I failed to note a single “journalist” comment about the fate of EVs in this situation. Was that due to the lack of EVs being stuck in traffic?
Sure, many not many but you’d think a few would be on the roads, or did they all stay home out of an abundance of caution? I think the tow trucks involved might know.
But no “journalism” contra the EV Narrative. So we might not ever know.
One might theorize that in the future when EVs improve or are impossible to avoid, they might have to invent EV “rescue” units that roll along and have portable “fast charging” generators to reanimate out of juice EVs by the side of the road.
Not just towing or a gallon of dinosaur juice, but an hour long ‘pick me up’ by Ready Kilowatt. Those will be heavy truck type things. Either that or just tow ’em home.
Eventually better battery tech might solve this problem. In Our Glorious Future!
You people are all fools. The tesla doesnt need 7kw to keep the car warm, any more than your house needs every heating element maxxed out continuously. switch the seat heater to lo and keep the cab at 55F maybe keep an emergency kit in the trunk – blanket, winter clothes, water, food. Same Stuff I keep in my gas car. If I calculate right, 500w can circulate air and keep your family above freezing and then blankets can keep you comfy. So if you set out with a half charge on a 100kwh battery and use half of that to get stuck, you still have 25 kwh to keep the car above freezing for 50 hours.
Safer than gas cars cause if you fall asleep with the engine running, exhaust can leak in and poisen You. especially if you have a missfire or any other minor engine problems. The starting battery will go ded fast if you run the heated seats and entertainment without the engine. So my idling suv can probably keep a comfy 80 degrees for 24 hours on 1/2 tank of gas but the snow drifts could build up to where dangerous amounts of pollution swirls around and into the car. Still not buying a tesla. Hybrids are the obvious solution here
It’s fascinating that people who take issue with my observations regarding electric cars – and Face Diapers – invariably respond with personal insults. It speaks volumes. Also, the rest of your reply, which addresses none of the points made in the article. “Start out with half a charge….” Well, what if you didn’t plan on that? Now what? What if it’s very cold out, an “half” charge is now 30-40 percent charge? What if you find yourself stuck – unable to move – and it’s very cold out?
Same issue with gas cars. If you have 1/4 tank before the storm, power outages knock out 80% of gas stations, the ones that are open have lines around the block, and they or you might run out of fuel by the time you get there. I assume that tesla owners have 10kw home chargers and that they top them off before storms just as we do with gas cars. They could even have generators at home. Or they have a gas powered SUV for road trips. Its easy to assume that ev owners are really stupid, but stupid people drive lifted pickups or semi trucks. (Not all truck drivers are stupid) just the ones that speed in harsh weather
You make fair points, and I think Eric (not to speak for him) really, REALLY hates the EV ‘craze’ and more importantly, the EV being FORCED onto the public. Especially when, for the masses, they are not the best option nor it is a free market option.
And if I had to the choice after being stuck on a highway like those people were, I’d rather have a gas car with less than a quarter tank than even a full battery charge EV. To each his own.
Looks like 1.4% of the battery per hour in camp mode (only ~1.5kW):
I wonder what the temperature assumption is here… is it ambient 70? Or 17?
-4 C in the video which is just under 25 F
James, since you think it’s ok to hurl insults, here’s the one you richly deserve.
You sir, are one pompous ASSHOLE, and you can go fuck yourself.
In addition to the inanity of EVs, a major takeaway is the deplorable state of our highway system. “I-95” was built over 6 decades ago under the auspecies of the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 with two lanes each way. Back then, just over 600 billion miles were traveled annually by car. By 1970, it was a sustainable 1.1 Trillion. Today, the total is 3.5 Trilllion. That doesn’t count that rural areas have seen a disproportionate increase, yet, the highway remains two lanes each way.
When the snow hit, it instantly started a traffic jam. Tens of thousands of cars were left stranded on a highway where no emergency crews could get to people, where no snow removal equipment could venture. There was no escape route for anyone. Just sit and wait.
The people responsible, a few miles away in the US capital return to their constituents like it’s 1965 every time a highway bill is passed with self congratulatory back slapping. These criminals ought to be marched to jail along with the wine bibbling house speaker for this offense alone, nevermind the other traiterous crap they have done over the last century. All of them. Every last one.
Perhaps the beginnings of this crap can be traced to the creation of the interstate highway system. It’s existence has permitted institutional blackmail of people and state governments.
One job the government is supposed to do is fix and build the roads and other infrastructure, that is the last thing they will ever do, they can’t anyways they stole all the money so there is none left to expand highways.
Dr. Marc Faber says these governments steal between 5% (honest governments) and 100% (crooked governments) of the money collected, borrowed. Leftist governments are closer to 100%.
Hey, a fun short story about I-95 (vaguely) to lighten the mood. Back in ’97 or so I drove south from NoVa to visit friends in Richmond, driving a new press car Probe GT. I got into a top speed race with a late model Mustang GT… he edged me out around 134…
Expansion of the roads would require land. Expensive land, owned by many different parties. And you can bet there would be even more trading prior to any silver shovel ceremony, perhaps even by people who pass the budgets.
See also: High speed rail in California.
Some kind of cohesive policy would work. Maybe allow tolls for new construction only. Hold on, that is allowed. I think that toll roads would partially solve the congestion issues. Of course, they would have to be built to higher standards with higher speed limits or none at all. All dreaming in the current political environment.
I-95 is heavily travelled for many reasons, but one is quite the reason for the great increase in total vehicle miles driven by Americans, aside from the population almost doubling in those 60-odd years:
White Americans find themselves having to go further and further out from major cities in order to avoid having to rub elbows all too often with “Knee Grows”, period.
