Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Cold View of Electric Cars

Been thinking of buying one of the new electric cars, maybe a Chevrolet Volt or a Nissan Leaf? You owe it to yourself to read this article from The Washington Post.

It turns out as an electric car owner you'd better live somewhere in the sunny South; somewhere there is little or no snow or cold weather. Batteries don't like being cold, don't function well when cold. Meanwhile, cold conditions puts extra loads on car batteries, running heaters and headlights.

Prolonged power outages often accompany winter storms. With no power at home electric car owners cannot recharge their cars' batteries. At which point they'd better hope their cars have auxiliary gasoline engines to provide alternate power - some do, some don't.

Owners of pure electrics, cars with no gas engine, could be stuck until the power comes back on. They may feel the need to own a backup generator, fueled by gasoline or natural gas, to charge up their car batteries.