Embarrassing Limitations of EVs Became Painfully Clear During Arctic Blast


Electric vehicles have been all the rage in recent years. As our society becomes more and more concerned with “climate change” EVs are often presented to us by our leaders as an efficient and environmentally-friendly alternative to gas-powered vehicles.

With this promotion in mind, people likely expect EVs to be efficient and reliable in some of the most adverse weather and road conditions.

That turned out not to be the case. The unprecedented winter storm that hit the country the week before Christmas exposed some of the embarrassing limitations that EVs still need to work to overcome.

On Thursday, Real Clear Science published a report that highlighted the experiences many Americans had with the EVs during the winter storm, and the limitations on EVs in the cold weather were clear for all to see.

Perhaps the biggest limitation faced by EVs was that the frigid temperatures reportedly cut the range of an EV by 40 percent or more.

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The report stated that people traveling long distances for the holidays often could only travel 100 to 150 miles before having to stop and recharge. Not only is this inconvenient, but the short range and the time needed to stop and charge add a significant amount of time to any road trip.

That gets into the other major issue faced by EVs during the cold weather — charging times in sub-zero temperatures were reportedly nearly doubled from approximately a 25-35 minutes to 45-60 minutes.

That was if the charging stations worked; many of the public charging stations simply broke down when the temperature got too cold.

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The report did note, however, that aside from the range issues, EVs handled the cold weather pretty well, and people driving short distances in the cold had no problems with their cars.

So EVs do generally work in cold weather, but EV technology is still in its infancy, and this recent storm showed that there are still several problems with the technology that need to be solved before it can take over from gas-powered vehicles.

This is not the first time that the limits of EVs in the cold have been displayed. Earlier this month, a man in Kansas found that the driving range on his EV plunged 20-50 percent due to the cold weather.

And it is not just in the cold weather that EVs are experiencing these problems. There’s a story of people plugging in their EV only to find out that it will take five days for the car to fully charge.

There are also several stories of vehicles just breaking down in the middle of the road and leaving motorists stranded.

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Add to that the fact that these vehicles are often expensive.

The average electric hummer can cost around $100,000, but with demand for EVs wildly outstripping supply, someone recently paid over $200,000 for one.

Not to mention the maintenance costs for these vehicles, which can be insane. A battery replacement on an EV can cost over $30,000. And now we are seeing that these batteries often don’t work as expected.

If consumers are paying these large amounts of money to buy and maintain electric vehicles, then they deserve to have a product that works, especially in adverse conditions.

Electric vehicles may be the future of driving, but the technology still has a long way to go before these cars become both affordable and efficient, making them a truly viable alternative to gas cars.

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Peter Partoll is a commentary writer for the Western Journal and a Research Assistant for the Catholic Herald. He earned his bachelor's degree at Hillsdale College and recently finished up his masters degree at Royal Holloway University of London. You can follow him on Twitter at @p_partoll.