Here in the urban areas, they are importing africans, Pakistanis and indians by the millions and giving them taxpayer subsidized housing, food, medical, education, religious infastructure and vehicles in addition to general purpose credits paid for by the government. People arent moving to the sticks to avoid them either. the housing costs, car insurance rates, etc are extremely high and people just cant afford to live here.
C’mon y’all…..EV’s are Safe and Effective don’t cha know.
and Electricity is FREE don’t cha know. Gov approved, don’t cha know. Mandatory soon, don’t cha know.
EV’s are currently primitive. The first automobiles that began to challenge to horse and buggy were also primitive. The infrastructure did not exist to support their use beyond being a curiosity; no paved roads, no gas stations, no mechanics.
But technology, fueled by capitalism, created a vehicle with incredible reliability and comfort, smooth paved roads stretching everywhere, from your driveway to any other driveway in America, with gas stations and mechanics virtually on every street corner.
In a few years, battery technology will provide smaller, lighter, faster charging batteries with initial range that will be in the thousands of miles.
And all without the toxic particulates, without the noise. You will “fill up” essentially for free once the home solar generation and storage technology goes through the inevitable advances as predicted by Moore’s Law, as all technology does.
like to put you and the other communists on battery run passenger plane to fly across the north sea
The first practical batteries were introduced about 200 years ago.
How much longer is it gonna take for them to develop the ‘wonder-cells’ to which you allude?
Here, in England, the IC engine comes to a regulatory halt in 2030. Can the boffins find a replacement for wet fuel, in the next 8 years?
Is it gonna require some as-yet-unknown Chemistry to be developed?
Mobile phones and laptops gave quite a ‘boost’ to battery’ development … but there is still a regular lead-acid under the bonnet of my car.
You can get lithium batteries to replace the starting battery, but they cost 2x as much. It might be worth it for an rv cause they deep cycle better. Forklifts also use lead acid batteries cause the weight is useful for stability and isnt a problem at 8 mph. And usually you arent running them at full speed all day.
I wonder if you are aware that many of the early automobiles back in the early 20th Century WERE electric vehicles? They were abandoned in favor of ICE for many obvious reasons.
The idea that battery technology will necessarily improve to be able to hold a charge sufficient for travel of thousands of miles – and that it will be clean – is not assured. There are limits to what technology can do based on the physics in our real world. For instance, it is not at all assumed that time travel will ever be possible no matter how advanced technology becomes.
Some of the physical realities of our world are limiting factors on technology and might never be overcome. If EVs ever become such technological wonders that they allow for near instant recharging for a battery that allows you to drive over 1000 miles per charge – and they don’t require any toxic inputs and don’t create any toxic waste when they are disposed of – then I will happily buy an EV. I’m sure almost everyone else feels the same.
But we don’t have to adopt the technology before the advances that make it practical actually exist- because those advances are never 100% certain. And we shouldn’t be spending taxpayer money to try to create a world that may never actually exist.
EVs have been around for 120 years. They were replaced by IC cars because then – as now – EVs were hobbled by higher cost, shorter range and long recharge times. I’ve been covering cars for 30 years – and very little has changed since I began covering EVs, 30 years ago. They are still too expensive, hobbled by comparatively limited range and lengthy/inconvenient recharge times.
Chemistry is chemistry. Physics is physics. Absent a completely new type of battery chemistry/physics, this will remain the case.
Why do you suppose EVs are being forced onto the market – while IC cars are being forced off the market? If electric cars were superior – that is, reduced the cost of driving and increased mobility – such force would not be needed.
PS: It ought to be obvious by now that this whole EV thing is not about replacing IC cars with EVs. It is about getting rid of the personally owned car for most people.
Yes, it absolutely is about getting rid of personal cars for us “ordinary people”. Klaus Schwab of the WEF boldly predicts “you will own nothing and you will be happy”.
And they want to get rid of most people too, us “useless eaters”. They are on record advocating a rapid 95% global population reduction, and the “pandemic”, with their toxic responses to it, only make sense when viewed in that light.
I have been in the technology industry since before its inception (electro-mechanical programmable computing devices). Most people have far more computing power in their pocket than was available to any government in the Moon landing era, no one could have foreseen that. Experiencing the exponential growth of all tech over this period convinces me the evolution of battery technology will achieve the capabilities I described. The current Holy Grail is that goal, with hundreds of companies with brilliant engineers and AI tools working feverishly on it, it will happen.
Chemistry and physics may seem immutable, but we would be foolish to believe we know all there is to know about them. The quantum computers running general artificial intelligence are in their infancy, and will surely discover things previously thought impossible, and things never even thought of at all.
Since TPTB will commit whatever it takes to create the dystopian world they desire, and the average person is passively going along for the ride, the future looks rather dark at the moment.
battery technology will provide smaller, lighter, faster charging batteries with initial range that will be in the thousands of miles… ah, no… There is not Moore’s law for batteries.. https://www.pnas.org/content/110/14/5273#:~:text=There%20is%20no%20Moore%27s%20Law%20for%20batteries.&text=A%20D%2Dcell%20battery%20stores,changing%20to%20a%20different%20chemistry.
He makes good arguments for the lack-of-applicability of Moore’s Law.
The article was written in 2013. As far as I’m aware, nothing has changed.
Interesting comment. Would be even more so if you weren’t ignorant.
The first technology of personal cars WAS electric. And capitalism and the free market passed by that silly phase in just a few years. Batteries have been improved upon in the intervening 100+ years, but still are pitiful and non-competitive, without crony socialist capitalist government intervention, compared to the real, efficient technology used for real, competitive gas-powered vehicles.
