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New owner, have some questions.

Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 11:50 am
by JimothyGBuckets
Hi everyone,

I just purchased my first electric car, a 2016 FFE with 47k km. I've had it for about a month and it's been amazing so far, I just had a couple questions as a new EV owner.

First of all, how exactly does regen work? I understand that it takes kinetic energy from the spinning wheels and converts it back into electricity, but when exactly does it kick in? As soon as you take the foot off the accelerator, or only when you press the brake down? Also, from what I understand, the low gear increases regen, but does this mean you effectively get more range when driving in low due to having more regen?

Speaking of range, I also wanted to know exactly how accurate the battery indicator is? Sometimes I leave the home with 80km on the range indicator, drive 10km and end up at my destination with 65 indicated. Is this due to inefficient driving, or is the battery indicator not that accurate? If that is the case, what exactly is the best way to gauge the actual distance I can drive on a charge?

Finally, the last thing I wanted to ask was regarding driving habits to maximise range. Since the 2016 FFE only has about 120km max range, I want to make sure that I'm getting the most out of each charge and I'm not wasting battery. There are times when I drive and end up with a status of -5 and other times when I end up with +3, for example. Do you guys have any tips for a new EV owner regarding this?

Thank you!

Re: New owner, have some questions.

Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 6:18 pm
by Anti_Climax
Regen kicks in as soon as the demanded motor power hits 0. I believe light presses on the brake will increase the aggressiveness of the regen to help slow the vehicle, but I'm not certain of that.

Putting it in low also increases the aggressiveness of regen but won't really change the amount of energy that is recaptured to the battery.

The range gauge takes into account recent driving habits and current power draw to give you the estimated range. There is a mode where the range gauge has a little blue cup outlining it that shifts up and down. If you're not actively navigating with the onboard maps, I believe that blue cup tells you the watt hours per mile it's using to calculate the range it's showing.

If you were recently driving a long time on surface streets it's going to be estimating from that far lower average draw but will change over time as it sees that you're no longer driving at lower speeds. Folks have taken to calling it the guess-o-meter (GOM). The difference just means that the meter is not estimating range based on the particular rate of discharge that you actually had for your trip.

If you turn on the trip meter, you can track how many kwh have been used while driving, which you can fairly directly equate to range if you know your typical energy use for a given trip. If you're able to top all the way up and run down to 0 (either driving or running the heater while parked) you can use that trip meter to get a measurement of your total battery capacity.

When I got my 2012, my charge percentage would drop like 7% in the first mile, so tracking kwh was far more accurate.

I would not pay much attention to the surplus or deficit itself. Avoid hard acceleration, travel on slower roads, coast to stops with regen as best you can. Climate stuff is a constant load in the background and just takes a chunk off what you can use for driving. Power draw goes up exponentially with your driving speed.