Chicago is currently experiencing bone-chilling temperatures, dropping as low as -17°C, making it tough for residents to even step out of their homes.
For those braving the cold in their cars, particularly Tesla owners, another challenge awaits: difficulties in charging their electric vehicles.
Local news outlets have reported that Tesla drivers are facing the brunt of the cold weather, with many stranded due to non-functional charging ports and extended charging times.
Brandon Welbourne, a Tesla owner, spoke to ABC7 Chicago, saying, "Our batteries are so cold it's taking longer to charge now, so it should take 45 minutes, it's taking two hours for the one charger that we have."
"I have seen at least 10 cars get towed away from here because the cars, they died, they've run out of battery."
"It's too cold, it uses too much of the energy to try to keep the car somewhat reasonable temperature, so everybody is getting towed away and we have nowhere to charge."
With their cars out of power, many drivers are enduring long waits in the harsh weather.
Sajid Ahmed, waiting for a charger in Oak Brook, shared his observations: "Right from outside the highway, there's a whole line of cars, about over 20 cars, all Tesla cars, and you can look around here, every single car is a Tesla car, full with Tesla cars this whole parking lot."
"And we're waiting and waiting for over an hour. It's unfortunate that these cars are sitting dead in the spots."
The extended waiting times have caught many drivers off guard, resulting in their cars losing power while queuing.
Tesla's website offers some insight into this issue, explaining that their vehicles consume more energy in colder weather for heating both the battery and the car’s interior.
They advise keeping the battery charge above 20 percent to minimize the effects of the cold.
"A blue snowflake icon may appear on your touchscreen and in the app if your battery is too cold for full power and ideal range. When this icon is displayed, you may notice reduced regenerative braking and acceleration," the website notes.
"Leaving your vehicle plugged in whenever possible and keeping the charge level above 20 percent when not plugged in will reduce the impact of cold temperatures."
However, it’s not just Tesla cars facing problems in the cold. Lithium-ion batteries in general can get damaged in such temperatures, losing their charging capacity and draining power faster.
So, if your electronic devices are acting up during a cold wave, this could be the reason.