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Low EV time in winter?


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I'm doing very low EV time with my 2.0 Corolla. Often below 20%, it seems to charge the Battery for ages, but does'nt really like to return the power. 

Summer has been very nice, at hybrid system has been very efficient. Now with colder weather and more wind, things are very different. I know the engine takes longer to heat, but I cant figure out why the car won't use the hybrid Battery some more, since it very often has 70-80% charge. 

When accelerating the Battery kicks in, but with cruise control enabled, allmost nothing happens. 

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Hi, the hybrid system decides how much power to use from the Battery and when temperature are low and Battery is cold will not use it as much as in warmer weather as a preventative measure. The batteries in general likes room temperature to work best when very cold or very hot the BMS will reduce Battery power to prevent any risk of long term damage, it’s all preventative measures, since the car is hybrid and can relied on ice the hybrid Battery doesn’t have advanced cooling system like Tesla cars for example but instead reduces the Battery use., you can notice similar behaviour in hot summer days too. Nothing to worry about. 👍

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Yup, that's the way it is. In winter the amount of charge the Battery can hold and the amount of power it can generate are both reduced. It's noticeable for me in a couple of places. There's a small village at the top of a hill which in summer I can comfortable drive through at 30 mph entirely on EV. But in winter I either have to allow the ICE to come on part way through or let the speed drop to 25 mph. Since there are tight bends in the village I just let the speed drop.

Then there's a long down hill stretch followed by a rise and a mostly flat section with a roundabout that is the entrance to my housing estate at the end. In summer once I get to the top of the hill I can keep the car in EV all the way to my house unless I have to stop at the roundabout. That's 1.7 miles. But in winter the 'mostly' comes into play in the last section. In summer I can just about maintain 50 mph along there. It's pretty much right on the cusp of waking the ICE up but I've got the knack of it now, using the power gauge. In winter - no chance. If I let the speed drop to 45 I can do it but then I don't get much of a recharge coasting up to the roundabout and it becomes difficult to drive all the way home still in EV.

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Still strange if the Battery is so affected by outside temprature. Battery is stored beneath the rear seat, and air with cabin temprature circulates it. Should'nt it be all right, and perform more evenly through a whole year? 

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Niels, All the batteries you have in your house are subject to failure due to temperature. Leave a torch outside and the Battery will deteriorate quicker then indoors. Manufacturers of batteries spend a fortune on research and development, if it was an easy fix they would have solved the problem by now. Excess heat can kill a Battery, that’s why EV and hybrid vehicles have a fan to cool (I understand Nissan Leaf doesn’t have a cooling system and gets critical reviews because of that). 

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2 hours ago, Catlover said:

Niels, All the batteries you have in your house are subject to failure due to temperature. Leave a torch outside and the battery will deteriorate quicker then indoors. Manufacturers of batteries spend a fortune on research and development, if it was an easy fix they would have solved the problem by now. Excess heat can kill a battery, that’s why EV and hybrid vehicles have a fan to cool (I understand Nissan Leaf doesn’t have a cooling system and gets critical reviews because of that). 

That’s right, and because of that some Ev’s like Tesla has advanced liquid cooling systems which also heats up the Battery to a certain temperatures when most power is required, switching to “ ludicrous “ mode for racing. Yesterday I went out for a short drive around to recharge Battery since my car not currently in use and even with almost full charge the ice was constantly running, typical behaviour of Toyota hybrid. The best thing having access to many hybrids is that you can compare situations like that, learn something and have no worries. Remember when I was driving only brand new Toyota hybrids and once I had to drive a Prius with 100k miles on it , my college called me and asked how it’s the car feel? As I was worried before picking up the car, then after my answer was:  this Prius drives better than the new ones👍🚗😎

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On 12/28/2020 at 10:11 PM, nielshm said:

Still strange if the battery is so affected by outside temprature. Battery is stored beneath the rear seat, and air with cabin temprature circulates it. Should'nt it be all right, and perform more evenly through a whole year? 

