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Battery capacity @ 30K miles horrible

Battery Life

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#1 OFFLINE   Sean

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 12:14 PM

I purchased 2014 Energi in May of 2014, I noticed a gradual reduction in MPG.  Fortunately i always recorded my KWh and it has decreased from 5.85 KWh (average) to 4.25 KWh (average).  This is substantial,  I do not consider this normal wear and tear at 30,000 miles.  Ford's warranty is vague, Any Suggestions?


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#2 OFFLINE   larryh

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 12:44 PM

The amount of energy stored in the HVB varies significantly with temperature.  In the winter, you can expect to get less energy out of the battery.  When mine was new, the greatest amount of energy recorded by MFM for a trip was about 6.0 kWh.  My car has just over 30,000 miles.  Today, I observed 4.9 kWh when the HVB temperature when I started out was 48 F.  About 0.3 kWh can be accounted for by battery degradation.  The rest is simply because the HVB was much colder in the Winter vs. the Summer.

 

In order to determine the amount of battery degradation, you need to make sure the temperature of the battery is the same for your trips.  Since you live in a warmer climate, you can expect more degradation than I have experienced.   Degradation is a function of many other factors, including how many times you have charged the car, how deeply you discharge the battery, and the length of time it is kept at full charge.


Edited by larryh, 24 December 2015 - 12:50 PM.

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#3 OFFLINE   pevfan

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Posted 25 December 2015 - 06:33 PM

I believe my battery is also losing capacity at a somewhat alarming rate.    I don't think it is cold weather related, or do to use of the heater. As I can extrapolate out those variables.   

ON a 70 degree day when new the Car would use 5.4 KW before ICE turned on.

When new the car took about 2 hrs and 15 min to charge the battery on 240 volt.

Now the car has 25K miles

On a 70 degree day the car uses 4.5 KW before the Ice turns on

The car charges from empty to full in 1 hour and 45 min

The battery isn't accepting as many electrons.

Usable battery loss 4.5/5.3 = a 15% decrease in usable battery in 25K miles.

Not a very reassuring trend!

Starting to think not having liquid cooling was a mistake.

 

Maybe the software should be more conservative.    I believe the ICE turns on if the battery temp gets to 113 to protect the battery.   Maybe they should rethink that threshold and set it lower.   I would rather burn a little gas and protect to the battery.

 

One thing that also concerns me about my battery is when I got the car it had sat on the dealers lot for almost a full year.   If the battery was at full charge, sitting in the sun all summer long this could be damaging to the battery.    Lithium batteries don't like heat, and they more susceptible to heat damage while at a high state of charge.

 



#4 OFFLINE   jeff_h

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Posted 26 December 2015 - 04:59 AM

Both of mine experienced the same thing, would take around 5.1-5.7kWh charge (according to MFM drive & charge log) but when I sold mine at 65k miles and hers now with 45k miles, they both now only take between 4.4.4-8kWh.   One factor is that it's normal for these type batteries to lose range and noted in the owners manual, and I think the other factor is that the air-cooled HVB system (which the Fusion has) is probably simpler/cheaper than a liquid-cooled HVB system but appears to suffer more range loss.  I have never owned a Nissan Leaf but from reading their forum and various news articles theirs is also an air-cooled HVB and owners also suffered higher-than-expected losses in range.  So it sounds like that's how these type of batteries progress, as noted in the owners manual, but is not limited to Ford.


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#5 OFFLINE   larryh

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Posted 26 December 2015 - 07:56 AM

This is battery degradation for a Tesla Model S with an 85 kWh battery from reports submitted to pluginamerica.org.  It shows range vs. odometer reading.  After 30,000 miles, degradation appears to be about 4%.   After 60,000 miles, it is about 5%.  Most of the degradation occurs in the first 30,000 miles.  After that it levels off.

 

The Telsa has a much more expensive battery than the Energi and it is Tesla's only source of power.  Thus it is critical that the engineers do everything possible to minimize battery degradation.  The Tesla's battery alone costs more than an Energi.  I don't think Ford would be able to sell many Energi's if they took all the precautions Tesla did to protect the battery, i.e. liquid cooling.  The cost of the Energi would probably be too prohibitive and no one would buy it.  The Energi does have an ICE so it is still much better than a hybrid even with 20% degradation. 

