A deep freeze gripping much of the nation has seen electric vehicle charging stations stall out, leaving drivers stranded in sub-zero temperatures for hours at a time.
Fox News chronicled the trials of Chicago residents whose Teslas were unable to start after the company’s fast-charge stations failed to refuel their EVs. Some of those interviewed said they were forced to wait outside for up to three hours for several days in a row before giving up entirely.
“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 Fox Chicago. “And this is like three hours being out here after being out here three hours yesterday.”
“This is crazy. It’s a disaster. Seriously,” said Tesla owner Chalis Mizelle, who was forced to call a friend for a ride after her Tesla wouldn’t accept a charge.
“We got a bunch of dead robots out here,” another man said.
John Baldys spoke about the long line of cars waiting for a charging station, all to learn that none was working eventually.
“I was just here yesterday. There were all these long lines of cars, but there was only a couple of charging [stations] working. They seem very disorganized, like no one knew what to do, and people were just led here by their cars. So they were abandoned, basically,” he told Fox.
Mark Bilek of the Chicago Auto Trade Association told Fox Chicago that it’s not uncomment for EVs to struggle with charging in frigid winter conditions. The lithium-ion batteries that power Teslas and most other EVs just won’t operate until the weather warms up.
“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 Bilek.
In December, thousands of auto dealers wrote an open letter to President Joe Biden asking that he pause his aggressive implementation of EV standards, claiming that the infrastructure is not ready to support such a change while customer satisfaction and demand for EVs remain low. The executives were joined by hundreds of union members at the nation’s largest auto companies concerned that green policies will cause several of their largest plants to be shuttered. The lack of charging stations around the country, especially in rural areas, even ensnared a top Biden energy official while she toured the American Southwest to promote EV travel during the summer months.