Dream on. ICE cars have access to trillions of miles of utterly reliable transportation – electric vehicles, excepting golf carts, do not.
As far as free energy from solar and wind-best of luck with that. Do you have some way of getting more watts from a square meter of solar panel than the sun puts down on this earth? THAT is physics.
Same goes for batteries- there are limitations in the chemistry as to how much energy can be stored in a battery- there has been tremendous trial and error to make cell phones and computers practical- what it has taken is exotic, dangerous, expensive things like lithium-ion cells to get high enough power density to make smart phones and laptops work.
Until we can come up with a direct nuclear battery, which is somehow rechargeable- or something sci-fi like a zero point module, electric vehicles will remain a specialty item. I personally like them, but they are better used as toys than as practical transportation.
free once the home solar generation and storage technology…because we know home solar generation and storage technology equipment will be FREE, also.
Green i$ rarely Green
I, like others here, have looked into the cost-effectiveness of solar generation. Right now, the cost far outweighs any monetary benefit, at least for me. My usual monthly electric bill is around $80. That’s around $1,000 annually. The last time I looked into what it would cost to buy/install a solar system capable of powering my house, it was on the order of $40k. It’s absurd. Not factoring in the inevitable cost of repair/upkeep.
Now, that said, I am going to rig up a small solar rig to keep the water for my flock from freezing. For something that scale, sure.
Just as it makes sense – in the sense that it works, at reasonable cost – to power a smartphone or laptop with a battery.
A car – or a house?
Not so much.
That’s just it. “Capitalism”, or more properly, FREE ENTERPRISE, which is nothing more than good ol’ “Laissez Faire”, that is, let people DECIDE FOR THEMSELVES, w/o Government interference or coercion, which, in the final analysis, is VIOLENCE, leads to a different solution than EVs in almost all situations.
If you really think we’re on the verge of developing these magical batteries, you’re welcome to get in on the “ground floor” of what would be a terrific OPPRORTUNITY and do it yourself, or at least invest with YOUR MONEY in those outfits that are. BTW, where the hell did you study ENGINEERING?
Were there any deaths?
Any EVs left behind uncharged and useless?
You forgot to mention that the entire crusade for turning the world into an EV maze is based on fake global warming. That means snow storms and cold weather will be a thing of the past. All you will have to worry about is melting. Soon, you will be taking a nice Sunday drive across the Antarctic tundra enjoying the newly forested countryside…the green freaks have promised us.
Man made global warming/cooling/change is a scam, for money and power.
However, internal combustion engines do emit a cocktail of particulates which are hazardous to all living things.
Emissions of harmful byproducts (not C02) from internal combustion engines have been reduced to the point of meaningful irrelevance as regards the formation of smog and so on. Diesel particulate emissions (“soot”) are a different matter but they, too, have been markedly reduced and their fuel efficiency advantage(less fuel burned per mile traveled) may offset even that.
Like the ‘Rona, the “threat” has been grossly exaggerated, for political purposes (i.e., power and control).
Ever wonder WHY diesels are used for backup power in mines? Hint: they don’t emit CO! Aside from their fuel being far less flammable than gasoline with meaningless vaporization.
It’s also why, if them “Nat-Zees” indeed used the diesel engines salvaged from scrapped Russki tanks (T-34s, I guess) to asphyxiate J-O-O-s at Treblinka, why they’d have had one helluva time accomplishing the fiendish task.
We can agree on climate change, it’s no different than blaming bad weather on witches.
But to say an EV is clean, is to ignore the problem of where the EV fuel is going to come from and how clean that is. China is building many coal plants and unless we are going to war with them (and face a real man made climate disaster) anything we do in this country won’t matter at all. Even many Dems admit that.
These EVs are simply coal-guzzlers. If Biden continues to shut down the fossil fuel industry, do you really think wind and solar is going to work to replace that? Those solar panels on the roof might help in Arizona, but they will be struggling to keep people warm in the winter when fosil fuels are gone – but of course, winter stopped existing since about 2000 according to the co2 prophets (or is it profits).
And if they really want co2 free energy, why the demonization of nuclear?
Just like the ‘rona, there’s another agenda here. You can bet the Bill Gate types will not be driving EVs except to show off and pretend to care about the climate. They will still have their black suv’s while they tackle the problem they do all believe in, that of population control. Too many of us for the likings of the few of them.
China gets a lot of its coal out of the Wyoming Green River area. Almost 99% pure. A lot cleaner than the coal out of Penn and Virginia.
China has anthracite deposits and imports coal approximately 1/10th of the total yearly consumption.
Of the 8.5 billion tons mined and consumed each year, China is burning half of it.
The US has shipped probably 12 million tons to China so far this year.
“China’s coal imports from the US soared 870.6 percent in the first nine months of the year to 7.2 million tons, while its coal imports from Canada rose by 92 percent to 6.6 million tons, according to Sputnik News. By comparison, coal supplies exported to China from Russia jumped 77.4 percent to reach 7.7 million tons.”
China imports coal
Coal is priced at 195 USD per metric ton, not sure how much coal is going to China at that price.
In November of 2020, coal was 54 USD per ton.
Ozone can cause lung damage in high concentrations. Electric motors emit ozone, so electric motors need to be banned too.
Forgot it is already 2022, 2021 would be the year for total coal shipments to China from the US.
CO₂ is consumed by plants as part of photosynthesis. It makes plants grow. There’s been a study or two that show trees are growing more branches and leaves as they are able to use the added CO₂.
