awefulspeller
Posts: 87
Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2013 6:59 pm

Re: Woes of winter range

Sat Jan 21, 2017 9:19 pm

J_PATT wrote:I have a 2016 and the winter range is terrible. I have a 42-mile commute and with preconditioning and keeping the heater at 65*f I still end up getting to my office with ~7-8 miles of range left. A far cry from 40 miles left during the summer. My drive is mostly 55-65 mph on the highway. It is making me reconsider the car.
I've experienced the same thing with my 2013 and very much so rely on plugging in while at work. It can be very frustrating!! The summer months are great when above 70. I'm sorry and feel your pain!

WattsUp
Posts: 2113
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:58 am
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: Woes of winter range

Sat Jan 21, 2017 9:58 pm

J_PATT wrote:I have a 2016 and the winter range is terrible. I have a 42-mile commute and with preconditioning and keeping the heater at 65*f I still end up getting to my office with ~7-8 miles of range left. A far cry from 40 miles left during the summer. My drive is mostly 55-65 mph on the highway. It is making me reconsider the car.
Can I ask.. If you are still making it to work (with 8 miles left), is that such a problem? You're making it to work just fine, seemingly in decent comfort, and 8 miles probably represents at least 10% charge remaining.

Also, it sounds like you must able able to charge at work, no? So, I would assume, you car is typically fully charged again by lunch, in case you need to go on an errand.

So, is the car not meeting your commute needs? -- with range to spare, even during the winter? Yes, it performs better in warmer temperatures (same for all of us, and all EVs).

Why the reconsideration?

I have a rougly 40-mile commute as well. Currently this winter (with my commute-time temps between 40-50), my 2013 FFE consumes about 80% of the battery on the trip. I drive mostly freeway around 70 mph (using cruise) with heat set anywhere 65-70. I also use the heated seats. I run my tires at 45 PSI. In summer, the same trip consumes about 60% of the battery.

How cold is it outside where you are?

Have you checked your tire pressure?
2013 FFE, Platinum White, Delivered January 2013
2017 MS, Midnight Silver Metallic, Delivered February 2017
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EVA
Posts: 874
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:10 pm
Location: Chicago Area

Re: Woes of winter range

Sat Jan 21, 2017 10:06 pm

There is a lot going on with cold batteries. The trick is for the car to heat the battery up to a good temperature - one where the batteries will work well. If you try to use a lot of current from cold batteries, you run the risk of damaging them. Ford has made the choice to take away all your control over that heating - you can't slow it down or spread it out over time. It heats the battery the way it needs to heat it.

The majority of the range loss is heating the battery - next is cabin heating. Like others have said, preconditioning or setting a Go time will use very little battery power to get the battery and cabin warm. And it gives you a huge leg up on that big initial loss.

Once the battery is cold and you aren't plugged in, the car is going to use a lot of range to heat the battery up. There's just nothing you can do about it. The only thing you have control over is cabin heat. Between the heater running and not on is 4-8 miles of range. You can figure that out easily - at a fairly constant speed, look at your budget for energy use, turn off the ventilation system - how many miles to you gain? It's a rough number, but will tell you about how much benefit lower heat will have.
2014 Platinum White FFE (Turning in mid Dec. 2016 25,000 miles)
2013 Ingot Silver FFE
2012 Titanium ICE Focus
2014 Tesla Model S 85

EVA
Posts: 874
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:10 pm
Location: Chicago Area

Re: Woes of winter range

Sat Jan 21, 2017 10:17 pm

WattsUp wrote:
J_PATT wrote:I have a 2016 and the winter range is terrible. I have a 42-mile commute and with preconditioning and keeping the heater at 65*f I still end up getting to my office with ~7-8 miles of range left. A far cry from 40 miles left during the summer. My drive is mostly 55-65 mph on the highway. It is making me reconsider the car.
Can I ask.. If you are still making it to work (with 8 miles left), is that such a problem? You're making it to work just fine, seemingly in decent comfort, and 8 miles probably represents at least 10% charge remaining.

Also, it sounds like you must able able to charge at work, no? So, I would assume, you car is typically fully charged again by lunch, in case you need to go on an errand.

So, is the car not meeting your commute needs? -- with range to spare, even during the winter? Yes, it performs better in warmer temperatures (same for all of us, and all EVs).

