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Discussion Starter #1
I drove to work Tuesday morning without any trouble, even though the Smart ED dash reported -24c. I hadn't plugged in the night before and had 68% SOC when I got in the car.

Parked my car outside (and unplugged) all day in -28c (low) and 40km/h winds (wind chill was below -40c).

When leaving work at 6pm, I turned the key to start the car and saw two warning symbols stay on, the first was the car with the wavy tire tracks under it, and the other was a red 'buster' lamp. The gear selector was locked in the P position and would not budge, even when forced.

Everything else seemed to work, so I turned on the heated seats, and ran the heat on full defrost.

Four minutes later, the car allowed me to move the gear selector.

Upon driving home, I had 38% SOC when starting off, and arrived home under 20.

There was a single "bar" on the bottom right KW meter, and I could only use 50% of the power, regardless of kickdown.

I wonder if there was anything I could have done to prevent this, or is this to be expected in extreme temperatures?

Perhaps the car electronics were preventing me from harming the battery or other components, so ran a pre-heat cycle on them that took a few minutes?
 

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Bear in mind, the batteries in an ED are like the batteries in a smartphone, they REALLY don't like the cold...
 

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You did good. In that extreme temp, the vehicle will protect the batteries by turning on the battery warmer; looks like it took 30% off your SOC. Be glad you didn't let it sit longer in the cold...
 

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I drove to work Tuesday morning without any trouble, even though the Smart ED dash reported -24c. I hadn't plugged in the night before and had 68% SOC when I got in the car.

Parked my car outside (and unplugged) all day in -28c (low) and 40km/h winds (wind chill was below -40c).

When leaving work at 6pm, I turned the key to start the car and saw two warning symbols stay on, the first was the car with the wavy tire tracks under it, and the other was a red 'buster' lamp. The gear selector was locked in the P position and would not budge, even when forced.

Everything else seemed to work, so I turned on the heated seats, and ran the heat on full defrost.

Four minutes later, the car allowed me to move the gear selector.

Upon driving home, I had 38% SOC when starting off, and arrived home under 20.

There was a single "bar" on the bottom right KW meter, and I could only use 50% of the power, regardless of kickdown.

I wonder if there was anything I could have done to prevent this, or is this to be expected in extreme temperatures?

Perhaps the car electronics were preventing me from harming the battery or other components, so ran a pre-heat cycle on them that took a few minutes?
Do you really expect a machine to work in that extreme weather? I'm surprised that the electronics even functioned:(
 

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Discussion Starter #8
looks like it took 30% off your SOC. Be glad you didn't let it sit longer in the cold...
Sorry if I didn't clearly outline the conditions and order:

Started day at 68% SOC.
Left for work. 15km drive.
Parked car at work with 40% SOC.
Turned on car at 6pm to see 38% SOC. (losing only 2% SOC all day)
Arrived home with 20% SOC. 15km drive.
Plugged in.

In summary, did 30km on ~50% SOC on -40c wind chill day with full defrost and heated seats on max most of the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
..so...with a SOC of 20...how far can you go?
When I got home with ~20% SOC, the range estimate on the dash said 12km without heater, and 7km with heater.

I've only ever gone under 20% SOC a few times, and I don't like it, because it reduces the "fun factor" of using the full kickdown capability.

Generally, I recharge every other night or so, depending on my upcoming days activities.

I've gone 100km in a day a few times with a mid-day recharge, so I am not at all concerned about range most of the time.

However, on a -30c day, it's nice to know the Smart ED did get me to work and back. Wish I had read the manual more fully to understand the extreme temperature pre-warming requirement...

I'd have gone back inside while the warm cycle went on for the 4-5 minutes....a few people in gas cars had started their cars that night and came back in to the lobby to wait for a few minutes for their cars to warm up...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Do you really expect a machine to work in that extreme weather? I'm surprised that the electronics even functioned:(
Yes actually, I fully expected it would work well. Otherwise, they wouldn't sell the car in Canada or northern Europe for that matter.

-30c is extreme, and the 40km/h steady wind made it feel like -40c, it was so bitter, when I took my gloves off in the car to attempt to read the manual during the 4 minute pre-heat wait, my fingers got so cold that it was hard to bend them at the knuckle after a few minutes.

I have had gas cars fail to start in cold weather like this, so an inconvenience of 4 minutes wasn't too bad, it's just that I wasn't expecting it.
 

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Yes actually, I fully expected it would work well. Otherwise, they wouldn't sell the car in Canada or northern Europe for that matter.
Call me crazy, but that's almost an unrealistic expectation for a city car. :) :D

The battery in the smart ED is very similar to the batteries found in mobile phones and laptops. The battery is VERY sensitive to environmental temperatures and any extreme on either end can dramatically impact performance.

Most smartphones will die around -3C and no phone will run past -20C.

So, considering that the ED battery is not all too much different, it shouldn't be a huge surprise that it doesn't work 100% perfect in extreme temps. Shoot, not even an ICE will work that that well in those temps! :)
 

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Scary to think the car would lock up like that!

Back to "what could you have done differently?"
The battery heater doesn't work while parked. Given the opportunity, you could have plugged it in to keep the battery warm. Maybe turning it on like you did also turned on the battery heater?

If this is designed-in, intended behavior of the car in the cold, there should be clear, large print warnings in the manual, along with instructions what to do!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Remember, Wind chill is calculated for that it feels like to the human skin. Not to cars or other non living objects. :)
Yes, but any latent heat around the battery (presuming the battery is heated while sitting idle, which I doubt) or other components on the periphery of the vehicle would be carried away by the stiff wind.
 

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It's run by batteries, as several have pointed out - not by magic. Apparently the car has a self protection feature so it "nudged" you to warm it up a bit. Bottom line is it got you from home to work and back again in extreme temperatures, all without being plugged in during the day - hardly a fail IMHO. Welcome to the wonderful world of EVs. :)
 

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My iPhone quits below zero. And from a battery manufacturer, you are lucky you got home. What happened with the cold was a once in 20 years deal. My friends little shop in Minnesota had 800 calls in one day with cars not starting. Sorry but the world is not quite perfect yet. I hears Minneapolis was colder than Mars even.
 

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I hadn't plugged in the night before and had 68% SOC when I got in the car.
Here is another thought on how to improve things next time: Do plug it in at night, even if you don't really need the charge. While plugged in, the battery will be heated to 0 C. That way, it's not already cold when you drive to work in the morning. It's a big mass, so it probably won't cool all that fast and might still be a bit warmer when you want to drive home.
 

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Yes, but any latent heat around the battery (presuming the battery is heated while sitting idle, which I doubt) or other components on the periphery of the vehicle would be carried away by the stiff wind.
Think of your smart battery pack as a bridge . . .

No insulation above or below the battery pack and the frozen ground is likely radiating temperatures even lower than the ambient temperature?

As mentioned, during such harsh weather plugging in may "condition" your battery for the next use?
 

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great Thread

Nice to know the extreme conditions the Smart can run in and how it runs....

Warm up period...check....frozen in Park to protect the system...nice

we have similar problems in extreme heat....cant wait for the Arizona people to chime in when they get our Smarts and go through a Zona Summer....

Thats where the Leaf failed and the lawsuits started
 
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