Yet another reason owning an electric car is a really bad idea
Yes, I admit I am very biased (in a negative way I should add) towards electric cars. To me they are still nothing but a glorified golf cart, the kind you see tooling around those 55+ mobile home communities here in Florida driven by inebriated seniors grateful they simply woke up that morning.
To me there is nothing better than a loud, belching, smoking, roaring V8 engine powered by copious amounts of the blood of long dead dinosaurs under the hood.
The tree hugging hipsters who drink only skinny lattes and use oil in their beards think they are saving the planet by forgoing gas engines. In fact, of course they are not, but that’s an argument left for another day. But suffice to say there are plenty of reasons to dislike this electric ‘revolution.’
And there is now another reason not to own an electric car.
AAA released a report this week that freezing temperatures will cause a decrease in the driving range of an electric car. Not by just a little, but by 41%, or for those of you who can’t do that new math stuff a figure nearing half. That means that for every 100 miles (the average range of electric vehicles today) of driving in temps in the 20°F range the driving range is reduced to 59 miles. Of course, you could turn off the heater since using the HVAC system contributes to that, but you hipsters can’t stand to be chilled unless it involves Netflix, right?
What this means of course is that your electric vehicle will need to be charged more often; unless you live in a part of the country that relies on electricity made by something other than wind (only a very small fraction on the US by the way) this means that you are using even more of Mother Earth’s resources than normal.
“The appeal of electric vehicles continues to grow since a greater variety of designs and options with increased range have come onto the market,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of Automotive Engineering and Industry Relations. “As long as drivers understand that there are limitations when operating electric vehicles in more extreme climates, they are less likely to be caught off guard by an unexpected drop in driving range.”
Therefore, if you really want to decrease your carbon footprint, don’t drive in the winter.
And for those of you who might live in a part of the country who don’t experience such bone-chilling temps (like those of us who live in Florida), well you aren’t off the hook.
Sure, we have mild winters, but they come at the expense of brutal summers where we spend time moving from one air-conditioned cocoon to another; we have to since spending more than 10 minutes outside during July in Florida can mean we will simply spontaneously combust. And that heat can also affect the range. Primarily due to running the HVAC when temps are over 90°F, the range can decrease by 17%.
“The research clearly shows that electric vehicles thrive in more moderate climates, except the reality is most Americans live in an area where temperature fluctuates,” said Megan McKernan, manager of Automotive Research Center. “Automakers are continually making advances to improve range, but with this information, drivers will be more aware of the impacts varying weather conditions can have on their electric vehicles.”
So go ahead and hug your trees and drink your skinny lattes; just realize that your electric car may not be saving as much of the planet as you think.