Luminary Blur

Ben Hinc

User Error — January 16, 2024

User Error

Dane Placko writing for Fox 32 Chicago:

Public charging stations have turned into car graveyards over the past couple of days.

“Nothing. No juice. Still on zero percent,” said Tyler Beard, who has been trying to recharge his Tesla at an Oak Brook Tesla supercharging station since Sunday afternoon. “And this is like three hours being out here after being out here three hours yesterday.”

Beard was among the dozens of Tesla owners trying desperately to power up their cars at the Tesla supercharging station in Oak Brook. It was a scene mirrored with long lines and abandoned cars at scores of other charging stations around the Chicago area.

As a Tesla owner with 26,536 miles on my 2022 Model Y, it’s easy to see where these Tesla owners went wrong. 

Tesla ownership — or EV ownership more broadly — is not for everyone. Here’s some simple things to keep in mind.

  1. If you don’t have a Level 2 charger at home and are dependent on Tesla Superchargers for your daily driving needs, you probably shouldn’t own a Tesla. It’s that simple. No one should have to wait for days at a Supercharger. Go home. Plug in.
  2. Teslas will not fast charge if the battery is cold. This is a physics problem, not something wrong with your Tesla. In order to fast charge, you need a warm battery. In order to have a warm a battery, you need power.
  3. Parking your car for hours or days in freezing temperatures will drain the battery because the car will use energy to keep the battery from freezing. So, don’t park at an airport unless you can plug in the car. Or, have as much charge as possible when you do park it.

If someone buys a Tesla without knowing these three things, that person shouldn’t have purchased a Tesla — especially in the Midwest where cold snaps are common and unavoidable.