Hundreds of Tesla owners have found their electric vehicles paralyzed due to the freezing temperatures sweeping the Midwest. Problems include battery issues and door handles that have been frozen shut.
According to reports from Mashable, some Tesla owners have reported a dramatic reduction in mileage thanks to the particularly cold weather. Apparently, a Tesla Model X that should normally be able to deliver a range of 290 miles in normal weather conditions, is managing just 120 miles in sub-zero temperatures.
Then there is the issue of the stylish door handles on the Tesla Model 3. Customers are complaining that they can not get into their cars because the automatic, retractable handles are frozen shut. The handles are supposed to automatically open when the driver approaches the vehicle. Twitter user, Andrea Falcone, posted a picture of the frozen door handles on her Model 3.
So maybe the Model 3 isn't the best winter car.— Andrea Falcone (@asfalcone) 30 January 2019
Drivers can use an app to turn on the heating of a Tesla Model 3 and thus, in theory at least, defrosting the door handle without needing to enter the car. Other drivers have been able to free the frozen handle with brute force, by pounding the door.
Tesla is already aware of the issues that extreme cold can cause its vehicles, and is already working on a solution. The company has been testing vehicles in Alaska, where it has its own winter testing facility. The performance of its cars in winter is not a new concern for Tesla. Back in 2007, when testing its Roadster, Tesla sent employees to Arvidsjaur in Sweden, which is above the Arctic Circle, to run experiments on its drivetrain.
Hang on... what about Norway?
The news that Tesla owners are struggling in the polar vortex might come as a surprise to those aware of the huge EV success story that is Norway. In September 2018, 45% of all newly registered passenger cars in the Scandinavian country were all-electric. If you take into account plug-in hybrids as well, the number goes up to 60%. Tesla is huge in Norway, too. Of those 10,620 vehicles registered in the record-breaking month, more than 2,000 were Tesla.
Norway is on track to hit its target of 100% all new cars to be all-electric by 2025, thanks largely to the fact that the Norwegian government offers generous subsidies to customers buying electric cars. So how can electric vehicles be so popular in a country that is no stranger to sub-zero temperatures?
What do you think about the issues facing Tesla owners in winter? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.