MrDRMorgan
Posts: 1142
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:27 am
Location: Manteca in Central California

Re: In the market for a Spark, but concerned that it's been discontinued

Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:19 am

JeremyWinter wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:04 pm
That's not how battery degradation works. It peaks off after a initial substantial decline.

https://ww.electrek.co/2018/04/14/tesla ... data/#aprd
That may be true for Tesla batteries as the article mentioned and there are some Spark EV drivers who have driven more than 75k miles and still have considerable battery capacity remaining. I am not one of those lucky ones. Charging to 70% might be one way to extend battery life. But, unlike a Tesla, charging a Spark EV to 70% could, depending how the car is used, seriously limit the usefulness of the car.

I have leased or owned a 2014, 2015 and 2016 Spark EV and every one has shown a significant drop in measured battery capacity. I also tested a friend's 2016 Spark EV and his battery capacity measured 14.8 kWh at just over 30k miles. In all 4 cases, there was a lot of 90%+ charging.

Having said all of this, there is evidence in my data to suggest I need to re-evaluate the 80% charge limit for a longer period of time.

Data for my 2014 Spark EV:

For the period 04 Apr 19 thru 12 June 19, I drove 953 miles (18766 - 17813) and initiated 20 charging sessions using my L1 EVSE with the car set to a 12 amp charging rate and a timed charging interval set to limit charging to 80-85% of SOC by manually disconnecting at 8 am each morning. The start and stop SOC value for this interval was 16.2 kWh. At this point I started charging to 100% and my SOC started dropping again. 15.9 kWh at 18841 miles; 15.7 kWh at 19896 miles, 15.6 kWh at 20788 miles, 15.5 kWh at 21039 miles, 15.4 kWh at 21424 miles and 15.3 kWh at 21862 miles on 6 Jan 2020.

My TorquePro data also shows:

953 miles between the first and last of the 16.2 kWh values (20 charging sessions limited to 80-85%).
1000 miles between the first and last of the 15.9 kWh values.
737 miles between the first and last of the 15.7 kWh values.
172 miles between the first and last of the 15.6 kWh values.
79 miles between 15.6 kWh and 15.5 kWh.
385 miles between 15.5 kWh and 15.4 kWh.
71 miles between 15.4 kWh and 15.3 kWh.

Bottom line: I am going to try again limiting charging to 80-85% and see what happens. Another interesting thing I saw in the data for my 2016 Spark EV was the measured battery capacity rose and fell in sync with the battery temperature at the time of measurement. Lower battery capacity usually occurred below 20 deg. C

SparkE
Posts: 411
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:18 am
Location: SF Bay Area (San Jose, CA)

Re: In the market for a Spark, but concerned that it's been discontinued

Sat Jan 18, 2020 1:40 pm

With my 2016 Spark EV (sadly, now deceased), I rarely charged over 80%, and almost never charged over 90% (but I did charge to 100% every 5-8 weeks, to make sure that the cells were balanced every now and then).

I also never let the car sit at anywhere near "full charge" for long periods. (When I charged to 100%, often because we were driving it close to the range limit, I would charge it to 100% about an hour or two before leaving.)

After 2 years, I had about a 10% battery degradation (total).

Also, because of a friend's bad experience with a LEAF, I bought and use (at least) monthly a "smart" trickle charger for the 12V accessory battery. (In fact, I now hook up *all* my vehicles, the ICEmobiles, if they haven't been driven on the freeway for at least 8-10 minutes in the previous 3-4 weeks.)

The " friend's bad experience with a LEAF " was that he left it with me while he was away on vacation, and I didn't drive it for 4-5 days. When I finally went out to drive it, HUGE problems with the electronics, car won't start, etc. Turns out it was the 12V battery gone bad. I spent several hours reading thread after thread about the HORRIBLE "keep 12V battery charged" logic in the 2013-and-earlier LEAFs which caused 12V batteries to fail prematurely in lots of LEAFs. So I bought a trickle charger.

I also recommend buying one of those "Li-Ion starter pack" things to take with you in the car. If you hook it up to a failed 12V battery, it should be able to allow you to drive to a parts store to get a new battery (or home) instead of waiting for a tow truck. (I don't have one yet - can anybody recommend a unit that THEY HAVE USED to drive a Spark EV with a failed or disconnected 12V lead-acid battery???)

MrDRMorgan
Posts: 1142
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:27 am
Location: Manteca in Central California

Re: In the market for a Spark, but concerned that it's been discontinued

Sat Jan 18, 2020 1:50 pm

SparkE wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 1:40 pm
With my 2016 Spark EV (sadly, now deceased), I rarely charged over 80%, and almost never charged over 90% (but I did charge to 100% every 5-8 weeks, to make sure that the cells were balanced every now and then).

I also never let the car sit at anywhere near "full charge" for long periods. (When I charged to 100%, often because we were driving it close to the range limit, I would charge it to 100% about an hour or two before leaving.)

After 2 years, I had about a 10% battery degradation (total).

Also, because of a friend's bad experience with a LEAF, I bought and use (at least) monthly a "smart" trickle charger for the 12V accessory battery. (In fact, I now hook up *all* my vehicles, the ICEmobiles, if they haven't been driven on the freeway for at least 8-10 minutes in the previous 3-4 weeks.)

The " friend's bad experience with a LEAF " was that he left it with me while he was away on vacation, and I didn't drive it for 4-5 days. When I finally went out to drive it, HUGE problems with the electronics, car won't start, etc. Turns out it was the 12V battery gone bad. I spent several hours reading thread after thread about the HORRIBLE "keep 12V battery charged" logic in the 2013-and-earlier LEAFs which caused 12V batteries to fail prematurely in lots of LEAFs. So I bought a trickle charger.

I also recommend buying one of those "Li-Ion starter pack" things to take with you in the car. If you hook it up to a failed 12V battery, it should be able to allow you to drive to a parts store to get a new battery (or home) instead of waiting for a tow truck. (I don't have one yet - can anybody recommend a unit that THEY HAVE USED to drive a Spark EV with a failed or disconnected 12V lead-acid battery???)
I haven't had to use it but, in each of my Spark EVs, I now carry a Viking Li-Ion jump starter and power pack. This product is available from Harbor Freight for $79.95 but is occasionally on sale for a lower price. It fits nicely under the driver's seat.

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