Monday, December 13, 2010

Electric dreams, cold reality bites

That picture is the visual readout for the Chevy Volt on a cool late fall morning. Battery operated things don't work that well in cool/cold conditions, all Canadians know that, and electric cars of course run on batteries. If the temperature is less than minus 4 degrees Celsius (26F), the fossil fuel engine on the Volt comes on to help "condition" the battery, then shuts down after 3 or 4 minutes. The electric engine works optimally at 20 degrees Celsius (70F).
So as I look out on this frigid mid-December day, where I doubt that the temperature reached minus 12 Celsius (8F) with a minus 20C windchill, I wonder how the Volt would have performed. Probably not to well. The Volt doesn't like extremes of temperature, that is lower than minus 4C. Extremes!!
Gwyn Morgan has an interesting take on electric car dreams in the Globe today. I guess those booster cables will be really busy in the future. Can you boost an electric car?

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