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Questions about the ID.4 battery capacity and cold weather

23298 Views 49 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  crabnebula
So I'm a new EV owner, having purchased the ID4 Pro S in July. I love driving the car and everything about it except for the lack of range and the shortage of fast chargers in my region. There's only one EA charging station in the entire state. Hopefully more are on the way. I digress...

During warmer weather I could charge the battery to 80% and the range indicator said that the range was about 230-240. Now the weather is changing in the Upper Midwest and I took a short road trip to a location where I left the car out overnight for 4 nights without driving it and the temperatures dropped into the mid-to-low 30s. On my return trip, a charge to 80%, which took about the same amount of time as it did during the summer months, only got the range indicator to 160-175. I got it home to my garage where the car is charging in a partially enclosed area (warmer than outside, say around 60 degrees) and it doesn't seem to have improved. Does anyone know how long does it take for the effects of being outside to normalize once I return it to the garage? Is this dramatic change something I can expect for the entire winter (and for it to potentially get worse), or am I doing something wrong?
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So then what do I need to do to get the range back to a reasonable point, other than move to a warmer weather climate? I'm charging it right now on a 6.6kw Chargepoint, which tells me that it has given my car an estimated 72 miles. According to Car-Net, its been closer to 40 miles, and its at 68% and 132 mile range. I'm supposed to drive 150 miles away this weekend (in 40 degree weather) and there's no charger in between the two points. I've already shut off everything I can. Am I reading too much into the range indicator?

I might just rent a car at this point...
Stop charging to 80% for starters ...charge to 100% ..the ID 4 has a 5 kW reserve (82/77 usable ) (my chevy bolt has 109,000 miles on now and still 95% + battery I charge to 100% everyday(and the bolt has no reserve))

If you own your own home set up a Charger in your Garage .. and set ID 4 to make sure you have a full charger at 6am-7am whatever time you leave in the morning. That ensures your batteries are nice and toasty and will increase your range.

Bottm line ..winter range in an EV is not good is NORMAL to lose 20%-40% range

someday it wont be normal..but for now it is what it is
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VW recommends routinely charging to 80%. Of course there are situations where it's advantageous to charge to 100% and yes the upper buffer limit will somewhat 'protect' against same. But again, there's a good reason for the 80% recommendation.
You may of course do whatever you choose as it's your vehicle. I would however hold short on making your own situation the recommendation to others.
I whole heartedly recommend charging to 100% ...these are the same batteries as in the Bolt. the Buffer zone in the ID 4 is there specifically for that reason

"A battery buffer reserves around 5-10% on both ends of the battery in efforts to maintain battery health. The idea is that by reserving battery from actual use, the battery will not complete full cycles, therefore, reducing the degradation rate"

The ID 4 has a 5 kWh buffer ..that's huge .. the Bolt has zero buffer and degradation after 100,000 miles is generally just in the 8% or so range

The REASON VW and others recommend charging to 80% is that that they can say ...charges from 5-80% in 38 minutes.. if Charging to 100% then the text would change to 5% to 100% in 1 Hour.. (that kind of sucks compared to saying 38 Minutes !! ;)

So Yes ....charge completely up to 77 kW ...the fake 100%.

Bottom line the Buffer ALREADY prevents you from charging to 100% .. The buffer is essentially restricing charging to 93% (when you charge top 100%)
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All lithium-ion batteries perform best and last longest when charged [only] to 80% and discharged to 40% prior to a recharge. That's why VW so recommends. Just the nature of the chemical beast. I'm more typically at 50% when recharging so I don't absolutely follow best practices either. The always be charging (ABC) principle creeps on me as an anti range anxiety thing.

And I do charge my iPhone to 100% as I know it will get replaced with newer tech when the battery no longer reliably holds a charge (6s to 12 most recently).

So again, feel free to recommend (as you now have), just not potentially misled new owners. And again, feel free to charge any way you deem appropriate.
Yes that is correct..but what I am saying is charging to 100% is REALLY just charging to 93% ... degradation is NOT going to be an issue .

