Battery Life and Always Parking Under the Sun in Hot Weather

Billyk24

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Note that the battery is located in the very bottom of the chassis and heat rises. (Although if you do park on top of hot asphalt that can raise the battery temp.)

Also note that the battery is a large thermal mass in that it will heat up pretty slowly when simply parked (its different when charging/driving since the heat in that case is generated internally to the battery).

The Focus Electric, with its batteries under the seat and in the rear cabin didn't really have to engage the cooling system that often for me, if at all during hot days (yes I'm in Michigan which is different from LA, Phoenix, etc. where it is frequently hot but we do, occasionally, get a 90+F day).
Did you actually monitor the HVB temperature via a third party hardware to know what temperature the HVB was? I have a scanguage II in mine for this and other purposes.,





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jlauro

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All we can really see is that manufacturers are offering 8-10 year pack warranties, and some of these warranties specify pack capacity will remain 70% or greater by the end of that period. So we can reasonably expect packs to hold up to that level in the worst climates.
Warranties are typically based more on 98% or less than worst conditions (climates in this case). More cost effective to replace 2% of the batteries in 8 years then to increase the margins/tolerance of 100% of the vehicles, where 98% will not be in the extreme....

(Not saying that is what Ford is planning with their warranty, just in general...)
 

Billyk24

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My Focus Electric will only cool the battery when in ready mode or plugged in. I am not aware of any feature that will activate the cooling system while parked and unplugged. It's very hot here during the summer. I think we set a record yesterday (around 115 degrees). Sometimes, when I walk past the garage I can hear the compressor and fans running because it's cooling the battery pack. When I get home from work, I plug in and within seconds the cooling system kicks on. I have my charging times set for midnight to 5 am so it's not turning on because it's charging...it turns on because it's so hot outside.

I have Level 2 at work and the same thing happens. Sometimes the cooling system will just turn on all by itself but that is because the car was plugged in. If unplugged....it won't attempt to cool itself. Of course, this is only an issue during the summer months. The rest of the year it's a non issue so people in mild climates don't need to worry about this very much. Southern California by the coast is fairly mild so I wouldn't worry. Just find a shady spot to park if you can and you should be fine.

Our C-Max Energi doesn't have liquid cooling for the battery pack but it does have a forced air fan system and the same cooling scenario applies. It will only run the fans when plugged in. If unplugged....no cooling.

I presume the MME will have the same strategy but I could be wrong. They did use Tesla as a benchmark so perhaps there is a feature where you can enable battery cooling while parked. In that scenario, I presume you would want to select a minimum SOC level to ensure you have enough range to make it to your next charging point.
Our C-Max Energi doesn't have liquid cooling for the battery pack but it does have a forced air fan system and the same cooling scenario applies. It will only run the fans when plugged in. If unplugged....no cooling.-----Error reported. The C-Max does not turn on the battery pack cooling until----there is a 8f difference (hot) between the internal termperature and the HVB. It is extremely poor at cooling the HVB during warm weather. I reported a rise in temperature with the HVB just sitting in the sun for 45 minutes. Once in the vehicle with my dog, I turned on the air conditioning to 62f for the 25 mile drive home. Guess what, the HVB temperature rose to 89f despite having the air conditioning at 62f. The HVB fans do not turn on with charging, it is the charging fan that turns on and the HVB temperature can and will rise with level 2 charging opposed to the slow level 1 charging.
 

Billyk24

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I know someone who drove an early 2000s Honda Civic Hybrid to work here in Phoenix, and parked it in a large, unshaded, virtually treeless lot, for about 12 years before replacing his battery. But it was pretty worn down by then, and it was air cooled, and it was NiMH and not Li-ion. So lots of differences. :)

Frankly, I think the "modern" EV landscape with actively managed Li-ion packs is too young to know how well they'll hold up in 15 years.

All we can really see is that manufacturers are offering 8-10 year pack warranties, and some of these warranties specify pack capacity will remain 70% or greater by the end of that period. So we can reasonably expect packs to hold up to that level in the worst climates.

