CHICAGO – With winter temperatures plunging across the city, Chicago-area Tesla charging stations are becoming graveyards for dead cars, as electric vehicles (EVs) struggle to keep their batteries charged in the bitterly cold weather.

Several drivers have been left stranded at Tesla charging stations because their cars were not charging in the freezing weather. The images of Tesla cars lined up, lifeless in the cold, have led some to describe the scene as “a bunch of dead robots out here.”

With temperatures falling into the negative double digits, these charging ports have stopped charging, leaving many Tesla owners stranded in long lines since Sunday, Fox Chicago reported.

“This is crazy. It’s a disaster. Seriously,” Tesla owner Chalis Mizelle said.

The problem is not limited to Tesla; EV drivers, in general, are struggling to keep their batteries charged amid the winter freeze. The issue has highlighted the challenges faced by the growing EV market during extreme weather conditions.

“Nothing. No juice. Still on zero percent,” Tyler Beard, who had been attempting to charge his Tesla at an Oak Brook, Illinois supercharging station since Sunday afternoon, reported no progress to a local news agency. “And this is like three hours being out here after being out here three hours yesterday.”

The issue appears to be directly linked to the impact of extremely low temperatures on the performance of lithium-ion batteries, which power EVs. When exposed to such conditions, these batteries can struggle to hold a charge, leading to a severely reduced range and, in some cases, leaving vehicles unable to function at all.

Tesla recommends that battery charge level remains above 20% during bitter cold weather. This helps mitigate the cold’s effect on battery performance. Additionally, Tesla suggests that charging, driving, and preconditioning the vehicle are effective ways to warm up the battery, as indicated by the disappearance of the snowflake symbol on the display. These measures aim to enhance battery performance and provide a smoother driving experience even during harsh winters.

Despite these challenges, the city of Chicago continues to support the transition to electric vehicles. There are numerous EV charging stations throughout the city, many of which are free to the public. These include locations like the AC Hotel Chicago Downtown and the Park Hyatt Chicago, both of which offer Tesla charging. Other affected areas include North Broadway and North Halsted, where Superchargers are available 24/7.

Image Source: NY Post