Three things that do not do well together. An electric car can’t fully replace a gas-powered car in my world.
So recently I was at a graduation party for the son of a friend. (It was more like 2 parties, one of high-school kids, one of adults.) One of the neighbors had recently purchased a Tesla, and so someone else came up with a Tesla-cold-weather-driving story. After enjoying the schadenfreude, I went on a search for info about Tesla’s performance in cold weather.
Here’s the situation. You are driving to see family. Your young child develops a medical emergency. So you need to divert from your intended destination to an urgent care, then to the local hospital, and then to a regional hospital. Now for part of that time, the kid was traveling by ambulance, but that isn’t the point. The point is, sometimes plans, destinations, and expected driving distances need to change. Without regard for the nearest charging station.
Here’s the meat of the issue.
We can breathlessly talk about driving range, but neither that nor more chargers would have erased my anxiety—the anxiety of a parent who can’t spare extra minutes because his kid needs to get to the hospital.
Other situations where driving distance is an issue… Evacuation ahead of a hurricane in Florida. Evacuation ahead of the Camp Fire in Paradise, California. I’m sure you can think of others, while playing along on the home version of “Situations where charging time can be deadly.”
The whole thing is well written, and not terribly long. I encourage you to go read the whole thing. Here is the detailed account of what happened to that family at Christmas, driving to see family.
After further discussion and tests at Allen Hospital, it was clear Seth had intussusception—his intestines had folded onto themselves, and nobody could do the more complicated procedure on a toddler at the small-town hospital. I immediately wanted to go north, back to Minneapolis to get him care from doctors we knew and trusted, or at least head north and go to The Mayo Clinic. From that point, that would’ve asked an electric car to cover at least 339 miles, or at most 446 miles in the dead of Iowa winter. Waterloo, Iowa, isn’t far and has electric-car charging, but waiting at a Level 2 charger to charge over hours, at a trickle, wasn’t an option when every minute counts.