GM says EVs are built for Detroit cold snaps

General Motors says its electric vehicles hold up in the Detroit cold because they're built specifically for this kind of weather.

Metro Detroit will be enduring the bitter cold for the rest of the week and it's going to cause problems for drivers in more ways than one – especially for people with electric vehicles.

The brutal cold drained both gas-powered cars and electric vehicles, which made it a busy morning for two truck drivers. Tuesday morning, temperatures felt like it was in the negatives – and that's sticking around. 

In Chicago, it was a worst-case scenario for several Tesla owners at a supercharge station. EVs had to be towed and were abandoned for hours – all because they refused to run in the frigid temperatures.

Fortunately, Detroit EV drivers didn't experience the same problem. We stopped by the charging station at Eight Mile and Woodward and found it was busy – but cars were working.

Ken Allen drives an EV and says he doesn't have any issues – but it takes a bit longer to charge.

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"It’s holding up. It’s a good vehicle. It handles good on the road, but if the battery gets cold, it takes a little while for it to charge up," Allen said.

As more drivers buy or even consider electric vehicles, there are a number of problems that can slow progress. One of those, here in the colder states, are the winters. But Gary Bubar from AAA Michigan said they're not seeing more EVs fail.

"There hasn’t been an oversaturation of electric vehicles more so than internal combustion vehicles," Bubar said.

We reached out to Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis to ask about what EV drivers can do to keep their cars running during the coldest months. 

A GM spokesperson said its electric cars are made for these kinds of extremes – saying they were built and tested in extreme weather conditions.

Ford and GM both recommend drivers park their EV in a garage, when possible, keep them plugged in, precondition the car before use by warming up the battery to its optimum temperature, and turn off the heat when charging.

That means drivers like Armando Vizoso, who was waiting 30 minutes for a sufficient charge, had to sit in his car without heat while he waited.

"It’s not that big of a deal to me personally, unless it’s below -10 and beyond. Then you’d actually be like, ‘ok, let me keep an eye on it,'" Vizoso said.

AAA Michigan said they're seeing 250% more calls for all vehicles over the past few days – and it's not just EVs that are struggling.

The good news is that the bitter cold looks to exit much of the U.S. as early as Jan. 23. The Climate Prediction Center has much of the country above normal for the chance to see temperatures trend above the seasonal January highs. 

Temperatures will likely climb above the freezing mark through the last two weeks of the month.

FULL STORY: Warming up your car in cold weather can damage your engine. Here's what to do instead