 

Also, the Tesla has a much larger battery than the Energi.  Thus the Energi's battery is discharged much more deeply than the Tesla's, on average, and has many more and deeper charge cycles.  This only exacerbates degradation of the battery.   It probably doesn't make much economic sense to use liquid cooling in such a small battery--it is not going to reduce degradation enough to make it worthwhile. 

 

Telsa%20Battery%20Degradation_zpsulej6gr


Edited by larryh, 26 December 2015 - 08:01 AM.

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#6 OFFLINE   larryh

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Posted 26 December 2015 - 08:12 AM

pluginamerica.org also has data for the Nissan Leaf.  After 30,000 miles, the average degradation seems to be around 6%.  After 60,000 miles it is about 8%.  So again, most of the degradation occurs in the first 30,000 miles.  The Leaf is air cooled.   Comparing the data for the Leaf vs. the Tesla, liquid cooling doesn't accomplish all that much (for most people).  I suspect that the small size of the Energi's battery is a factor in the greater degradation experienced with the Energi's HVB. 
 

My Energi HVB has experienced 5% degradation after 30,000 miles.  It is in line with both the Tesla Model S and the Nissan Leaf. 

 

They should have a survey for the Energi so we could determine what I am doing differently to experience less degradation than others. When looking at the Leaf Survey data, all the cars (without exception) with the greatest degradation were from CA, AZ, and TX where it is hot.  I am from MN.

 

With the Model S, the worst degradation was around 10%.  With the Leaf, it was around 30%.  So liquid cooling does probably help reduce extreme degradation in warm climates. 


Edited by larryh, 26 December 2015 - 08:28 AM.

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#7 OFFLINE   Hybridbear

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Posted 26 December 2015 - 10:34 AM

The Leaf is air cooled.

I was under the impression that there are three levels of HVB cooling currently on the market:

  • liquid cooling/heating (Volt, Model S, Focus Electric)
  • forced air cooling/heating (Fusion Energi, Kia Soul EV)
  • no cooling other than the impact of ambient air (Leaf)

I thought I read that the Leaf doesn't even have fans to blow air across the HVB like the Energi does. But perhaps I read incorrect info.


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#8 OFFLINE   Sean

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Posted 26 December 2015 - 11:37 AM

The loss of capacity due to thermal conditions, cooling system, number of charging cycles, and research investment does not justify the enormous loss of capacity. Prior to purchasing the vehicle my research resulted in an expected normal capacity loss of 5%, not 25% to 30%. Seems that most are posting that this loss is acceptable and it is not. Last month my 12v battery was replaced and I requested that the dealer check the battery and they stated no issues. This loss in capacity really makes me think that I made a major mistake in the purchasing of this vehicle. Ford needs to quantify normal loss and warranty when appropriate.
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#9 OFFLINE   larryh

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Posted 26 December 2015 - 12:07 PM

See the following article on Lithium based batteries degradation:  http://batteryuniver...based_batteries.

 

In that article, they define the lifetime of a battery as the time until capacity drops below 70%. 

 

Since the Energi HVB has such a limited capacity, it is going to experience faster degradation than the larger batteries of other EVs.   If order to commute to work, most will likely fully discharge the HVB.   (Note that my commute is 16 miles, so I discharge the battery to about 35%.)  The number of charge/discharge cycles is going to be greatly reduced with 100% discharge:

 

Depth of discharge    Discharge cycles

100%                         300 - 500

50%                          1,200 - 1,500

 

So essentially, if you only discharge the battery 50% each time, you will get four times as many cycles.  That means over the lifetime of the battery, you will get 4*50% = twice the energy out of the battery, i.e. it will last twice as long.  But if you only discharge the HVB 50%, your range will be reduced to 10 miles.  You are going to have recharge the HVB every 10 miles which is impractical. 

 

The following shows the degradation of the HVB stored for one year at various SOCs and temperatures:

 

Temp     40% SOC       100% SOC

32 F      2%                  6%

78 F      4%                  20%

104 F    15%                35%

Don't leave the HVB fully charged, especially when the battery is warm.  Ford does nothing to protect the HVB against this type of degradation.  It is up to you to do this.  Active cooling isn't going to work since the cooling system will be off when the car is not being used. 