I've noted that the Battery begins to perform better if you drive for a longer distance in the winter. The fact the Battery is in the cabin, does not make much difference at start, because it's as cold in the car as outside. The Battery contains a lot of mass, so cabin temperature takes a while to warm it up. I think using it generates the heat needed to warm it up, rather than cabin temperature, but with everything else you are demanding in the car during winter (maybe heated seats, lights, wipers, heated windscreen and mirrors, headlights even during the day, more friction caused by damp roads etc) it all adds up to less efficiency than on a warm summer day. Plus, the EV time will be reduced as the ICE performs the function of heating the cabin, so it runs for longer, right from start up. In summer, the ICE does not even start for the first half mile away from my house.

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3 hours ago, Timmon said:

I've noted that the battery begins to perform better if you drive for a longer distance in the winter. The fact the battery is in the cabin, does not make much difference at start, because it's as cold in the car as outside. The battery contains a lot of mass, so cabin temperature takes a while to warm it up. I think using it generates the heat needed to warm it up, rather than cabin temperature, but with everything else you are demanding in the car during winter (maybe heated seats, lights, wipers, heated windscreen and mirrors, headlights even during the day, more friction caused by damp roads etc) it all adds up to less efficiency than on a warm summer day. Plus, the EV time will be reduced as the ICE performs the function of heating the cabin, so it runs for longer, right from start up. In summer, the ICE does not even start for the first half mile away from my house.

I agree, the system does still become efficient after a longer warm up period. A 2 mile journey is pretty bad in winter. However, I did a 15 mile journey from Watford to Uxbridge on Boxing Day where the car was still warm from the previous journey and got 92 mpg on the app. The point is that winter temps in the U.K. shouldn’t prevent efficient running completely, just for shorter journeys.

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On 12/28/2020 at 8:24 AM, nielshm said:

I'm doing very low EV time with my 2.0 Corolla. Often below 20%, it seems to charge the battery for ages, but does'nt really like to return the power. 

Summer has been very nice, at hybrid system has been very efficient. Now with colder weather and more wind, things are very different. I know the engine takes longer to heat, but I cant figure out why the car won't use the hybrid battery some more, since it very often has 70-80% charge. 

When accelerating the battery kicks in, but with cruise control enabled, allmost nothing happens. 

For more information about cold air intakes for toyota corolla visit website here.

Yes, I also noticed this, I also heard that using friction brakes is a temporary waste of energy, so in winter try to use regenerative braking, slow down without using this brake. This will allow you to recharge the Battery, which will be very useful in winter. Rational recuperation functions will increase the electric vehicle's range by 10-15%. There are many examples on the network on the experience of using recuperative energy.

By the way, there is also some interesting information. The lithium-ion batteries found in most modern electric vehicles do not perform well when cold. At the same time, many models of electric cars offer a Battery heating system that allows you to maintain a normal operating balance, preventing the batteries from freezing or too cold.
By using this system in the winter, you can also reduce the loss of electric vehicle range.

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I always try to avoid friction braking. In point of fact the most efficient way to brake is not to brake. The hybrid's reclamation system is not perfect and it has losses. It's actually most efficient to find the sweet spot on 'engine braking' where the ICE is off but the Battery is not recharging. This is in effect coasting and is the most fuel efficient way to slow down.

It is however very, very difficult to find this spot and there aren't many situations other than long downhill sections where it's practical. So most of the time the best we can do is use good acceleration sense and anticipation so that we control our speed purely through the accelerator. My old driving instructor once told me "Brakes are for stopping and correcting your mistakes". That's an adage I have followed for thirty years.

For what it's worth this tip will save fuel in all vehicles whether they are hybrid or not. Friction brakes convert fuel into heat and are always wasteful 🙂

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40 minutes ago, AndrueC said:

I always try to avoid friction braking. In point of fact the most efficient way to brake is not to brake. The hybrid's reclamation system is not perfect and it has losses. It's actually most efficient to find the sweet spot on 'engine braking' where the ICE is off but the battery is not recharging. This is in effect coasting and is the most fuel efficient way to slow down.

It is however very, very difficult to find this spot and there aren't many situations other than long downhill sections where it's practical. So most of the time the best we can do is use good acceleration sense and anticipation so that we control our speed purely through the accelerator. My old driving instructor once told me "Brakes are for stopping and correcting your mistakes". That's an adage I have followed for thirty years.

For what it's worth this tip will save fuel in all vehicles whether they are hybrid or not. Friction brakes convert fuel into heat and are always wasteful 🙂

Explain that to commuters that keep up with traffic 😂🚗👍

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