Enviromentalists hate trees.
Way back, Michael Faraday explained all this, in his series of lectures on ‘the Candle’.
You can watch them, online. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrHnLXMTOWM&list=PL0INsTTU1k2UCpOfRuMDR-wlvWkLan1_r
Exactly! We learned about the carbon cycle in elementary school. The “waste” product of photosynthesis is…oxygen. It’s almost as if things were designed that way…
When you are burning 91 million barrels of oil and 20 plus million tons of coal each day, the amount of the emissions entering the atmosphere can be determined, tons of CO₂ year in and year out.
British Petroleum’s yearly statistical analysis of all hydrocarbons found out that oil consumption decreased by 9,000,000 barrels per day due to the restrictions enforced by governments to reduce the spread of the Covid pandemic.
The original oceanographer Roger Revelle determined that most of the carbon dioxide caused by humans is absorbed by the oceans.
Lots of kelp beds need carbon dioxide. If it didn’t happen, the CO₂ ppm count would be more.
Greenhouses filled with plants actually experience carbon dioxide deficits and greenhouse owners need people shopping for plants in greenhouses to restore the carbon dioxide levels.
An alcohol lamp will juice more CO₂ into the greenhouse’s controlled atmosphere.
I’d rather stick to my gasoline-guzzling rides and let the Earth’s climate go where it will. As the fictional Dale Gribble of Arlen, Texas, put it, “hell, we’ll grow oranges in Alaska! We’ll see what (one-time UN Secretary-General) Butros, Butros-By-Golly thinks of that!”
Thanks for the article Eric. I enjoy your detail and perspective as well as the comments from your readers. It’s comforting to realize there are so many of us.
You bet, Chase!
Indeed, there are more of us than we often realize. The loud minority makes itself appear to be the majority…
Our US government lies to us about just about everything, so I don’t believe a damn word they say about anything. They are mostly a bunch of self-serving criminal psychopaths and their only solution to most any problem is just just to throw vast sums of money at it. A new leader will not solve our problems, so forget about Trump. He already had four years to drain the swamp, and instead he surrounded himself with them. Duh.
“We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.” The creepy quote above has been widely attributed to Former CIA Director William Casey. Casey was the 13th CIA Director from 1981 until he left in January 1987. He died not long after of a brain tumor in May 1987
Here on the other side of the country, all mountain passes are closed and I5 is flooded. I think that too many idiots drive into snow storms tailgaiting and speeding.
I 95 is one of the worst interstates some truckers said. Several won’t haul loads past the N.C. line. Not worth the hassle. Traffic gridlock from Virginia on up, worse in winter. Electric cars may be ok for city driving, and renting suv’s when going on longer car trips (hauling more stuff).
I wouldn’t let these issues exercise you.
I know they’ve told you that you’ll be driving an electric car, but the real aim is to deny you all forms of personal powered transport. How could it be otherwise, when the stated aim is to reduce emissions to zero?
I’m of the personal opinion that the carbon they really want to reduce … is YOU! Again, this will be a necessary condition of the push for zero emissions. Much more achievable than inventing Nuclear Fusion.
Your point about what’s implied by “zero emissions” is very well-said. Ultimately, they want us reduced to nothing. EVs are just a vehicle toward that end.
This is the Claus Schwab/ Rothchild W.E.F. agenda 2030, reduction of population world wide so easier for globalist scum bums to control countries. Food shortages in some countries, bio weapons, wars and other means to kill off billions ongoing. Plant based diets pushed and meat shortages planned. Communities must resist and org. against tyrannocal leaders in their states.
If not murdered outright, the PTB want we “proles” penned up and CONTROLLED, just like a PRISON.
Surely this was bigger than a blizzard, more catastrophic than climate change, more enervated than electric vehicles with dead dipoles. This calamity was clearly caused by COVID! Specifically, the Moronic Mutation!! If only all those drivers had been jabbed and masked!!!
No no no.
It was obvious this was Trump’s fault. (no I don’t like Trump, but the left blaming him for everything is hilarious)
Well of course, Andrew! Because Trump caused COVID! Duh!
Do you mean the OhMyGod scariant? Of course that’s the cause. All those unvaxxed droolers clogged up the road just like they’re overflowing our hospitals.
Oh but you’re all wrong — no-one ever died from freezing in their dead electric toy car… they all died from the LIERUS! The lierus is what kills everyone, no-one ever dies from anything else. And the electric cars actually work fine — it’s the lierus that infected them and made it so they didn’t work. The car doctors just have to inject their magic quackcine potion directly into the fuel lines and then the electric cars will work fine again. So, you just have to drive around with an IV hooked up to your electric car and then it’ll never run out of power. Everything is wonderful in the faketrix! You just have to believe.
BTW was just talking to BIL who has a model 3. 18 months old, less than 5K on the clock (company lease with huge tax and other benefits as his company is trying to be all “green”, so they gave it to him at a very subsidised rate). the 360 range is down to 290. He has no idea why, but hasn’t had time to call tesla and ask WTF is happening. I did happen to notice for some reason its always making a buzzing sound when you walk by it ( even when its off). I suspect its trying to keep warm as we’re down to around 0-5C here these days.
My subaru is doing the same thing. Turns out that turbo cars also get significantly worse mpg in the winter.
All cars do. Cold air is denser and to keep the air fuel ratio stoichiometric, it must add more fuel. Plus side is you have more power.
