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Gas concerns

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10 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Mary

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Posted 30 September 2018 - 02:06 PM

Hi,

 

I just bought my C-Max Energi a few days ago, and I'm really happy with it!  I wanted a full electric car, but I couldn't find a Focus I've been thinking about, but my dealership set me up with this and really I feel it's almost as good and just perfect for me.  I don't drive very far, maybe just around my town, so 20 miles a day is totally doable for me.  But I'm very glad I can still take my car on long road trips, which I couldn't do if I had a full electric.

 

Oh dear, well I'm sorry for rambling (I'm just excited), anyway I was sort of excited thinking I might almost never need gas.  Well yesterday I was talking to my coworker, and he told me I could have a problem if I let gas sit in my engine for too long, like it can turn to glue or something, and this has me feeling a little worried.  Do any of you know if this is true, and can you tell please me how you avoid problems in your car?

 

Thank you very kindly for your help and advice.









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#2 OFFLINE   raadsel

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Posted 30 September 2018 - 03:02 PM

From what I know, you shouldn't have an issue with the gas in your car. First, I'm guessing, from what you stated, that you occasionally using some gas -- that the 20 mile range isn't always enough, so that the gas does end up being used (just slowly). As long as you use up a tank in a years time, you should have no issues. On top of that, I'm sure you were made aware of needing to push a button before you can fill your gas tank. This is because the gas tank is pressurized, in order to help keep the gas "fresh" -- to slow the aging process.

 

Beyond that, though I'd have to reverify with the owner's manual, my recollection is that the Energi will eventually force you to use your gas if it isn't used within two years. At that point, it will refuse to go into full electric mode until your gasoline level gets low and you add new gas to the tank -- this is to ensure you don't have issues with the gas getting too old. 


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#3 OFFLINE   Plus 3 Golfer

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Posted 30 September 2018 - 05:40 PM

Mary, you should ask your question on the Energi forum and also read about (ask) how to minimize the "normal" degradation of the High Voltage Battery via charging and operations. There are many threads on the subject.  Here's one on the HVB usable kWh of capacity.  http://fordcmaxenerg...a-myfordmobile/

 

 

 

 


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#4 OFFLINE   fbov

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Posted 04 October 2018 - 06:17 PM

Mary, your enthusiasm is very welcomed; things are getting quiet here, now that new-car sales have ended. New voices are refreshing!

 

You've asked about one of the issues with plug-in hybrids, and Plus 3 has provided a link talking about the other; long term impact of keeping the HVB fully charged. Both issues are easily avoided by occasionally not plugging in, especially after short trips.

 

Lithium ion battery technology is far superior to prior batteries, but it's not perfect. It's strength is life when used in a partially charged state, as it is in our hybrids. It's weakness is life when stored for long periods fully charged, like a plug-in that's kept plugged. It may seem counter-intuitive to avoid "topping off" the HVB, but you'll make it happier if you do.

 

And this insures you'll have opportunities to use some gas, so it doesn't get stale either. Seems like a win-win. 

 

Have fun,

Frank


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#5 OFFLINE   NRGTi

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Posted 04 October 2018 - 11:20 PM

I think this is an unnecessary worry. Twenty electric miles go quickly, especially in an upper Midwestern summer or winter. You're thinking of "long road trips," and even driving to the next little town and back will demand some gas usage. I drive a lot, about 1300 miles a month, and I gas up once or twice a month. Anyway, yuor car knows and will warn you to quit hoarding gas...



#6 OFFLINE   Mary

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Posted 08 October 2018 - 04:56 PM

Thank you all very kindly for your responses, you've definitely helped me very much.

 

I'm really glad to hear my car will know when it needs to use some gas, so I should have peace of mind and not have that as another worry.  I'm very glad to know this and I'm very thankful for you providing me this information! :)

 

I don't drive very much, I work from my house so I don't have any commute or anything, and very rarely do I leave my town where I live.  One of my attractions to this car was I do not very often drive more than 20 miles a day, so I thought for me this would be almost as good as if I had a full electric car, but I'll still be able to take long trips.  I live like 350 miles away from my family.

 

Oh and I did take my car on my first road trip this weekend!  I went to Canada to see my family for their holiday, and I had wonderful mileage with my car.  I went about 800 miles in total I think with all my driving around, and I only needed about 20 gallons of gas in total from two purchases, and I still have my gas mostly full now.  I do notice I quite more enjoy driving in electric mode than I do in hybrid mode, but I'll only be taking this trip maybe once a year or something.

