By Nick Pope, The Daily Caller News Foundation | January 16, 2024
Electric vehicle (EV) drivers in the Chicago area have recently struggled to charge their vehicles amid frigid temperatures, contradicting the assertions of some EV proponents suggesting that fears about performance in inclement conditions are overblown.
Dozens of EV drivers reportedly lined up at EV charging stations to juice up their vehicles in Oak Brook, Illinois, but the bitter cold that has blanketed the area made that task effectively impossible, according to Fox 32, a local media outlet. Several organizations that promote EVs — a product which the Biden administration is pushing aggressively as part of its climate agenda — have previously suggested that concerns over diminished EV and battery performance in cold weather are inflated, but the experiences of drivers in Oak Brook seem to belie that notion.
“Nothing. No juice. Still on zero percent,” Tyler Beard, who had been attempting to recharge his Tesla at an Oak Brook Tesla supercharging station since Sunday afternoon, told Fox 32. “And this is like three hours being out here after being out here three hours yesterday.”
Kevin Sumrak, another EV driver living in the Chicago area, arrived at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport to discover that his EV had run out of charge while he was away, according to Fox 32.
“This is crazy. It’s a disaster. Seriously,” Tesla owner Chalis Mizelle told Fox 32. Mizelle eventually had to abandon her EV and have a friend pick her up after realizing that her car would not charge.
Mizelle was not the only driver that opted to abandon their EV at a Chicago-area charging station, as abandoned EVs littered charging stations around the Chicago area, according to Fox 32. The Chicago region is currently experiencing a prolonged cold spell, with temperatures expected to stay well below freezing through Sunday; Tuesday saw temperatures as low as four degrees Fahrenheit, according to AccuWeather.
The experiences of Beard, Sumrak, Mizelle and other Chicago-area EV owners may come as a surprise to some proponents of EVs that have previously said cold weather is not a major cause for concern in terms of EV performance and charging.
On Monday, Energy5, a green energy company, released a blog post focused on “debunking misconceptions about cold weather” as it relates to EVs. In the blog, the company laid out its rebuttals to several “myths” about EV performance and cold weather, asserting that “cold weather does not prevent EV charging” and that “EVs are equipped with advanced battery management systems designed to mitigate the effects of cold weather.”
The suggestion that “EVs don’t work in the cold weather” is akin to a “myth,” according to a November 2023 blog post published by the Arcadia Center, an environmental organization. In January of 2022, the Environmental Defense Fund asserted that “EV battery tech is getting better every year especially in cold weather” in a write-up it posted to address a “snowstorm of misinformation” about EVs.
The Biden administration is spending vast amounts of taxpayer funds, including $7.5 billion to establish a nationwide charging network, and aggressively regulating the auto market to advance its goal of having EVs make up 50% of new vehicle sales by 2030. Despite these initiatives, the EV market appears to be faltering: consumer demand is not growing as quickly as expected, manufacturers are losing large amounts of money on their EV product lines and executives are starting to back off of near-term EV commitments.
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