That’s where a DIESEL shines. The hell of running a diesel in freezing weather is getting the damn engine started in the first place. Glow plugs help, or where it’s really cold, some manner of ether injection to get the beast kicked over. And once it “starts”, it’ll rattle and ping and won’t make much power at all, until it warms up enough. But since the diesel runs in “excess theoretic air” (meaning more air or oxygen than the stoichiometric ratio), cold, dense air is even better, as that’s more air to “pump”, heat, and prove power on the power stroke.
If someone can’t “survive” inside a car in 20+ degree temperatures for a single day or two than maybe………..
Particularly if your car is running this just makes no sense. People have become so soft and weak it really is time for a purge.
Good point about the greenmobiles. Traveling out West last year looking for real estate in Free States we noticed many Tesla’s stranded and helpless all over near Yellowstone. Many gas stations were not operating in the park so 300 mile or more hops were required.
Hey David, I made a run down I-5 last spring, from Seattle to Long Beach. I’ve never seen or even imagined so many teslas existed, everywhere you looked, Saw a few along side the road, One thing seemed certain, many of them were driving like self entitled clover A-holes.
I’m kind of surprised that nobody died from that. I mean, it was like in the 20’s wasn’t it? What about having to go to the bathroom? Did people just defecate on the side of the freeway?! Some people need to take meds several times a day. How in hell could the entire freeway not move for 27 freaking hours?? Also were the offramps too far away to walk? That’d be my inclination after about 6 hours or even less. Unless they were like 50 miles away. That is pretty bizarre.
And who carries toilet paper in their cars for a snowy day? Imagine sticking your bare ass out in the cold for a few minutes. Imagine putting your clothes back on without wiping your ass! And then sitting in the confines of a car.
Every car should have multiple bottles of water, a pack of granola bars, and a roll of paper towels or napkins in their glove box.
I also recommend a crow bar behind one’s seat, a knife in the console, and a 9mm on the hip…..never know when you may have to hunt down a rabbit, a deer, or stop some crazie from taking your stuff. 😁
Second that, RG –
I have such a kit in my truck (plus tools). ‘Cuz screw being stuck and helpless.
Or a good sized breaker bar, with the appropriate socket for your vehicle.
Waaay easier to loosen up (likely rusty) luguts if needed, and can be a multi-use item.
Not quite as good for prying tasks, however.
RG, that 9mm is just for getting to your sport utility rifle!
Is that what men hide in the truck tool boxes? 😁
I am waiting for Henry to manufacture a smaller, lighter weight version. It is difficult to tote with a purse and briefcase and stands out in the cargo area of the SUV. I guarantee I would get a few strange looks at the store when loading groceries.
Roger that. Only I’d carry a .40 S&W Ruger SR or a 10mm GP 100. It’s ok to pack that 9 mm “girly gun” if you’re a girl, which you are.
A Mossberg 509 with a box of “double-odd buck” is handy to keep in the trunk as well.
And if you have to change a tire, you not only want that 4-way spinner wrench, but a nice, LONG lug wrench, fitted for your wheel’s nuts…or easily handled to deal with OTHER types of “nuts”.
“…And who carries toilet paper in their cars for a snowy day?..”
Critical thinking prepared people.
I keep a roll of toilet paper in my car-in a zip lock bag so it stays clean. Also have a roll of paper towels, packet of baby wipes. For it makes for good cleaning of my hands after dumping the garbage, as well. Never mind the usual, tow strap, jumper cables, shovel, water, a few Mountain House, dehydrated meal packs, etc, among other things that I may need if I were to get stranded. I guess I am the weird one-ha ha.
The majority of people are incapable of critical thinking. They are sheep. Along that section of I95 there is an exit approximately every 5 miles. Many people said it took them 12 hours to go 30 miles so they passed about 6 exits. From Fredericksburg to Dumfries every exit will transfer you north or south to such roads as Route 29 to I66 that merges back to 95 in DC. Were the secondary roads like 1, 17, and 3 in better conditions? No, but each of those exits did supply a large amount of hotels and eateries which could have catered to the thousands of people if they chose to exit.
We have an abundance of technology, but when people use it to post on their Facebook status instead of using their GPS I have to question the intelligence of the average American.
Even if one is not familiar with the area they can still see the neon lights of the IHOP and Holiday Inn from the highway.
This is where local radio made sense. Stuck in traffic? Listen on “the 8’s” or whenever the talk format AM station would report highway conditions. They could get word out to thousands of people in real time, telling people I95 was not the place to be and get off ASAP. Sure, many would ignore the advice but some would, maybe even enough to let the plows get through. These days of course even “local” AM radio isn’t local, usually just a satellite or Interent feed attached to a transmitter. Any on-air talent will be elsewhere, in a warehouse of studios, with no knowledge or loyalty to the local market.
But the other problem IIRC is that I95 is a “Snow emergency route,” which those of us from Pennsylvania always laughed at, but apparently this meant I95 got top priority for clearing. So maybe the state didn’t bother with secondary roads either.
I blame the Virginia government (VDOT) on three areas:
1. Not preparing the main roads (such as I95) for this snowstorm. Their excuse was that the rain would have washed away the salt, but in the last five days since this storm hit (we got more early Friday morning) I haven’t seen a snowplow anywhere. Not one. The plows were not ready. My guess is there are not enough workers to handle the load between many retiring, COVID mandates, government stimulus payments, and people calling out sick. My subdivision was plowed out because six of us own tractors. We were not waiting for the state to show.
2. They should have opened the express lanes. These only run down to Stafford, but that seemed to be where the biggest backup occurred. Six available lanes. They used some for transporting of ambulances, police, etc., but the there was no reason that four of the lanes could not be opened to ease traffic congestion.