 

I rarely even drive like 1,000 miles a year otherwise, lol.

 

I didn't know I shouldn't plug in all the time.  Should I only do that if I only drove a few miles, or should I not charge up even if I'm almost out of my battery power?  How often should I do that, like one time in five or ten or something?  I'm sort of sad to think I can't just keep it charged so I can mostly drive as an electric car, I just love how smoothly my car feels and how quiet it is when I'm on battery.

 

Thank you again everyone, I'm really loving my car so far!  Oh and I've been getting many lovely compliments from people! :)



#7 OFFLINE   Plus 3 Golfer

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Posted 08 October 2018 - 07:52 PM

Mary, it's best to never fully charge but to only charge to 80% maximum. The HVB degrades with number of cycles to full charge and higher battery temperature. 

 

I don't own an Energi, but do follow the Energi forum.  Someone on the Energi forum can tell you the best way to charge to 80% as I don't believe it can be done automatically.  So, you may lose 6 miles of EV range charging to 80% instead of 100%.  But, if you charge to 100% everytime you arrive home, the HVB will degrade at a significantly faster rate than charging to 80 % and within a few years you might lose 6 miles of range charging to 100% everytime. 

 

Also, in the winter electric heaters are used to heat the cabin.  Using the heaters will use power from the HVB and EV range will be lower thus likely require more frequent charging. 



#8 OFFLINE   cr08

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Posted 08 October 2018 - 08:57 PM

Energi's have poor range to begin with, don't hobble yourself with limiting the charge as well. All xEV's including the C-Max limit the ACTUAL charge on the battery. At 'shown' 100% the battery is only charged around ~85% give or take. IMHO the best thing to do is if you have a set time when you drive it such as mainly commuting, set a value charge around that.

 

For example I have mine set to begin charging about midnight. On 120V taking in a full 0-100 charge puts finish time around ~5am. I leave for work around 6:15. This comes with a few added benefits. a) Not much time for there to be a concern over holding a full charge in the battery (despite the fact the pack itself is programmed to never get a FULL charge), b) at night during non-winter months it means cooler air vs hotter air to fight with, c) Gives about an hour or more to cool down before taking it out again.

 

In addition to the value charging setup, the only thing I consider with mine is the existing recommended 'EV Later on highway/>50mph, EV only in town, under 50mph, or stop and go traffic' and limit acceleration to 2 bars under 99% of situations. No hypermiling tactics here.

 

Mary, if you feel like following all of these extreme measures suggested to you, more power to you. But I think they are excessive and IMHO amount to a lot of babysitting for a vehicle that I should just be able to take out and drive. Again, IMHO, I think the methods I've laid out above that I use are simple enough and sufficient especially for someone who mainly commutes.


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#9 OFFLINE   Mary

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 09:42 AM

Thank you again so kindly for your responses.

 

I'm a little confused about charging only to 80%, please do forgive me but I'm just not sure I'm entirely understanding.  You say if I charge it fully all the time, in a few years I might lose some capacity, and my battery might last for about 6 miles less.  But if I only charge to 80%, I'm definitely going to lose like 6 miles right now and do all sorts of extra work, so wouldn't it be if I do that I'd just sort of be causing a similar negative effect to my range?  Oh please I hope I'm not sounding really stupid or something, I'm just sort of seeing that as like I'd be losing 6 miles either way, except one would be right now and the other would be in a few years, if I'm making sense?

 

I've noticed my car takes like six hours or so to get my charge back up to full, that's when my power cord is showing a solid green light for "vehicle" instead of blinking, right?  I didn't know I shouldn't plug in right away, what I'll do is I'll plug mine in before I go to bed.  How do you get yours to start at midnight?  Mine doesn't have any sort of programming on it or anything, it's just a basic plug I attach to my wall and my car, so it seems very manual to me.

 

I probably won't be able to follow all these recommendations, I really do appreciate so much wonderful advice, but to be honest it feels just a little overwhelming to me.  I'm trying to do things like I'm trying to coast and brake better, my car gives me a coaching report each time I stop as to how much energy is returned (I don't really know what this means, but I'm assuming like 99% is better than when I get about 80% or so) and I'm trying to accelerate slowly.

