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Cold Weather Performance


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28 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   lkozark

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 02:04 PM

I've had my NRG since March and during the six month oil change and checkup Ford applied all service notes. Now that the outside temperature has dropped I have noticed that you can not get EV-Only once the temperature drops below 40. IN the mornings I pre-heat the interior to 74 while the car is plugged into 240V and in the garage. While backing out of the driveway EV-Only works but as soon as I switch to Drive and touch the accelerator the engine turns on and runs constantly for about the first mile of driving. (inside temp set to 70 and low fan). In that first mile I have one stop sign and about 4 stop lights. Since the engine does not shut off during that time period and my 5 mile drive to work is now avgering 27 to 39 MPG depending on how many red lights I hit before getting EV-Only. Once the outside temp reaches 40 it will go EV-Only the entire drive as it should. Anyone else seeing this mileage killer?









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#2 OFFLINE   fotomoto

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 02:27 PM

After your pre-warm, turn HVAC off and use seat heaters tomorrow morning and see what happens.



#3 OFFLINE   larryh

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 03:30 PM

Do not set the temperature so high.  I usually set it to around 63 (same as the house).  It was 18 degrees tonight. When I set it to EV Now mode, the ICE did not come on.  However, when I set it to EV Auto, it did come on.  In the empower screen, the threshold for turning the ICE on is very low in cold weather.


Edited by larryh, 26 November 2013 - 03:30 PM.


#4 OFFLINE   Tom_NC_1

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 05:14 PM

This AM with the outside Temperature at 35 degrees I decided not to precondition the car. On leaving he driveway I selected EV Later. The left screen indicated that It would maintain 95% of the battery. With the heater off and only the heated seat I started out. For a couple of miles it ran in EV. Once the battery pack got down below 95% and I accelerated ICE came on. After a short while the engine heated up and I cut on the heater. For the 20 mile trip where I only switched back to EV for the last mile, the trip resulted in 44.5 MPGe.  The trip was mostly either city streets then country roads with speed from 35 to about 60 MPH.  I used the battery for the majority of return trip. I am pleased with the milage and the heat.

 

If only I could predict a reliable go time I could get similar results and start with a preconditioned cabin. I will have to work on that.


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#5 OFFLINE   viajero

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 06:50 PM

Having the defroster on causes the ICE to run in cold weather (and the A/C to run in warm weather). Obviously you have to run the defroster if you can't see out the windshield, but don't leave it on if you don't need it.

Once the ICE starts up the computer likes to run it for some minimum time, so it won't necessarily stop the engine when you turn the defroster off.

#6 OFFLINE   GuyFromCanada

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 09:37 AM

I found out that if the HVAC is set to output ONLY on the windshield, than the ICE will start even if you have selected "EV Now". I bypass this behaviour by setting the HVAC to run on the windshield and on my feet. The ICE doesn't start this way.

 

Also, in my case, Go time never starts the ICE, but if I remote start using the key fob and the HVAC is on (on any setting whatsoever) the ICE will always start. (car is plugged on 240V in both cases)

 

Of course all of this apply only if the outside temperature is below 40F. 


Edited by GuyFromCanada, 27 November 2013 - 09:39 AM.

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#7 OFFLINE   Dr.Ed

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 06:11 PM

My first cold weather with the Energi and I am also learning a lot about how operation is different. Agree that when you put on the defrost, the ICE just comes on.

I have tried the suggestion of pre-warming the car on the landline, then just running the seat heater. The problem I notice is that the windows start steaming up after about 10 minutes outside.

 

In order to preserve the battery and run on electric, I find if I turn on the HVAC WITHOUT the defrost, and set the temp to about 62, fan low, I get sufficient airflow to keep the windows mostly clear.

 

The battery also does not perform as well in cold weather. My range on the identical commute of 23 miles round trip exhausts the battery a mile or two before return home for a range of about 20-21 miles. In comparison, same trip at 65 degrees and I have about 4-5 miles of range left for total of 24-27 miles.



#8 OFFLINE   Tdefny

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 07:10 PM

Check your settings. EV now will prevent the ICE from running in almost all conditions but you may be surprised at how fast the battery runs out, especially when the HVAC is on.

#9 OFFLINE   Tdefny

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 07:18 PM

Beware of prewarming if you have a level1 charger. I melted a kill-a-watt and later a wall outlet. Both were rated at 15A and the L1 draws 12A pretty consistently, so I figured it was safe. My guess is that the heater draws beyond 12A and maybe even 15. That builds a strong case for a L2 charger if you use prewarming.

