There’s no evidence electric vehicles fare worse than gas-powered cars in long traffic jams – PolitiFact

A major snowstorm in Virginia this week left hundreds of motorists stranded in freezing conditions on Interstate 95, some of them for more than 24 hours.

That led a social media user to warn of what would have happened if more of those cars had been electric vehicles.

“Imagine if half the cars in the traffic jam on I-95 in Virginia last night were electric vehicles. And half of those were to run out of battery power,” A Facebook post on Jan. 4 said. “All those people would be stuck in freezing temperatures without a heated vehicle. And all the cars would be stuck unable to move because you can’t bring a charging station to them. In effect all those electric cars would become roadblocks to the gasoline powered vehicles. Just something to think about when you hear politicians pushing electric vehicles over gasoline and diesel.”

This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

The post suggests electric vehicles would have been more prone to failure in such conditions than gasoline-powered cars and trucks. Others raised similar concerns, including a Washington Post columnist, who shared a tweet from a trucker who recounted his experience with a Tesla driver who was worried about running out of power.

But are such worries grounded in reality?

Many variables affect how a given electric vehicle would fare in such a situation, including the type of battery it has, the heating system it uses and whether the vehicle was fully charged before the trip. But there’s no evidence that EVs generally would be more prone to failure in a traffic jam like the one that happened in Virginia.

The range of an electric vehicle varies widely by model, from 110 miles in the Mini Cooper Electric to up to 373 miles in the Tesla Model S. And cold weather can diminish the range of an EV, according to automakers and tests by Consumer Reports. 

But when idling, as in a standstill traffic jam, an EV behaves differently from a gas-powered vehicle. An electric vehicle’s motor doesn’t run when the car is stationary, so the only draw on the battery is for the heating system and other electrical accessories. Drivers idling in a gas-powered vehicle would need to keep the engine running, and gasoline burning, to keep the heat on.

In December, PolitiFact looked into a similar claim that said electric vehicles are more likely to fail in traffic jams in cold weather. We found that to be false because the vehicles don’t use much power while at a standstill or in their climate settings.

To understand the energy capacity of an EV’s battery, Peter Wells, director of the Centre for Automotive Industry Research at Cardiff Business School in Wales, told PolitiFact that the average U.S. house uses 30 kilowatt-hours of power per day, so a fully charged 62 kilowatt-hour battery in an electric car could power a house for two days.

Even half-charged, a 62 kWh …….


Leave a Reply

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



NASCAR’s Symmetrical Next Gen Cars Are Getting Skewed In Practice – Jalopnik

NASCAR’s newest Next Gen cars may be designed to make these vehicles as symmetrical as possible, but some teams have already found a way around the rules. During this week’s test session at Daytona International Speedway, some cars have been running some fairly excessive skew — and right now, it could very well be totally legal.

Basically, skew refers to the angled nature of the NASCAR Cup Series car. The front end looks like it’s pointing in a different direction than the car is actually going, which gives the whole thing a sort of crab-walk look. The rear axle is mounted on a skew when compared to the whole chassis. For…….


Is Norway the future of cars? – Kathimerini English Edition

The speed by which electric vehicles have taken over Norway has stunned even the cars’ enthusiasts. [Asya Demidova/The New York Times]

Last year, Norway reached a milestone. Only about 8% of new cars sold in the country ran purely on conventional gasoline or diesel fuel. Two-thirds of new cars sold were electric, and most of the rest were electric-and-gasoline hybrids.

For years, Norway has been the world leader in shifting away from traditional cars, thanks to government benefits that made electric vehicles far more affordable and offered extras like letting electric car owners skip some fees for parking and toll roads.

Still, electric car enthusiasts are stunne…….