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#3237743 - 01/04/14 09:57 PM Electric Vehicles and US' current cold snap
Shannow Offline


Registered: 12/12/02
Posts: 29183
Loc: a prisoner island
Seeing EVs touted as the future, the abandonment of discussions regarding cold start idle etc...and that cranking batteries may be down by over 50% on these extreme mornings.

Got me wondering about EVs in the US, particularly the cold.

First up, is it just lead acid that will lose 50% in the extreme cold ?

Secondly, heating how to ?

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#3237759 - 01/04/14 10:11 PM Re: Electric Vehicles and US' current cold snap [Re: Shannow]
Ramblejam Offline


Registered: 11/05/13
Posts: 1201
Loc: Kentucky
"In general, Lithium-ion cells cannot be charged below 0 degrees Celsius, which would theoretically prevent charging in cold environments. To overcome this cold weather charging obstacle, the Roadster is designed with a heater to warm the cells (when plugged in) to an appropriate charging temperature. If there were no battery pack heater, drivers living in cold environments would have difficulty charging and experience stunted driving performance.

Likewise, the cells are designed to operate in high-temperature environments. High-performance driving is possible in even the hottest environments of the world. If the temperature rises above a set threshold, the air conditioning unit sends chilled coolant through the pack. Similar to the radiator fan of ICE-powered cars, the chilled coolant continues to circulate after the motor has been turned off to keep the temperature at an appropriate level. Cooling the pack enables a driver to quickly charge immediately after hard driving in hot climates. Without such a cooling system, recharging in hot weather would be delayed after each drive."


http://www.teslamotors.com/roadster/technology/battery

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#3237791 - 01/04/14 10:37 PM Re: Electric Vehicles and US' current cold snap [Re: Shannow]
mattwithcats Offline


Registered: 06/13/13
Posts: 1076
Loc: Virginia
Leave car plugged in, start car and turn on the heat / defrost.

Once car is warm inside, (60 - 70) unplug and depart.

Some have a "Departure Time" feature that will pre-warm the car up and have it ready at a preset time...

Don't run the heat unless necessary, use the seat heaters. It's a lot less current draw...
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#3237805 - 01/04/14 10:49 PM Re: Electric Vehicles and US' current cold snap [Re: Shannow]
Pablo Offline


Registered: 10/28/02
Posts: 46836
Loc: Duvall WA - Pacific NW USA
I'm a bit paranoid. I brought my LiCoMn batteries inside. Well they are bike batteries so that was easy.

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#3237864 - 01/05/14 12:25 AM Re: Electric Vehicles and US' current cold snap [Re: Shannow]
dparm Offline


Registered: 04/19/10
Posts: 12612
Loc: Chicago, IL
Most of them have battery warmers, but range will still suffer.
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#3237871 - 01/05/14 12:31 AM Re: Electric Vehicles and US' current cold snap [Re: Shannow]
Garak Offline


Registered: 12/05/09
Posts: 13143
Loc: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Originally Posted By: Shannow
Secondly, heating how to ?

Automakers love to brag and show videos of how they test their cars in Death Valley and in the Arctic. I would like to see the same with EVs, particularly in the Arctic. Let's see how warm an interior gets when it's -40 outside. wink
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#3237888 - 01/05/14 12:59 AM Re: Electric Vehicles and US' current cold snap [Re: dparm]
Miller88 Offline


Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 8800
Loc: Onondaga County
Originally Posted By: dparm
Most of them have battery warmers, but range will still suffer.


The fit ev suffers really bad. Goes from like 60 mile to 15 mile range
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#3237913 - 01/05/14 04:23 AM Re: Electric Vehicles and US' current cold snap [Re: Shannow]
oilmaven Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 712
Loc: Northern Michigan
GM has had issues with the electric heating system in the Volt. Owners have complained of woefully inadequate heating during EV driving mode in cold temps. The only solution is stronger electric heaters with the higher draw/lower range penalty they exact (not sure if the newer models have addressed the heating issue). It's predicted to get to -25F here by tomorrow night...seat heaters don't cut it when it's that cold (though they help a lot during milder weather).
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#3237915 - 01/05/14 05:11 AM Re: Electric Vehicles and US' current cold snap [Re: Shannow]
Rick in PA Offline


Registered: 01/04/03
Posts: 2471
Loc: Southeastern, PA
There's always a good old fashioned gasoline fired heater:



Oh yeah, there's the issue of getting gasoline to it, minor problem. grin


Edited by Rick in PA (01/05/14 05:12 AM)
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#3237922 - 01/05/14 05:55 AM Re: Electric Vehicles and US' current cold snap [Re: mattwithcats]
dlundblad Online   happy


Registered: 09/30/13
Posts: 4545
Loc: Indiana
Originally Posted By: mattwithcats
Don't run the heat unless necessary, use the seat heaters. It's a lot less current draw...



So for good mileage you have to go without heat.. Hybrids are great! LOL
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#3237942 - 01/05/14 06:34 AM Re: Electric Vehicles and US' current cold snap [Re: Shannow]
Nebroch Offline


Registered: 05/16/13
Posts: 245
Loc: Finland
...or you can improve insulation, AC behaviour and waste heat management to get the heat up. Traditional cars have plenty of waste heat to use for heating purposes, so it hasn't gained much attention until now.

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#3237944 - 01/05/14 06:41 AM Re: Electric Vehicles and US' current cold snap [Re: Shannow]
Shannow Offline


Registered: 12/12/02
Posts: 29183
Loc: a prisoner island
Starting at -30, insulation doesn't gain much while the interior thermal mass gets up to temperature...and all the heat that is required to do so comes from the grid...which has already given up it's inefficiencies.

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#3237945 - 01/05/14 06:45 AM Re: Electric Vehicles and US' current cold snap [Re: Nebroch]
dlundblad Online   happy


Registered: 09/30/13
Posts: 4545
Loc: Indiana
Originally Posted By: Nebroch
...or you can improve insulation, AC behaviour and waste heat management to get the heat up. Traditional cars have plenty of waste heat to use for heating purposes, so it hasn't gained much attention until now.


This is correct, but it also shows yet again that hybrids are still a work in progress. Great concept. I'm sure they do excellent in moderate temps where the AC and heat don't have to be ran.. but for the person who lives in the colder or hotter temps they might as well be driving a diesel Jetta for fuel economy.
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#3237965 - 01/05/14 07:28 AM Re: Electric Vehicles and US' current cold snap [Re: Shannow]
NHGUY Offline


Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3952
Loc: USA
I'm surprised some didnt install wood stoves in the back seat,so mileage wouldnt suffer.Oh yea,theres the issue of the emissions from burning the wood...EPA wouldnt approve...

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#3237985 - 01/05/14 07:59 AM Re: Electric Vehicles and US' current cold snap [Re: NHGUY]
Cujet Offline


Registered: 02/15/03
Posts: 4834
Loc: Jupiter, Florida
Originally Posted By: NHGUY
I'm surprised some didnt install wood stoves in the back seat,so mileage wouldnt suffer.Oh yea,theres the issue of the emissions from burning the wood...EPA wouldnt approve...


Hahahahaa! That sounds exactly like something I'd say.....
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