This bothers me...

ChasingCoral

Well-Known Member
First Name
Mark
Joined
Feb 3, 2020
Messages
1,030
Reaction score
925
Location
Maryland
First Name
Mark
Vehicles
Mach-E FE reserved, Nissan Leaf, Toyota Tacoma
Country flag
That's the type of thing that the OTA updates should do though. One of the big advantages of that feature.
While I agree we think this is something OTA should do, the question is if they will do it. This gets back to the discussion earlier of how well Ford embraces third party customization. Properly written, the battery management code could identify a new battery with an enhanced capacity and run with it. I hope that is the case. Another option would be the need to install new, third party code as part of the upgrade. Accommodation of friendly hacks would be great as well.

This would be very different from what is being seen in some of the farm equipment industry. Just look at what happened to farmers when John Deere said they own the equipment but only license the software needed to run it.
https://www.wired.com/story/john-deere-farmers-right-to-repair/

My hope is Ford will be much more open to third party software as well as hardware.
 

dbsb3233

Well-Known Member
First Name
Tim
Joined
Dec 30, 2019
Messages
1,499
Reaction score
1,076
Location
Colorado, USA
First Name
Tim
Vehicles
2013 Ford Escape
Occupation
Retired
Country flag
I expect battery swaps in the Mach E to be a bit like any significant component replacement in a car, but with the added challenge that of working with potentially dangerous electrical components.
That, plus a price tag probably somewhere in the $7k-15k ballpark. 😬
 

ChasingCoral

Well-Known Member
First Name
Mark
Joined
Feb 3, 2020
Messages
1,030
Reaction score
925
Location
Maryland
First Name
Mark
Vehicles
Mach-E FE reserved, Nissan Leaf, Toyota Tacoma
Country flag
That, plus a price tag probably somewhere in the $7k-15k ballpark. 😬
Probably so.

"Nissan currently offers new, 24 kWh battery packs for first-gen LEAFs. That means replacing the battery on a 2011-2015 LEAF will cost you exactly $5499, plus installation, which the company estimates will take about 3 hours. Owners of 2011 and 2012 cars must also add $225 for a special adapter kit to retrofit the newer battery to the first gen cars."
https://enrg.io/how-much-does-a-nissan-leaf-battery-replacement-cost/
 

Orangefirefish

Active Member
First Name
SY
Joined
Mar 23, 2020
Messages
32
Reaction score
30
Location
USA
First Name
SY
Vehicles
N/A
Country flag
I would just add that if obsolescence is the main concern here, then driving an ICE for a few more years would probably be the better decision for you. With your smartphone comparison, for example, now many users don’t feel the need to upgrade every two years. Improvements are largely incremental, and apps are no longer improving at a rate where phone performance becomes a bottleneck. Things have slowed down considerably in terms of technical improvements, since the average device does most things well enough. Many new purchases are done to compensate for wear and tear (battery, screen, mechanics wear), instead of performance upgrades.

Seeing it has taken about 12-13 years to get to this point, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect a similar timeline for EVs... meaning the steady state is at least 6-7 years away.
The biggest difference in this analogy is that a modern, efficient ICE is a much more capable substitute than a flip phone is for a smartphone. 🙂
 

dbsb3233

Well-Known Member
First Name
Tim
Joined
Dec 30, 2019
Messages
1,499
Reaction score
1,076
Location
Colorado, USA
First Name
Tim
Vehicles
2013 Ford Escape
Occupation
Retired
Country flag
I don't know about 'zero resale value.'
Yep. The resale value could fall faster than normal, but it should still have substantial value. Newer EV batteries aren't degrading as much as they used to. Even the 210 mile SR AWD should still be getting over 175 miles in 5 years. At least.

It'll lose ground to new 400 miles vehicles (if they exist), but there will still be some demand for used 175 mile BEVs that are still really nice. And some resale value.

It's a non-issue for me because I buy my vehicles for their lifetime (or maybe 90% of it), not to turn them around in 5 years.
 

timbop

Well-Known Member
First Name
Tim
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
772
Reaction score
724
Location
New Jersey
First Name
Tim
Vehicles
2015 Mustang Convertible, 2016 Dodge Durango
Occupation
Software Engineer
Country flag
Not if they don't fit anymore. If the next generation is a completely different size/shape, they may not fit inside the old container. Or they may not fit efficiently, wasting valuable space and thus only allowing fewer of them.