 

I do think I really need to read my owner's manual more.  I'm trying to figure out how to work my car's garage door opener, but I've been trying to follow those instructions but so far it isn't working.



#10 OFFLINE   cr08

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 11:09 AM

As far as the charge scheduling that is using the Value Charge options. Best way to set those up is via MyFordMobile on the website IMHO. I don't even think there is a way to set it up in the car other than toggling between 'Charge Now' and 'Value Charge' for a given location. It'll work regardless of what charger you use and has the car itself determining when to begin and stop charging.

MyFordMobile is a VERY useful utility to use if you haven't set it up already. All Energi's come with it standard and free for 5 years from the date of the original sale. Even those of us with early 2013 models still have it free because Ford hasn't gotten around to determining if and how to charge for it.

 

The garage door opener was also a bit flaky to set up for me. I'd skip the owners manual and refer to any instructions for your garage door opener first. Anything relatively modern will have instructions for Homelink openers. You can also go straight to homelink.com and they have instructional videos as well.



#11 OFFLINE   Plus 3 Golfer

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 03:04 PM

Mary, let me start by saying driving only 1000 miles a year around town will likely not degrade your HVB very much if you simply do not charge fully every day.  It's the number of charge / discharge cycles and when you charge (temperature related) that will affect the HVB most  Also, I don't own an Energi and base my comments on what I have researched and read on forums and the internet.   I chose not to buy a 2013 Energi in 2012 because of battery degradation issues associated with HVBs and my driving needs.  Be  aware that Ford does not warrant "normal" battery degradation.  The HVB is not covered under the unique hybrid warranty simply because ones usable range declines say from 21 miles to 15 miles.

 

Let me be clear on the 80%, the 80% SOC is what the MFM (displayed SOC) would show not what the Battery Energy Control Module would show (which should be close to actural SOC). You would need a smartphone App ($10) and an adapter ($25) that plugs into the OBDII port under the dash to read the BECM data.   Based on posts and testing by larryh on the Fusion Energi site, he states the following:  (actual SOC) = 20% + 80% x (displayed SOC).  So, when displayed SOC = 0%:  actual SOC = 20%.  As displayed SOC approaches 100%, actual SOC approaches 100%.  So, 80% displayed SOC = 84% actual SOC.  If you limit the SOC to 80 % displayed, 1) you can likely charge several times a day and have have minimal HVB degradation due to high SOC and DOD (depth of discharge) cycling and 2) you will not have to worry about the HVB resting at a high SOC for days at a time (not good).

 

What I don't know is what type of driving you do and how may miles you will get from one kilowatt hour (kWh) from the HVB.  One should have roughly 5.5 - 5.7 kWh of usable energy on a full 100% charge.  If it's suburban / urban driving and you don't use too much AC (or heat in the winter) you could likely get 25+ miles on a full charge.  So, charging to 80% instead of 100% will likely remove over 1 kWh of the usable SOC or over 5 miles of range.  [(16% x 7.0+ kWh) = 1.12+ kWh loss of range].  How fast the HVB degrades to greater than 1 kWh of usable SOC by your charging to 100% daily depends on conditions.   I believe larryh may have made some estimates.  If you do not plan to keep the car for more than a few years, then I wouldn't worry about how to charge.  I've seen it on the Energi forums where owners are unaware of battery degradation and then complain about how many miles they lost and Ford is no help.

 

What I would do is to run a test on what your usable kWh is after a full charge. This will give you an idea of how much degradation has already occured. The Energi forum describes the procedure (it's simple).  You really should know where you are starting from.  Maybe there is little or perhaps more than "normal" degradation.

 

You could also then charge to 70%, 80%, 90% and see how such charge affects your range.  Then, determine your likely daily use of your car (miles) for the next day and either 1) charge up to the level the night before to meet the next day needs or if there is still enough range to cover your next day use, don't charge that night.  Just be mindfull and don't charge to 100% every day.  Even though you only drive maybe 1000 miles a year around town it's the cycling to 100% and heat that degrades the HBV not necessarily miles driven. It almost sounds like you might be able to charge one a week even to 100% given your miles might be 1000 miles per year (other than longer trips).  If that is the case you likely have little to worry about.


Edited by Plus 3 Golfer, 12 October 2018 - 04:31 PM.







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