From Plug and Play EV.
When winter rolls around, electric car heaters suck up all the juice and EVs get stranded every day, right? Well, not quite…
This week’s (extremely rare) snowy snarl-up along I-95 in Virginia supercharged the dated memes — you’ve seen them: awful fonts, poor grammar, hyperbolic punctuation — claiming that when this happens to electric cars, we’re all doomed (DOOMED, I tell ye!!!) Having done many cold weather trips and lived to tell the tale, we thought that Greater Boston’s first snow day of the season was the perfect opportunity to recreate an hours-long winter idling test in our 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV.
Over seven hours, our Bolt stayed on in the driveway and quietly translated energy from its 66 kWh battery pack into cabin heat. How much did it gobble up and would we be walking home if this was happening anywhere other than our driveway?
Check out this loose-yet-illustrative cold-weather test to see why electric car heaters in winter don’t make EVs the death trap that some folks would have us believe.
I-95 Virginia Snow Delays Context:
Report from Tesla Model Y Performance owner who was in the jam:
"Monday at around 5pm I was in traffic heading home on 95 south in Virginia and got stuck due to the snow storm. I ended up stuck in traffic for 16hrs! Thank goodness for my tesla. I was initially at 74% when the jam started and when I was able to get home I was around 61%. It was a nightmare being stuck in the traffic jam but I’m glad I was stuck in my tesla. I turned on camp mode and napped for a bit. I hope this is helpful to anyone and I’m praying for all those still without power in Virginia. I still don’t have power so when it gets too cold my partner and I will likely sleep in my car. It’s currently at 56%."
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*** Big thanks to Bob, Dave and Brian for keeping the java flowing in 2021! ***
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