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Battery Damage in Cold Weather


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3 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   ScottB

ScottB

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  • C-MAX Energi Member
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  • Region:U.S. Northeast
  • LocationMassachusetts
  • My C-MAX:2017
  • Current Vehicle:2017 CMAX Energi Titainum

Posted 11 August 2018 - 09:40 AM

So I bought my Energi in April, 2018 (left over 2017) and from all the great info on this forum I am feeling  good about how to prolong my battery life in hot weather. I don't want to get too conservative from typical gas car driving practices, but I am doing the important things and also the easy things. 

 

How about cold weather. When I did my battery research by reading lots of papers that were available on the web, it said our batteries like to operate from 0C to 30C.  I didn't find much info on what damage can be done below 0C (32F)???  I realize our output is reduced with temp and that the need for heat in the car will be a big drain on the battery. But does anyone know what below freezing temps do in terms of damage to the battery and how to avoid the damage????

 

I live North of Boston, and it gets below 32F a lot in the winter. I also ski up North and bought the Energi to get good gas mileage on ski trips. It will see temps as low as -10F periodically.  (yes I will ski when it is that cold, I love skiing in the glades, where you go slow and stay out of the wind, so the cold is tolerable).

 

Maybe cold is not an issue as long as I keep the car in EV Later mode and run hybrid until the car warms up and the battery warms up from hybrid use??  There must be experience with the cold with the owners on this forum.

 

BTW, I do not have a garage, so the car will sit outside all the time.









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#2 OFFLINE   rbort

rbort

    Energi Member

  • C-MAX Energi Member
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  • 4,157 posts
  • Region:U.S. Northeast
  • LocationFranklin, MA
  • My C-MAX:2017
  • Current Vehicle:Cmax Energi Titanium with Moonroof

Posted 11 August 2018 - 10:08 PM

Don't worry about cold weather damage, there is none from the cold.  The battery won't go as far because the car is stiff from the cold, the air is denser, and more drag and rolling resistance, so you'll get less range, but not an issue.

 

Don't waste the battery on heat, dress like you're going skiing, put your gloves on, and drive the car without heat if not starting the engine.  I do it all the time, in as low as -10F but at those temps the engine started due to "system performance" on my way to you do it electronics twice early in the morning when it was -7 to -9F.  If above 0F the engine won't start if you don't use heat.  You'll be able to get about 20 to 22 miles out of the battery in cold weather, now its more like in the 30's per charge.

 

Oh and before I forget, if you crack both front window about 1/2 inch each it will be sufficient to help so your windows don't fog up without the climate control on in the winter.

 

-=>Raja.



#3 OFFLINE   ScottB

ScottB

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Posted 12 August 2018 - 08:22 AM

Thanks for the info Raj. I am an engineer like you so I will analyze in my head how to deal with winter. This car offers a lot more options than a normal gas car. It seems charging just before driving to heat up the battery would be good in the winter. Also starting the car while plugged in and heating the car on charge electricity would make sense. For me I get free electricity at work, so that is a factor. If I am going 3miles to work, why bother turning on the heat for that short a trip. Preheating the car on charge might be nice though. For my 24 mile commute to work (other facility)  I will need all the battery range I can get, so no heat and I better preheat if I don't want to be cold on the drive. Since I park outside, I am always dressed for the cold in the winter. I don't want to spend an hour in a freezing car though, so I will figure something out.

 

If I start the engine, I do whatever I normally do in a  gas car. Run heat in the winter and AC in the summer. I do things differently if run EV Now to conserve battery power.  I get free electricity at work and its usually only 3 miles away, so it doesn't matter much how much I use getting there. When I leave I have a full charge and if I run errands I will probably go into battery conservation mode.



#4 OFFLINE   rbort

rbort

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Posted 12 August 2018 - 07:39 PM

Scott,

 

Are you ready for this?  Are you sitting down?  This is what you need to do:

 

#1, Work you way down in temps gradually, meaning don't use heat from now until January and you will get used to a colder car over time without any big issues.  You can't go cold turkey from heat to no heat suddenly in the winter, that will be harder.

 

#2 The sun will do wonders taking the edge off the cold inside the car.  I have said it before and I have to say it again, if you don't use heat in the fall you will get used it to and its really not that bad, unless the temp is quite cold, like below 0F.  Most days in MA the average temp is around 30F, that's a cakewalk with no heat, really.

 

#3 Yes charging before leaving is a good idea, it will warm the car up slightly.  Also if you're plugged into 240v, you can use GO times to take the edge of some.  But don't plan on heating up the car, it will go away very quickly when you unplug and drive off, as you have to crack the windows to prevent fogging.

 

#4 Don't waste the battery on heat, and don't wear out the battery on heat.  The battery has infinite cycles and kwh that can go in and out of it.  Save it for miles not for heat.  You're going to drive this car alot, the battery you want to benefit from it from miles.  What does this mean?  Sure there might be free electric at work, but because of that you shouldn't use battery heat in the AM going to work and then try to drive home at night without the heat.  If you do that then #1 you will wear the battery out quicker because you're drawing it more and recharging it more, and #2 you will get used to heat in the morning and freeze on the way home in the PM.  If you just get used to no heat, trust me it won't be as bad as you think.

 

#5 On longer trips and if/when you start the engine, remember to wait several minutes BEFORE turning the heat on.  The coolant temp needs to come up above 140F before you can get engine heat.  If you don't have a SG then your temp gage from the car in MyView should be almost 1/2 way up before you can turn heat on.  Otherwise you will use battery electric heat to aid the engine to warm up the coolant.  You can verify this by setting MyView to Climate power on the left and coolant temp on the right.  Just remember this and wait until warmed up THEN turn on the heat.  Also if the engine is cycling on and off in hybrid mode, watch the temp gage and/or the climate draw, if it starts to come up (drawing current for heat) then either run the engine some or turn the heat off.

 

#6 If on a long trip with heat, and you have say 10 miles to get home on EV power after getting off the highway.  The last 10 miles on the highway while the engine is running turn the heat up to 85 to warm up the cabin even more.  Then when you get off the highway and shut off the engine to go on EV power turn the heat back down to 70F and watch the climate screen.  Once you consume all the heat left in the engine and the climate starts to draw power from the battery for heat, turn the heat off and drive the rest of the way without it.  You can use recirculate when the heat is running to extend the run time (without the engine) and once the heat if off if the windows start to fog up then that's it you have to crack them and no more heat but at least you're perhaps 75% of the way home on those last 10 miles.  Just a thought and idea for you.

 

Remember, wear a nice winter coat, gloves, and long johns or sweat pants below your jeans, plus some warm boots (not sneakers they breath and are very cold) and if you keep your legs and feet warm you'll be fine inside and outside the car.  Sneakers are not good shoes for winter.  Many people make that mistake, cold feet = a cold body so pick some shoes that are waterproof those will be much warmer.  I found out that I get so used to no heat in the winter that I don't even care to preheat the car any more, seriously.  I'm happier with the car as is, and I don't waste electricity on heating it from the plug, even if its free.  But naturally up to you.  Just telling you what you *could* get used to.  Will wait and see what happens to you once old man Winter sets in.  Let me know keep us updated on how you make out.

 

Best regards,

 

-=>Raja.


Edited by rbort, 12 August 2018 - 07:47 PM.









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