LA at 80 degrees is nothing compared to hotter places like Death Valley. I wouldn't be too worried about it. Here in Phoenix we've reached 110+ degrees on more than 50 days so far this summer. And I'll need to park outside in that giant lot. But I'm not too worried about the pack at this point.

Nissan Leaf on the other hand? Immediately removed that one from consideration because its battery is guaranteed to decline more rapidly here in Phoenix. That vehicle relies on ambient air to cool the pack.
The CMax Energi has a liquid lithium ion battery pack that many owners report of degradation . This is related to heat, excess EV driving, excess charging, failure to monitor the HVB temperature and to take steps to migrate such temperature rises, and the car's air cooled battery pack design that can not manage warm summer temperatures. This vehicle dose not have a 70% SOC warranty reference. This vehicle would be a poor choice for those living in the warmest areas.
 

macchiaz-o

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The CMax Energi has a liquid lithium ion battery pack that many owners report of degradation . This is related to heat, excess EV driving, excess charging, failure to monitor the HVB temperature and to take steps to migrate such temperature rises, and the car's air cooled battery pack design that can not manage warm summer temperatures. This vehicle dose not have a 70% SOC warranty reference. This vehicle would be a poor choice for those living in the warmest areas.
Yes, many of the plug-in hybrids and mild hybrids are not employing liquid cooling. Even on new models being sold.

Most of the new, full battery electrics (non-hybrids) are using active, liquid cooling systems. The main exception I'm aware of is Nissan Leaf.
 

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Did you actually monitor the HVB temperature via a third party hardware to know what temperature the HVB was? I have a scanguage II in mine for this and other purposes.,
I did not personally but people in the Focus Electric forum (some of whom were in AZ) did so.

The Focus Electric has a pretty decent BMS compared to the C-Max Energie's air cooling.
 

SnBGC

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I did not personally but people in the Focus Electric forum (some of whom were in AZ) did so.

The Focus Electric has a pretty decent BMS compared to the C-Max Energie's air cooling.
Agree. The FFE doea quite well. Like you stated already, the Energi does not. I just returned from a trip to Walmart Auto Center to get a tire mounted to a wheel for my 68 GTO. I drove the C-Max because I can fold down one of the seats quicker than in the FFE. (Have to remove headrests in the FFE to fold the rear seats)
At any rate, the HVB was fully charged but I was unable to drive in EV mode due to battery temp being too high. ICE kicked on before I left the driveway. Temp on display was 110 degrees. 5 mile drive each way. About half way there the cabin temp was cool enough that I was able to resume driving in EV mode. This PHEV is not ideal in warmer weather.
The Escape PHEV has a HVB twice the size of the Energi and it is liquid cooled. Ford learned.
 

Billyk24

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Agree. The FFE doea quite well. Like you stated already, the Energi does not. I just returned from a trip to Walmart Auto Center to get a tire mounted to a wheel for my 68 GTO. I drove the C-Max because I can fold down one of the seats quicker than in the FFE. (Have to remove headrests in the FFE to fold the rear seats)
At any rate, the HVB was fully charged but I was unable to drive in EV mode due to battery temp being too high. ICE kicked on before I left the driveway. Temp on display was 110 degrees. 5 mile drive each way. About half way there the cabin temp was cool enough that I was able to resume driving in EV mode. This PHEV is not ideal in warmer weather.
The Escape PHEV has a HVB twice the size of the Energi and it is liquid cooled. Ford learned.
The Ford Escape Hybrid 2005-2009 had air conditioning ducts going to and from the HVB. Why they did not continue with this design has to be related to saving bucks and 25 lbs or weight. The CMax really needs these ducts to cope with the warm summer weather.
 

SnBGC

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The Ford Escape Hybrid 2005-2009 had air conditioning ducts going to and from the HVB. Why they did not continue with this design has to be related to saving bucks and 25 lbs or weight. The CMax really needs these ducts to cope with the warm summer weather.
The Energi C-Max has air ducts and a fan for cooling. Are you saying the hybrid model did not have them?
 