 

The lifetime is also influenced by how fully the HVB is charged. 

 

SOC         Discharge Cycles

100%        600 - 1,000

90%          1,200 - 2,000

80%          2,400 - 4,000

 

If the HVB were charged to only 80% each time, the lifetime could be increased fourfold.  With the Energi, there is no mechanism to charge the HVB to a specific SOC as with other EVs.  Most EVs such as the Tesla, Leaf, and Volt either prevent you from charging beyond 80% or recommend that you do not charge more than 80%. 

 

Because the Energi HVB is so small, HVB degradation is going to occur much faster than in EVs with larger batteries.  There is no way getting around the physics of the problem.  If you want prolonged battery life, then Ford would have to be more conservative with how they manage the HVB and you are only going to get about 4.2 kWh out of the HVB, or a range of 15 rather than 20 miles.  I don't think the Energi would sound as attractive with at 15 miles range vs 20 miles.  So battery degradation suffers.

 

So basically, the only way to slow down the HVB degradation in the Energi is to put in a larger HVB and maintain the same range, or limit the amount of range you get from the current HVB.  The HVB in the Energi is simply too small.  If one is concerned about HVB degradation, they will have to buy a car with a much larger battery for which it is possible to manage more conservatively. 


Edited by larryh, 26 December 2015 - 12:11 PM.

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#10 OFFLINE   TX NRG

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Posted 26 December 2015 - 03:35 PM

I purchased 2014 Energi in May of 2014, I noticed a gradual reduction in MPG.  Fortunately i always recorded my KWh and it has decreased from 5.85 KWh (average) to 4.25 KWh (average).  This is substantial,  I do not consider this normal wear and tear at 30,000 miles.  Ford's warranty is vague, Any Suggestions?


I am seeing similar battery capacity degradation of about 26% on my 2013 now with 32,000 miles. When new, it would use 5.8 kWh on a trip before depletion and the ICE turning on. For the last 6-9 months, that is averaging only 4.3 kWh. 1.5/5.8=25.9% I was expecting only about 5%-10% degradation by this time.

I took it in recently for the recall work and reported the HVB capacity issue and asked them to test the HVB but they ran out of time in the day. I'll have to bring it in again to get it tested and see what they find and what my options are.
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#11 OFFLINE   Sean

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Posted 26 December 2015 - 05:31 PM

Keep us posted, good luck.

#12 OFFLINE   Fat Fusion

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Posted 28 December 2015 - 07:45 AM

FWIW, here's a data point.  I plug in at least twice a day 5 days a week, mostly 6.  I don't wait to charge a hot battery.  I don't do ANYTHING to promote battery life.  I accelerate very quickly when on battery power.  I now have 42k on the car and have not detected any battery degradation on my car.  Of course it's winter right now in Nor Cal so I don't expect much with the heater on and driving like I do.  Also, I don't know if it's related, but I bought the car off the lot the day after it got there.  No "Lot Rot."


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#13 OFFLINE   pevfan

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Posted 28 December 2015 - 05:07 PM

I agree with LarryH, that the small battery size leads to many deep discharges- and subsequent full recharges.    That being said losing 15% to 25% of capacity in the first 30K miles is very concerning.    Prior to purchasing my Energi I saw an article from someone in leadership for electrification from Ford who stated they were confident in their battery technology because they had seen very minimal degradation in testing.    My thought at the time was they set the max SOC with enough buffer, and the max temp threshold for ICE turning on at set points that were very protective.   My thought now is they did not set them protective enough.

 

Frankly from day one I had concerns about draining the battery 2x's most days, with 2 full recharges most days.   I was aware of the how functional SOC and Heat interact on battery health.   From day one I had wished there was a mechanism to only charge to a specific % of full usable.    

 

If available I definitely would have set the default at

  • 90% in the winter (cold weather protective, battery likely never gets to 100 degrees in winter),
  • 85% for the hottest summer months.

Ford tried to hard to simplify things for the masses with their messaging of  just plug it in whenever you can and treat it like a normal car.    