No doubt the current battery pack is designed to the size of these batteries, without any wasted space. If the next generation batteries are of the same basic size/shape, then no problem. But if they're dramatically different, they probably won't fit efficiently, or maybe not at all.
Sure, but presumably a newer cell format will accompany a higher density chemistry, so it is likely the newer cells would take up a smaller volume. It is therefore probable that a third party would be able to squeeze a higher efficiency cell into the same frame. At this point its all speculation if the BMS including cooling, etc would be compatible with a new chemistry.
 

dbsb3233

Well-Known Member
First Name
Tim
Joined
Dec 30, 2019
Messages
1,499
Reaction score
1,076
Location
Colorado, USA
First Name
Tim
Vehicles
2013 Ford Escape
Occupation
Retired
Country flag
Sure, but presumably a newer cell format will accompany a higher density chemistry, so it is likely the newer cells would take up a smaller volume. It is therefore probable that a third party would be able to squeeze a higher efficiency cell into the same frame. At this point its all speculation if the BMS including cooling, etc would be compatible with a new chemistry.
Good chance of that if they stay similarly shaped, yes. And they probably will for a while. I agree that's more likely for the next handful of years at least.

Some of the blue sky stories and videos I've seen on next gen battery technology suggest entirely different forms and shapes though. But rarely do those concepts ever pan out. And the few that do tend to be pretty far off.

I'm confident that SOMETHING that will fit the current packs should be available for many years, whether it be next gen or not. May not be an upgrade, but should at least be able to get replacements.
 

EVer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2020
Messages
68
Reaction score
102
Location
California USA
Vehicles
Model 3P, F150, Volt <- looking to replace with MachE
Country flag
I've heard that's why Tesla uses cylindrical cells. Because you can basically pack them in in multiple configurations. Everyone else seems to use pouches. Not sure why.
I think tesla uses cylindrical cells not for future compatibility but because the entire pack is less affected by a cell failure, they have more options for suppliers with significantly less NRE, and most importantly they believe they’re fundamentally safer.

Pouch batteries are easier to integrate into a design concept. Want to add a cell? Sure stick it vertically along the back of a seat with its leads facing down. You can’t readily do that with cylindrical cell packs.
 
Last edited:

macchiaz-o

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2019
Messages
536
Reaction score
622
Location
Valley of the Sun
Vehicles
Fiesta
Country flag
I think tesla uses cylindrical cells not for future compatibility but because the entire pack is less affected by a cell failure, they have more options for suppliers with significantly less NRE, and most importantly they believe they’re fundamentally safer.

Pouch batteries are easier to integrate into a design concept. Want to add a cell? Sure stick it vertically along the back of a seat with its leads facing down. You can’t readily do that with cylindrical cell packs.
Whether the cells are cylindrical, pouch, or prismatic doesn't matter so much, right? Those get packed into modules, which then get packaged into a battery pack. I think the idea is that we'll be able to have a properly trained mechanic swap out failed or badly degraded modules.

I know someone who had his 2003 or 2004 Honda Civic Hybrid battery replaced in 2016 or so, by an independent mechanic who specializes in batteries. So far I've not known anyone to have had a BEV battery replaced (whether the full pack or even just modules). Do you know of anyone? I'm wondering how this typically occurs, to date.

With past and current battery electric vehicle designs, I don't think we'll see any service centers attempting to break down a module into constituent cells. Maybe they'll eventually send it out to some place that specializes in that, probably for recycling purposes, but I don't see them being able to replace cells at this point, at least not in any practical way.