3. Close down the entrance ramps between Dumfries and Fredericksburg. Leave the exit ramps open. Why allow additional cars to add to the madness?
This was a complete and utter failure by Northam and VDOT. There were similar incidents in the West Coast along I-5, I-95 in Connecticut was closed for a while, and TN and KY had their issues with the snow as well. We were not a lone case, but winter happens, and people need to be prepared.
The main responsibility lies with the people driving. People in Minnesota and Yukon are laughing at us. We (for the most part) no longer know how to drive defensively. People see snow and don’t adjust their speed and reflexes to counter against it. When they end up in a ditch it is always someone else’s fault.
I imagine a lot of windows were scraped clean with credit cards instead of snow brushes…
LOL. In my area they are actually hard to find. I don’t know if people are better prepared and they buy them up or the manufacturers stopped making them.
My Grandpa and I had a great idea this Christmas. When all the cars are electric, put the jankiest, dirtiest burning diesel generator you can find onto a trailer, then offer people an emergency roadside charging service. While its charging, look them in the eye and see if they notice the irony of the whole situation. See also if they realize this is how they always charge their EV, just on a more centralized scale.
No no no. When an EV is being charged, it is coming from the magical source of birdsong, the sounds of wind going through the trees and unicorn rainbow farts. You silly goose.
Unfortunately, the ones that need to learn the lesson (aka the government) the most, won’t.
In fact the opposite will occur. The will double down on it.
The Powers That Be DON’T CARE if you die in a snowstorm. What matters to them is that their own sense of moral superiority is fulfilled.
After all, “saving the planet” is such a noble goal, sacrificing the lives of you “deplorable” carbon-hogging proles is entirely worth it… isn’t it?
That sums it up. And people will deny it until it starts happening (in fact they will continue to deny it when it’s happening to someone else first).
Common people dying isn’t a bug, it’s a feature.
What you talked about will be an issue in the future as ICEVs are banned. In the UK, the sale of ICEVs are slated to be banned by 2030. Also, UK cities are rolling out plans to, in effect, tax you for owning an ICEV. These taxes and fees will make it impossible to afford owning an ICEV. You can listen to this video by Englishman Stuart Fillingham to learn more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqtm7EvthUc
So, what’s going to happen when we have EV drivers stuck in their cars for hours, hmmm? What happens when the battery runs out, and they can’t stay warm? How many will die from exposure, hmmm? Even if they don’t die, how will all those cars be moved? Those are just a few questions I have…
Oh, and lest anyone think that gov’t isn’t trying to take our cars and freedom from us, look at this document from UK Fires. UK Fires is an organization sponsored by the UK gov’t, so what they say is what the gov’t thinks. Go to page 8, and you’ll see a chart of what they want to do: http://www.ukfires.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Absolute-Zero-online.pdf
MM, thanks for those. I had no idea as this sort of info is not widely shared in the UK.
All I can say is TF I’m 3 years off retiring. And I must tell my younger kids not to bother spending a fortune getting the government permission to operate a motor vehicle.
“So, what’s going to happen when we have EV drivers stuck in their cars for hours, hmmm? What happens when the battery runs out, and they can’t stay warm?”
I guess we better start watching reruns of Survivorman.
I wouldn’t piss on an EV if it was on fire.
Might get electrocuted.
Most English houses are wired with a 60 amp service. Not enough to charge an ev. What then?
Slightly OT, but this should be interesting:
Evidently a diesel hybrid, though touted by the local Pravda as “electric.”
$1.3 x 10^6
City of El Lay will deploy theirs in Hollywood, natch.
>When the truck comes to a standstill, the engine is automatically deactivated, while the lighting and equipment remain powered by the batteries. This reduces the noise level,
Wouldn’t want those rich f*ckers to have their sleep disturbed, now would we?
>the truck pumped on electric power for more than an hour
What happens when the fire doesn’t have the decency to blow itself out before the “firetruck” runs out of electricity? Wildlands fires can burn for days, and we have many “wildlands” fires which encroach and *burn over* populated areas.
I seriously doubt any of the mountain communities will be buying one of these, nor the U.S. Forest Service, nor Cal Fire.
Isn’t I95 south of DC to Fredericksburg still a construction zone for the “FredEx” extension of the reversible toll lanes in the medians of the freeway?
I don’t understand how anyone getting on I95 that morning, knowing the freeway was a mess and the prevailing weather conditions, didn’t expect to end up in something bad. Luck? Voodoo ritual the night before?
But Eric, in that situation, your Leaf becomes a tiny igloo, and the snow provides the requisite insulation!
Wow, Eric! That is something I had never thought of….and I’ll bet that those among the sheep who have drunk the EV Kool-aid certainly haven’t either!
We got at least 6″ of snow here in southern KY (First real snow in about 3 years…so can’t complain!), and I guess snow inspires thought, because I’m thinking right now that:
*I’m glad I picked KY instead of WY!
*The good news is that even barring the various evils that the pols do, this system will eventually fade away like ancient Rome, because the mail didn’t even run yesterday; all the local gooberment offices, “health facilities”, etc. were all closed- despite all of the technology and everyone having AWD crossdressers and 4x4s etc.
In NY on Long Island, every time a leaf falls on the tracks of the LIRR the trains get messed up, and don’t even mention a few inches of snow…despite all of the BILLIONS of dollars of stat-of-the-fart technology in use, the trains are literally not as reliable or capable as they were in the 1800’s when the system consisted of a track, manual switches and steam locomotives- when the trains could forge through blizzards!
The more technological the system gets, the more delicate it becomes! Yay!
It’s all Glenn Youngkins fault. Elect a guy with an R in his politics and you temp Gaia into a fury.
