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Autoline Daily on C-MAX Energy battery aging


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8 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   bwilson4web

bwilson4web

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  • Current Vehicle:2014 BMW i3-REx, 2017 Prius Prime Plus

Posted 23 November 2017 - 04:32 AM

Hi,

 

Wednesday, Autoline Daily had this posted:

 

Ken Foster is not very impressed with his plug-in hybrid. “I’ve owned a 2013 C-MAX Energi since new and have monitored battery capacity over its 4 years and 40,000 miles. I have already lost 25% capacity. Needless to say, this is very disappointing to me and will probably make this car the last hybrid I own until the technology improves.” Well, my advice is don’t buy any electrified car. Just lease it. The technology is changing and improving so fast that whatever you get today will be obsolete by the time your lease is over.

 

I am not qualified to post a comment about Energi batteries because I own a 2014 BMW i3-REx and 2017 Prius Prime Plus. I'm quite happy with the BMW which after 28k miles is not showing significant battery degradation. But LiON batteries are often different across vendors and packaging varies between air and liquid.

 

Is 'lost 25% capacity' after '40,000 miles' realistic to what others are seeing?

 

Has anyone attempted to plot miles and/or years versus capacity?

 

Thanks,

Bob Wilson

 









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#2 OFFLINE   Tom_NC_1

Tom_NC_1

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Posted 23 November 2017 - 05:26 AM

I also have a 2013 C-Max and have experience significant lost capacity. The usable HVB capacity new was about 5.5kWh. Currently the HVB is down to about 4kWh. I have 63k total miles with 46k EV miles. Most of the lost HVB capacity is very closely correlated to the hot summer of 2015. The HVB overheated a number of times and the thermal cutoff was too high to protect the pack. It did not help that overnight low temperatures were so high the HVB never had much chance to cool off.

 

The reason there was little of no lost HVB capacity since then is that I now directly monitor the HVB temperature with a ScanGauge. I also actively prevent high battery temperatures by how I use and charge the HVB. As a result I have had not HVB overheating in the last two years lost very little capacity since 2015. 

 

So yes it is possible to lose significant capacity after driving 40k miles is is more likely the loss is due to high temperatures rather than miles driven. Some owners have driven far more than I have with much less lost capacity. Their results are likely do to not having the high battery temperatures to deal with.

 

The main flaw in the C-Max battery management is that air cooling is inefficient and in hot parts of the country this becomes detrimental to the HVB capacity. If I am right any car that automatically manage HVB cooling to prevent overheating will be well protected from lost capacity issues. 

 

Tom


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#3 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 23 November 2017 - 07:04 AM

You say "high HVB Temperatures", how high of temps were you seeing with your ScanGaugeII? :smile2:

 

Paul



#4 ONLINE   rbort

rbort

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Posted 23 November 2017 - 07:44 AM

Don't also forget the one of the main reasons some people have lost capacity is that they recharge the car several times in a day on 240v and try to drive 100% EV all the time.  Some people were doing upwards of 80 miles in a day on EV with a car that was rated for 20 miles EV per charge.

 

Heat doesn't help, but using the HVB continuously also doesn't help as the temp of the battery rises while in use and has no time to cool back down.  I agree the battery is not water cooled and doesn't have the capacity to be used indefinitely due to this, but many people bought this car and used it like they had no engine at all hence why alot of the issues.

 

-=>Raja.



#5 OFFLINE   Tom_NC_1

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Posted 23 November 2017 - 09:16 PM

You say "high HVB Temperatures", how high of temps were you seeing with your ScanGaugeII? :smile2:

 

Paul

 

The system cuts off EV mode if the HVB reaches 113ºf. At this temp it only allows EV later mode. Once the temp starts dropping EV usage gradually returns. It is my belief that 113ºf is too high and causes some lost HVB capacity. I am not sure how much time spent with the elevated temp in the HVB is needed to lose capacity but anytime the HVB reaches the 113ºf it is asking for trouble.

 

I now attempt to control the maximum HVB temp to keep it below 105ºf. I actually prefer a lower 102ºf when possible. To keep the lower HVB temp I limit hot weather charging to once per day or less. I also switch to EV later more often. After the summers of 2016 and 2017 I have no had any additional lost HVB capacity. Best practice is to keep the HVB temp as low as reasonable. Unfortunately in NC summer when the overnight lows are around 80ºf there is little opportunity to cool the HVB. 