#10 OFFLINE   larryh

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 01:51 AM

I believe the power for the heater comes directly from the HVB and not directly from the outlet to the heater.  If you observe the power consumed from the wall outlet during preconditioning, you will see that the heater starts first.  After a couple of minutes, charging begins.  I assume that the heater draws the currently directly from the HVB battery.  When the HVB battery is sufficiently discharged, then the charger begins to recharge it. The amount of current drawn from the wall outlet is the same during preconditioning as when charging the battery.


Edited by larryh, 30 November 2013 - 03:05 AM.

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#11 OFFLINE   Mr. Green Jeans

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 07:40 AM

I have L1 at home and L2 at work.  Both work well in preconditioning.  If I don't precondition, when it is very cold out, ICE will come on shortly after I start driving .I have a garage at home and at work as well.



#12 OFFLINE   viajero

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 05:34 PM

Beware of prewarming if you have a level1 charger. I melted a kill-a-watt and later a wall outlet. Both were rated at 15A and the L1 draws 12A pretty consistently, so I figured it was safe. My guess is that the heater draws beyond 12A and maybe even 15. That builds a strong case for a L2 charger if you use prewarming.

 

I never saw the 120V charger take more than 11.5 Amps even when preheating.  I think the Kill-a-Watt meter just doesn't live up to its rating.  A couple people on the Chevy Volt forums reported melting theirs at 12 A, but it happened after weeks/months of charging.  I'm not aware of any CE/UL safety tests that go long term.  They probably tested it at 15 Amps plus and it worked fine, but there's something they didn't think of that's degrading over time.



#13 OFFLINE   Harilor

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 10:40 AM

Sub-Zero Performance

 

So, as many of you probably noticed we are in a bit of a cold snap!  I'm just posting this to provide some insight into "extreme" cold weather performance.  Temperature here in the morning has been sub-zero for the last 5-6 days, was -14 this morning with expected -40 windchill (and that’s without driving). Not gonna get any better for at least another week. I park in a detached, un-insulated garage at home, plug in out in the open at work.

 

Pre-conditioning- is just about useless at this temperature.  Though I’m currently set to pre-condition to 72 degrees, the intense cold of the interior snuffs that out in less than 2 min. It’s important to remember that it is preconditioning the air temp, not the rest of the cabin! The “air” temp is bearable, but you will need the heat on high, as well as the seat warmers to stop from shivering and keep the windows clear enough to see through. It takes about 10-15 min of drive time to get to where I can turn the heat and the blowers down. (I always do EV later). Keep in mind, with wind chill I’m operating at temps ~ negative 40-50 degrees.

 

Seat warmers- a godsend. Plain and simple.

 

Electric plug cover- does NOT like the cold.  At anything below zero it starts to stick and won’t want to pop out.  It can easily get stuck if there is any moisture in there as well.  Hasn’t broke yet but its not happy.

 

MPG- at this temp MPG is my last concern quite frankly.  Ya, my overall MPG is in the dumps (went from high 90’s in the summer, to mid-40’s now). There is ice on the road and people drive bat-shit crazy so I can’t be cycling the heater, windshield, ICE mode, whatever.  I have a particular spot in my trip that I switch over to auto form EV-Later and I just run with it. I’m getting average range of about 11-14 miles from the battery on mostly level surface (was getting about 21 during the warmer summer months). Sucks, but that’s just how it goes with EV in these temps. Operating without the heater is not an option and anything less than 70 degrees (just to keep up) setting will have you shivering and fingers going numb.

 

Tire pressure- Sorry ya’ll, I had to put aftermarket ice tires on for safety. I’m sure this has had a detrimental effect on MPG, but with a baby on board as well as a pregnant wife, it’s a no brainer. Using Yokohama Ice Guards, and frankly before the extreme cold hit, didn’t seem to have that big of an effect on my overall MPG.

 

Internal electronics- start to slow down a bit, just in the morning (rear camera has a couple second delay).  But overall, nothing unexpected considering the temps.

 

This all being said, the ICE seems to run nicely even with such cold.  I read that a grill guard would help with the MPG of the ICE, but frankly, not sure if the cost of one of those is worth the boost it might give…

 

Interested to see how others are dealing with extreem cold!


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#14 OFFLINE   larryh

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 11:00 AM

It was -6 degrees this morning.  Fortunately, I have an attached garage.  Inside the garage it was 16.  I have the car set to start charging at around 3:00 am.  Charging raises the temperature a little in the garage and the car.  Soon after charging finishes, it began the preconditioning about 50 minutes before the GO time.  It consumed 2.9 kWh of electricity using a 240 V charger during preconditioning.  That is almost as much energy as I use during the summer to commute to work.  The temperature inside the cabin only got to 44 degrees.  But that is better than 16.  When the garage temperature is in the mid 20's, the car does a much better job of preconditioning. 