He wasn’t in office yet!!!!
D’s are all over twitter and such blaming the R gov-elect who hasn’t even taken office. There’s one that’s been meme’d because after being informed of the D gov still being in charged switched to praising the caring response of the gov. Typical team D nonsense but now it doesn’t take years, but hours.
That same storm passed through my neck of Dixie just after we had storms with very heavy rain & tornadoes. We didn’t have an I-95 incident mainly because it was Sunday evening, most kids were still on Christmas break at least through Tuesday, and we had the good sense to not get on the road.
All the imported yankees here claim by virtue of their yankeedom that they can drive in snow are full of shit. I went to grad school up nawth. Each year as soon as the first snowflake (real snowflake that is) hit the Columbes outerbelt, cars would be lined in the ditches and plenty of wrecks to keep the local towing & bodyshops in business.
In fairness to the state of Ohio and city of Columbus they did a pretty good job of keeping interstates & main roads open. They only had to deal with the stupidy of those who could drive in the snow while being loaded onto a rollback.
People forget how, the first big storm is always the worst.
Driving in snow & ice depends a lot in “feel” which is developed through practice and maybe overdoing it once or twice.
This sense of “feel” is also very difficult to achieve when the ABS takes over, which it usually does slightly too soon.
If you don’t jam on the brakes, you can find that sweet spot that is juuuust on the edge of locking up the wheels. That’s a good place to be.
Also, no sudden moves on the throttle, brake, or steering wheel and give yourself double travel time & double the space (maybe more than double if you like to ride people’s bumpers).
you cant lock the brakes on almost all vehicles
When driving on ice with non-ABS brakes I used to do controlled skids when turning.
As you come up to your turn you slam on the brakes (lock them) and turn the steering wheel in the direction of your turn. The car will continue to slide straight forward (because the wheels are locked), and when you release the brakes the car will make your turn. Fun stuff you cannot do with ABS.
Yeah. It’s always the worst, but the increasing traffic levels coupled with non responsive governments create a situation like this.
As few as 10 years ago, you could still get around on the rural interstate system. Today there is a lot more traffic and more incompetent drivers due to 10 years of safety assists. The older more competent truckers have retired as well
Another lesson to be learned is the govermins failure to keep a vital east coast artery open in one of the most densely populated regions of the country. The syndicate would be a laughingstock if it wasn’t as terrifying as a full grown retard on a violent tantrum.
Yeah – I noticed couple days later I-75 COMPLETELY SHUT DOWN in central Kentucky! They knew snow was coming. So idiot Gov. Beshear can’t spearhead pre-treating, salt, plows etc. ?? So again people stuck overnight on an interstate!
The other thing to think about is the atonomous vehicle. What happens when the cameras can’t see the paint? It’s fairly easy for an atonomous vehicle in Phoenix, another thing completely in Buffalo NY. Will they look at the forecast and just refuse to move? That would be the prudent action, but then what? Do you call your boss and tell him the car won’t let you come to work today?
I predict preemptive road closures are going to become the norm in winter. No more toughing it out. Just huddle in place in your jammies and enjoy your hot cocoa. Oh, you did remember to order Swiss Miss on Amazon didn’t you?
“I predict preemptive road closures are going to become the norm in winter.”
A very astute prediction.
I would only add that preemptive road closures will become more prevalent, not only in winter, but throughout the year. And inclement weather will be only one of the reasons for such “closures.”
I see this coming, too –
For saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety! How about closing all roads at night – since some people can’t see well at night?
You already have that with the Blue Ridge Parkway don’t you? Closing it down even with threat of weather if I remember you writing about it.
if they’ve closed the country for a bug with a slightly less than 100% chance of survival…. because the next variant may be slightly worse than that… the weather is ACTUALLY a big deal….. the worst thing is that imbeciles have accepted it….
I recall in the historically-questionable 1965 war movie, “The Battle of the Bulge”, that LTC Kiley (Henry Fonda) uses the same type of argument with the recon plane pilot, Joe (Robert Woods), who questions who’d cut flying orders with that heavy fog. Kiley points out that nobody else would be in the air, either. Of course, they nearly crash into a hill, as Joe feared might happen, but they manage to spot the lead German tank column…which spots THEM, and fires back, shooting them down.
Children in the U.S. are about 10 times as likely to be killed in a car crash as by the celebrity virus. Should the Government criminalize driving with children in the car?
Don’t give those Gubmint nannies any “ideas”. My nearly eight-year old granddaughter still has to sit on a car booster seat, for what reason I can’t fathom.
Hell, when I was that age, my good friend’s dad had a pickup, and we rode in the BED. No one got all worked up about it. Nowadays, the cops would pull a guy over transporting kids in an open pickup bed, cuff him, and charge him with felony child abuse…takes the kids to CPS…and probably seize the truck, to boot.
Yup; it’s insufferable. An eight year old kid in a “booster” seat. Spare me. These poor kids are being trained to hate/fear cars. I wonder why…
Arresting/ticketing/fining people for not following the dictates of the safety cult was the primer for what we are experiencing today.
Eric did a hilarious video on the town or the state running salt trucks on the road when it didn’t even snow yet. How about digging that one up for old times sake, Eric. LOL
IDOT and the City of Chicago generally have the trucks out before the snow begins. Scattered around parked and idling. That’s how snow removal is supposed to be done. Once the snow starts to fall they go on the move. Roads are fine when they do that. When they don’t do that they can’t catch up and roads are terrible.
plenty of waymo robot cars here in phoenix – except theres always a driver so uh whats the point.
