Electric vehicle owners facing challenges in winter weather
Minnesotans driving electric cars are running into problems during the winter as the state’s goal is to have one in five vehicles available be electric by 2030.
Trevor Gravko, an electric vehicle owner, just got his hands on an electric car in December. Now, he’s getting a handle on how to use it.
“The kind of immediate power you get with electric cars makes them a lot more fun to drive,” Gravko said. “I like it.”
But he explained it’s not as fun to charge it.
“Usually, to get from like 20 to 100, it’ll take me like 45 minutes,” he said.
The charging stations keep the car running, but patience comes with it and the cold weather is just the icing on the cake.
“I know that my car does not get as much mileage and the battery is affected by the cold,” said electric vehicle owner Katie Slack.
Electric vehicles lose some of their travel range in the cold, especially when temperatures hit below zero.
Studies found range loss can be as much as 30%.
EV analysts said these vehicles are impacted because of the energy it takes to both power the vehicle and warm the cabin.
The charging time could also be extended by the cold causing longer wait times at the station.
Some drivers have concerns there aren’t enough fast-charging docks to go around in the metro.
“I think the biggest hindrance to electric vehicle adoption right now is the charging infrastructure,” Gravko said. “This is one of the only fast charging stations in this area.”
Some drivers feel the pros still outweigh the cons.
“I think one thing that I love about Minnesota is that we love nature and we get that it’s important to take care of nature,” Slack said. “I think an electric vehicle is a way to do that.”
For electric car drivers, experts said warming up your car while it’s still charging can preserve some energy. Also, turning down the cabin temperature and relying on your seat and steering wheel warmer can help.