Are Electric or Combustion Cars Better at Weathering a Winter Storm?

Following the Virginia shutdown of Interstate 95 that left countless people stranded in freezing weather overnight earlier this month, there was a surprising amount of news coverage making offhand comments about how victims would have been better off if they all were driving electric vehicles (Ed. note — there was also this Washington Post op-ed in which the author worried that an EV would be a poor vehicle to be stranded in And this Vice rebuttal to that article). While it seemed an inopportune time to advertise for EVs, it’s an interesting premise and encouraged Car and Driver to conduct a head-to-head experiment between a Tesla Model 3 and Hyundai Sonata N-Line to see who could keep the cabin warm for the longest period of time when stranded.

Realistically, you’d be better off in whatever vehicle is yielding the heaviest fuel tank or least-depleted battery when traffic stops. But there are other factors to consider. Idling an internal-combustion car for extended periods of time is not recommended and doing so when totally snowed in could potentially trap harmful exhaust gasses if the exhaust is not kept clear. Meanwhile, EVs are notorious for having their battery chemistry altered by colder temperatures. This is especially true if they lack the relevant thermal management systems, resulting in the maximum range being diminished by as much as 30 percent.

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  • SCE to AUX I doubt Ford's EVs were profitable even at the former prices, which is why one outlet called Tesla's profitability a 'weapon'. This means Ford will rely even more heavily on its trucks to pay for its EV program.As for Ford's ability to uncork its supply chain - I'll believe that when I see it.
  • Nick Naylor Considering this as a replacement for our 13' Quest. Looking for legitimate post-3rd row trunkspace, decent fuel economy, GVWR of 6k+ lbs (for tax purposes)
  • FreedMike Looks good, but am I the only who thinks that Audi won't be well served with a front end design that looks an awful lot like a Ford Fusion's?
  • FreedMike "Ford is citing new supply chains as the reason it can now crank up production of the Mach-E."Anecdotally, here in Denver, the railhead where new cars are dropped off for distribution to dealers is northeast of the city, on I-76. I pass by it most mornings on my way to work. For most of 2021 and 2022, the lot was depressingly sparse; it now appears to be quite full on most days. That's pretty remarkable for this time of year, which isn't traditionally a good month for auto sales.Evidence of a) better supply, b) lower demand, or a combination?
  • MaintenanceCosts Watching the OEMs try to navigate this new market is like a Keystone Kops show.And it's not going to get any more stable any time soon, with the wild race to try to secure battery production capacity and the coming economic potholes (especially in China).