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Li-ion battery life


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10 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   scooter_scum

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 06:22 AM

I had a long talk with the Ford Sales rep. They were very proud about Ford Choosing Lithium ION Batteries rather than the NiMH used by the Prius. I did a little research on Lithium ION batteries. The positive side is they have good capacity and light weight. Problem is they may not have the life of NiMH batteries. With a little more research I found a very interesting presentation on how temp. impacts the life of Li-ion batteries in cars. The key take away was you need to try and control battery temp for optimal life.

So what does this have to do with the C-MAX Energi? The C-Max has a separate cooling system for the batteries to try and keep them at optimal temp. This is true for the all electric Focus too. Whether or not it works remains to be seen, but it is clear Ford is making every attempt to create a quality product. See the whole presentation at the link below.


http://www1.eere.ene.../cunningham.pdf


Counting down the hours to picking up mine!







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#2 OFFLINE   DonS

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 06:37 AM

Not the same as the Focus. The 23 kWh Focus battery is liquid cooled; the 7.5 kWh Energi battery is air cooled. From what I can gather however both are active thermal management systems. The 16.5 kWh Volt battery is liquid cooled. The 24 kWh Leaf battery is passive air cooled (and having issues in hot climates as an apparent result). The 4.4 kWh Prius plug-in battery is active air cooled. All are lithium based, including the Prius plug-in.

Why did Ford not go with liquid cooling for the C-Max as well as the Focus? I would guess the additional space, weight, and cost. Possibly also the demands in a plug-in hybrid are not as likely to result in thermal extremes as in a true BEV one.

My personal analysis (planning on owning this vehicle a long time) include an assumption of replacing the battery once somewhere around nine years/100K out, outside of warranty period. I also assume that battery costs have dropped to $250/kWh by then (which is what most experts seem to predict but who knows?). Liquid cooled might extend that a year or so but not out the 17 plus years the car should last so there would still be one replacement per vehicle lifetime.

Active cooling though seems essential.

#3 OFFLINE   Don

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 07:19 AM

Hopefully, if the car becomes popular, aftermarket upgrades and add ons will become available. Another hope would be that as battery technology continues to improve upgraded battery packs will be made available offering more KWh.

Edited by Don, 01 November 2012 - 07:22 AM.


#4 OFFLINE   scooter_scum

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 09:01 AM

Thank you for the correction! A bit disappointed they did not use liquid cooling, but we will see how the system works! My Bad!!

#5 OFFLINE   DonS

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 10:30 AM

My pleasure. I'm thinking they made a good choice but what do I know?

Meanwhile I hope that Don is right. I won't replace until I have to but I hope by then the technology has improved, hopefully with greater energy density and power for less cost, taking up less room yet going a bit farther with more kick ... but we have no way to know. These unknowns regarding the battery lifetime and replacement cost are part of why I have preferred the C-Max approach for myself, over a full BEV and even the Volt. This battery is big enough to handle my typical daily needs on all electric (if just) and small enough that replacement if when it happens is less likely to be to big a hit.

#6 OFFLINE   mikeb

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 12:41 PM

My understanding, from reading the user's manual, is that the Energi's battery is air cooled using cabin air. So as long as you are running the air conditioner, you are providing cool air to the battery pack. If you decide to save energy by letting the cabin get hot, you're also letting your battery pack heat up. Probably a good plan, since most people will run the AC in hot weather. Probably a better plan if you use the smartphone tools to pre-cool your vehicle while it's plugged in to a charger.

#7 OFFLINE   scooter_scum

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 05:13 PM

So where are you finding the the manual?

#8 OFFLINE   mikeb

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 03:34 AM

Motorcraft website has several documents for the C-Max, including the user manual:
http://www.motorcraf...E&menuIndex1=16

I pulled the owners manual onto my iPad and have been browsing it.

#9 OFFLINE   DonS

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 06:57 AM

I get a do not have permission to view notice.

#10 OFFLINE   kuenai

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 10:24 AM

I will have to do a little digging, but I thought I saw somewhere that the C Max Hybrid batteries were air-cooled, but that the the Energi's batteries were liquid cooled. Perhaps I am misremembering, and it said they were actively cooled. Will do a little digging, but if you read air in the owner's manual I would say that is probably correct. (Would hope so, anyway!!)

#11 OFFLINE   kuenai

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 10:29 AM

OK, I was correct in remembering what I read, but the article stating the the Energi's batteries were liquid cooled seems to have had it's facts wrong, at least according to the owner's manual and to this "fact sheet" put out by Ford media:

http://media.ford.co...Energi_Hero.pdf

Was just curious...




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