Billyk24

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The Energi C-Max has air ducts and a fan for cooling. Are you saying the hybrid model did not have them?
The Ford Escape Hybrid from 2005 thru 2009 had air conditioning ducts (running underneath the frame of the body) to and from the HVB. It also has an external air vent to draw air into the HVB for cooling purposes. This was changed in the 2010 Model year to just using internal air ducts with fans for cooling purposes. The air conditioning ducts were removed and I remember seeing and reading about the Ford Engineer -at the time-talking about saving 25 lbs of weight with this move. It also removed Ford from having to repair the under the frame air conditioning ducts as this was part of the hybrid warranty. The CMax Energi carried on the Ford Escape Hybrid design of 2010 and is inefficient for cooling purposes during the warm summer months. The Energi has a chronic history of degradation of the HVB due to heat, excess EV use, excess charging when the battery is warm. The Energi HVB battery fans do not turn on until the internal cabin temperature is 8f cooler than the HVB when the temperature is at or above 58f. The Energi is unable to quickly cool the HVB during the warm summer months.
 

ChasingCoral

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I sure hope that warning is no longer needed on the Mach-E.

I may need to read certain parts of the digital owners manual during my test drive, if we can't get access to this type of into sooner.
I wonder if it will read the manual to us se drive down the road?
 

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I sure hope that warning is no longer needed on the Mach-E.

I may need to read certain parts of the digital owners manual during my test drive, if we can't get access to this type of info sooner.
A similar message appears when ambient temps are below 32 degrees. The car wants the juice available just in case the temps are too high or too low. The AC doesn't run all the time.....just for 5 minutes or so and then the battery is cooled down enough to wait for the next drive event. On extreme days...like we are experiencing now, it will turn on the AC once every 5 or 6 hours it seems.
 

Phxboiler

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I live in PHX and park in sun every day with my Chevy bolt I have had for 3 summers now and no major issues. I have prob lost 15 miles if I had to guess but I think that’s typical from what I have read in forums for the first year of batteries. It cools the battieres as I drive home from work but is normally using 5-6 percent max of battery per the car. I end up with 180 miles or so in heat of summer charging to 90% on a car that is listed for 230 if 100% charged (215-220 in nice AZ months). My bigger problem is Garage gets hot so the car takes longer to charge as it has to cool and take breaks since garage can get to 140 degrees. I drive 80 plus miles a day and still easily charges overnight with my 240v charger. Hopefully eases some concerns as it’s been my biggest concern with my bolt and soon my mache!
 

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I wonder if it will read the manual to us se drive down the road?
Do you really want that? Then they will integrate to the Co-pilot 360 into the voice system.

"You are driving too fast!"
"You cut that guy off!"
"You are breaking too hard!"
"Are you really going to wear that?"
"Whats with your hair?"
"Dude what did you eat, sheesh?!"
"Hmm you seem heavier in the seat have you been overeating?"
 

macchiaz-o

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I live in PHX and park in sun every day with my Chevy bolt I have had for 3 summers now and no major issues. I have prob lost 15 miles if I had to guess but I think that’s typical from what I have read in forums for the first year of batteries. It cools the battieres as I drive home from work but is normally using 5-6 percent max of battery per the car. I end up with 180 miles or so in heat of summer charging to 90% on a car that is listed for 230 if 100% charged (215-220 in nice AZ months). My bigger problem is Garage gets hot so the car takes longer to charge as it has to cool and take breaks since garage can get to 140 degrees. I drive 80 plus miles a day and still easily charges overnight with my 240v charger. Hopefully eases some concerns as it’s been my biggest concern with my bolt and soon my mache!
Great feedback, thank you! And welcome to the forum.

Have you seen any of John Kelly's Bolt tear down videos? The quality of engineering in these cars is really exceptional.

 

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