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Old 03-05-2016, 01:34 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isaac Zackary View Post
It's below 0F most all January and February. On the one hand it would be nice to have instant heat.
That is not good if it has LiFePO4 battery. I don't know what YM leafs used them.
Problem with LiFePO4 when you go much below freezing is:
Power output goes into the toilet.
Batteries are permanently damaged if charged when colder than 20'F, I know the leaf has a battery temperature controller, but the car will be spending a good amount of time and energy keeping the battery warmed.
Knowing that, when you plug in the battery will have to warm up some before it can start charging.
As far as I can tell the heat kills those batteries more than the cold, it was developed in japan where they understand what cold is. The batteries I know of that suffered damage were mostly in Arizona.

I live in NM and pull my LiFePO4 starting battery out at night when its cold here.

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Old 03-05-2016, 01:54 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ME_Andy View Post
Starting up cold and driving such a short distance sounds really hard on an ICE.
I know, right? What should I do? Drive around in circles for half an hour? And yet electric vehicles are criticized for not being good in cold weather either. What's this? The batteries shouldn't be charged at temps below 20F? And what am I supposed to do when it reaches -40F?!

Now what? Any two seated bicycles with heated seats and handlebars?

So it looks like I need to either get a fuel burning preheater and leave that on for an hour or so before driving in an ICE car or figure out how to insulate the bottom of a Leaf.
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Old 03-05-2016, 02:00 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oil pan 4 View Post
That is not good if it has LiFePO4 battery. I don't know what YM leafs used them.
Problem with LiFePO4 when you go much below freezing is:
Power output goes into the toilet.
Batteries are permanently damaged if charged when colder than 20'F, I know the leaf has a battery temperature controller, but the car will be spending a good amount of time and energy keeping the battery warmed.
Knowing that, when you plug in the battery will have to warm up some before it can start charging.
As far as I can tell the heat kills those batteries more than the cold, it was developed in japan where they understand what cold is. The batteries I know of that suffered damage were mostly in Arizona.

I live in NM and pull my LiFePO4 starting battery out at night when its cold here.
Wikipedia says this:

Quote:
The pack contains air-cooled, stacked laminated Lithium ion manganese oxide batterys.
I don't know how those compares to LifePo4 (Lithium Ferrous Phosphate) batteries.
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Old 03-05-2016, 06:19 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Personally, I would get the Leaf.
Your comfort will be much higher with the fast heating.
The drive will warm the batteries a bit and i imagine the Leafs temperature management will do the rest.
Invest in a fast charger if you can, so that the batteries don't have to be heated all night during a slow charge. And the percentage of the charge that is consumed by the battery heaters whilst charging would be less. Fast charging would also assist by raising the battery temperature more than a slow charge.
With such small range requirements the energy lost on heating the batteries shouldn't cause an issue other than electricity cost and longer charging times. Another reason to get the fastest charger possible.

After a dozen years the battery pack may be on it's last legs. But if it's last legs still give you the miles you need each day then the battery pack doesn't need replacing.

Insulating the batteries sounds like a good idea for areas that experience frequent extreme cold weather. Especially if the batteries (and cabin?) can be pre-heated while still plugged into the charger and so not reducing the range. If you aren't charging at work then the opportunity for pre-heating the batteries for the return trip wouldn't be there.

Then there is the safety aspect. With your anti-idle laws, the ICE vehicle basically has no heat on the short trips you make. So the windows would be misting up all the time. Not ideal on icy roads.

So in your comparison calculation you need to add in how much you value your comfort and safety.
If it was just a few dollars a week difference between sitting in a freezing car battling poor visibility or sitting in heated comfort with clear windows. I know how i would like to start my work day.
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Old 03-05-2016, 09:35 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isaac Zackary View Post
Wikipedia says this:



I don't know how those compares to LifePo4 (Lithium Ferrous Phosphate) batteries.
Then they are basically laptop batteries.
So heat is their main enemy.
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Old 03-05-2016, 09:48 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Ok. So doing some research I see that the batteries have a 300W warmer for temperatures around 0F/-15C and colder. Canadian Leaf Word Press Insulating on a car is nothing new for me. I sprayed foam insulation all over the transmission on my Golf. But the question is what would be a good material to insulate a Leaf. Something that can be removed for the summer and yet doesn't soak up and hold a bunch of road salt against the bottom of the Leaf.

As far as charging at work I only told half the story. When I'm at the main part of work for 8 hours I CAN plug in. It's when I have short trips and have to leave the vehicle for around 3 hours at a place I can't plug in at that I was referring to, which I actually don't do every day. So during the brunt of winter I can keep it plugged in most of the time, even at work.

Compared to an ICE, an ICE can't run it's own block heater. So on those trips I come back and the engine is cold and hard to start. (At least on my 31 year old Golf diesel with about 500,000 miles on it.) Also any length of time that I park at a store or any other place, in 0F/-15C and colder weather it doesn't take long for an engine to lose all of its heat. And I've tried blankets and blocking off the radiator and such and still, the engine gets cold quick. I've even thought of throwing in a bunch of batteries and running block heater through an inverter (making it more like a Leaf.)

And like I've said, even with the block heater an ICE engine only heats up warm enough to start easy, not warm enough to warm the body. (Although the 1,500W heaters get it closer. But then I'm burning fuel AND using 1,500W at night.) In my Golf and several other small ICE vehicles that I've driven I've gotten the engine temps up to operating temperatures by idling (don't tell the cops!) But as I putt around town in 0F/-15C or colder, the gauge can and will slowly fall with the use of the heaters until cool air begins to flow! (That's around town. On any highway above 25mph the heaters keep up.) It seems the larger and more inefficient the vehicle is, the better it heats. There are vehicle I've driven with preheaters. Those DO put out the heat! But at $3,000, and me having the urge to get a nice looking vehicle, the Leaf seems like the most economical and practical (and fun) choice to begin with. At least if I keep telling myself that or must be true.
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Old 03-05-2016, 10:19 AM   #17 (permalink)
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With the diesel and block heaters I just installed two 600 watt heaters. I plug in 1 heater for longer use, I use both for slightly faster warm ups and to deice I built my 5500 watt coolant heater.
Then I might also throw in a space heater.
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Old 03-05-2016, 12:44 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Really, we're saying that extreme cold is bad for cars. All cars.

As much as you can keep the Leaf plugged in, and it does have battery heat and -some- insulation, I would go electric if in your situation.


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Old 03-05-2016, 01:28 PM   #19 (permalink)
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The Leaf sounds like it would work well for you. I would just be sure to get one with a heat pump (I believe they started offering them in 2013).

Regarding the longer trips 6 times a year, how far would they be? If there are chargers available along the way, you might be able to get away with driving the Leaf. A Volt would also solve the range anxiety and extra cost would be less than the rental car. The Volt seems to have better temperature control for the battery, from what I've read.
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Old 03-05-2016, 01:48 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I'm pretty sure a Mirage has a electic boost HVAC heater, really easy slip in the hole engine block heater, and $3500 rebate till the end of March 2016. If my cobalt xfe was ready for replacement I'd be all over one. I priced a CVT ES at 10,800 out the door, you really don't need Cruise control, and if could get by with a manual I'm sure you could beat that but $1000+.

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