After thirty years in the ready-mixed concrete industry, I learned just how difficult it can be to start commercial vehicles that have been sitting outside in freezing weather. Not only are diesel engines more difficult to start when they are cold, but batteries don’t hold their charges as well. That makes this story no surprise to me!
November 30, 2019
A new comparative test of the car picture shows that electric cars massively lose range in winter. In frosty temperatures, the range of four out of five test candidates dropped to under 70 kilometers, and that of the Renault Zoe to under 60 kilometers.
Due to its enormous battery, only the Tesla Model S was able to reach a range of over 200 kilometers even in winter temperatures, but the luxury car is in a price range (it is available from 78,000 euros) that most drivers simply cannot cope with.
The result is not surprising. Batteries are less efficient in winter due to their chemical properties. This insight does not seem to have reached the planners of the traffic and energy turnaround yet. Tests conducted by the independent German Dekra testing organization have also shown that the power loss of a battery can be as low as minus five degrees up to 50 percent.
The results of the Auto-Bild test are simply a catastrophe for politicians, who are still persuading citizens that it is possible to switch from private transport to battery-powered vehicles. The truth is, however, that electric cars have so far only been suitable as city cars for rich people who can afford to put a classic car with a combustion engine in their garage alongside an electric car. This is certainly not environmentally friendly, because dual motorization consumes money, parking space, and resources.
AAA tested the BMW i3s, Chevrolet Bolt and Nissan Leaf from the 2018 model year, and the 2017 Tesla Model S 75D and Volkswagen e-Golf. All have a range of at least 100 miles per charge. They were tested on a dynamometer, which is like a treadmill, in a climate-controlled cell.
The automobile club tested the cars at 20 degrees and 95 degrees, comparing the range to when they were tested at 75 degrees Fahrenheit, according to a report on the study.
At 20 degrees, the average driving range fell by 12 percent when the car’s cabin heater was not used. When the heater was turned on, the range dropped by 41 percent, AAA said.
And who doesn’t use the heater when it’s 20º F outside? Cue the scene in The Martian, in which Matt Damon discovers that if he uses the rover’s heater, it will eat through half of his battery every day, and if he doesn’t, he will be slowly killed by the second law of thermodynamics.¹
At 95 degrees, range dropped 4 percent without use of air conditioning, and fell by 17 percent when the cabin was cooled, the study found.
For example, AAA’s testers determined that the Tesla’s range when fully charged at 75 degrees was 239 miles, but it fell 91 miles, or 38 percent, at 20 degrees.
Of course, Elon Musk and Tesla didn’t like the independent test results, and disputed them:
In a statement, Tesla disputed the AAA results. The company said that based on data collected from its cars on the road, “the average Model S customer doesn’t experience anywhere near that decrease in range.” The company said the range dropped by roughly 1 percent at 95 degrees, but it would not release a percentage for cold weather.
The difference? The AAA isn’t trying to sell any particular automobiles, while Tesla (TSLA) is.
We have already pointed out that most people do not have dedicated parking spaces at home where they can mount electric car charging stations, but this story points out another factor: unless such a vehicle is charged in a garage, a heated garage, the temperature of the batteries will drop according to the weather outside. This puts yet another restriction on the effectiveness of electric vehicles for most people.
Even if you have that heated garage, once you take your Chevy Dolt Bolt out of it and into winter weather, those batteries will start slowly cooling toward the outside temperature. I wonder how many all-electric vehicles will be on hand in the winter wonderland of Davos, Switzerland, when the hoitiest and the toitiest meet to tell us peons what we must give up due to global warming climate change.²
These are the things that Democrats running for President don’t tell you. Senators Warren and Sanders and the others in the cavalcade of candidates don’t want voters to know just how much their plans will affect them, personally, in their daily lives.
These are the things that the voters need to know, and these are the things that conservatives, and the Trump campaign, need to point out to them. The more the voters know about just what the Democrats want to do to us, the more votes the Democrats will lose.
¹ – Yes, I know: in the movie it only says the “laws of thermodynamics,” but I’m nerd enough to know, specify and link which one it is.
² – William Teach noted that some of the alarmists want to ‘rebrand’ climate change to something more dramatic, because that will get more people on their side or something. Of course, they already had to rebrand away from ‘global warming’ when they started to claim that it was causing more snowstorms and cold weather. 🙂
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