 

I think all of us, as prospective Energi owners could have handled this simply message: 

 

Plug it in whenever you can to get the best MPG, and drive it like a normal car.  Your battery will last the life of your car, but you can further optimize battery health long term with these simple tips.

  • Not charging to 100% full usable capacity all the time, but this is key- then offer a feature that allows owners to set an adjustable charge limit.
  • Tell customers if their drive cycles permit to only charging to 85 to 90 percent further optimizes the capacity of battery long term.
  • Explain, Batteries don't like extreme heat, and the more full a battery is, the more damaging heat can be.
  • That being said, don't leave your car parked in high heat for days,or weeks at a full charge.

I dare say,  virtually all of us could have handled this, and still would have bought our cars.   I would even speculate that people on the fence who didn't purchase may have ultimately purchased if they were empowered with this information and knew they could personally impact the health of the battery as opposed to a pure leap of faith.  

To prove my point this very message board is  filled with this questions like  "What can I do to help with the longevity my battery?"   Ford's answer, just plug it in and enjoy the ride.    The problem is we could have done something, but ford wouldn't help us with a feature to set a charge limit.

 


Other manufacturers have this feature, explain it's utility in aiding battery longevity, and it hasn't hurt their sales relative to Fords strategy.  

 

Ford basically tied the hands of the very people who would have happily help them protect the batteries in their Energi cars, because Ford thought the general population would be overwhelmed with this info.     The flaw in Fords thinking is it isn't the general population who bought Energi's the past 3 years.  It is we the EV early adopter class mentioned above.

 

Now they have created a situation where people will be complaining about batteries losing greater than 30% functional capacity at only 60 K miles.   This will reflect poorly on ford technology because Chevy Volt with bigger battery, bigger buffer, and liquid cooled see virtually zero loss at 60 K .   It isn't Ford technology that is the problem.   Ford struck a balance between cost point and the robustness of thermal Management.    With that balancing act it was even more important to engage it's early adopters with helping to optimize our own Battery health.   Primarily via a mechanism to only charge to a specified charge limit.

 

I don't think Ford did anything malicious.   I just think they strategically miscalculated.   The Energi Platform are great cars, but they certainly are not mass sellers.    They could have sold the same exact amount, while putting out some techno info that would inform early adopter class, and put mechanisms to help consumers protect the battery.   At this point this isn't opinion is is fact based on the # of Energi's sold.

 

If this were available I suspect my batteries capacity would be much better despite all the full cycle recharges due to small battery size.

 

That all being said, I am not totally soured by this.   I hope Ford treats us early adopters  who took the EV leap of faith risk with Ford  fairly.   A starting point would be having some clarity on what an acceptable degradation rate is.   Everything I've read technically about batteries seems to be a min of 70% usable remaining very long term.  Please Ford give us that much!   Not quantifying it does not speak well to to the type of company you want to be.

 

Working in Fords favor to facilitate doing the right thing.  GM states they can now get batteries at $145 per Kw.   That means a 10 KW battery would cost $1,450.    GM also stated the Volt has 20% more kw per volume.    This being said Ford should soon be able to offer at 10KW battery replacement the same exact size as the current Energi Battery.

 

If Ford offered me a battery trade in / upgrade for $1500 that gave me a 10KW battery, maybe 7KW usable 28 mile range I would probably do it in a year or two if my current battery was down to below 4KW usable which it is currently trending towards.  If this upgrade also had a software update that allowed me to set a max charge level I would definitely do the upgrade, and set it to 85% and feel real confident that the battery would last a long time.

 

Under this same type program they could also offer the 7.6 KW battery in the same box, just missing few cells for very disgruntled owners with large capacity loss.    They could sell these at a prorated discount based the degree of capacity loss.

 

Essentially lots of suggestions / options for Ford to do the right thing.    Costs are dynamically decreasing.  My hope is Ford will soon at least signal their intention to offer some program like this in the future, even if there were not specifics right away,.

 

I think this is a ticking time Bomb Ford could easily get in front of, and come out smelling like Roses.   If they don't get in front of it, it could really backfire on them.   I suspect future models will have bigger batteries, and liquid cooling eliminating this issue.   This is likely a one time issue for them with a limited amount of Energi's.  