In My case without any buffer I run my Chevy Bolt hard everyday and charge to 100% ..everyday.. putting 200-300 miles on everyday and still have 95% of Battery capacity after 5 years (2017 model (dec 2016 manufacture) )

charging the ID 4 to 100% (93% in reality) is absolutely fine
We can agree to disagree considering we have an 8-year assured 70% capacity warranty anyway. ;)
Thanks Huey...thats funny that was going to be my next posts (warranty) .. why do you think VW only wants you to charge at 80% ;).. Probably thinks it will save them money on warranties
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Hello EVone, We picked up our ID.4 Pro S AWD last week and immediately took a road trip ~365 miles each way. We used the Electrify America charging during the trip. I was told to charge to 80% but also charged a couple times to 90% (all charging was done at Electrify America) When I got the car the range was over 200 mi at 80%, Now the car sits in the garage at 80% charge and shows a range of 143 mi? Is this because the return trip home was into a stiff headwind and we were pretty heavy (cargo). I'm hoping that the onboard computer is basing the range on the past drive and not actual as that's a huge drop in range. Should we be charging it to 100%? I don't really drive every day so just looking for best practices. We have a trip planned again next week ~291 mi each way. Appreciate any advice and charging tips. Thank you!
3 Main Factors, Temp, speed and windspeed.

Assuming you drove a lot of highway/interstate 70MPH + and the head wind ...not suprised at all with GOM showing you 143 miles .

Charge to 100% before you leave your House ...ON the road charge to , just like you did 80/90% .(the reason only 80/90% on the Road is TIME..that last 10-20% can take another 30-45 you obviously dont want to sit that long) You'll need to adjust your speed to get the best range. Pay attention to miles per kWh . When you first leave your house at 100% . That means you have 77kW to work with . so if you can maintain 3.0 miles/kWh then you'll be able to drive 231 miles ...can you get behind a semi (good distance) and get 3.5/kWh then you'll get 269 miles .

Lets say you are able to get 3 miles/ get home , plug in then in the morning at 100% your GOM will also display 231 miles OR SO of range

Lets say you were only able to 2.0 Miles/kWh on your trip ..then in the morning your GOM is going to display 156 Miles of Range.

Keep in Mind in both scenerios you still wake up with a full 77kW Battery .. the GOM os only diplaying the range it expects you to get IF ..IF you keep driving like you did on your trip.

You can wake up to 156 Miles on the GOM but end up driving around town all day and next day you'll see 200+ miles .
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So technically that isn’t right. The ID.4 uses LG Chem’s NCM 712. The Bolt depending on generation uses LG’s NCM 622. Almost all current high nickel lithiums will see the overall battery life cycle count reduce as you charge SOC higher and discharge lower. GM is claiming that their new Ultium LG NCMA battery is more resistant to this effect. Even Elon has said to charge Teslas to 80% for daily use and they are using NCA chemistry.
118,000 Miles on my Chevy Bolt. still has 95% of range after 5 years. I charge 100% every day. That said, where you charge makes a difference as well. DCFC charging to 100% worse (harder on the batteries) than charging at home at 7kW . I look at it like trickle charging keeping the battery maintained. Anyway, If charging to 100% means losing 5-10% range over 5 years. FOR ME, I'm perfectly fine with that

Now with Tesla LFP batteries you need to charge top 100% at least once a week is the recommendation.

The different guidelines for LFP cars include the recommendation that Model 3 owners keep the charge limit set to 100%, and actually charge their cars to 100% at least once a week, per the owner’s manual. If a car is parked for more than a week, Tesla recommends that owners drive normally and charge to 100% at their earliest convenience.
7kW is a pretty far cry from trickle charging. I could see that argument down at 1.9 kW and maybe even pushing it to 3.8 kW, but there's no getting around that this is a huge battery comprised of 288 individual cells. There's a lot of current going in, and a lot of heat being managed.
Pretty lite compared to 30,40,50kW

Like you said huge battery with 288 cells, can easily handle 7kW ac ..barely enough to heat the batteries

you know that gives me a thought morning I get a chance I'll check and see what it is pulling at 90-95%.. wonder if it slows down to 3kW or so ? Just a thought
@EVone this statement is not correct, but I think the problem with your advice here is that it's based on your priorities which may not be the same as others.

First, about usable battery. 77/82 is 93.9%, or 94%. So, the buffer that VW puts aside on the battery is 6%. However, that 6% buffer is not all applied to the top end. There is also a part of that applies to the bottom end. Only VW knows if this is split 50/50 or otherwise, but it doesn't matter. What matters is that the buffer is likely less than 5%, and does not represent the full buffer necessary to take care of a battery if one's priority is maximizing the battery's useful life.

