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Winter driving strategy

c-max energi fusion energi winter cold weather mpg fuel economy strategy

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88 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   hybridbear

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 06:54 AM

With the onset of cold weather my parents have seen a major drop in their driving efficiency. Normally they see 22-24 miles of range on the battery. AC use in the summer would drop that to around 18-20 miles. Now with the cold weather and using heat they're seeing only about 11-13 miles of range. Temperatures dropped a few days ago from being in the 70s to now in the low 30s overnight and mid 40s during the day so now heat is needed when driving.

 

They are not into fiddling with settings and things to conserve energy. I'm trying to get them to use Go Times to preheat the cabin now before the leave on trips. Since they are both retired and have a fairly minimal set schedule that repeats this is a bit of a challenge though. They leave the HVAC on all the time and my dad never fiddles with the settings. He just gets in and drives. My mom and I aren't sure if he even knows how to turn the HVAC on/off or adjust settings even if he would need to.

 

So, taking all that into account, what winter driving tips can I give them so that they can maximize their battery range and also maximize their efficiency in hybrid mode. This link takes you to a thread I started on the Fusion Hybrid Forum geared toward maximizing the hybrid efficiency in the winter. I can share with them the tips that apply to the hybrid portion of their car, but I'm looking for help from the Energi owners for driving in electric mode in the cold weather. I doubt that they'll be interested in waiting to turn on the heat and other things though.

 

Also, where is the engine block heater plug located? Their window sticker indicates that their car has a block heater, as do all Ford hybrid/Energi models sold in MN, but my dad and I haven't been able to find the plug location. Thanks!


Edited by hybridbear, 17 October 2013 - 07:23 AM.

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#2 OFFLINE   honemch

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:39 AM

Turn the hvac off and use the seat heaters.
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#3 OFFLINE   chryssa

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:57 AM

Look directly behind the passenger-side headlight for the engine block heater plug. 



#4 OFFLINE   larryh

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 03:32 PM

 

They are not into fiddling with settings and things to conserve energy. I'm trying to get them to use Go Times to preheat the cabin now before the leave on trips. Since they are both retired and have a fairly minimal set schedule that repeats this is a bit of a challenge though. They leave the HVAC on all the time and my dad never fiddles with the settings. He just gets in and drives. My mom and I aren't sure if he even knows how to turn the HVAC on/off or adjust settings even if he would need to.

 

They can also precondition the car via remote start with the car plugged into the charger if they do not have a regular schedule.  The car will use energy from the wall outlet to heat the passenger compartment of the car.  The link in the post above is a link to itself rather than to the ford fusion hybrid forum.


Edited by larryh, 16 October 2013 - 03:35 PM.


#5 OFFLINE   viajero

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 03:58 PM

Preheating with remote start definitely helps.  There's another whole thread that talks about it.

 

When the heater first starts it uses about 4 kW, more than the 3.3 kW L2 chargers and way more than the 1.4 kW 120V charger.  So you'll still lose some battery charge unless you heat it up way before you start and let the heater settle to a lower power level and the battery top off again.

 

Of course you'll lose even more range to heating (and be cold) if you wait until after you start driving to turn the heat on, because then you get nothing extra from the grid.

 

Regardless of what you do, batteries just lose capacity as the temperature drops, so you're going to have a lot lower range in a Minnesota winter, no way around it.


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#6 OFFLINE   hybridbear

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 07:25 AM

Thanks for the ideas I can tell them. I fixed the link too. The electric heater works by heating the coolant, correct? I wonder if plugging in the block heater would help then too. In our FFH the block heater brings the coolant up to about 40oC, less in really cold weather.



#7 OFFLINE   larryh

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 08:27 AM

The electric heater for the passenger cabin does heat the coolant.  However, the coolant is probably diverted to the heater core and not the engine.  So you need the block heater to warm the engine.  I am not sure though.


Edited by larryh, 17 October 2013 - 08:30 AM.


#8 OFFLINE   jimdoc

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 08:29 PM

Preheating with remote start definitely helps.  There's another whole thread that talks about it.

 

When the heater first starts it uses about 4 kW, more than the 3.3 kW L2 chargers and way more than the 1.4 kW 120V charger.  So you'll still lose some battery charge unless you heat it up way before you start and let the heater settle to a lower power level and the battery top off again.

 

Of course you'll lose even more range to heating (and be cold) if you wait until after you start driving to turn the heat on, because then you get nothing extra from the grid.

 

Regardless of what you do, batteries just lose capacity as the temperature drops, so you're going to have a lot lower range in a Minnesota winter, no way around it.

 

Does the Energi *have* a heater core heated by engine coolant, or does it ONLY heat the cabin by electric resistance heating?

On a long enough trip to fully warm the engine, will it be able to maintain cabin warmth using "waste" engine heat?



#9 OFFLINE   honemch

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 09:33 PM

Does the Energi *have* a heater core heated by engine coolant, or does it ONLY heat the cabin by electric resistance heating?
On a long enough trip to fully warm the engine, will it be able to maintain cabin warmth using "waste" engine heat?


