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.
"This is crazy. It’s a disaster. Seriously," said Tesla owner Chalis Mizelle.
Mizelle was forced to abandon her car and get a ride from a friend when it wouldn’t charge.
Another man summed up the situation succinctly: "We got a bunch of dead robots out here."
But it was no laughing matter to people like Kevin Sumrak, who landed at O’Hare on Sunday night to find his Tesla dead.
Sumlak was forced to hire a flatbed tow truck to try to find a working charging station.
Tesla didn’t respond to FOX 32's emails or calls, but a Chicago area car expert says there are some things EV owners can do when it gets this cold.
"Like any new technology, there’s a learning curve for people," said Mark Bilek of the Chicago Auto Trade Association.
Bilek said all EVs can have problems dealing with extreme cold, and drivers need to hit their preconditioning button before they charge their battery.
"It’s not plug and go. You have to precondition the battery, meaning that you have to get the battery up to the optimal temperature to accept a fast charge," said Bilek.