 

To the bean counters at Ford.   Keep in mind we early adopters would likely be interested in such a plan.   What makes us tick is different form the general public.  Trust in a manufacturer is hard to quantify in beans counted.    I will be an EV buyer for the rest of my life because I know batteries can last long term with correct engineering.    Every Energi owner is predisposed to continuing to buy Ford Ev's if you let them.   Treat us Early adapters who did a leap of Faith with Ford fairly.  We are currently in it together, but we as consumers can switch teams.   We are likely to stick with you moving forward if you invest in us, as we invested in you with our leap of faith.

 

I suspect by 2020 Electrification will be much more main stream, Batteries more energy dense and 15 + KW capacities common.  Every manufacturer will have better protected batteries.    Don't risk your EV reputation by not standing behind your early adopters.

 

I know Ford Reps monitor this site.   Please email me, I am reasonable.   Let's partner in the Ford EV revolution.


Edited by pevfan, 28 December 2015 - 08:13 PM.

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#14 OFFLINE   Fat Fusion

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Posted 28 December 2015 - 08:50 PM

I'd be freakin' out if I was losing 15 to 25% of my summer range.  The biggest problem in my neck of the woods is an explosion of electrics and plug in hybrids and no coresponding increase in public or semi-public charging stations.  Hell, even my employer hasn't increased chargers, even after the number of plug ins has gone from about 15 cars to 80 cars with the number of charging stations staying at 10.  Most all of them are Leafs and a few Volts.  Nice to see my buddy show up in his i8.  I'm not a fan of foreign cars, but the i8 is cool for what it is.  Luckily I get to work at 6 and most of the leaf Borgs don't get to work until about 10. I choose my spot! 


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#15 OFFLINE   Fat Fusion

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Posted 29 December 2015 - 06:07 AM

 

 

I suspect by 2020 Electrification will be much more main stream, Batteries more energy dense and 15 + KW capacities common.  Every manufacturer will have better protected batteries.    Don't risk your EV reputation by not standing behind your early adopters.

 

 

 

I suspect that same statement (minus the capacities) could/would have been said in 1915, and talking about 1920.


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#16 OFFLINE   Hybridbear

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Posted 29 December 2015 - 10:01 AM

That all being said, I am not totally soured by this.   I hope Ford treats us early adopters  who took the EV leap of faith risk with Ford  fairly.   A starting point would be having some clarity on what an acceptable degradation rate is.   Everything I've read technically about batteries seems to be a min of 70% usable remaining very long term.  Please Ford give us that much!   Not quantifying it does not speak well to to the type of company you want to be.

 

Working in Fords favor to facilitate doing the right thing.  GM states they can now get batteries at $145 per Kw.   That means a 10 KW battery would cost $1,450.    GM also stated the Volt has 20% more kw per volume.    This being said Ford should soon be able to offer at 10KW battery replacement the same exact size as the current Energi Battery.

 

If Ford offered me a battery trade in / upgrade for $1500 that gave me a 10KW battery, maybe 7KW usable 28 mile range I would probably do it in a year or two if my current battery was down to below 4KW usable which it is currently trending towards.  If this upgrade also had a software update that allowed me to set a max charge level I would definitely do the upgrade, and set it to 85% and feel real confident that the battery would last a long time.

 

Under this same type program they could also offer the 7.6 KW battery in the same box, just missing few cells for very disgruntled owners with large capacity loss.    They could sell these at a prorated discount based the degree of capacity loss.

 

Essentially lots of suggestions / options for Ford to do the right thing.    Costs are dynamically decreasing.  My hope is Ford will soon at least signal their intention to offer some program like this in the future, even if there were not specifics right away,.

Very well written post. I like your ideas, but I'd put the chance of them happening at 0.01% at best. Ford is not in the business of retrofitting old cars, they are in the business of selling new cars. They recently released Sync 3 and told current owners to buy new cars if they want an upgrade. There have been many requests for a kit to upgrade vehicles fitted with MFT to Sync 3 and Ford has said that they absolutely will NOT offer such an option. They suggestion is that everyone buy brand new Fords to get Sync 3. Overall, I don't think any of the big automakers care about what the EV fans think at the present time. Perhaps in the future they'll care, but right now the EV buyers are such a small population that the OEMs don't care about ticking us off. Tesla is the only automaker that operates differently. The reason they're different is that they only sell EVs, so they have to be different.

