Next time you swing by your local electric car dealer, you may want to make sure your warranty covers damage by rodent. Cars.com's Joe Wiesenfelder didn't have that kind of coverage for his Chevy Volt (who would?), and it ended up costing him $600.
In the aptly named "A Rat Ate My Chevy Volt," Wiesenfelder tells of how he was alerted that his Volt, which was at a parking structure in downtown Chicago at the time, had disconnected from the grid and was no longer charging. Turns out the culprit was a rat Wiesenfelder nicknamed "Chilly," as rats have been known to climb into the housing of cars or trucks to keep warm during these colder months.
Turns out, Chilly did a little more than just climb in:
This morning, Grossinger City Chevy of Chicago confirmed that Chilly the rat had indeed gnawed through a wiring harness in the engine compartment, causing, at minimum, the warning lights and rear defogger failure Presumably, an electric car with a thermally managed battery will be a tempting nest long after an internal-combustion engine has cooled off.
Therein lies the problem. While electric vehicles charge, their batteries are kept at a specific temperature — not hot, but warm. That warmth makes a pretty alluring bed for rats. $600 worth of damage is nothing to shake a stick at, especially if it's something that could very well happen again.