Can an electric car or two-wheeler be charged even in freezing conditions? EV owners who live in places where the mercury falls below freezing in the winter may often struggle to get power due to frigid conditions, which may take longer than usual to fully heat the battery. In extremely cold conditions, however, the challenge may escalate further. That’s what happened to owners of Tesla Model 3 electric vehicles in the United States during the recent Arctic explosion, which caused multiple power outages.
This Tesla owner was looking for a public electric vehicle charging station in Loveland, Colorado. He was looking for a Tesla Supercharger to fast charge his Model 3. Mercury is 25 degrees Celsius below freezing, and being outside for too long can be life-threatening. However, the owner of the electric car went out overnight for two consecutive days to find a location.
The first charger he picked out was completely icy. When he tried to plug it in, he realized the outlet had frozen to the point where he couldn’t plug it into his Tesla Model 3. He got lucky at the next stop.
To charge an EV, it is important to precondition the battery, which is a prerequisite. Under normal circumstances, it takes no time. However, in freezing conditions, as in this case, the battery takes longer to get ready for high-speed charging. It took the owner about 45 minutes for the charger to fully heat the battery.
Owners have about 35 percent left when charging at a charging station. He had set the charger to 90% before moving out. It took another hour and a half before the Model 3 reached 90 percent charge.
The Tesla Model 3 owner said he did this on an experimental basis to see how EV chargers and EV batteries respond to extreme cold conditions. He also advised EV owners to avoid waiting until their batteries were almost frozen before going to a charging station. Home charging is the best way to avoid that, he said.
First published date: December 29, 2022 at 11:40 AM CST