 

Mark Fields is the current CEO of Ford. He's been described by others as a "petrol-head", to borrow the British expression. Articles from the Detroit area about him & his leadership at Ford would indicate that he doesn't care about EVs, he only cares about selling the F-150 & the Mustang. Those are the cars that make millions of dollars for Ford. The Focus Electric & Energi models likely lose them money on each car sold. Thus, keeping EV owners happy is not a priority.

 

My solution: save my pennies until I can buy a used Model S and get rid of my Energi.


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#17 OFFLINE   stevedebi

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Posted 29 December 2015 - 10:47 AM

Perhaps Ford miscalculated somewhat, but I don't think they deep discharge the batteries. Actual SOC probably bottoms out around 30%. I have read from those using the ScanGuage II that for the Hybrid Fords they use around 30% - 66%. That is similar to my previous Escape Hybrid, which used 40% - 66% (but those were NiMH).

 

From posts by Larryh, it appears that the maximum actual SOC is around 94%, which seems high, but Ford did a lot of testing before deploying these Li batteries.

 

What Ford did not anticipate were folks who pushed the system to the maximum possible. I think the concept was to charge when you could, but generally around once per day. One area I am suspect of is the charging under hot conditions. It is one reason I only charge at night.


Edited by stevedebi, 29 December 2015 - 10:49 AM.


#18 OFFLINE   Hybridbear

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Posted 29 December 2015 - 12:39 PM

Perhaps Ford miscalculated somewhat, but I don't think they deep discharge the batteries. Actual SOC probably bottoms out around 30%. I have read from those using the ScanGuage II that for the Hybrid Fords they use around 30% - 66%. That is similar to my previous Escape Hybrid, which used 40% - 66% (but those were NiMH).

 

From posts by Larryh, it appears that the maximum actual SOC is around 94%, which seems high, but Ford did a lot of testing before deploying these Li batteries.

In the C-Max/Fusion Hybrid your numbers are roughly correct. In the Energi the range is different. The 94% on the high end is about right. The SOC is very low when you go into hybrid mode. The car enters hybrid mode at 1.500 kWh ETE (1.5 / 7.6 = 19.7%). The minimum ETE allowed is about 1.000 kWh (1.0/7.6 = 13.2%). This is pretty low. The Focus Electric will allow us to discharge the HVB all the way down to about 7.75%, but it only charges up to about 90.5% when fully charged.


Current vehicles

2013 Ford Fusion Energi Titanium - White Platinum Metallic (The Snow Queen on MFM)

2013 Ford Focus Electric - Ice Storm (Elektra on MFM)

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Previous vehicles

2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid SE x2

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#19 OFFLINE   stevedebi

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Posted 29 December 2015 - 01:05 PM

In the C-Max/Fusion Hybrid your numbers are roughly correct. In the Energi the range is different. The 94% on the high end is about right. The SOC is very low when you go into hybrid mode. The car enters hybrid mode at 1.500 kWh ETE (1.5 / 7.6 = 19.7%). The minimum ETE allowed is about 1.000 kWh (1.0/7.6 = 13.2%). This is pretty low. The Focus Electric will allow us to discharge the HVB all the way down to about 7.75%, but it only charges up to about 90.5% when fully charged.

Thanks HB, I figured either you or larry would chime in with exact numbers. Hopefully Ford has researched the numbers well enough. My FEH was doing fine after 6 years.



#20 OFFLINE   larryh

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Posted 29 December 2015 - 01:48 PM

Note that a Tesla Model S battery has far more cells than the Energi's battery.  That means each cell in the Energi is doing a lot more work than in the Tesla to propel the car.   Also, I suspect that degradation is not uniform with respect to temperature.  If you have a 25% loss in capacity at 80 F, you might have a 35% loss at 30 F. from when the battery was new. 


Edited by larryh, 29 December 2015 - 01:57 PM.

  • Hybridbear likes this

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Tracking MPGe--not MPG.










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