Tesla drivers stranded after extreme cold makes simple feature impossible

Tesla drivers stranded after extreme cold makes simple feature impossible
Teslas Struggle to Charge in Frigid Chicago Weather
Money Talks News / VideoElephant

As temperatures plunged as low as minus 17 degrees Celsius in parts of America this week, it's been no joke for residents.

Tesla owners have faced particular trouble, after the extreme cold made it impossible to charge their vehicles, leaving some stranded out in the freezing conditions.

Electric vehicle drivers have reported being stuck out in the dangerous temperatures because of a lack of working ports and the time it's taking to charge cars up.

"Our batteries are so cold it's taking longer to charge now, so it should take 45 minutes, it's taking two hours for the one charger that we have," Tesla owner Brandon Welbourne told ABC7 Chicago.

"I have seen at least 10 cars get towed away from here because the cars, they died, they've run out of battery.

"It's too cold, it uses too much of the energy to try to keep the car somewhat reasonable temperature, so everybody is getting towed away and we have nowhere to charge."

"Right from outside the highway, there's a whole line of cars, about over 20 cars, all Tesla cars, and you can look around here, every single car is a Tesla car, full with Tesla cars this whole parking lot," said Sajid Ahmed, who was waiting for a charger in the Oak Brook area of the city.

"We're waiting and waiting for over an hour. It's unfortunate that these cars are sitting dead in the spots."

Tesla's website explains that the cars use more energy in cold weather to keep the battery and the inside of the car warm.

The manufacturer also recommends not allowing power to drop below 20 percent in case the cold weather kills the battery.

"A blue snowflake icon may appear on your touchscreen and in the app if your battery is too cold for full power and ideal range. When this icon is displayed, you may notice reduced regenerative braking and acceleration," Tesla explains.

"Leaving your vehicle plugged in whenever possible and keeping the charge level above 20 percent when not plugged in will reduce the impact of cold temperatures."

In fact, all lithium-ion batteries have trouble in extreme cold, meaning it's not just Teslas – and not even just cars – that are affected.

Ever noticed your phone dying because it's got too cold? That'll be a similar effect.

Indy100 reached out to Tesla for comment.

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