Electrifying electric car news

As James Lewis noted, even liberals are beginning to express doubts about basic liberal delusions. The latest is Charles Lane of the Washington Post, who was literally hit by cold reality during Washington's seemingly unusual snowy winter. (What? It snows in Washington? Must be global warming.) Stuck for six hours in traffic during a recent snowstorm it dawned on him

I counted my blessings. The situation could have been worse, I realized: My fellow commuters and I could have been trying to make it home in electric cars, like the ones President Obama is constantly promoting, most recently in his State of the Union address.

And why is this?

It is a basic fact of physical science that batteries run down more quickly in cold weather than they do in warm weather, and the batteries employed by vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf or the Chevy Volt are no exception.

Oh dear, that darned "basic fact of physical science" strikes again! Surely the Democrats can pass a law deeming basic facts that interfere with liberal delusions illegal and all will be right with the world.

Quoting from a pro-electric car site, the carelectric.com , Lane learns

When the temperature drops the chemical reactions happen more slowly and the battery cannot produce the same current that it can at room temperature. A change of ten degrees can sap 50% of a battery's output. In some situations the chemical reactions will happen so slowly and give so little power that the battery will appear to be dead when in fact if it is warmed up it will go right back to normal output. . . .

"In a car where all power is supplied by a battery pack you can see where this would be a problem. The batteries don't produce as much power so the car has less power. The batteries also have to work harder so the effective range of the car is also significantly reduced. Charge time will also be longer.

Uh oh! And that's not all.

Drivers need to be warm to operate the vehicle effectively so on top of the reduced range and power of the batteries just from the temperature they also must operate the car heater to keep you warm. This will further reduce the range of the car.

Wait, there's more!

"If you live in an area where the winters get extremely cold an all-electric vehicle will have to be garaged and equipped with some kind of plug-in battery warmer for it to be effective in the coldest months of the year. Keep these thoughts in mind if you're planning an electric car purchase; we don't want you finding out the range of your car has been halved when it's five below zero and you're fifteen miles from home."

Oh sure, cars ran out of gas during the traffic tie up. But as Lane bravely admits

my hunch is that electrics would faced similar problems or worse. And many electric-car drivers who did manage to limp home Wednesday would have been out of options the next day: You can't recharge if you don't have electricity, and hundreds of thousands of customers were blacked out Thursday from the snow. The Post reports that this will be the case for many of them for days.

Shocking! (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

And of course electric cars are much more expensive--even with massive tax subsidies. What to do? Lane falls back on the usual liberal nostrums--higher taxes, government dictates

Alternative policies, such as a modest increase in the gas tax or support for more efficient internal combustion engines, would do more to accomplish the administration's legitimate goals faster and at lower cost.

before concluding

This subsidized market niche is just one well-publicized malfunction away from disaster. Perhaps a Volt battery will overheat and burst into flames, as some computer batteries have been known to do. Or maybe a Leaf driver will suffer frostbite while stuck in the next blizzard. Let's just hope one of his neighbors pulls over to help him out.

In the meantime, with much of the Muslim oil producing world aflame, "Drill baby, drill!"


"Drill here, drill now! Drill!"