The horrific traffic catastrophe in Virginia in the ice has lead to another foolish article about the supremacy of ICE over electric.
I havent heard of the author Charles Lane but the article is similar to dozens I have read in the past “here is an anecdotal situation that occurred to me, doesnt it show how electric cars are rubbish”.
In this situation a 48 mile traffic jam appeared on the interstate 95 in Virginia. A trucker found his cab door being knocked on by a woman who was in an electric car and hadnt enough food or water. They were worried about running out of charge while trying to keep their vehicle warm. With kids in the car they had got out to ask other vehicle drivers for blankets or anything else (outside temperatures were minus 7 degrees).
So why was this a foolish article to write? Essentially the lorry driver is saying, look at this situation where ICE cars were better than electric, therefore no-one should buy electric.
So lets look at this situation.
1 Given an electric car can be charged at home, and an ICE vehicle needs refilling at a fuel station, which is most likely to be near full of fuel in an emergency? Many people do a small top-up every night so keep their car at around 85% permanently, except when going on a long journey. Generally people only refill their tank when it is nearing empty.
2 Electric cars are almost 100% efficient with a heat pump as many of these cars use. A tesla 3 heat pump could keep its inhabitants warm for 36 hours on a full charge. In an ICE car it would entirely depend on how recently it was refilled- depending on the size and efficiency idling fuel usage can be anything from 1 litre an hour in a small car, up to as much as 5 or more in a big car (or a sports car like a dodge viper). A Hyundai Kona uses about 1 litre an hour and has a tank of 38 litres, so would last about a day and a half. Even in big cars the fuel tank is not normally bigger than 70 litres, which would suggest 14 hours,
As such, in actual fact the odds of running out of fuel (charge or gas) in a sticky situation is likely to be far higher in an ICE vehicle. Once in the situation, unless you are in the right car for this rare situation, electric is far more likely to safely keep you warm till the road clears.
Now it is true that should your electric car drain completely to zero, it is more bother to recharge an electric car than it is an ICE vehicle, as the latter merely needs a walk to the nearest petrol station. Why do so many writers grab every chance to take a swipe at electric? Probably because they know that they will be paid well – however as these stories start to look more and more stupid, I think it is going to be harder to find someone to write your hit piece.