Here's the lid being pulled off a Chevy Bolt battery pack. You can see the modules inside:

 

portlandg

Well-Known Member
First Name
grahame
Joined
Mar 17, 2020
Messages
257
Reaction score
166
Location
uk
First Name
grahame
Vehicles
kuga st line x RWD ER MACH E on order
Occupation
Cabinet maker
Country flag
There is an interview on you tube by Jalopnik with a Ford engineer who says that the battery pack can be removed from the car and then any faulty battery array can be replaced as needed with out replacing the whole battery pack. Depending on the set up of the electronics, which presumably can be reprogrammed, in theory the battery could be upgraded throughout its life time to give bigger capacity when better technology arrives, thus lengthening the longevity of the car
 

RetiredDP

Member
First Name
Steve
Joined
Mar 30, 2020
Messages
19
Reaction score
15
Location
Camino, CA
First Name
Steve
Vehicles
Focus RS
Occupation
Retired Director of Videography, Editor, Compressionist
Country flag
I wouldn't be so sure replacing the battery packs is a viable solution.
Ford has specifically stated that the batteries are installed in "modules", for two reasons:
1. If a module fails, it can be replaced with a new module, without replacing the entire pack.
2. If improved battery tech arrives, all of the modules can be replaced. Done from the underside of the car. Each Ford MME dealer has to have at least one special high-capacity lift, for battery removal.
 

zhackwyatt

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2019
Messages
307
Reaction score
336
Location
Arizona
Vehicles
'13 C-Max
Country flag
Ford has specifically stated that the batteries are installed in "modules", for two reasons:
1. If a module fails, it can be replaced with a new module, without replacing the entire pack.
2. If improved battery tech arrives, all of the modules can be replaced. Done from the underside of the car. Each Ford MME dealer has to have at least one special high-capacity lift, for battery removal.
While that's true, I doubt there will ever be an OEM option to upgrade.

Due to multiple reasons (some that benefit the consumer, some that don't) everything is less serviceable now days. TV's, appliances, phones, laptops, are all much less serviceable than they used to be. I think cars are heading in that trend. I would be shocked if Ford let you upgrade the battery down the line. They would much rather sell you a new car.

To my knowledge that has never happened before in ICE cars either. You could put a faster engine in yourself if you wanted to, but when did they ever say years after a car is released: "We have this special program that lets you drop in an upgraded engine"?

I'm betting the only option, if one becomes available, would be third-party battery upgrades. And even then I doubt it. The volume would be too low to keep the costs down to make the upgrade financially feasible for any owner. And it would most certainly void the warranty if it was still in place at that time.

If anyone is buying the car based on the expectation they can upgrade it, I dare say you will be disappointed.
 

portlandg

Well-Known Member
First Name
grahame
Joined
Mar 17, 2020
Messages
257
Reaction score
166
Location
uk
First Name
grahame
Vehicles
kuga st line x RWD ER MACH E on order
Occupation
Cabinet maker
Country flag
While that's true, I doubt there will ever be an OEM option to upgrade.

Due to multiple reasons (some that benefit the consumer, some that don't) everything is less serviceable now days. TV's, appliances, phones, laptops, are all much less serviceable than they used to be. I think cars are heading in that trend. I would be shocked if Ford let you upgrade the battery down the line. They would much rather sell you a new car.

To my knowledge that has never happened before in ICE cars either. You could put a faster engine in yourself if you wanted to, but when did they ever say years after a car is released: "We have this special program that lets you drop in an upgraded engine"?

I'm betting the only option, if one becomes available, would be third-party battery upgrades. And even then I doubt it. The volume would be too low to keep the costs down to make the upgrade financially feasible for any owner. And it would most certainly void the warranty if it was still in place at that time.

If anyone is buying the car based on the expectation they can upgrade it, I dare say you will be disappointed.
Ford are warranting the battery pack for 8 years/100,000 miles ( I think) so what you are saying is that if the battery packs fails within that period then Ford wont be able to replace modules or whole pack. What do you expect them to do, give you a new car?
 

SJ_Okay

Well-Known Member
First Name
Scott
Joined
Feb 25, 2020
Messages
234
Reaction score
151
Location
UK
First Name
Scott
Vehicles
AWD ER Mach-E
Country flag
If anyone is buying the car based on the expectation they can upgrade it, I dare say you will be disappointed.
If someone can convert a Volkswagen Beetle into an EV, then they’re not going to have any problems retrofitting a Mach-E with new battery tech and even motors if that’s what you wanted to do. By the time the battery warranty on our MMEs are up, there should be a thriving aftermarket for modding and upgrading EVs... just my opinion, obviously.
 
Top