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Polar Vortex? All of a sudden your Tesla or EV isn't so good, is it?

jjvw

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I've had to postpone a few jobs because the diesel fuel had jelled the night before. The batteries in the trucks weren't the immediate problem.
 

jodomcfrodo

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I've had to postpone a few jobs because the diesel fuel had jelled the night before. The batteries in the trucks weren't the immediate problem.
That is an easily preventable and even somewhat rare problem. I've hopped in my friends 24 Valve Cummins on a -30 degree day and it fired... eventually. If you have winter mix diesel, you should be fairly good to go. If you are dealing with real cold and are worried about fuel jelling, put some additives in it. The people in the Northern Territories of Canada make it work somehow.

On the other hand, it seems like batteries will suffer from cold weather issues until something radically changes within them. The last thing I'd want to do is drive 200 miles out to a remote town with my EV on a warm day and then realize I don't have enough range to make it back the next day because the temperature dropped overnight.
 

jjvw

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I imagine the newer diesels are better than the older trucks we were dealing with. Don't the remote Arctic guys keep the trucks running 24/7 because of the cold?

With regard to the Tesla article, is it any surprise that a piece of machinery might have trouble in the extreme cold?
 
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jodomcfrodo

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I imagine the newer diesels are better than the older trucks we were dealing with. Don't the remote Arctic guys keep the trucks running 24/7 because of the cold?
I think the people that can't get access to electricity (loggers for example) keep them running 24/7. I'm not so sure that the guys who can plug them in keep them running. The new trucks are better at starting in the cold but I don't think they can do anything for jelling (could be wrong. I'm not a diesel expert by any means). I knew a guy with a 7.3 Powerstroke and that thing was miserable to get started in the cold. The newer trucks are pretty good at getting going from what I've seen.
 

Powdermonkey

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Back in 2010ish we were dealing with extreme cold working above 9k here on the western slope of Colorado. We left the equipment run 24/7 using #2 diesel. Still had some gell up and shit off. Most didn’t have a problem, but yes most leave the equipment run.
 

Squatch

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I imagine the newer diesels are better than the older trucks we were dealing with. Don't the remote Arctic guys keep the trucks running 24/7 because of the cold?

With regard to the Tesla article, is it any surprise that a piece of machinery might have trouble in the extreme cold?
I watched a documentary where there's a town where it's common to keep all vehicles running most of the day. They either had to be garaged at night, or run block heaters when left to sit more than a couple of hours. This was for gasoline engine vehicles. Diesels were rare because of the extreme cold. People would go to the market, and you'd see an entire line of empty vehicles, all sitting there, idling...
 

Powdermonkey

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Most of my equipment is equipped with a diesel fired heater. The cat tier 3 motor are hard starting especially with the parasitic hyd load. If you have trucks that are hard starters I highly suggest you look in to webasto heaters. Although they’re not the quality that our German made one are they are more readily available in the US.
 
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Chris

Chris

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I’m just saying I wouldn’t want to rely on an electric vehicle in those low temperatures. Those batteries are too temperamental to serious temperature changes.
 
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Squatch

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My Dad had an old Navistar (International) powered Ford. Every now and then, he'd have to deal with the fuel gelling. He'd dump about a gallon of gas into the tank of diesel, wait a few minutes, and it always seemed to do the trick. He said it was an old trick they learned on the farm, and lots of folks did it. He put over 300,000 miles on it, so it obviously never did it any harm...
 

jjvw

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I remember back in the Winter of '07, I was driving one of those Izuzu/GMC cab-over diesel box trucks around Chicago on a very very cold morning. The fleet lived in a garage, so startup and our daily departure was uneventful. As we worked our way around town, I noticed that the truck was going increasingly slower in the sub-zero temps and the engine would stutter with too much throttle. I called the boss to report the problem. He said the fuel was most likely gelling from the cold. Don't shut the truck off and keep the schedule as best we can. As the day warmed up, the truck eventually returned to normal. We made all of our stops. And we returned to the shop and were greeted with great celebration and appreciation for our grit and perseverance. (That last part didn't happen. Most had already left for the day...)
 
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Squatch

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My kid brother was driving my Dad's Ford in eastern Oregon on a particularly cold winter morning, when the truck starting bogging down and getting extremely sluggish. He called my Dad to ask what he should do, and Dad told him to get to the nearest gas station, and pump in a gallon of gas. My brother found the station, but in Oregon, it's illegal for anyone but the attendant to pump the gas. When the attendant saw it was a diesel truck, he refused to do it. It got to the point where my brother is saying "It's my f'n truck, I accept responsibility for my property, now pump the f'n gas!" The attendant eventually did, I think more to get my brother off the property than anything else. Anyways, truck smoothed right out, and he went about his merry way.
 
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Mike_H

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It's interesting to me that the lithium ion batteries used in Tesla's are struggling in the cold. Sure, a standard flooded lead acid battery will freeze, but I didn't realize that lithium had a liquid that could freeze... Maybe it's just the cold slowing down the reaction. Going to have to look into this.
 

jjvw

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..., but I didn't realize that lithium had a liquid that could freeze... Maybe it's just the cold slowing down the reaction. Going to have to look into this.
Electricity from a battery is a chemical reaction. Chemical reactions are slowed down by low temperature and speed up with higher temperatures.
 

Equilibrium31

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It's not a Tesla, but our other car is a Prius and it didn't have any issues last week fortunately.

Also, @Chris, I just noticed your new avatar! Did you get a recent addition to your family??
 
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Chris

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It's not a Tesla, but our other car is a Prius and it didn't have any issues last week fortunately.

Also, @Chris, I just noticed your new avatar! Did you get a recent addition to your family??
I think with the Prius you're at an advantage since you have the ICE as well as the battery possibly?

Yes, we had our son on January 1st, 2019!
 
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