Electric car on romanian winter

Winter has advantages and disadvantages over your EV, and the biggest unknown is related to how much influence the autonomy is on cold. I monitored for 3 days a frosty autonomy of a BMW i3 (the most sold EV in Romania in 2016) without having to recharge it, and I came to the following conclusions.

When temperatures drop to -5 degrees Celsius begins to be bad. -8 Degrees Celsius down is worse.

What I mean by that is that the autonomy of electric cars begin to be significantly affected by cold - starting with temperatures below -5 degrees Celsius. Until there, everything falls into some reasonable limits: consumption is higher, but not double or more than double and the battery lasts less heating, the temperature change in the car (with air conditioning) by 1-2 degrees plus or minus, the heating system do not "kill" too much battery. Battery can have full autonomy about 170 km for the BMW i3 with big battery version (94 Ah, 33 kWh), in a context where temperatures are within -5 degrees Celsius (the lower figure). As the temperature drops to -12 degrees Celsius, autonomy can reach 140 km or less. I have to refer more to -5 degrees Celsius, more common in "Romanian winters." Just because it is cold - the autonomy decreases from about 240 km (summer) to 170 km (winter). Without heat (A/C). When you start the heater (which is perfectly normal and recommended in the winter) is also removing another 25 km of autonomy on pressing the button. Climate set to 22 degrees Celsius. Depending on when the temperature change in the car (ie if you have got some time to go by car or not), increasing temperature by 1 degree in the cockpit can mean decreasing autonomy from 3 to 8 km. More details about this last point, the observations devoted exclusively to the heating system. Also charging the car is difficult at temperatures below -7 degrees Celsius. The car can draw from a power outlet (50 kW DC) about 0.25 kW / minute under these conditions. If the ambient temperature is higher (somewhere over -5 degrees Celsius), the car can charge about 0.6 kW / minute. The idea is that just because it's cold the charging is 2.5 times slower than in other seasons in which the ambient temperature is higher. Chapter autonomy stick with that "real 170 km" I was talking about at first. A reasonable value as possible, I would say. Obviously, this autonomy varies from machine to machine (now speak of the i3,but the Renault Zoe will be another value, the Tesla Model S will be another value), depending on battery capacity, the average consumption of the car, and mass,and not least, on driving style. If you pardon a summary of illiterate for i3 94Ah "-45 km to -25 km as cold and for heating, ie -70 km for the winter."

The more you go through short distances, the load is.

It's not uncommon to have consumption of a little more than 30 kWh / 100 km if you travel far less than 5 kilometers. At each stop cabin loses heat, so by opening the doors, and the fact that the car is stationary and unheated or not started a certain number of minutes or hours. In the first 1-2 kilometers consumption can be even 50-60 kWh / 100 km. It's a lot, but it should not scare you. It's normal. Even a gasoline or diesel car has the same if its cold. Winter short distances, consumption may even be double or triple on every car. But unlike an electric car, the cabin is heated using a heater (energy) that would otherwise be lost. At each electric car "touch of heat" is obtained from the battery, not a "hot iron" under the hood. Returning to the consumption at temperatures below -5 degrees Celsius is very hard to get in the city, one averaging below 25 kWh / 100 km, and most often you will see on board an average consumption of about 30 kWh / 100 km . Spring, summer or fall you can get the same car under 15 kWh / 100 km in the city - so consumption halved. Finally, even a consumption of 30 kWh / 100 km, this means more money: 15 lei / 100 km. So worth the cost per kilometer - unbeatable.

The battery heats and cools hard hard.

Unlike a fossil fuel engine, electric motor warming is irrelevant and uninteresting. Furthermore I am interested in battery, so that it suffers when it's cold. A gasoline or diesel warms few kilometers and after few minutes, maximum 15 min. It depends on many factors, such as how its thermosta is designed, depends on the engine capacity and fuel type. In any case, you do not have to drive an hour or more to warm up your engine! At an electric BMW i3 in my case, if not even an hour drive, you run the battery all the time cold (read "under operating temperature"). The downside is that you never know what temperature does the battery is - its not displayed on anywhere. Led by "at least an hour" I do not mean the traffic lights stood still in Bucuresti. Talk of high energy (sport starts on the green lights) and serious energy recovery (regenerative deceleration at least by 60 km / h to 0 km / h). Consuming and regenerating large amounts of energy heats the battery faster. Standing still on winter on every red light in the city keeps your battery cold. Things change dramatically for the better if you have a heated garage or if you stay in a complex of blocks and get parking in the basement, where temperatures are positive. You will leave with battery warmer and it will remain so while driving (even warms and more). The battery is cooled after several hours downtime of the machine, where it is left at low temperatures (Celsius values ​​that I mentioned above). As I said, the battery heats and cools very hard.