 

I left the garage in EV Now mode.  Within a minute, it disabled EV Auto mode.  I could no longer choose EV Now and EV later.  So I had no choice but to let the ICE run.  Climate control had no effect.  The battery was quickly exhausted after 15 miles.  Normally, I would have almost half the battery left after that distance in the summer. 

 

For my 57 mile weekend commute today, I got 39 MPGe.  In the summer, it is in the 60s and 70s.   The trip was only 31% EV.  In the summer, it is usually in the 50s and 60s.


Edited by larryh, 06 December 2013 - 11:03 AM.


#15 OFFLINE   larryh

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 03:52 AM

This morning it is -13.  The car has been sitting outside all night.  MyFord Mobile now shows an EV range of 13 miles.  Normally, in the summer it shows 25.  EV Range has been reduced by half by the cold weather.

 

 

Sub-Zero Performance

 

Tire pressure- Sorry ya’ll, I had to put aftermarket ice tires on for safety. I’m sure this has had a detrimental effect on MPG, but with a baby on board as well as a pregnant wife, it’s a no brainer. Using Yokohama Ice Guards, and frankly before the extreme cold hit, didn’t seem to have that big of an effect on my overall MPG.

 

 

How did you mount the snow tires?  Did you use the existing wheels or buy new wheels?


Edited by larryh, 07 December 2013 - 04:20 AM.

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#16 OFFLINE   fotomoto

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 03:50 PM

Now that the outside temperature has dropped I have noticed that you can not get EV-Only once the temperature drops below 40. IN the mornings 

 

OK I can't even fathom those crazy low temps you northern folks are now experiencing but this reply is to the OP who said he can't get into EV only below 40f. 

 

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.  


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#17 OFFLINE   Harilor

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 07:06 AM

This morning it is -13.  The car has been sitting outside all night.  MyFord Mobile now shows an EV range of 13 miles.  Normally, in the summer it shows 25.  EV Range has been reduced by half by the cold weather.

 

 

 

How did you mount the snow tires?  Did you use the existing wheels or buy new wheels?

 

Existing wheels.  I keep them at recommended PSI as well, unlike some of the recommendations here.  Overinflating tires when ice is present is just asking to go sliding into a ditch (or the car in front of you...).  Much like you, my range in the summer is ~22. I'm now showing 9-10 after the 12th day of below zero temps. Supposed to turn around tomorrow and reach the 30's by Wed!



#18 OFFLINE   drdiesel1

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 09:47 AM

Yep! Those of us in the sunshine belt can run the higher pressures all year :wink:

 

I moved out west 35 years ago and don't miss the snow, ice, and below freezing temps one bit :shift:


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#19 OFFLINE   larryh

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 03:43 PM

Today the temperature was 0 all day.  For my 7.8 mile commute to work, I was able to go entirely in EV mode.  I preconditioned the car before leaving.  Preconditioning started 45 minutes prior to the GO time and required 2.2 kWh of electricity.  On the way home, I was able to also go in EV mode until I depleted the HVB (which didn't take long).  I used about 2.5 kWh of energy from the HVB for each direction.  However, the return trip also required 0.2 gallons of gas. 

 

The car reported 98 MPGe for the trip to work and 27 MPGe for the return trip.  If I include the electricity to precondition the car, the MPGe for the trip to work drops to 54 MPGe.  Using my cost of electricity at $0.06 / kWh and gasoline at $2.90 / gallon, the trip to work cost about $0.39 (including the electricity used for preconditioning).  The return trip cost $0.76.  So preconditioning is very effective.  In addition, I start out in a warm car. 

 

In the summer, the roundtrip cost is around $0.24.  It costs more than four times to drive in 0 degree temperature than 70 degree. 


Edited by larryh, 09 December 2013 - 04:36 PM.

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#20 OFFLINE   drdiesel1

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 04:00 PM

Turn off the HVAC system while you're in EV mode and you'll get better range. I run 51 PSI in all 4 of my tires. I've been able to get 29 miles on a charge before the battery switches over to hybrid mode. Every little bit helps. 

 

You can also run grill blocks to reduce ICE warmup times when using the ICE in cold weather. I don't precondition the car and usually don't go far enough to use the ICE. If I know I'll need the ICE and want heat, I'll just fire it up and drive it EV later until the ICE is warm and the heater is blowing hot air. Then I can switch back to EV, turn off the HVAC system and run only the seat heaters. We don't get much below 40 most of the time.






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