MrDRMorgan
Posts: 1096
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:27 am
Location: Manteca in Central California

Re: Trying to decide and wanted some insight from owners. Spark vs 500e?

Mon Jan 20, 2020 11:22 am

Kermit wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 11:10 am
I looked a Fiat 500e when looking for an EV and decided to go with the Spark EV. The Spark has 4 doors and that was the deal breaker for me. I just commute but I take my son to school every day and for him getting in and out of the backseat just made sense to have 4 doors that way we wouldn't have to deal with standing out in the rain when someone got in the back seat.

Regarding the battery warming. I actually did some of this (before I read this post) last night/ this morning as the temperatures were in the 20's.
The car was on departure time charging and it started from 50% battery and I was able to capture data at 86% charge. Outside temperature was 24F, the battery was at 35.6F (2C) while charging. This temperature is what the car heats the battery to to charge while plugged in (I have confirmed this temperature mulitple times with my data).

I did a remote start at 8:00AM and battery heat was on at 1689 Watts and the cabin heat was 0 Watts. When I left 12 minutes later the battery temperature was at 44.6F (7C) and the battery heat was on at 2367 Watts and the cabin heat was 0 Watts. This shows that the preconditioning for the battery was not complete. I can check tomorrow as it will be just as cold to see when the heater turns off. When I got in the car it was rather cold inside and the rear defroster and seat heater had been on but that's it. After driving to work in the cold weather with the preconditioning I was still able to achieve 5.0kWh although traffic was light due to the holiday.
Great information. Thanks! You confirmed why I did not see any battery heating while remote starting. It was not cold enough. Just to be clear, you say the battery heater will not go on until the battery temperature drops below 36 deg. F (2C). Do I understand that correctly?

Kermit
Posts: 109
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:47 am

Re: Trying to decide and wanted some insight from owners. Spark vs 500e?

Tue Jan 21, 2020 7:31 am

MrDRMorgan wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 11:22 am

Great information. Thanks! You confirmed why I did not see any battery heating while remote starting. It was not cold enough. Just to be clear, you say the battery heater will not go on until the battery temperature drops below 36 deg. F (2C). Do I understand that correctly?
That is correct 35.6F to be exact. It appears all the temperature set points are programmed in the car to be Celsius not Fahrenheit as these are the exact readings in Torque Pro and the conversion to Celsius is always to the exact degree with no decimals. I will leave my car unplugged tonight since it is supposed to get down to 25F again and I will check the battery temperature in the morning to see if it uses any of the battery energy to keep it above freezing while parked and unplugged. I'll also plug it in a couple hours before leaving to see what happens after being plugged in (i.e. if it immediately starts heating the battery.)

Yesterday when leaving work my battery temperature was reading 4C (39.2F). I turned the heat on so the car would be warm when I picked up my son. I was only able to achieve about 3.3 mi/kwh with the battery cold. When I got home the battery temperature was still reading 4c (39.2F) after driving about 8 miles.

This morning I did 2 preconditioning cycles on the car. When I began the battery temperature read 35.6F (2C) with the outside air temperature 25F (Charged to DIC [Display In Console reading from Torque] 82.3%.) After that first cycle the battery temperature was at 55.4F (13C) (Charge dropped to DIC 75.6%) Doing the second preconditioning cycle did not turn on the battery heater and the battery stayed at 55.4F (13C) (Charge dropped to DIC 73.7%.) This should give everyone an idea of when to precondition the car for better efficiency. Although I would preheat it whenever you want to for comfort. As a side note the heated seat was very hot this morning (cloth seats.)

Just as a point of reference our Gen 2 Volt when it was fully charged and before starting a preconditioning cycle the battery was already warmed to 55.4F (13C) .

All charging info that I have been doing is with a 120V 8 amp EVSE.
2016 Spark EV
2017 Volt

MrDRMorgan
Posts: 1096
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:27 am
Location: Manteca in Central California

Re: Trying to decide and wanted some insight from owners. Spark vs 500e?

Tue Jan 21, 2020 9:27 am

Kermit wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 7:31 am
MrDRMorgan wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 11:22 am

Great information. Thanks! You confirmed why I did not see any battery heating while remote starting. It was not cold enough. Just to be clear, you say the battery heater will not go on until the battery temperature drops below 36 deg. F (2C). Do I understand that correctly?
That is correct 35.6F to be exact. It appears all the temperature set points are programmed in the car to be Celsius not Fahrenheit as these are the exact readings in Torque Pro and the conversion to Celsius is always to the exact degree with no decimals. I will leave my car unplugged tonight since it is supposed to get down to 25F again and I will check the battery temperature in the morning to see if it uses any of the battery energy to keep it above freezing while parked and unplugged. I'll also plug it in a couple hours before leaving to see what happens after being plugged in (i.e. if it immediately starts heating the battery.)

