CarlinOC
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 7:31 am

Battery Degradation vs Battery Limited Warranty

Sat May 14, 2016 9:23 pm

I have had my 2014 Spark EV since October 10, 2013. I've racked up 18,900 miles and now, like others, I am seeing my full charge range diminishing.

Up until February this year (27 months & ~17,000 miles) I was consistently fully charged for 86 miles +or- 2.

Then, I noticed I was only getting ~76 +or-2. It was not gradual decline, but rather a step down. I thought it was kind of strange that it dropped by like 10 miles rather than a mileage decline over time. But it did not really matter because the max range I need is 62 miles, So, no battery anxiety.

Now I am only fully charging to a range of 69 miles. Now I am concerned. Big difference having a cushion of 14 - 24 miles that I know I'll never use and only having 7 miles. If there is another step down, I am hosed until I can get a Bolt.

The very last thing I want to suffer is my nay sayer family members snickering "told you so".

So, has anybody contacted their dealer for details about the Battery Limited Warranty? "Spark EV battery and specific electric drive components are covered for 100,000 miles/8 years (whichever comes first). The Spark EV battery warranty covers 161 battery components in addition to the thermal management system, charging system and electric drive components. See dealer for details."

My impression is the warranty covers failure. Thus, if my battery fails to charge, say to a 1 mile range, before 100,000 miles or 8 years, I'll get a new one. But, what of the long slow agonizing decline until then? If Spark EV 2014 owners are not getting the 86 mile range charge now, maybe we should test the warranty?

My local dealer ownership just changed. Before I go in, I wanted to hear about the good, the bad and maybe the ugly, if anybody has some advice.

I really want to hang on until I can get a Bolt. but, since that is still at least 6 - 8 months away, I am wondering what I should do.
Carl In OC
"I'd rather push an EV than drive a GV"

greenspark
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:59 pm

Re: Battery Degradation vs Battery Limited Warranty

Sat May 14, 2016 10:51 pm

What is the battery capacity when measured with the following procedure?
You can estimate the battery capacity by pressing the leaf and going to the "energy details" screen with the pie chart. If your last charge was a full charge, you can add up the three percentages (Driving and Accesories, Climate Setting, and Battery Conditioning) and divide by 100 to get the fraction of the battery that has been used. This screen also has "Energy Used" in kWh. Divide the "Energy Used" by the fraction to estimate the usable battery capacity in kWh. You will probably get a more accurate number if you wait until the battery is at least 40% used. In summary here's an equation:

Code: Select all

(battery capacity in kWh) = 100 * (Energy Used) / (Driving and Accessories + Climate Setting + Battery Conditioning)

NORTON
Posts: 1212
Joined: Fri May 01, 2015 5:52 am
Location: KC,MO

Re: Battery Degradation vs Battery Limited Warranty

Sun May 15, 2016 4:39 am

CarlinOC wrote:......
Up until February this year (27 months & ~17,000 miles) I was consistently fully charged for 86 miles +or- 2.

Then, I noticed I was only getting ~76 +or-2. It was not gradual decline, but rather a step down. ....
Have you tried using the 'Math Method' mentioned above to get a battery capacity number?

Are there not seasons where you live? I NEVER get 'consistent' GOM numbers.
For example: I have the slow or fast commute route, I have drastic seasonal temp changes, sometimes I only go for 80% at DCFC stations, sometimes I 'Head out on the Highway, Lookin' for Adventrue', just an old fashioned Joy Ride,, only for free!!

I see seasonal trends but rarely see the same GOM number twice.
The GOM is not meant to be a way of measuring battery capacity.

I'm at +18k miles and all is well with my battery capacity!!
Used '14 2LT w/ DCFC.
+67 K miles. Mostly free electrons! Only one LONG visit to the shop....
GM needs Modern Troubleshooting tools for Modern EV's.

CarlinOC
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 7:31 am

Re: Battery Degradation vs Battery Limited Warranty

Sun May 15, 2016 10:22 pm

NORTON wrote: Have you tried using the 'Math Method' mentioned above to get a battery capacity number?
No, but I will so I can make some comparisons.
NORTON wrote: Are there not seasons where you live? I NEVER get 'consistent' GOM numbers.
For example: I have the slow or fast commute route, I have drastic seasonal temp changes, sometimes I only go for 80% at DCFC stations, sometimes I 'Head out on the Highway, Lookin' for Adventrue', just an old fashioned Joy Ride,, only for free!!
2 seasons is Orange County, California. Sometimes cool and wet (although not much wet for the last 5 years). Sometimes hot & dry.
Only once the entire time I have driven my Spark EV did the the "Battery Conditioning" energy raise above zero percent. It was a hot day, I was about 3/4 down and %1 was displayed. Occasionally I have a good 5 -7 minute run down the local freeway, but mostly stop & go. I've made 6 trips up to L.A. (the 62 miles), charged up and come home. Even then it was not 65 all the way.
Early 2014 Spark EVs were not available with DCFC. Except for the trips to LA, I always charge at home. Up in L.A. I charge at my wife's girlfriend's house. She has an electric Ford Focus.
NORTON wrote: I see seasonal trends but rarely see the same GOM number twice.
The GOM is not meant to be a way of measuring battery capacity.
Fair enough. I have been using the estimated mileage range in the blue ball on the left and the trip odometer to keep battery anxiety in check.

Until February, adding estimated miles remaining in the blue ball & the miles driven as recorded in the trip odometer have been in the mid 80's, rather consistently.

