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Electric Car Owners Confront a Harsh Foe: Cold Weather. The struggle is real: yesterday I drove to visit a friend and thought I had plenty of range to get home but heating the battery for two interim round-town trips totally screwed me.

Discussion  12 comments

Tim Brown

(Electric car curious here.) How did you end up getting home? Were you able to charge at your friend's house?

Colter Mccorkindale

And what do EV owners do when they run out of charge far from home? Is it always a tow truck that's needed, or can you use one of those portable jumpstart kits?

David Greenfield

tow to somewhere you can charge

Nathan Clark

My car comes with free tows to the nearest charger for life. Never needed to use it, but preferable to walks on the road if you're in a rural place.

Colter Mccorkindale

One time I ran out of gas one block from the gas station. I filled up a water bottle with just enough gas to get to the pump. I'm probably not the target demo for an EV. But to have to call a tow truck to move the car one block seems...uniquely modern.

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Jason KottkeMOD

I got home without charging, but I had to turn off my heat (kept the heated seat on), slow down, and watch my acceleration. There were chargers along the route, so it was never dire...more like it would have been a 10-45 minute inconvenience. It was sorta my own fault...I forgot about the EV cold tax and should have charged my car more fully before I left my house. The current state of EV infrastructure is improving but you still have to think about it more than with a gas car.

And yeah, if you run out of juice, you need a tow to a charger. Mobile EV charging vehicles exist, but I don't think they are widely available in the US.

David Greenfield

the infrastructure difference between east and west coast is crazy. in san diego, we have EV chargers (even slow L2) every few blocks. every shopping plaza, garage, etc

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Jeremy Wallace

Driving to NYC from Ithaca in the summer is fine. Charge up once after about 3 hours on the way in, and you're fine. Driving to NYC from Ithaca in the winter is a stressful mess where one is relying on untrustworthy app reporting of about the availability and working nature of charging infrastructure. I'd so much prefer to pay more for a better experience. Please, take my money!


EVs are not for everyone. I have a Tesla Y LR. I've got a home charger and chargers at work (although if you don't get work by 845 you are out of luck- everyone got an EV during the pandemic). Do you travel a lot? Don't get an EV. If a SuperCharger is your only means of charging, don't get an EV. But for suburbanites like myself, it's great. To be honest, I'll probably replace my Mazda with a hybrid eventually. Having 2 EVs in 1 house makes no sense.

Thomas Goetz

Growing up in Minneapolis in the 70s/80s, we had to plug in our ICE station wagon at night to keep engine from freezing. And getting/giving a jump happened on the regular. I think EVs require the same amount of forethought a preparedness. It's just a different sort of prep than ICEs. (new EV owner here btw!)

Chris Frampton


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Nathan Clark

I read an article somewhere about how RV parks have dryer plugs everywhere, which is basically a level 2 charger in a pinch. Every EV *can* charge on a normal outlet. But it's crazy slow. But there are many hotels I've been to where EVs simply plug into their regular outlets overnight. Doesn't add a ton, but it adds something. And outdoor outlets *are* everywhere.

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