Why the reconsideration?

I have a rougly 40-mile commute as well. Currently this winter (with my commute-time temps between 40-50), my 2013 FFE consumes about 80% of the battery on the trip. I drive mostly freeway around 70 mph (using cruise) with heat set anywhere 65-70. I also use the heated seats. I run my tires at 45 PSI. In summer, the same trip consumes about 60% of the battery.

How cold is it outside where you are?

Have you checked your tire pressure?
Watts Up has an excellent list. Tire pressure has a much larger range impact than you might imagine. Two PSI can make a difference. When it got cold your tires lost pressure.

Are you setting a Go time from work? Even if you leave later than your Go time, you'll still have a warmer car and battery. It takes a while for the inside battery to get cold. The one under the car gets colder quicker.

To add on - if you are really concerned about the 7-8 miles buffer and not making it to work. Drive 55. There is a really big energy use difference between 55, 60, and 65. What will happen to you, in a very odd way, you'll arrive at work about the same time - maybe 1 minute later at most. And you'll be far more relaxed because you aren't fighting traffic. Middle lane, 55 - and save a ton of energy.

And this might sound crazy, drafting trucks is a great way to save a lot of energy. Drafting isn't on the tail of the semi - but a safe following distance. Even 4 or 5 car lengths at 60 MPH will make a difference.

Good luck - the car is totally new and different. It takes a lot of adjustment to things we never thought about before. Small changes in habits can make an electric car go farther. And you still get to where you are going in about the same amount of time.
2014 Platinum White FFE (Turning in mid Dec. 2016 25,000 miles)
2013 Ingot Silver FFE
2012 Titanium ICE Focus
2014 Tesla Model S 85

jmueller065
Posts: 2398
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Location: Southeastern MI
Contact: Website

Re: Woes of winter range

Sun Jan 22, 2017 4:38 am

EVA wrote:To add on - if you are really concerned about the 7-8 miles buffer and not making it to work. Drive 55. There is a really big energy use difference between 55, 60, and 65. What will happen to you, in a very odd way, you'll arrive at work about the same time - maybe 1 minute later at most. And you'll be far more relaxed because you aren't fighting traffic. Middle lane, 55 - and save a ton of energy.
In addition: Precondition the car to the max temp (85F) and don't use heat at all (either crack a window to prevent fogging, or run the HVAC with the temp on LO and the A/C off).

I've found even with the HVAC on 65F it still consumes a lot of electricity--especially when its <0F out.
2018 Cajun Red Chevy Bolt
2016 Magnetic C-Max Energi (lease returned)
2014 Sunset Escape
2014 Thor Axis (V-10)
2013 Focus Electric (lease returned Jan 2016 for the C-Max above)
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kalel14
Posts: 132
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2016 4:05 am

Re: Woes of winter range

Sun Jan 22, 2017 10:11 am

EVA wrote:
WattsUp wrote:
J_PATT wrote:

And this might sound crazy, drafting trucks is a great way to save a lot of energy. Drafting isn't on the tail of the semi - but a safe following distance. Even 4 or 5 car lengths at 60 MPH will make a difference.
Please don't follow this advice.
http://www.autoblog.com/2007/10/28/myth ... rove-mile/

EVA
Posts: 874
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Location: Chicago Area

Re: Woes of winter range

Sun Jan 22, 2017 11:53 pm

kalel14 wrote:
EVA wrote:

And this might sound crazy, drafting trucks is a great way to save a lot of energy. Drafting isn't on the tail of the semi - but a safe following distance. Even 4 or 5 car lengths at 60 MPH will make a difference.
Please don't follow this advice.
http://www.autoblog.com/2007/10/28/myth ... rove-mile/
Yeah that was done with an ICE by the Mythbusters - they basically say it isn't worth the risk.

Electric cars are completely different. There is an increase in range with drafting. I've done it so many times. Range will also be affected by headwinds. Why do you think Tesla made the door handles retract? And nobody would ever do that on an ICE. Because aerodynamics with BEV's has a much greater impact on range than with an ICE.

