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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

#41 OFFLINE   kmkint3

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 11:52 AM

It was about minus 18 degrees F. this morning when I left for work.  Our C-Max Energi started very quickly, and was quiet and comfortable on the short drive.  I did let it warm up a minute or so before driving.  The fuel mileage is low when it's below zero, and the EV range was showing just 7 miles (it was 24 plus when we had warm weather).  Not sure how far it would go in just EV when it's 18 below!









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#42 OFFLINE   larryh

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 02:10 PM

You won't go far in EV mode at -18 F.  Today it was -23 F.  I preconditioned the car in my attached garage using the 240 V charger.  The temperature in the garage was 1 F.  Preconditioning started 1 hour before my GO time and consumed 3 kWh of electricity (almost half of what it takes to charge a depleted battery).  Even after using all that energy, the car's interior was not all that warm.  I also used the engine block heater for 3 hours (I'm not getting up at 3:00 am every day to plug that in).  I was only able to go about 3 miles in EV Now mode until the ICE turned on.  I get the same MPGe for the trip to work whenever the ICE turns on, regardless of whether it is 0 F or -23 F. 

 

As long as the garage temperature is above 20 degrees, preconditioning works much better.  It doesn't work at all with the 120 V charger when it is cold.  It is very nice to drive off in a warm car on a cold day. 

 

Even though I used 3 kWh of electricity for preconditioning, it is cheaper than not preconditioning.  The 3 kWh of electricity cost me about $0.18.  It would have required at least 0.16 gallons (the amount of gas required to drive home w/o preconditioning when the temperature was warmer at -12 F) of gas to go to work without preconditioning vs. 0.08 with preconditioning.  The cost for 0.08 gallons of gas is $0.26, which is more than the electricity for preconditioning. 


Edited by larryh, 06 January 2014 - 02:20 PM.

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#43 OFFLINE   GaryG

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 03:51 PM

I feel bad for you people up north with this cold weather. This last summer here in Palm Beach County we were getting 90F plus temperatures, so preconditioning was a must also. I think the heat is much more manageable for EV range because I got my best EV range of 33.9 miles with the A/C running. I've managed to turn off the A/C for the first time these last few days, and no preconditioning is needed now. I can tell my EV range is improving with my weather in the 70's and low 80's, so I'll do another long trip and see if I can break my 33.9 mile range on a single charge. I'm hoping for a 36 mile EV trip before hybrid mode kicks in where the battery changes over.

 

Gary 


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#44 OFFLINE   larryh

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 04:21 PM

From the plot of MPGe vs Temperature for EV mode in another post, I estimate that I get the best MPGe at 70 F.   Also, I get the same MPGe at 95 F as I do at 34 F. 


Edited by larryh, 06 January 2014 - 04:27 PM.


#45 OFFLINE   John Meixel

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 07:28 AM

Today was my first EV only trip to work.  I couldn't try earlier because, as described in another thread, my charging cable was bad and I got a new one yesterday. 

 

When I arrived home yesterday, at 5:30 pm, I plugged in the charging cable with charging set to "Charge Now."  Charging was completed around 11:40 pm.

 

I set a Go Time of 8:00 am.  But I woke up early and edited the Go Time at 6:00 am changing it to 7:00 am.  In the Go Time settings I told it to set the cabin temperature to 72 degrees.

 

After the Go Time changed to 7:00 am I checked the car and heard the fan going for the heater.

 

I left home around 7:15 and the heater was still running at that time.

 

I am using the OEM 120V charge cord.  I don't think the cabin was 72 degrees but it was warmet than the garage.

 

The outside temperature was 41 degrees.  I believe the garage was close to that.  It had been very cold the day before and the outside temperature was going up.

 

The battery displayed a range of 18 miles.

 

I turned off the climate system.

 

However, since it was dark, the headlights were on.  Also the stereo was playing from my USB-connected iPhone.

 

My trip to work was 8.7 miles.  I used 2.4 kWh and regened .5 miles from braking.

 

I turned on the electric seat heater to position 1 for maybe 5 minutes.

 

The car says I have 11 miles left on the battery so I should make it home on EV without a problem.

 

This is really cool!


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#46 OFFLINE   fotomoto

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 07:45 AM

I posted this in another thread but it is much more on topic here so I'll repost.  This is my first experience at using the Go time and I compared it to an identical previous run in December (the quoted text).

 

I did my usual 18 mile leg today in 34-35f temps (car display).  Starting from an insulated garaged with an interior temp of 60f, battery temp of 62f, HVAC off, and seat heaters set to 3, and an estimated range of 23 miles, I ended back at home with an estimated 6 left.  EV the whole way.  