Yesterday when leaving work my battery temperature was reading 4C (39.2F). I turned the heat on so the car would be warm when I picked up my son. I was only able to achieve about 3.3 mi/kwh with the battery cold. When I got home the battery temperature was still reading 4c (39.2F) after driving about 8 miles.

This morning I did 2 preconditioning cycles on the car. When I began the battery temperature read 35.6F (2C) with the outside air temperature 25F (Charged to DIC [Display In Console reading from Torque] 82.3%.) After that first cycle the battery temperature was at 55.4F (13C) (Charge dropped to DIC 75.6%) Doing the second preconditioning cycle did not turn on the battery heater and the battery stayed at 55.4F (13C) (Charge dropped to DIC 73.7%.) This should give everyone an idea of when to precondition the car for better efficiency. Although I would preheat it whenever you want to for comfort. As a side note the heated seat was very hot this morning (cloth seats.)

Just as a point of reference our Gen 2 Volt when it was fully charged and before starting a preconditioning cycle the battery was already warmed to 55.4F (13C) .

All charging info that I have been doing is with a 120V 8 amp EVSE.
Great information. Thanks again. Rarely will I ever see 35.6 deg. F outside and my garage will never get that low.

Kermit
Posts: 109
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:47 am

Re: Trying to decide and wanted some insight from owners. Spark vs 500e?

Wed Jan 22, 2020 8:32 am

This is some data from last night and this morning:
I ran the battery rather low so I did charge until 8:00PM before unplugging for the night. At that time the Battery temp was at 7C and the SOC DIC was 60.39%.
This morning (~7AM, 25F outside) the battery temperature was at 3C (37.4F) and the SOC DIC was 60.00%.
The 3C is above the temperature that it appears to heat to when charging (2C) so it didn't get cold enough to prove if it heated or not when unplugged. I can only think the battery may have been so heat soaked that it couldn't cool down enough to verify this.
It was interesting to see that the SOC DIC % dropped but the amount was so small I think this will be inconclusive in showing any battery conditioning in cold weather while unplugged until I can get the temperature to drop low enough and see if I can repeat the results.

Another thing I wanted to point out was that this morning my 12V battery was at 12.5V before plugging in and when I did plug it in it jumped to 13.6V, I believe this shows that the 12V battery gets charged up every time the car is plugged in and charging not just when it is turned on.
2016 Spark EV
2017 Volt

SparkE
Posts: 376
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:18 am
Location: SF Bay Area (San Jose, CA)

Re: Trying to decide and wanted some insight from owners. Spark vs 500e?

Wed Jan 22, 2020 5:19 pm

Kermit wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 8:32 am
Another thing I wanted to point out was that this morning my 12V battery was at 12.5V before plugging in and when I did plug it in it jumped to 13.6V, I believe this shows that the 12V battery gets charged up every time the car is plugged in and charging not just when it is turned on.
Yeah, I forgot to mention that. At one point a long time ago I did an anal-retentive measuring of the voltage at the 12V battery at different points. When car is turned on, OR when car is charging (both DCFC and J1772) then 13.6V is being pushed to the accessory battery. I never measured "main battery is full, car is plugged in but no longer charging, what voltage is at the accessory battery".

And a clarification, just because 13.6V is being sent to the accessory battery does NOT mean that it is "charged up" (charged to full) whenever it is plugged in. What would matter would be the amps sent to the battery (sending 15A at 13.4V would charge the battery more than 0.5A at 14.0V over the same duration)

Kermit
Posts: 109
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:47 am

Re: Trying to decide and wanted some insight from owners. Spark vs 500e?

Thu Jan 23, 2020 6:52 am

Good point and clarification SparkE. I was pointing this out to show it may not be necessary to charge the battery as some are doing with a plug in charger. I think a sign of your battery health would be the voltage reading after the car has been sitting but not plugged in. When it falls below 12.1V it should be replaced. Mine is currently at 12.4V with 17,000 miles on it.
2016 Spark EV
2017 Volt

SparkE
Posts: 376
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:18 am
Location: SF Bay Area (San Jose, CA)

Re: Trying to decide and wanted some insight from owners. Spark vs 500e?

Thu Jan 23, 2020 6:39 pm

Yeah, *however* simply opening the door on a modern car (SparkEV definitely included) puts a lot on the acc battery. To measure the battery, open the door, pop the hood, prop open hood, let sit for 30 min, THEN measure voltage. Also, plug in trickle charger, let fully charge, then let sit for 8-12 hours or so, measure again. It is the "resting voltage" that is important. Temp is also important (although 12.1V vs 12.5V is MORE important).