The engine coolant heats the heating core. The coolant can be heated by the engine or battery.

#10 OFFLINE   billimek

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 03:23 AM

Do any of you have tips/tricks for maximizing energy efficiency when driving in cold weather w/respect to climate control?

 

I park in the garage and when leaving in the morning when it's cold outside the car is still quite comfortable.  I make use of the seat warmers.  When I leave the climate control system turned off, the windows fog up.  To combat this I've turned on only the window defrosters at lowest fan speed and turned the temp dial down until it is no longer sucking 5+ kWh from the battery which is usually all the way down around 63 degrees fahrenheit.  This makes the cabin a little too cold.

 

Do any of you in this situation have an approach that works for you? Does switching to EV Later to force the ICE to run in order to power the heater more efficiently a better approach?  I'm thinking it might be if the ICE can deliver heat if it is a lot more efficient doing that vs the battery (say the ICE can generate heat at 80% efficiency while the batteries can only do the same thing at 20% efficiency).

 

Any ideas as we all (except for those lucky folks in California!) enter the cold season?



#11 OFFLINE   mikeb

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 04:11 AM

The key to EV driving in the winter is to pre-heat the car while it's plugged in. This gets the coolant water warm, and lets you use low levels of heat for the rest of your drive without putting a huge drain on the battery. Note that the window defroster will activate the AC, so it'll get cold in the cabin pretty fast, adding in a bit of heat helps keep the cabin more comfortable. You can leave the climate control set on 60 and also run the seat heaters, that seemed to work well for me last winter.

 

Of course, if you're doing a drive longer than your EV range, you definitely want to start out in EV Later mode to get the engine warm. If you're gonna create lots of wasted heat somewhere during your drive, might as well do it at the beginning and take advantage of it for cabin warmth. But if you don't need to run the ICE to get where you are going, stay in EV mode and just consume some battery power for heat, that's still the more efficient overall.


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#12 OFFLINE   hybridbear

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 06:16 AM

I found the block heater plug, behind the right headlight. It seems so obvious now...don't know why we couldn't find it before.


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#13 OFFLINE   hybridbear

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 02:27 PM

What about strategies to minimize the drain of defrost on the battery range? My parents have been trying to minimize their use of heat and use Go Times to start out in a warm car. However, they find that within a couple of minutes they need to turn on the defrost because the windows fog up even though the car is still warm. How can they minimize the impact of defrost? In the FFH I will flip to My View to see the power draw and adjust my HVAC settings accordingly. They aren't interested in fiddling around with those screens while driving because they consider it to be too much of a distraction. Any ideas?



#14 OFFLINE   honemch

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 02:39 PM

I turn the air onto the defrost setting, make sure AC is off, turn the fan down to the second bar, and turn the temp down to low to ensure the heating element isn't turning on. If I'm cold i just use the seat heater.

#15 OFFLINE   GaryG

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 05:30 PM

I turn the air onto the defrost setting, make sure AC is off, turn the fan down to the second bar, and turn the temp down to low to ensure the heating element isn't turning on. If I'm cold i just use the seat heater.

 

I can see you know nothing about anything. If you run defrost, the A/C runs to dry the air automatically.

 

Gary


Edited by GaryG, 21 October 2013 - 05:33 PM.


#16 OFFLINE   GaryG

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 05:32 PM

I can see you know nothing about anything. If you run defrost, the A/C runs to dry the air automatically.

 

Gary



#17 OFFLINE   honemch

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 08:27 PM

I can see you know nothing about anything. If you run defrost, the A/C runs to dry the air automatically.

Gary


Gary, you don't need to be rude. You can manually turn the AC off after selecting the defrost setting.
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#18 OFFLINE   GaryG

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 06:57 AM

Gary, you don't need to be rude. You can manually turn the AC off after selecting the defrost setting.

Sorry, that was rude of me, I was angry at something else when I posted.



#19 OFFLINE   hybridbear

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 09:54 AM

In the FFH turning off the A/C button doesn't actually stop the compressor. The power demand can still be seen on the screen. This is a well documented bug, or possibly design flaw in the setup of the system, or maybe a strange intended operation...

 

In the C-Max Energi does pressing the A/C button, so that "A/C off" displays on the screen, actually turn off the compressor and reduce the climate power draw to 0 kW as shown on the dash?


Edited by hybridbear, 22 October 2013 - 09:55 AM.


#20 OFFLINE   honemch

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 04:58 PM

In the FFH turning off the A/C button doesn't actually stop the compressor. The power demand can still be seen on the screen. This is a well documented bug, or possibly design flaw in the setup of the system, or maybe a strange intended operation...

In the C-Max Energi does pressing the A/C button, so that "A/C off" displays on the screen, actually turn off the compressor and reduce the climate power draw to 0 kW as shown on the dash?


I didn't clarify enough, I am using the defrost button next to the recirculate button (not the defrost max button) which moves the air flow to the windshield.









Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: c-max energi, fusion energi, winter, cold weather, mpg, fuel economy, strategy

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