joeyfraser
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2017 8:59 am

Dc Fast Charging Issues

Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:37 pm

Hi,
I want to share a bad experience. I live closed to Montreal in Canada and it was very cold today, about -10 C / 14 F.
I have stopped to a DC charging station and my car was charging at only 30 amps.
After 5 minutes I decided to go to another DC charging station and the charging speed was only at 40 amps.
After spending 30 minutes on the phone with the technical team, I have decided to charge with a level 2 charger because it was less expensive at the same speed.
After 10 minutes I decided to try one last time the DC fast Charging station and finally I got fast speed at 325 V/108 amps .
Does someone have an explanation for my issue. I will call Ford tomorrow to know if there is an issue in cold weather with DC fast charging.
Thanks for your help

spirilis
Posts: 154
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:53 am
Location: Maryland

Re: Dc Fast Charging Issues

Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:22 am

joeyfraser wrote:Hi,
I want to share a bad experience. I live closed to Montreal in Canada and it was very cold today, about -10 C / 14 F.
I have stopped to a DC charging station and my car was charging at only 30 amps.
After 5 minutes I decided to go to another DC charging station and the charging speed was only at 40 amps.
After spending 30 minutes on the phone with the technical team, I have decided to charge with a level 2 charger because it was less expensive at the same speed.
After 10 minutes I decided to try one last time the DC fast Charging station and finally I got fast speed at 325 V/108 amps .
Does someone have an explanation for my issue. I will call Ford tomorrow to know if there is an issue in cold weather with DC fast charging.
Thanks for your help
Possible the cold was related. I know performance is supposedly impacted by cold temps (although I haven't seen temps that low to verify yet) but it sounds like it behaved once it had more charging time under its belt.

Another great reason why all charging stations should charge by the kWh, not time...
2017 Ford Focus Electric (Magnetic)
2017 Ford C-Max Energi SE (Kona Blue)

triangles
Posts: 1096
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:40 am
Location: Toledo, Ohio

Re: Dc Fast Charging Issues

Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:32 am

I don't have any specific knowledge of how DC quick charging is implemented on the FFE but I do know that when cold soaked to sub freezing temperatures, a lithium battery will be destroyed if you try to charge it. It has to do with how the cold affects the chemical reactions in the battery. I vaguely remember something about the lithium ions do not stay ions and plate the cathode with lithium metal. This reaction is not reversible. I'm probably remembering wrong but something bad along those lines happens. I'm going to make the assumption that your battery was cold soaked and to prevent battery damage the car was not allowing the battery to be fast charged until it was heated up.

Since cold alone doesn't harm the battery I always make sure my battery is warm in winter by driving the car around allowing the battery heaters to do their thing before trying to charge it. Then once it's charged who cares if it gets cold soaked to sub freezing temps.
Last edited by triangles on Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
2014 Blue Candy FFE
http://www.fuelly.com/car/ford/focus/2014/triangles/303811 (since this forum doesn't allow BBcode in sigs)

joeyfraser
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2017 8:59 am

Re: Dc Fast Charging Issues

Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:44 am

Hi,

Quick update, I have called my local dealer about the problem and he will open a ticket with the technical support service. I should have an update today.

I had 51% battery left at start. I have remote started my car 2 times because it was not plugged for charging. When I left the parking, I had 45% battery left. I need a minimum of 50% in the winter to get back home (about 55 km). So I had to drive 15 km to the 1st DC quick charging station.

I agree that charging stations should charge by kWh instead of time. It would be more fair when they have less power to provide.

Thanks all for your answers and feedback.

Joey

triangles
Posts: 1096
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:40 am
Location: Toledo, Ohio

Re: Dc Fast Charging Issues

Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:08 pm

joeyfraser wrote:I agree that charging stations should charge by kWh instead of time. It would be more fair when they have less power to provide.
I couldn't agree more! I don't know how it is in the great white north but in ohio they have to charge by time because otherwise if you charge by the kWh you technically are an electric utility company according to state law and are subject to all the laws and regulations associated with being a utility company. This is really stupid and I hope someday they fix this.
2014 Blue Candy FFE
http://www.fuelly.com/car/ford/focus/2014/triangles/303811 (since this forum doesn't allow BBcode in sigs)

Kamroud
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2017 12:50 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Dc Fast Charging Issues

Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:56 pm

Hi all, just wanted to share an experience of charging the car in a cold temp.
This am I went to charge my car with DC fast charging after about 32 KM (20 Miles) drive. The temperature was -15 C or 5 F and my battery had only 9% charge. Normally, when I charge, the voltage is about 350 V and current is about 124 amps (this starts decreasing as the charge is going over 84%). This morning, the voltage was 350 but the current started at 35 amps and then started increasing to 124 amps after about 20 minutes. After this stage, the rest was as normal. Take care.

pltrk
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2017 6:51 pm

Re: Dc Fast Charging Issues

Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:25 pm

Lucky you.
My 2017 in Toronto was parked outside for the last 4 days, not plugged in. Temps were minus 15C overnight. I took it to fast DCFC across the street at 7 AM, and charging started super slow, at 4.8 kW (320v, 15 Amp). As time progressed, I could feel cold air, blown in the foot well by, I assume, battery heating elements, was getting warmer and warmer. Eventually, after an hour or so, it was pulling 8 kW.
So, no more fast DCFC charging apparently.
AFAIK, battery is fairly big, plus split into 2 units, and it takes awhile to heat it up to the optimal charging temps.
I'd say at least to 0C.
I.C.E. stinks

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

Re: Dc Fast Charging Issues

Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:40 pm

Triangles got the theory exactly right. You all have stumbled on the problem charging in the cold - a cold battery can't be charged quickly. For exactly the reasons Triangles said. The software protects the battery from being harmed.

This only applies for rapid high rate DC charging. Level 1 or Level 2 will be slightly slower than normal, but will charge a cold battery.

The operative word here - always start charging your battery when you arrive. Don't wait until the end of the day or the next morning to start charging your car in the cold. A cold battery will just not charge quickly.

It isn't the fault of the charging equipment or the cold weather - it is the fact that your battery is cold. Driving a car around will warm up the battery - but you probably have to drive for about 20 or 30 minutes for that to really work. That can be a problem if you battery is down to next to nothing and you need to get going. A level 2 charge will help get the battery warmer.
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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