 

Temps were just below freezing this morning (big deal for us!) so for the first time I used the Go timer feature with a 240v charge cord:  set to activate 25 minutes before departure with 72f cabin temp.  Garage temp was around 52f.   Getting into a nicely warm car, I was astounded to see an estimated 28 miles range with a 99.3 SOC (still charging with battery temp at 60.3f).  I made it to work with an estimated 8 miles left.   A +2 improvement in range over the same Dec. trip quoted above but with a much warmer cabin!    :happy feet:   No HVAC used on these trips other than a quick shot of defrost (set to LO) to clear windows and seat heaters set to 3 (rear passenger has a 120v heating pad).

 

I'm impressed!   :wub:


Edited by fotomoto, 07 January 2014 - 07:49 AM.

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#47 OFFLINE   larryh

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 01:10 PM


I am using the OEM 120V charge cord.  I don't think the cabin was 72 degrees but it was warmet than the garage.

 

The 120 V charger is not going to do a very good job of preconditioning the cabin when it is cold.  You would get much better results with a 240 V charger.   If it is in the teens or below, the 120 V charger does not warm the car at all.  But even the 240 V charger has its limits.  It doesn't warm the car very well when the temperature in my garage is below 10 F.  It warms it some, but it would be nicer if it would warm it more.  Note, my attached garage is about 20 F warmer than the outside temperature when it is below zero. 


Edited by larryh, 07 January 2014 - 01:43 PM.


#48 OFFLINE   John Meixel

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 01:43 PM

Thanks Larry.  I was pleasantly surprised that it warmed it at all.



#49 OFFLINE   John Meixel

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 07:53 AM

Well I have good news and bad news:

 

Good news: My OEM 120V charger left the car pleasantly warm this morning with cabin preconditioning.

 

Bad news:  Since the car was warm, and the outside temperature was 16 degrees, the windows fogged up requiring use of the defroster which turned on the ICE.  After the windows were cleared I turned off the Climate system but the ICE remained running for performance requirements.  The ICE remained on for a few minutes even though I had plenty of charge in the battery, 12+ miles.  It finally turned off but it had to start again when the windows fogged up a second time.

 

So I am wondering why it stayed on at all after I turned off the Climate system?  Does anyone know?

 

Also, it seems that Ford should come up with an electric-only means to defrost the windows so the ICE doesn't need to run unless the battery charge is depleted.  I am willing to live with a cold cabin for increased EV miles but I have to see out the windows!



#50 OFFLINE   dr61

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 08:19 AM

"So I am wondering why it stayed on at all after I turned off the Climate system?"

 

Several reasons that I can think of :


 

1) ICE remains on to increase its temperature, warming the oil and helping to reduce oil dilution.  Oil dilution is from products of combustion and gasoline that degrade the oil and reduce ICE life.  The oil temperature goes up much more slowly than the coolant temperature.

2) Emissions are significantly reduced when the catalytic converter reaches ts operating temperature.  The engine computer will keep the ICE on so that the car can meet emission targets as required by law.


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#51 OFFLINE   GuyFromCanada

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 08:26 AM

Well I have good news and bad news:

 

Good news: My OEM 120V charger left the car pleasantly warm this morning with cabin preconditioning.

 

Bad news:  Since the car was warm, and the outside temperature was 16 degrees, the windows fogged up requiring use of the defroster which turned on the ICE.  After the windows were cleared I turned off the Climate system but the ICE remained running for performance requirements.  The ICE remained on for a few minutes even though I had plenty of charge in the battery, 12+ miles.  It finally turned off but it had to start again when the windows fogged up a second time.

 

So I am wondering why it stayed on at all after I turned off the Climate system?  Does anyone know?

 

Also, it seems that Ford should come up with an electric-only means to defrost the windows so the ICE doesn't need to run unless the battery charge is depleted.  I am willing to live with a cold cabin for increased EV miles but I have to see out the windows!

 

Ford already put an electric heater on the NRG which use the HVB. Its just that you have to know how to "bypass" the programmed logic they put behind it...

 

If you want to prevent the ICE from running AND keep your windows clear you have to set "EV now" and put the vent output on windshield AND somewhere else (say feet). This will prevent the ICE fom starting in most conditions. Lowering the target temperature also help.


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#52 OFFLINE   John Meixel

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 08:36 AM

Guy, thanks, I'll try that.



#53 OFFLINE   fotomoto

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 08:59 AM

Before selecting the front defroster try this:  

 

Turn on auto HVAC and immediately (as fast as you can) turn temp knob down to LO (not 60, 61, or 62, etc).  Then, select defrost.  The ICE should not come on; however, the A/C will even if you have the A/C control set to off.  You'll see a bump in the climate kW used in the usage meter and EV estimated range drop.  This will clear interior fogging.  Turn HVAC off when windows clear and EV range should bounce back.  Rinse, lather, repeat along trip as necessary.  NOTE:  this is not intended for de-icing the exterior.

 

Edit:  I use EV auto.  This works for me in the south and hopefully will do the same for you folks up north who park in a garage or  otherwise don't need to de-ice.   :victory:


Edited by fotomoto, 08 January 2014 - 09:01 AM.