Also, "desulfating" and "saturation charge" is really important also for an older battery.I might have bought a different charger 3 years ago, but am happy with mine.

Kermit
Posts: 109
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:47 am

Re: Trying to decide and wanted some insight from owners. Spark vs 500e?

Fri Jan 24, 2020 8:37 am

So are you suggesting measuring the voltage at the terminals? The OBD2 scanner does this as well via the OBD2 port. My test was after car was sitting unplugged for 11 hours in 25F weather [12.5Volts] this is with a battery that will be 4 years old in June of this year.

My last ICE car had 4 batteries total, two were Lead Acid and 2 were AGM. All my batteries lasted about 5 years. This is with a car that does not charge the battery when it is parked (like the Spark EV does when charging.) It also didn't charge as steadily, since the charge was based on the cars RPMs and it had to endure the extreme heat of the engine.

So assuming my AGM will last just 5 years as they have in the past (under much worse conditions.) I may have to replace my 12 volt battery 2-3 more times over the life of my car assuming I have the car for another 11-16 years (if I can get it to last that long.) Looking into the desulfated/overcharged and trickle charged AGM battery they may last 6-8 years max. I may have to buy one more over the lifetime of ownership of this car. With batteries costing ~$164 delivered to your door and a trickle charger costing ~$86 I would be spending $78 more to not plug and unplug my cars 12 volt battery several times a year. Or to break that out per year I would pay ~$5-7 a year, to not buy a charger but instead buy an extra battery and save a lot of time not popping the hood plugging it in and later unplugging it and closing the hood for 11-16 years.

I'm willing to pay that minimal fee for another battery and more importantly spending my time doing other things.
2016 Spark EV
2017 Volt

MrDRMorgan
Posts: 1096
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:27 am
Location: Manteca in Central California

Re: Trying to decide and wanted some insight from owners. Spark vs 500e?

Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:48 am

Kermit wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 8:37 am
So are you suggesting measuring the voltage at the terminals? The OBD2 scanner does this as well via the OBD2 port. My test was after car was sitting unplugged for 11 hours in 25F weather [12.5Volts] this is with a battery that will be 4 years old in June of this year.

My last ICE car had 4 batteries total, two were Lead Acid and 2 were AGM. All my batteries lasted about 5 years. This is with a car that does not charge the battery when it is parked (like the Spark EV does when charging.) It also didn't charge as steadily, since the charge was based on the cars RPMs and it had to endure the extreme heat of the engine.

So assuming my AGM will last just 5 years as they have in the past (under much worse conditions.) I may have to replace my 12 volt battery 2-3 more times over the life of my car assuming I have the car for another 11-16 years (if I can get it to last that long.) Looking into the desulfated/overcharged and trickle charged AGM battery they may last 6-8 years max. I may have to buy one more over the lifetime of ownership of this car. With batteries costing ~$164 delivered to your door and a trickle charger costing ~$86 I would be spending $78 more to not plug and unplug my cars 12 volt battery several times a year. Or to break that out per year I would pay ~$5-7 a year, to not buy a charger but instead buy an extra battery and save a lot of time not popping the hood plugging it in and later unplugging it and closing the hood for 11-16 years.

I'm willing to pay that minimal fee for another battery and more importantly spending my time doing other things.
I just roll down the driver's window a bit and plug my charger into the OBD2 port to charge my car's 12v AGM battery and disulfate the battery. It works great! Note; my car is in the garage when I do this.

NORTON
Posts: 1278
Joined: Fri May 01, 2015 5:52 am
Location: KC,MO

Re: Trying to decide and wanted some insight from owners. Spark vs 500e?

Sat Jan 25, 2020 6:40 am

MrDRMorgan wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:48 am
I just roll down the driver's window a bit and plug my charger into the OBD2 port to charge my car's 12v AGM battery and disulfate the battery. ...
Great idea !!
I just ordered a bare OBD2 connector and the 2pin connector that is inline on my Batteryminder charger.
I can now treat all my car batteries easily to a little topping up and the ol' desulfation routine, without latching directly onto the 12V battery.
One of the gassers doesn't get used much.
Used '14 2LT w/ DCFC. +78 K miles.
Mostly free charging! Only one LONG visit to the shop....
GM needs Modern Troubleshooting tools for Modern EV's.
3 step Trouble Tree, 1st try car died again, 2nd try not covered / cost $800. 3rd try fixed the problem.

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