If I understand your priorities, they are to minimize your range anxiety and maximizing drive distance from each charge cycle by keeping it topped up every night and charging to 100% or so while driving. Of course, that's just fine for your priorities, but advising everyone else, especially people who are only starting to learn about the battery technology (or don't care, they just want some basic rules to follow to take care of their expensive purchase) to just charge to 100% every time is misleading at best.

There are two reasons that VW and just about everyone else experienced with the chemistry of this battery technology recommend daily charging to 80% and only occasional charging to 100%.

First, regularly limiting charging to 80% significantly reduces stress on the battery cells, thereby extending the useful life of the battery. There are nice graphs showing how a battery with this chemistry that is constantly charged to 100% simply does not maintain as much of its capacity over hundreds or thousands of charge cycles. A full charge to 100% (usable) does in fact cause tiny incremental damage to the battery that, over time, results in an accelerated reduction of overall charging capacity. You may be fine with this, perhaps because you're content being protected by the warranty or have a lease vehicle and the car isn't your problem after 4 years, so maximizing lifespan doesn't matter to you. But others might have different priorities. If an owner's priorities include maximizing the useful life of the battery high up in their list, then they should absolutely avoid charging beyond 80% on a daily basis and only occasionally charge to 100%. When is it ok to go beyond 80%? Well, whenever it's more important than long term life of the battery, but the baseline answer is whenever you're expecting to travel a longer distance than can be comfortably driven on 80% charge. So, 90 mile round trip daily work commute plus a visit to a friend in the afternoon? Start that day with 80%. But a 400 mile drive for a week and trip to another city? Then it's absolutely worth the full 100% charge to maximize distance on the first leg of the trip. What's the upper end of this recommendation? There is no clear answer, because every charge above 80% or so is more stressful on the battery so the more of them you do, the more you impact the battery's useful life (although, the "stress" is much more harmful when the battery is left at a very high percentage for extended periods of time, like multiple days, so charging overnight to 100% and immediately driving down to 80% or lower as one would do on a road trip is much less damaging than always charging to 100% and leaving it that way whenever not in use). But to me it seems that a reasonable person would try to limit stress on the battery whenever tht doesn't cause them stress about their driving plans.

The second reason experts recommend stopping charging at 80% has to do with the charging curve. Simply, the fastest charging happens between about 10% and 80%. So, if an owner wants to spend the least amount of time charging the battery on a road trip, they should absolutely stop charging as soon as the charging speed drops off, which is specifically mapped by VW to happen at around 80%. Do you need to jump up from your rest stop Big Mac meal as soon as you get the alert you've reached 80%? No, you're still charging and since you're not ready to go, you're only incrementally "wasting time". Also, since you'll be immediately pulling energy from the battery as soon as you jump in and get back on the road, there's no reason to be concerned about the battery life. But if you wait the additional 30 minutes or more to get that final 20% charged up, you're choosing to use what is essentially the same amount of time it takes to charge 70% of the battery capacity if you were doing so between 10-80% SOC. So, again, it's OK to charge to 100% if a maximum leg distance is your priority but it's not recommended because it's simply not most efficient use of time while traveling.

One small note. While it's true that following these recommendations plays to VW's advantage in terms of its warranty liabilities, I doubt they would make this their priority versus offering maximum trip leg range if the arguments I make above weren't true. The simple fact is that the warranty is meant to protect owners from serious failures in the battery technology, but unnecessarily winding up with a 10-15% reduction in overall battery capacity after 200k miles is very likely not in most long term owners' best interest, so developing good habits from the beginning of our new way of life with electric cars is just a smart thing to do.

I hope this clears up the discussion above and also helps people better understand that the choices they make are subjective and based on their own priorities and their own circumstances, rather than a hard and fast rule across the board.

again, we are talking about home ac charging NOT DCFC , that is where you can create excessive heat and swelling and dendrites. Yes , 80% recommendation

Home charging to 100% daily at 7kW (or even just standard 100) is perfectly fine. Your battery will last "forever" ID has substantial buffer and you are not going to damage battery charging at such a slow rate that generate little heat

Hope this clears up the discussion ;)
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