As a growing number of EV owners grapple with challenges posed by cold weather, The Reman Perspective sheds light on the broader issues faced by electric vehicles during winter, which have been overlooked in the governmental push for vehicle electrification.
This story was published on FOXBusiness.com on January 15, 2024.
Desperate Tesla owners in and around Chicago were seen trying to charge their vehicles with no luck amid frigid temperatures that have gripped the Midwest.
Charging stations have essentially turned into car graveyards in recent days as temperatures have dropped to the negative double digits, Fox Chicago reported.
"Nothing. No juice. Still on zero percent," Tyler Beard, who had been trying to recharge his Tesla at an Oak Brook, Illinois, Tesla supercharging station since Sunday afternoon, told the news outlet. "And this is like three hours being out here after being out here three hours yesterday."
Beard and several other Tesla owners were trying to charge their cars amid long lines and abandoned cars at other Tesla charging stations in the Chicago area, the news station reported.
"This is crazy. It’s a disaster. Seriously," said Tesla owner Chalis Mizelle. Mizelle said she abandoned her car and got a ride from a friend after hers would not charge.
"We got a bunch of dead robots out here," one man said.
Kevin Sumrak told the Fox station that he landed Sunday night at Chicago O'Hare International Airport and found his Tesla dead and unable to start. He was forced to hire a flatbed tow truck to haul the vehicle to a working charging station.
One expert told the news outlet that cold weather can impact the ability of electric vehicles to charge properly.
"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 Mark Bilek of the Chicago Auto Trade Association.
FOX Business has reached out to Tesla, but has not yet heard back.
The Reman Perspective: Electric Vehicles Face the Winter Blues
Perspective Written By: Joe Evert, Director of Engineering & Operations at GB Remanufacturing, Inc.
Many EV owners are becoming disenchanted with the ownership experience. Indeed, pushing a 3,500-pound ice cube in the middle of a blizzard to a charging station can make you question your purchase decision. Range anxiety, limited charging infrastructure, inconsistent battery range and long charging times are just some of the issues consumers will have to accept with EV ownership.
There is no doubt that EVs make a great case for some owners, especially those in urban areas with reasonable commutes and easy access to charging infrastructure. But the one-size-fits-all approach being pushed and heavily subsidized by governments might be reaching an inflection point. Early adopters fueled (pun intended) the rapid growth of EV market share, but cracks are starting to form. Not everyone is willing to make the sacrifices of EV ownership. Weakening demand is evidenced by numerous data points, including the increase manufacturer incentives on EVs, price reductions, excess dealer inventory and manufacturers reducing production on many models (Ford F-150 Lightning as an example). Stories like the one detailed in Chicago aren’t making a convincing sales pitch either.
Until owning an EV is as easy as owning an ICE vehicle, the EV market share could reach a plateau until significant technology advances in battery and charging infrastructure are solved. Gaining significant additional market share from here might prove more difficult than previously thought.
Obviously, we might be biased, after all, we are a remanufacturer of fuel injectors used on ICE vehicles. But we’re okay with that because remanufacturing has always been green! We think a more balanced approached of mixed technologies including smaller displacement internal combustion engines utilizing turbocharging paired with hybrid or plug-in hybrid powertrains, along with EVs can still have an enormous impact in carbon emissions.
We’re not alone on our thinking on this. In fact, one of the world’s largest automobile manufacturers feels the same. Toyota Motor's chairman Akio Toyoda doubled down on his electric car skepticism forecasting that EV adoption will peak at just 30%.
Until next time, thanks for tuning in to The Reman Perspective!
About GB Remanufacturing, Inc.
Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Long Beach, CA, GB Remanufacturing, Inc. is the market leader in providing remanufactured OEM gasoline and diesel fuel injectors, injector components and diesel electronics to the automotive aftermarket.
Contact: Delaney Kitching
Marketing Manager, GB Remanufacturing