Cold Weather Leads to Car Battery Shortage in Twin Cities

January 08, 2018 08:44 PM

The recent cold snap took a toll on Minnesota vehicles, specifically car batteries. Now there's a shortage of them in the Twin Cities.

Dan Hartel owns the local Interstate Battery distributorship. "So what you're looking at is the last two days of junk batteries that we've collected from the metro area," Hartel said while giving a tour of the warehouse.


RELATED: Cold Weather Driving is Upon Us – Are You Prepared?

Hartel has about 50 pallets of dead car batteries. That's about 3,500 batteries – all from just last Thursday and Friday. Each battery in the warehouse represents a new car battery that was sold. According to Hartel, 97 percent of car batteries are recycled to make new batteries.

"Everybody is out of batteries, customers need batteries" Hartel said. "Now after two weeks of this, we are at a level where we are now running out of product to be able to sell to our customers."

Cold weather causes batteries go bad every winter, but Hartel has never seen anything like this. "And I remember polar vortex years, and years with really cold weather, but nothing has been like this. It's just a lot of mild winters leading up to a really cold winter has destroyed a lot of car batteries."

Hartel said manufacturers are working overtime to ship batteries to Minnesota.

RELATED: How MnDOT Gets Ready for Winter

"Supplies will catch up this week because it's warmer, but then the cycle will repeat itself if the temperature drops below zero again," he said.

And there's really nothing to do about it, Hartel said.

"Old batteries just die when it's really cold."


Kevin Doran

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