Don A
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:29 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Is the heater/defroster a range killer?

Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:08 pm

I am considering buying a small 150W heater that plugs into the 12V power point so I don't have to use the heater. In this cold snap I am having trouble doing my 90km commute on a single charge. Yesterday I had to stop at a Ford dealer en route to charge up for half an hour.
Don
2012 FFE Oxford White, Cloth (Nov 1, 2012)
Eaton 240VAC EV Charging Station Level 2 30A 7.2kW

mountaineer
Posts: 51
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2012 4:17 pm
Location: western Colorado
Contact: Website

Re: Is the heater/defroster a range killer?

Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:16 am

A 150W heater will just fit inside the 180W fuse limit of both 12V power points combined. However, that electricity (like heated-seat electricity) will come out of the 12V battery, which I think will be recharged from the traction battery if the 12V battery--which runs all the electronics, controls, and other vital functions--gets depleted enough to risk shutting off the car. I haven't been able to find out the DC-DC converter algorithm, so I don't understand exactly what triggers that recharge and when it happens on the road rather than while recharging, but in any event, your plug-in heater's addition to your range will be trivial: you have ~19 kWh of useful charge in the 23-kWh high-voltage traction battery, so drawing 150 W to run cabin heating equivalent to your proposed plug-in heater for, say, an hour would use only 0.15/19 = 0.8% of your range—not worth buying the extra heater for. (Even if you can find one that small, too, it creates an unnecessary cord tangle, potential fire risk if paper gets near it, etc.)

My advice would be to preheat the car using MyFordMobile app's Charge Settings (set your GO Time and temperature target) while plugged into 240V charger, then use the heated seat(s). This works fine for me high in the Colorado Rockies where it was –24C the other morning. Indeed, now that my 2013 FFE, after ~500 miles, has learned my Technique, Temperature, and Terrain conditions, it often displays 75 miles' predicted range in the morning and has even gone as high as 79 miles despite our mountain midwinter...because it knows I'll leave the cabin temperature on LO (≤59F) and hence leave the cabin heater off. If I switch the cabin heater on, even at 60F, the predicted range immediately drops 10–20 miles; if I switch it back off, the predicted range returns immediately to its original value.

Don A
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:29 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Is the heater/defroster a range killer?

Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:10 am

This morning it was -19C in Oakville, Ontario. I was working the night shift at the Oakville Assembly Complex (Ford Edge, Ford Flex, Lincoln MKX, Lincoln MKT). There are no facilities installed here yet for EV charging. :oops:

So the car was not preconditioned for my trip home. I left the climate control off until I had to defog the windshield. I also had the cabin temperture set to LO, when I turned the CC on by hitting the fan slower button and then the defrost button (not max defrost), MyView showed the heater pulling power, right up to 5kW!! LO setting does not lock out the heater!!

Myfordmobile says I used 8kWh to get to work, with economy of 201 Wh/km. That was with the car fully charged, preconditioned and some use of the heater.

The day before, my trip home used 8kWh, no preconditioning, but it wasn't quite as cold. I stopped at a Ford dealership en route to grab some juice.

My 41km drive home was not comfortable, I had the seat heater on 5, so my body was warm, but my feet and hands (gloves on) got cold. I was in heavy stop and go traffic for the trip into Toronto. I was going to try to make it home with out stopping again.

The cold weather must really sap the range because I didn't make it!! :cry: :x Ran out of juice 2km from home. Walked the rest of the way, called CAA and jumped in the Ford Escape Hybrid to meet the tow truck at the car.

Cold again tonight, drove the FEH to work today. :(

The solution for me will be to find a way to charge at work.
Last edited by Don A on Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Don
2012 FFE Oxford White, Cloth (Nov 1, 2012)
Eaton 240VAC EV Charging Station Level 2 30A 7.2kW

Dreaming-in-Focus
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:04 am
Location: West Chicago

Re: Is the heater/defroster a range killer?

Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:34 pm

Hi Don, sorry for your bad experience - sounds like you may be one of the first to run the car down to zero.. A cold night is not the best time to encounter that! My most anxious trip was returning from O'Hare airport one cold evening a few weeks ago. I was one mile from the airport to drop off some friends and the car indicated "return home now".. By the time I dropped everyone off, the car indicated negative 2 miles of range to target. Not good. In desperation, I hit the navigation button and chose "Eco route". This indicated that I could make it home with a few miles to spare even though it brought me along the most hair-brained trip I have ever seen. Trusting the eco-route ended up being very smart, lots of braking re-gen and lower speed driving. Negative 2 miles turned into a positive 7 by the time we arrived home! Your driving efficiency seems pretty good already, but on the off chance, try your eco-route to squeeze out a few extra km!

Don A
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:29 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Is the heater/defroster a range killer?

Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:28 am

I tried the 150W heater. It was ineffective at defogging the windshield, it just doesn't move enough air.
Don
2012 FFE Oxford White, Cloth (Nov 1, 2012)
Eaton 240VAC EV Charging Station Level 2 30A 7.2kW

T-dot
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 1:34 am

Re: Is the heater/defroster a range killer?

Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:19 am

[quote="mountaineer"] ... "However, that electricity (like heated-seat electricity) will come out of the 12V battery, which I think will be recharged from the traction battery if the 12V battery--which runs all the electronics, controls, and other vital functions--gets depleted enough to risk shutting off the car. I haven't been able to find out the DC-DC converter algorithm, so I don't understand exactly what triggers that recharge and when it happens on the road"

The conventional 12V lead acid battery, which operates all the low voltage accessories (headlights, cooling fan, etc.) and actually starts up the vehicle at key-on (opens and closes the high voltage relay contactors) is charge-maintained and regulated to around 13.5V (like in a conventional car) with power from the high voltage battery through the DC-DC converter. As the accessory loads increase, the current from the high voltage battery to the low voltage battery increases to maintain the voltage to the ideal level.

Of course, the process of conversion is not 100% efficient, so as an example consuming 150 watts at the 12V level may require perhaps 200 watts from the high voltage battery (assuming 75% efficiency), with 50 watts lost as heat in the DC-DC converter (those numbers are just examples - I have no idea the actual efficiency of the DC-DC converter).

Anyway the total power consumed by the accessories at the 12V level when the vehicle is at rest is probably on the order of 500 watts on the low side with just the basics, to maybe as much as 2500 watts with everything on (headlights, AC/heater, radio, seat warmer/coolers, etc.). Turning off everything possible can add miles of range.

I am a little disappointed that there is no way to shut off that 5000 watt high voltage heater - I thought selecting LO on the temperature control would do that.

T-dot
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 1:34 am

Re: Is the heater/defroster a range killer?

Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:40 am

Don A wrote: ... "The solution for me will be to find a way to charge at work."
Most Ford locations are supposed to be getting EV charging stations installed. Would suggest you talk with the Facility / Building Manager about that, and see if they can run an extension cord to your car to use the 120V charger in the interim.

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