#54 OFFLINE   John Meixel

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 10:23 AM

Thanks fotomoto, I'll try it!

 

Thanks to Ashley I was on the phone with a Ford customer service manager and I asked him to research this.  He's going to talk to his SMEs and get back to me.  I told him I would post his response here and he was OK with that.


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#55 OFFLINE   viajero

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 04:08 PM

In the last few days I've noticed something I hadn't before - the heater power depends on the fan speed you've set.

 

In previous cars I've usually turned the fan off or down low when starting a cold car, because it just blows cold air on me until the heater core warms up.

 

With the Energi I see about 3 kW for the heater if the fan is set to 1 bar, but if I up the fan to 3 bars the heater power pegs at 5 kW.  So you're actually getting more heat from the battery if you start with the fan blowing harder.

 

I also just noticed for the first time that the climate power consumption gauge sometimes shows a little plus sign next to the 5 on the kW display, so it looks like 5+ kW.


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#56 OFFLINE   GaryG

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 04:45 PM

In the last few days I've noticed something I hadn't before - the heater power depends on the fan speed you've set.

 

In previous cars I've usually turned the fan off or down low when starting a cold car, because it just blows cold air on me until the heater core warms up.

 

With the Energi I see about 3 kW for the heater if the fan is set to 1 bar, but if I up the fan to 3 bars the heater power pegs at 5 kW.  So you're actually getting more heat from the battery if you start with the fan blowing harder.

 

I also just noticed for the first time that the climate power consumption gauge sometimes shows a little plus sign next to the 5 on the kW display, so it looks like 5+ kW.

 

I've found the A/C works the same way with fan speed. When I precondition the cabin, I start my EV trip when the cabin will stay cool with the fan at it's lowest setting to keep the cabin cool. This often calls for a high fan speed to get the temperature down at first, then I start slowing fan speed as I get to my targeted cabin temperature. I also see the big drop in KW when I turn the fan speed down.

 

I did my homework when I purchased my '11 Explorer and found that Ford went to a high efficient A/C compressor that adjust to demand after the cabin has cooled. Fan speed must be part of determining demand from the A/C compressor or in this case, also the electric heating element.

 

Gary


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#57 OFFLINE   amerifolklegend

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 01:43 AM

Ford already put an electric heater on the NRG which use the HVB. Its just that you have to know how to "bypass" the programmed logic they put behind it...

 

If you want to prevent the ICE from running AND keep your windows clear you have to set "EV now" and put the vent output on windshield AND somewhere else (say feet). This will prevent the ICE fom starting in most conditions. Lowering the target temperature also help.

 

Since it has gotten very cold here in Ohio, I've been setting the cabin temp at 72.  I have my car in an attatched garage, but still charge with a 120 charger.  I do not pre-condition because I have found that I do not come out ahead as far as battery life is concerned.  When I get in the car, I drive with just the seat heaters on till the windows show sign of fogging up.  When that happens, I hit the Auto button on the left dial of the heater/AC.  This turns the heat on ever-so-slightly (presumably because it takes a bit to warm up.)  Once the moving air clears the fogged up windows, I hit the power button on the other side. 

 

I have found that if - when the temperature is below 0 (or at least near it, maybe) - I leave the Auto on for the whole trip, the ICE will eventually kick in once the heat really blows hotter air out.  This never happened when the temperature was just normal cold outside.  It only happens when it's I'm-only-going-to-work-because-I'm-out-of-personal-days cold out.  I could go all the way to work with the heat on 72 without the ICE starting when it was like, say, 35 degrees. 


Edited by amerifolklegend, 09 January 2014 - 01:46 AM.


#58 OFFLINE   John Meixel

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 07:07 AM

I just drove to work in 16 degree temperature.  I was forced to run the ICE to defog the windows.  Does everyone agree that the ICE is required when it is this cold?

 

Again it would be great if we had a battery-only way to defog the windows.  As others have pointed out this won't work for defrosting them.  Since my car is in an attached garage I don't need to defrost them in the morning.



#59 OFFLINE   amerifolklegend

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 08:15 AM

Well, only one time had my ICE started while the car was in EV and no heat/AC/defrost was used at all.  That was on Monday afternoon when the temp outside was -5 and there was heavy, heavy wind in the exposed parking lot here at work..  The ICE started immediately when i started the car.  But, when it's just normal cold (like maybe above ten or so) the ICE won't come on at all with no heat/AC/defrost turned on.

 

To defrost the windows when I want to avoid the ICE starting when it's just normal cold, I stay away from the defrost altogether.  I ONLY use the preset temperature of 72 by hitting the Auto button.  This avoids the defrost setting which, for me, will engage the ICE everytime as soon as I use it.



#60 OFFLINE   amerifolklegend

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 08:19 AM

[Edit]  For some reason, that posted twice.

 

Nothing to see here, folks.  Move along.


Edited by amerifolklegend, 09 January 2014 - 08:21 AM.










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