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Transportation Bug

Tesla's Having Issues Charging In the Cold 476

Posted by timothy
from the my-suggestion-is-a-friction-loaded-crank dept.
cartechboy writes "It's winter, and apparently meteorologists have just discovered the term Polar Vortex, as that seems to be the only thing they can talk about these days. But seriously, it's cold, and apparently the darling child of the automotive industry, the new Tesla Model S electric car, is having issues charging in the cold weather. It's being reported that the charging cables that come with the car are unable to provide a charge when the temperature dips below zero. As you can imagine, this is an issue in a country like Norway where the Model S is one of the most popular cars. In fact, it seems this issue has already left one Model S owner stranded with a dead battery nearly 100 miles from the nearest charging station. Other owners are reporting issues charging. Tesla's European sales chief Peter Bardenfleth-Hansen apologized for he inconvenience owners are facing, and said it's 'trying hard to resolve' the issue. Apparently the issues are simply down to the differences in the Norwegian network as Norway uses a slightly different charging adapter than other countries in Europe."
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Tesla's Having Issues Charging In the Cold

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  • units please (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ziggyzaggy (552814) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @02:40PM (#46092691)
    "below zero' Kelvin? (is that you, Frank Herbert?) Centigrade? Farenheit?
  • Re:units please (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sabri (584428) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @02:45PM (#46092767)

    "below zero' Kelvin? (is that you, Frank Herbert?) Centigrade? Farenheit?

    Considering it's Europe and the fact that water freezes at 0 Celsius, my guess would be C.

  • by hubang (692671) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @02:47PM (#46092791)
    I'd think the batteries would be the problem. Running serious current through the wires should keep them warm even in cold weather. Plus, conductivity should go up with colder temperature.

    Now the batteries on the other hand.... Batteries don't hold charge very well in the cold. It's been one of the two big problems for electric cars since the 19th century.
  • by sandbagger (654585) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @02:54PM (#46092905)

    Weird, eh?

    I used to work in Northern Canada where all the US and some of the European manufacturers used to do cold weather testing. (The toolsets and options differ in North America which is why separate testing was done for Europe.) The Asian manufacturers were also doing cold testing there but their labs and warehouses ended up with all of the crappy real estate.

    Did anyone seriously think the cold wouldn't be an issue? People need to get out of California and see what the rest of the world is like.

  • Re:Who Cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DarkOx (621550) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @02:58PM (#46092955) Journal

    Because many of us are interested. Tesla, love'em or hate'm are trying to sell a pure electric car without the compromises at a price at least a segment of the mass market can afford. There are ton's of technical hurdles to doing that and its interesting to watch theory and design encounter real world conditions.

    Tesla is somewhat unique in this area too, Yes there is all electric Leaf and that strange i-Miev thing but neither of those comes anywhere near offering the range and performance characteristics of what most of us Americans expect from our ICE powered vehicles, in other words they make compromises, where as most Slashdoter's would be quite pleased with the Tesla compared to their current ride, provided it continues to live up to expectations.

  • Meteorologists (Score:5, Insightful)

    by necro81 (917438) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @02:59PM (#46092971) Journal

    apparently meteorologists have just discovered the term Polar Vortex

    No, meteorologists have understood the term Polar Vortex for decades. Weathermen, newscasters, and ratings-minded producers have only just discovered the term.

  • Re:units please (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ziggyzaggy (552814) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @03:05PM (#46093009)
    the article-linked site uses U.S. units. it's hard to figure out
  • Re:Who Cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pr0fessor (1940368) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @03:15PM (#46093135)

    The name Tesla also holds a special place in geek culture. Choosing that as name for an electric car manufacture puts a greater expectation on the product.

  • by Simonetta (207550) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @03:19PM (#46093199)

    If you live in Norway, stick with proven technology. Like gasoline engines. Let's face it. Norway is often very cold in the winter. Cold enough that people die from cold unless they have machines to keep them warm. When you live in places that have extreme weather, you HAVE to accept that proven working technology like gasoline-engines-for -transportation overrides any emotional feelings of needing to serve as a test site for so-called green technology. In California it doesn't matter. But Norway's not California. If you fuck up and buy a 'green' car that won't start in the cold, then you die in the cold. Act accordingly. Nobody in California gives a shit whether or not you freeze to death because their technology failed.

        This very expensive automobile has demonstratively failed to meet the needs of people who live north of the 55th meridian. Norwegians should not buy it. Buy a Volvo: Swedes understand cold and their cars can be coaxed to start in extremely cold weather.

        And there is this briefly mentioned problem of the fucking Norwegian electrical connectors not mating with standard electric car connectors... You'all need to find the guy responsible for this, strip him to underwear, and dump out into the snow. Be sure to leave him with an electric heater that has a plug that just quite doesn't fit into the socket needed to stay alive. If he lives, then he won't be doing stupid shit like this any more. If he dies, well, just one more soul sacrifice to the Viking gods.

  • Re:Who Cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BasilBrush (643681) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @04:25PM (#46093947)

    Tesla (and battery powered cars in general) being fundamentally broken in cold weather...

    A problem unique to the Tesla charging cables supplied in Norway is not "fundamentally broken" let alone having any significance to battery powered cars in general.

    Tesla just needs to fix the problem and distribute new cables to Norwegian customers. Big fucking deal.

    Methinks you have an axe to grind, and truth isn't important to you.

  • by DarkOx (621550) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @04:28PM (#46094013) Journal

    And the reason this story is in the news is because internal combustion engines never have problems in cold weather.

    I don't think most people are unaware or haven't experienced cold weather related problems with traditional ICE powered cars. We also know most of the time (modern cars anyway) they work just fine even in very cold conditions. On the other hand many of us have little or no experience with pure electric cars. So the failure modes and frequencies are in fact interesting whatever they may be, because my guess is at some point many of us will own an all electric car.

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