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Tesla Drivers Face Lengthy Charging Delays in Chicago Amid Subzero Temperatures

The usual 45-minute charge is taking about two hours.


NPR reported that sub-freezing temperatures in Chicago are causing extremely long lines for Teslas at the city's Supercharging stations.

One driver reported waiting for more than five hours to charge his car, with the usual 45-minute charge now taking about two hours. The issue has even led to tow trucks being called to move drained vehicles, according to NPR.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, lithium-ion batteries can suffer capacity reduction and a significant decline in cycle life when the temperature drops below freezing. Chicago recently experienced subzero temperatures for a period of 35 to 36 hours.

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Tesla's "Winter Driving Tips" page mentions that a blue snowflake icon may appear on a vehicle's touchscreen when a battery is too cold for full power and range. The automaker recommends leaving the car plugged in when possible and keeping the charge level above 20% when not plugged in.

When driving in freezing temperatures, Tesla also advises navigating to each Supercharger. This activates Trip Planner, which automatically preheats the vehicle's battery and helps to maximize charging speeds.

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