A semi disturbing the wind in front of you does have an impact on range.
2014 Platinum White FFE (Turning in mid Dec. 2016 25,000 miles)
2013 Ingot Silver FFE
2012 Titanium ICE Focus
2014 Tesla Model S 85

kalel14
Posts: 132
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2016 4:05 am

Re: Woes of winter range

Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:50 am

EVA wrote:
kalel14 wrote:
EVA wrote:

Electric cars are completely different. ... Because aerodynamics with BEV's has a much greater impact on range than with an ICE.
Help me with how the physics of aerodynamic drag changes based on a vehicle's method of propulsion.

The area of effective drafting extends about 100 feet behind the truck. Traveling at a safe distance behind the truck makes any drafting effect inconsequential. Traveling close enough to have an effect could be suicidal.

My company employs thousands of over the road drivers across the nation. The last thing they need is some compact car tailgating them in their blind spot trying to get four extra miles of range.

Again, I beg, please do not follow this advice.

scottt
Site Moderator
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Re: Woes of winter range

Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:42 am

WattsUp wrote:
J_PATT wrote:I have a 2016 and the winter range is terrible. I have a 42-mile commute and with preconditioning and keeping the heater at 65*f I still end up getting to my office with ~7-8 miles of range left. A far cry from 40 miles left during the summer. My drive is mostly 55-65 mph on the highway. It is making me reconsider the car.
Can I ask.. If you are still making it to work (with 8 miles left), is that such a problem? You're making it to work just fine, seemingly in decent comfort, and 8 miles probably represents at least 10% charge remaining.

Also, it sounds like you must able able to charge at work, no? So, I would assume, you car is typically fully charged again by lunch, in case you need to go on an errand.

So, is the car not meeting your commute needs? -- with range to spare, even during the winter? Yes, it performs better in warmer temperatures (same for all of us, and all EVs).

Why the reconsideration?

I have a rougly 40-mile commute as well. Currently this winter (with my commute-time temps between 40-50), my 2013 FFE consumes about 80% of the battery on the trip. I drive mostly freeway around 70 mph (using cruise) with heat set anywhere 65-70. I also use the heated seats. I run my tires at 45 PSI. In summer, the same trip consumes about 60% of the battery.

How cold is it outside where you are?

Have you checked your tire pressure?
+1 for me on this one. If you're getting where you need to go, what's the issue? I normally don't have to drive all the way to work, but when I do (and it's cold out) I normally get home with less than 10 miles left on the GoM. But I do get home.

Do I wish I had 200 miles of range, sure. However my car was $15,389.99 brand new after all incentives and the tax credit, so I can't (and don't) complain. Love my FFE!
2015 Magnetic FFE (aka Magneto) - Retired
2017 Kona Blue FFE (aka King Kona) - Current

EVA
Posts: 874
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:10 pm
Location: Chicago Area

Re: Woes of winter range

Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:17 am

Kalel it is efficiency of the motor. In an ICE small changes have little or no effect on gas mileage because so much energy is lost as heat. An electric car is so much more efficient using energy, small changes make a big difference. That's why it is so critical and a person can actually see a difference.

It took me a while to understand this. Why could I have all those silly roof racks and other things hanging off an ICE, remove them, and see absolutely no difference in gas mileage? Why don't you see big improvements in gas mileage when you drive like we drive a BEV - coast to stops, anticipate speed changes, drive smoothly, wind, rain, elevation changes? Unless the change is big, you never see those effects on an ICE. With a BEV, totally different story. Really small changes make a big difference.

The emphasis is on safe following distance. Draft trucks from a safe following distance, never tailgate them. Totally agree with that. Totally disagree with you, there is a difference in range.

I'll never change your mind. The way I figured this out - multiple long trips in cold weather on very open flat highways with stable weather. Watching energy usage over a long distance window. And multiple replicates of the experiment. Watching what happens when I was driving all alone, no car or truck anywhere near my car; and then comparing that to when I approached trucks. There is a difference, energy use does go down. In one situation I was in, it made the difference between getting to where I needed to go and not making it. There is also a very large side draft difference, truck in right lane, car in left - never in the blind spot.

And obviously, you won't change my mind.

So I'll agree to totally disagree with you.
2014 Platinum White FFE (Turning in mid Dec. 2016 25,000 miles)
2013 Ingot Silver FFE
2012 Titanium ICE Focus
2014 Tesla Model S 85

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