 

 

Tom


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#6 OFFLINE   fotomoto

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Posted 24 November 2017 - 10:21 AM

Hi,

 

Bob Wilson

 

 

Hey Bob,

 

Interesting to see you here.   There are a couple of longer threads about battery health on this forum that you might be interested in.  Here's one: http://fordcmaxenerg...a-myfordmobile/



#7 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 24 November 2017 - 11:37 AM

The system cuts off EV mode if the HVB reaches 113ºf. At this temp it only allows EV later mode. Once the temp starts dropping EV usage gradually returns. It is my belief that 113ºf is too high and causes some lost HVB capacity. I am not sure how much time spent with the elevated temp in the HVB is needed to lose capacity but anytime the HVB reaches the 113ºf it is asking for trouble.

 

I now attempt to control the maximum HVB temp to keep it below 105ºf. I actually prefer a lower 102ºf when possible. To keep the lower HVB temp I limit hot weather charging to once per day or less. I also switch to EV later more often. After the summers of 2016 and 2017 I have no had any additional lost HVB capacity. Best practice is to keep the HVB temp as low as reasonable. Unfortunately in NC summer when the overnight lows are around 80ºf there is little opportunity to cool the HVB. 

 

 

Tom

I found this on Google search :  https://www.electric...-battery-last/  which explains temp problems charging and discharging Lion batteries.  I have found that coasting down hill cools your HVB, if you get the opportunity instead of regen and is also more efficient.  Fully charging a hot HVB hurts the battery so maybe 80% SOC instead.  It also said slow charging is better.  The highest temp on my HVB has been 108*F, I usually use my HVB between 40-50% SOC, big difference from NRG HVB use. :smile2:

 

Paul     



#8 OFFLINE   Tom_NC_1

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Posted 24 November 2017 - 02:37 PM

I found this on Google search :  https://www.electric...-battery-last/  which explains temp problems charging and discharging Lion batteries.  I have found that coasting down hill cools your HVB, if you get the opportunity instead of regen and is also more efficient.  Fully charging a hot HVB hurts the battery so maybe 80% SOC instead.  It also said slow charging is better.  The highest temp on my HVB has been 108*F, I usually use my HVB between 40-50% SOC, big difference from NRG HVB use. :smile2:

 

Paul     

 

That was an interesting article. I believe I have seen it before. I think as far a charging the HVB Ford showing 100% SOC is not actual 100% SOC. The highest cell voltage I ever recorded was 4.08V. this is quite a bit below a the maximum around 4.2V for an actual 100% charge. From the ScanGauge I think the SOC actually never got above 98%. Currently I am seeing it never reach above 95% SOC at all charge. 

 

The article does agree that overheating the HVB would be detrimental. Those that choose to not fully charge the HVB and/or charge slowly using a level 1 charger may very well help the longterm performance. I will not change my practice of charging to full and use of the Level 2 charger. Time will tell how that well work out for my experience.

 

I am conservative  while driving to prevent HVB overheating. Now that cool fall weather has set in the HVB is staying quite cool despite multiple charges per day. Makes HVB temperature management very easy.

 

I still believe that the primary HVB capacity killer is overheating the pack. The only way to manage the HVB during hot weather is to actively monitor it with a  third party gauge. 

 

Tom


Edited by Tom_NC_1, 24 November 2017 - 02:48 PM.

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#9 OFFLINE   bwilson4web

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Posted 25 November 2017 - 03:45 AM

Hi folks,

 

This is what I shared at Autoline Daily:

 

About Ken Foster’s battery degradation, I asked the C-MAX forum about it (see web link) and they report excessive air-cooled battery temperature. Overheating was a problem with the early, air-cooled Leaf batteries and found in the early, air-cooled Gen-1 Prius, NiMH batteries. My one engine failure was an air-cooled, VW microbus engine because a dip stick, wipe rag blew into the cooling air impeller.

Air cooling can work but only if careful attention is made to temperature management and monitoring. Done badly, air cooling can go dreadfully wrong, very quickly.

Bob Wilson









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