Nearly the entire nation is under a major winter storm watch as temperatures dip well below zero in some places.
However, in cities like Chicago, Illinois, the frigid temps are something many residents get used to.
Now some parts of Chicago have turned into an electric vehicle graveyard with dead EV’s everywhere.
Tesla EV’s won’t charge in frigid Chicago
Several Tesla owners throughout the Chicago area were left stranded when their vehicles wouldn’t charge thanks to extremely frigid temperatures.
The charging stations have been deemed useless as drivers have been trying to give their EV batteries a charge with no luck, many of whom had been trying for hours or even days.
Tyler Beard, who had been attempting to charge his Tesla at a supercharging station in Oak Brook, Illinois, told Fox 32 Chicago, “Nothing. No juice. Still on zero percent. And this is like three hours being out here after being out here three hours yesterday.”
Beard wasn’t alone, as many other Tesla owners also tried to get a charge after waiting in long lines or getting stuck behind abandoned cars in several locations in the Chicago area.
“This is crazy. It’s a disaster. Seriously,” said Chalis Mizelle, another Tesla owner who told Fox 32 Chicago she abandoned her car and got a ride from a friend after her EV simply would not take a charge.
One man commented, “We got a bunch of dead robots out here.”
Kevin Sumrak also told the local Fox station he landed at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, only to find his Tesla dead on arrival.
The vehicle wouldn’t start, so he had to pay for a flatbed tow truck to take the vehicle to a charging station.
Mark Bilek of the Chicago Auto Trade Association said that cold weather can make it difficult for electric vehicles to charge correctly.
“It’s not plug and go. You have to precondition the battery, meaning that you have to get the battery up to the optimal temperature to accept a fast charge,” said Bilek.
At another charging station in Evergreen Park, several Teslas were stranded and left alone in the parking lot.
Many drivers said the charging stations weren’t working at all, and those that did took much longer than usual to charge.
Tesla owner Brandon Welbourne told the Chicago Leader, “I’ve been here for over five hours at this point, and I still have not gotten to charge my car. A charge that should take 45 minutes is taking two hours.”
Welbourne also said he had already seen at least 10 Tesla vehicles towed from the time he arrived at the charging station.
An infrastructure nightmare
The situation in Chicago begs the question, if one of the nation’s leading EV manufacturers with the most advanced charging network in the country can’t handle cold temperatures, what makes EV drivers of other makes and models think theirs will work?
On the other hand, owners of traditional gas-powered vehicles can easily refuel their cars anywhere, and at any time, regardless of the weather.
While many consumers are hesitant to buy EVs due to “range anxiety,” it looks like “weather anxiety” can now be added to the list.
Stay tuned to Blue State Blues for any updates to this ongoing story.