Recent wintery events in Virginia revolving around a massive 24 hour long traffic jam have captured our attention. And rightfully so. After all this social distancing and home confinement, who could think of a worse scenario?! Some have opined that we would be in a real pickle if all those vehicles were electric. Thankfully, that is simply not true. And, in fact, electric vehicles are more than capable of keeping us safe and warm during such an emergency.
Of course, we all keep an emergency stash of warm clothing, extra food and water for just such an occasion…right? Well at least we can stay warm in our EVs while we think about why we may not have been better prepared.
Most electric vehicle drivers will inherently carry extra range on their battery during winter because we know that we will most likely need it when the temps really dip. Just like a gas fueled vehicle both use more energy to operate in winter conditions. The difference is that if you can conveniently charge at home, you will leave each day with as much “fuel” as you want. Compared to the gas car owner that bypasses the gas station the previous night because it was too cold to stand outside for 10 minutes and will “Just do it in the morning”. Maybe that next day early fueling happens and maybe it doesn’t.
Anyway, some interesting facts that you might want to consider. First, EV’s have no emissions and if you need live in them for 24 hours there are no poisonous fumes to pose a hazard. Second, an EV battery is a very large energy storage reservoir enabling the vehicle to travel for 250, 300 or more miles on a full charge. This means that operating the heating system on low will be a relatively manageable task for it. Third, when you get free of the traffic hazard you can just drive back home and plug in. One person that was stuck in the Virginia incident noted that he saw long lines of cars waiting at gas stations as he made his way past them.
Bonus interesting facts if you own a Tesla, as many of us do. There is an energy saving setting called “Camp Mode”. This consumes about 50 % of a full battery over 24 hours in extremely cold conditions. So that leaves you enough wiggle room to binge Netflix on your main screen while you wait. And this is exactly what the previously cited person did during his unexpected overnight on I95 in Virginia.
As always, we are here for you when you want to make the transition to the quiet, efficient performance of an electric vehicle. Now where did I put those extra blankets, trail mix and water bottles…