RUSH: I love this next story, but don’t misunderstand why. I don’t revel in the suffering of others. I do not revel or have schadenfreude when other people encounter difficulties that I could have predicted. It’s not part of this. I have known because of my extensive tech background and knowledge that one of the worst things for batteries is cold weather. If you want to make a battery as inefficient as possible, you put it in the freezer for a while. By the same token, exorbitantly high temperatures can do the same thing.
But the problem there is the tendency to explode. But batteries — lithium-ion batteries, the kind of batteries that are rechargeable and in every device, including electric cars — just cease to function when it gets cold. This is something that electric car buyers are not often told. “If there’s one thing electric vehicle owners are learning, it is that extremely cold temperatures are likely going to lead to frustration if they don’t take extra special care of” the battery in their electric car.
“Disgruntled owners of [Tesla] Model 3s have been widespread on social media and online forums, talking about numerous issues they’ve had with cold weather on their vehicles. People have complained about battery range draining and Model 3 door handles freezing up.” You know, the door handles pop out because of the battery. If the battery’s not operating, you can’t open the doors. The batteries don’t hold a charge. You can’t charge ’em and they can’t hold a charge unless you’ve got a heated garage — and if that happens, then your range goes way down.
The battery doesn’t perform well in cold. You would think it would be just the exact opposite. You would think that cold weather in heat-producing elements… As cold as it could be would be better because it dissipates the heat. But there are all kinds of moving parts inside lithium ion batteries, including the ions. It’s cold weather that freezes the cathode in there that makes it pretty much a solid rather than a jelly, and there’s no way for the ions to move, and therefore you’ve got no electricity. You know what else happens in cold weather? There’s no wind. When there’s no wind, you can’t power the power plant.
So saving the world?
You can’t get in your car and start it and drive it very far, and your electricity won’t be there anyway to charge your car because wind power doesn’t overcome cold.