That’s interesting. Still using drivers after “millions of miles driven” without incident. Must be the liability problem. Until they figure out who’s responsible for damages after an accident, atonomous vehicles aren’t going to get past the testing stage.
This is my #1 reason not to go all EV. Natural “disasters” cause traffic stoppage.
EV’s out of juice prolong this and place the operators in danger of freezing, wild fire, hurricane, etc.
And by extension, all those who can’t get by their pile of dead battery clogging the road.
Also a clear demonstration of the failure of the state to manage roadways. No private roadway would have been left open with such clearly impending weather unless they had means to keep it open. Virginia DID leave it open, and did NOT have means to keep it open. If a vehicle is not at least an AWD SUV with sufficient ground clearance, or the best, a 4WD pickup, it will not navigate a foot of snow. Which does not discourage drivers of ordinary cars whom the state has convinced they will keep the road clear from venturing forth, and promptly getting stuck. And keeping even those vehicles capable from being any longer capable, since the road is now blocked. I had such experience a number of years ago. We
had a foot or better of snow in the middle of the workday, in about 3 hours. While my employer finally did “permit” us to leave, it was too late. In spite of looking ahead, and driving my 4wd 97 Tacoma, second only to a snow mobile in such, it took me 5 hours to go the 20 miles home. Having to take numerous detours around stalled traffic.
Good afternoon Mr. Kable,
“If a vehicle is not at least an AWD SUV with sufficient ground clearance, or the best, a 4WD pickup, it will not navigate a foot of snow.”
I grew up in Buffalo, NY, and learned how to drive in snow and on ice very well. (Lots of practice.) I had a 1987 chevy cavalier (front wheel drive, manual trans.) for my winter car. That little car could easily navigate a foot of snow with all season tires. If I had put snow tires on her she would have done even better.
Seems to me like an actual new 12″ of loose snow on a roadway would pile up in front of a low sitting car’s pseudo bumper.
I had an 84 escort front wheel drive and manual in the Keweenaw Peninsula of the UP of Michigan. 300 inches of snow a year could not stop it.
I used to drive a ’74 Beetle…everywhere. It was hard to get it stuck – and I always got it unstuck, the few times it happened! AWD… please!
Well, the Beetle, or “Kafer”, was developed by Ferdy Porsche in “Goimany” (Germany), prior to WWII, ya know. It seems that it did and still does snow there in the winter, and I don’t hear that the “Goimans” pack it in every time it snows. They just march on “Moskau”.
I had one of them in Central Pennsylvania. I worked 35 miles away “up the mountain,” never failed me.
Drove through the Rockies one winter from Montana into Idaho. There was some snow falling and the highway was up and down through hill and dale. Every trucker was moving along about 30 mph.
Don’t want to strand yourself in the mountains because you were driving like a man with a paper ass.
A road closure on I-95 possibly prevented a number of accidents and probably saved some lives along with it. Stuck in the doldrums of I-95 provides some food for thought. lol
There is another bout of cold weather on the way to the eastern seaboard, the air temps out in the waters of the Atlantic are warm, if the trade winds blow inland, it might not be so cold south of Pennsylvania. Iceland is 37⁰ Fahrenheit today. In the prairie provinces of Canada it is -27⁰ F.
I don’t even know what it means but I sure got a kick out of “a man with a paper ass”!
The snow is being caused by global warming or climate change. Can’t have a natural winter you see. this is all being caused by people who want to survive. lol
‘They might also have a look at the power-rationing occurring in states like California.’ — eric
It will be surprising if the world makes it through this winter without a grid breakdown in any number of vulnerable places that are shutting down reliable, but politically disfavored, generating plants while loading up on intermittent power sources such as wind and solar.
Good green Germany is one such candidate, shutting down its nuclear power plants even as it dallies on opening the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in a vain attempt to pressure Russia.
Meanwhile in Kazakhstan, a doubled price for LNG (used to fuel most vehicles) allegedly was the trigger of widespread rioting. Some theorize that the unrest in Kazakhstan is just another Soros/CIA color revolution, strategically timed to threaten neighboring Russia the week before US/Russian negotiations over Ukraine begin.
This theory is underscored by the spin offered in the Lügenpresse, which reliably inverts causation. NYT this morning: ‘The [Kazakhstan] turmoil has presented Russia with another opportunity to reassert its influence in the former Soviet domain, one of Vladimir Putin’s cherished goals.’
So Russia would shoot its own foot off at the most inconvenient and embarrassing possible moment by fomenting a crisis on its own border, at the behest of the power-mad Putin?
Yeah, right! And vaccines are safe and effective too! /s
The US Psychopaths In Charge want Russia to have NO influence anywhere outside its borders, and preferably not there either, in spite of them typically exerting such influence with trade instead of weapons and sanctions as the US does. Russia brings trade to the table, China brings trade, and money with abundant strings attached. The US brings guns and sanctions.
Oh, and the CIA too.
I can’t take these mf’er anymore. I’ve been cursing them since they sent my young ass across the pond for a SE Asia adventure a lifetime ago.
They are going to wait till after the 2022 elections for that one.
Putin remains in Western crosshairs for many reasons. This commotion over NS-2 to supply needed NG is nonsensical bc Russia will simply sell it all to China instead of West.
Various reports Putin has finally set limits for encroachment upon their borders.
Read Lavrov and Zakharova for some real hard diplomacy on this matter.
Putin always attends long liturgical Christian worship services at Christmas and Easter, visits monasteries, supports traditional families, and discourages perversion
25 years old again (now 85!) and had learned Russian alphabet/spoke language I would move to that vast country.