According to recent reports, the cold weather across the country has begun to affect electric vehicles, much to the annoyance of many Tesla owners.
CNBC reports that a new AAA study has found that colder temperatures are having a negative effect on electric vehicles such as the Tesla Model 3, Chevrolet Bolt EV, Jaguar I-Pace and Nissan Leaf Plus. On average, these vehicles can drive for between 200 to 300 miles on a single charge, depending on the vehicle; but as winter storms picked up around the country many electric vehicle owners found their cars suddenly not performing up to standard.
According to a recent study by AAA, a 20-degree drop in weather can decrease the performance of electric vehicles by an average of 41 percent. Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of automotive engineering, said in a statement “We found that the impact of temperature on EVs is significantly more than we expected.” Brannon continued: “It’s something all automakers are going to have to deal with as they push for further EV deployment because it’s something that could surprise consumers.”
A 41 percent decrease in performance in a vehicle such as the Chevrolet Bolt would bring the cars mile range down to just 140 miles per charge — but the Volt has a backup gas engine. Brannon stated that part of the problem is that “lithium-ion batteries like the same sort of temperatures that we do, around 70 degrees.” Many Tesla owners began reporting issues with their Model 3 vehicles, Bloomberg recently published accounts from a number of Tesla owners that faced range issues during the recent cold weather.
Ronak Patel, a CPA auditor in New Jersey, discussed his issues with the Tesla Model 3 he purchased in August stating: “My biggest concern is the cold weather drained my battery 20 to 25 miles overnight and an extra five to ten miles on my drive to work. I paid $60,000 to not drain my battery so quickly.” Boston software engineer Andrea Falcone tweeted a photo of her frozen Model 3 door handle stating: “I can’t wait all day for this silly car.”
On January 25th, Tesla CEO Elon Musk stated in a tweet that improvements to Tesla vehicles ability to deal with cold weather would be fixed in an OTA software update:
Many cold weather improvements coming via OTA software
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 25, 2019
No updates relating to cold weather issues have been issued to Tesla vehicles so far.