Breaking News
The Student News Site of Santa Rosa Academy

The Lasso

The Student News Site of Santa Rosa Academy

The Lasso

The Student News Site of Santa Rosa Academy

The Lasso

Chicago Storm Results in Tesla Graveyard

FOX 32 Chicago
Someone pushes a Tesla Model 3 towards a tow truck at a Chicago Supercharger location. A large number of cars ran out of charge as they waited for a charger.

Tesla Supercharging stations across Chicago have become known as “Tesla graveyards”, as an increasingly large number of EV owners have been left stranded after temperatures have dropped down to negative double digits in Chicago.

Batteries run at peak efficiency during ambient temperatures; during excessively high or low temperatures, the battery loses a large amount of its efficiency. Along with this, habits that involve running the charge to extremely low levels before trying to recharge the battery impact charge times as well.

A charge that would typically take thirty minutes now takes about two to three hours because the ambient temperatures have dropped so low. Why is this? This occurs because the flow of ions in the battery packs slows down as temperatures drop, when at temperatures this low, the flow slows down to extremely low levels creating high resistance. This essentially means that it costs significantly more energy to do the same task.

Tesla Model 3 Display at the Start of a Charging Station. Slower Charge Rates Are Expected Due to Cold Weather. (InsideEVs)

There is a workaround for this issue, which would be to “precondition” the battery. Preconditioning the battery simply heats the battery to a temperature where the battery is ready to accept charge at such high rates, this temperature is usually around 115 degrees Fahrenheit.

What is the reason for the Tesla graveyard? Well, the answer is, bad driving habits. The owners of these electric vehicles have the habit of running the charge down before searching for a supercharger. Truth is, it is pretty difficult to heat the battery when you have to heat the battery, with the battery. This leaves the owners of these vehicles no choice but to wait about three hours to charge their batteries.

“It’s half and half, while there are some people that know tech pretty well, there are some that aren’t so fond of it.” Electric car owner Dakota Vavken Hylton said. “For those who aren’t fond of it, it makes it pretty difficult to have a car that relies so much on technology.”

The lack of knowledge when it comes to the technology of these new cars, continues to cause problems. This is mainly because people have to realize that old habits from gas cars will not work here. Another factor is that the technology is still fairly new because the first mass-produced electric car was released in 1996, the technology still needs work to be able to handle situations like these.

“I don’t think Teslas are ready to handle temperatures like that because they are still fairly new and have not been perfected.” Junior Jonathan Copeland said.

With time, the technology of these vehicles will allow them to operate in such unforgiving conditions, but at the moment, the new technology combined with bad driving habits results in a domino effect.

As other people wait in line for a charging station with an already low charge, they continue to consume more power to keep the cabin warm. Keeping the cabin warm in such harsh conditions demands a substantial amount of power, essentially, their car dies as they wait for a charger.

A Tesla Model Y Shown Plugged into a Home Connector. Home Connectors Offer Convenience to EV Owners. (Tesla Motors)

A question that might rise to many would be, ‘Why don’t people charge at home?’. While it is a great point, the truth is that a majority of people do not own home chargers to start with and solely depend on outside charging stations, mainly because they live in apartments. When a situation like this comes, it causes an absolute mess and just makes you question the capabilities of these vehicles.

“Times change but people are not willing to do so.” Vavken-Hylton said.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Lasso

Your donation will support the student journalists of Santa Rosa Academy. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Daksh  Bagga
Daksh Bagga, Staff Writer
Daksh Bagga, a junior at Santa Rosa Academy and member of the football team, had never thought about journalism before getting enrolled in the class. Hoping to graduate from San Diego State University with a bachelors in mechanical engineering, Daksh would like to work for Lockheed Martin, focusing on global security and aerospace. Daksh’s interest in journalism stems from his interest in sports and learning about what’s happening in the world. Daksh has a passion for learning new things and writing. This has stuck with him and helped him grow throughout his life.
Donate to The Lasso

Comments (0)

All The Lasso Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *