mczajka wrote:What kind of range hit, if any, can I expect in 40 degree temps? I would not use the heat. Might use the seat heaters though. I could precondition (I guess).
This is a very good question. So, I thought I would start looking into it since at least once per month I venture out far enough that I need to stop both going and returning to top off my battery so I can get home. I am concerned that the heater's impact to mileage might prevent me from getting to the charging location.
Here is my first look:
My 2015 Spark EV 2LT was fully charged yesterday and left out all night. The outside temperature this morning at 7:30 am was 46 deg. F. I set the car's heating system as follows: Inside temperature: 75 deg. F; Fan speed: 3 bars; Recirculation: set to inside air; Distribution: dash and floor; AUTO setting was off.
Then I checked the electricity information center to make sure all usage percentage values and the kWh used value were all still zero.
I got into the car, closed the door and powered up the car. The fan came on and, after a bit, started producing heat. After 10 minutes the car was nice and warm and electricity information showed I used 0.6 kWh which equates to 3.4 miles of range ( my avg. last month without heat was 5.6 mi / kWh). The guess-o-meter dropped by 4 miles too. From this result, I expect I will lose approximately 3-4 miles of range for every 10 minutes of driving with the heater on and set to a temperature ~25 deg. F above the outside temperature. I need to test a longer time to see if the power consumption drops off as the cabin temperature approaches the set point, I also need to rerun the test using outside air to see what impact a constant flow of cold incoming air will have.
If, while driving in cold weather, I do lose 4 miles of range every 10 minutes [ ~24 miles per hour of driving], one of my regular charging stations will be out of safe range. Perhaps switching to the heated seats after the cabin is warmed up will help extend the range a bit.
I ran this same test with my 2014 Spark EV 2LT that was in my garage overnight. The car showed the outside temperature was 60 deg. F and was tested using the same settings as above. The electricity information details showed I used 0.4 kWh for the 10-minute test. The one thing I noticed was the heat coming into the car was not as "hot" as what I experienced in the 2015 Spark EV. However, after the test I moved the temperature up to 85 deg. F and the heat immediately got hotter. This make me think there is a tapering off of heat (therefore power) as the cabin temperature approaches the set point.
I would like to know what you other EV drivers see and do to address this problem. Central California temperatures will eventually drop into the 30s as winter continues to move in.