Just yesterday I started out with a full charge range of 69 miles (again). I went ~17 miles out. At my destination, the blue ball estimated 53 miles remaining range. When I got home, I had ~35 miles on my trip odometer and 33 miles in the blue ball.

This seemed to be the easiest way to measure my range rather than trying to do the "Math Method" in my head while driving to calm battery anxiety.

Perhaps recording range estimate, trip odometer, and battery capacity at destination points and home would provide the evidence needed for the dealer to do something? Whatever that something might be?

I was thinking that maybe the battery is not single solid 600 pound unit that would have to be changed, but maybe there are cells within the battery that could be replaced? The fact that I've seemed to drop in steps seems to say pieces of the battery have failed.
NORTON wrote: I'm at +18k miles and all is well with my battery capacity!!
Thanks. Glad to hear all is well. As with any new technology and being early adopters, I think we will have very different experiences. I appreciate you sharing yours.
Carl In OC
"I'd rather push an EV than drive a GV"

SparkevBlogspot
Posts: 499
Joined: Mon May 25, 2015 12:19 pm

Re: Battery Degradation vs Battery Limited Warranty

Mon May 16, 2016 8:12 am

One thing you might check is your mi/kWh number. If that's significantly less than what was before, there may be something wrong with the car other than the battery. If that number is about the same, it could be the battery.

From a post in forum, apparently the warranty card states that warranty is to 65% of battery capacity and testing involves a day at the dealer. If you do take it to dealer for testing, please post your experience and what was involved.

SparkieVee
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 9:00 pm

Re: Battery Degradation vs Battery Limited Warranty

Mon May 16, 2016 4:22 pm

If you haven't yet, check your tire pressure. A small drop there could be enough to explain the difference. Even if the pressure hasn't dropped, adding a couple PSI might be enough to get your range back.

Regarding the actual battery warranty, the language was a bit vague when I read it back when I got my Spark (and I'm reporting this from memory from over two years ago, so take this with a grain of salt), but my interpretation was that there was an acceptable degradation curve. If you got below that curve they'd bring you at least back up to it but not necessarily back to new condition.

fox
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2017 1:16 pm

Re: Battery Degradation vs Battery Limited Warranty

Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:28 am

Can you give us an update on this, I never see more than 75 miles in the blue ball

MrDRMorgan
Posts: 947
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:27 am
Location: Manteca, California

Re: Battery Degradation vs Battery Limited Warranty

Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:49 am

fox wrote:Can you give us an update on this, I never see more than 75 miles in the blue ball
Here are my average monthly full-charge Blue Ball GOM numbers. We had a cold winter ( at least for Central California) where I live.

2014 Spark EV: Mar - Oct 2016: 105 miles
2015 spark EV: Mar - Oct 2016: 95 miles

2014 Spark EV: Dec - Jan 2016 / 17: 80 miles
2015 Spark EV: Dec - Jan 2016 / 17: 79 miles

2014 Spark EV: Mar 2017: 99 miles
2015 Spark EV: Mar 2017: 91 miles (fully charged last night: 98 miles)

Driving habits and use of the A/C or heater have major impact on GOM range.

PhilPen
Posts: 72
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2016 9:54 am
Location: Hamden, CT

Re: Battery Degradation vs Battery Limited Warranty

Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:11 am

fox wrote:Can you give us an update on this, I never see more than 75 miles in the blue ball
I have a 2015 Spark EV bought new as a super-leftover at the end of Nov 2016. I live in CT and thus the car has yet to be driven under anything like ideal conditions for maximum range. I have only seen 62-74 miles of range on the GOM (except during one short winter reprieve when it read 78). I too was initially was concerned about battery capacity degradation and how its long idle period may have effected it. However, calculations of the battery capacity gave values between 17.2 and 18.0 so all appears to be well. The main reasons for my low GOM range are weather and a largely fast highway commute. One possibly surprising effect on range I found recently was due to driving highway speeds in very heavy rain. A quick Google search revealed that very wet roads apparently can increase rolling resistance by up to 40%! Therefore, if one lived in a relatively wet area your GOM could be down for that reason also.
http://www.davidpublisher.org/Public/up ... 472e9f.pdf
I'm expecting to get some GOM readings in the range advertised by Chevy as we move further into spring.
2015 Spark EV 2LT electric blue with DCFC
2016 Spark EV 2LT salsa red with DCFC

QuietRider
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2016 4:46 pm
Location: MD

Re: Battery Degradation vs Battery Limited Warranty

Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:01 pm

Temperature makes a big difference, although I've not kept written records.

The GOM only charged up to 64 in extended cold periods, like we had in MD in December and it's hard to run without heat on when it's 20 F and the windshield is frost covered. Rain and snow take a hit. I'm bothered by not having a reversing valve to produce warm air in heatpump mode, rather than the stock resistance heat.

Last summer the GOM consistently posted over 100 for a couple of months, even in the teens once in a while. Now that it's warming up in March and April, it's posting 75 to 89, depending on whether or not the temps are cooler or warmer.

Battery technology keeps improving and is getting cheaper. My forecast is after 8 years of use, there will be low cost replacement batteries that get twice the kW in the same package.

Saturday (April 1) a fellow with a 2008 Tesla roadster was telling me about recently replacing his battery after 9 years. When new in 2008 it had 250 miles range, but with the recent new battery now charges to 345 miles. That wasn't an April Fool's story, and the batteries will continue to improve. Be nice to see our Spark batteries get to below the cited 65% level at 7-1/2 years while still under warrantee :)
Tom

2016 Spark EV 2LT - Lime

1979 US Electricar 'Lectric Leopard - Orange

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