This supercool car Ain’t so Fab when it’s freezing

Maik Poblocki /

Yes, Teslas TSLA 0.00%↑ are cool cars. Stylish. Good for the environment. Quiet. Neck-snapping acceleration.

Except when the environment is cool. As in freezing.

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That’s what happened in Chicagoland and other places in recent days as temperatures dipped well below freezing and owners found that their EVs wouldn’t charge or only very slowly.

In the Windy City area, charging stations have turned into car graveyards as temperatures have dropped to the negative double digits, Fox Chicago reported. “Nothing. No juice. Still on zero percent,” Tyler Beard, who had been trying to recharge his Tesla at an Oak Brook, Ill., supercharging station since Sunday afternoon, told the news outlet on Monday. “And this is like three hours being out here after being out here three hours yesterday.”

Meanwhile, another owner, Chalis Mizelle, said she abandoned her car and got a ride from a friend after her newfangled EV would not charge. “This is crazy. It’s a disaster. Seriously,” she added. 

“We got a bunch of dead robots out here,” one man said.

And at a charging station in nearby Evergreen Park, Teslas were trapped in a parking lot near a charging station, reported CBS Chicago, with some of them being towed.

“I’ve been here for over five hours at this point, and I still have not gotten to charge my car,” said Tesla driver Brandon Welbourne on Monday. “A charge that should take 45 minutes is taking two hours.”

The company, meanwhile, advises owners to keep the charge level above 20% during extremely cold weather. It also says it is working to improve the situation. “We have made several updates to improve your driving experience in freezing temperatures, including better overall thermal performance, quicker Supercharging, and improved cabin conditioning,” it said on its website.

Hey, that’s cool.

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