Preconditioning is essential if you want to go through without emotion distances or if you want physical and psychological comfort.

Preconditioning means, simply, the technical process by which batteries and interior are brought to the optimum temperature using direct current from the socket, not the battery, thus extending autonomy. So avoid running the battery is already cold and heated cabin. All using energy from the socket. Preconditioning is energy-intensive and time expanse. If you set the schedule time of departure and to precondition the car, (pre) heating the battery will take 3 hours. The machine must necessarily be connected to an outlet for preconditioning be done and how is stronger socket, the better. For maximum comfort physically and mentally access to an outlet overnight is ideal. But you can live without that. I park the car on the block every time and charge on shopping centers that have quick charging sockets (22 kW or 50 kW). On average, on winter i recharge every three days - the car is used exclusively in Bucuresti. Over nights of winter cold (-15 degrees Celsius minimum) battery charge level does not drop. So leave your car battery with 52.5%, and so on will be the next morning. It is also worth to remember that immediately after you put the car in motion in the first kilometers, the charge will decrease more than the distance traveled (eat 5 km autonomy for 1 km traveled actually say) just because in the first kilometers after the restart consumption is very big. As you drive more (over 5 km), the range will "settle".

Demisting and changing climatic comfort of car calculations give the car upside down.

A very good thing is that the BMW i3 instant updates autonomy according to current consumption. Heat start, -25 km range (when you have full battery). Heat stop, 25 km autonomy. Start heated seats, -1 km autonomy. These calculations made instantly and accurately shows you the distance you can travel with the car with very precise accuracy. Said about the heat and the 25 km "eat" ... Do not imagine that if you have autonomy stop 5 km and 30 km warmth you get autonomy. The machine calculates the heat consumption and potential savings brought it off depending on the battery charge and depending on the actual time remaining led to depletion of battery power. Returning to the precision with which BMW i3 calculates remaining battery charge calculations are scenarios where the car go crazy. Let's say you have a session led by Bucuresti that lasts 30 minutes. If you start with 22 degrees Celsius set to air conditioning installation, a few minutes later grow to 23 or 24 degrees, then dropped to 20 to 21 degrees ... Autonomy display goes awry +/- 10 km and recovers only when, for some kilometers and minutes, keep your fingers away from air conditioning. That is why it is better to let the heater to 22 to 23 degrees Celsius in winter car, AUTO, no A / C. And do not touch the air conditioning installation until spring! So you get maximum efficiency and precise calculations of the trip computer. Sometimes, though, you need to start windscreen demisting. That can "eat" even 15 km of autonomy and demisting off after two minutes you will not return to baseline autonomy. It's a little strange. Furthermore, if you restart again windscreen demisting autonomy will increase compared to the earlier time (though you have just restarted a major consumer). As I said ... you put your fingers in car air conditioning installation and calculations go wrong. Or stay in your bank and everything's fine. Changing values ​​in board autonomy with so many kilometers can be annoying and better keep your hands at home. Rear window defroster has no effect on autonomy. Just headlights, courtesy, audio, power windows. All have an insignificant impact. Heated seats (regardless of stage and whether heated seats both or just one) influences range with only 1 km. There are 3 steps of heating for each of the two front seats. Formula ideal, in my view, is the air conditioning on 22 degrees, AUTO (ie automatic distribution of airflow - legs, chest, head - according to information from sensors) without A / C (almost useless in winter useful only when they are very misted windows), heated seat on continuously while driving. That said, it's good to know that in case of a BMW i3 autonomy in winter drops to about half, and recharging is difficult to negative temperatures. On the other hand windows thaws very quickly (1-2 minutes), the machine is immediately warm (up to 5 minutes) and do not have any emotions with engine start and noises it (as happens in cars fossil fuel).

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