Washington Post columnist Charles Lane made a brilliant observation as Americans looked on in horror at scenes of an epic 50-mile-long pileup on Interstate 95 in Washington earlier this week: “Imagine Virginia’s icy traffic catastrophe — but with only electric vehicles.”
Lane says this week’s fiasco “provides a reality check on the push by government and business to electrify cars and trucks… batteries of all kinds lose capacity more rapidly in cold weather, and that includes the sophisticated lithium-ion ones used by Teslas and other EVs.” He notes that vehicles “with internal combustion engines (ICE) would have the advantage in coping with a sudden challenge such as the I-95 fiasco. It is much easier to rehabilitate a disabled ICE vehicle. Rescuers can deliver gallons of gas in convenient jugs; gas stations are still far more numerous than EV charging stations; and ICE car batteries can be jump-started in minutes.”
Potential perils like this are something government bureaucrats who want to force feed Americans electric cars have thought even less about than on how to clear a highway properly. Lane concludes: “When people invest their money in a vehicle, they expect to be able to count on it even in extraordinary conditions.”
We’re not there yet.