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Yowch! The mid-Atlantic just got hit with a cold wave - temperatures 25°F colder than just days before, and lows in the 20s!

And my smart ED drive range just took a nosedive.

I'd been getting a good 60-70 miles on a charge. All of a sudden, with the cold, my range forecast is 40-45 miles. I had to pull out my MB ICE from the garage because I had a 32 mile round trip to make -- one I was doing regularly in the smart before the cold.

I'm going to run the battery down to 20%-30% and charge it up, hoping that perhaps I hadn't let it run down enough prior to the last charge.

This was a change I hadn't expected. Oh, I figured there would be a drop-off, plus the use of the heater, but this was greater than I'd prepared for.
 

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Yowch! The mid-Atlantic just got hit with a cold wave - temperatures 25°F colder than just days before, and lows in the 20s!

And my smart ED drive range just took a nosedive.

I'd been getting a good 60-70 miles on a charge. All of a sudden, with the cold, my range forecast is 40-45 miles. I had to pull out my MB ICE from the garage because I had a 32 mile round trip to make -- one I was doing regularly in the smart before the cold.

I'm going to run the battery down to 20%-30% and charge it up, hoping that perhaps I hadn't let it run down enough prior to the last charge.

This was a change I hadn't expected. Oh, I figured there would be a drop-off, plus the use of the heater, but this was greater than I'd prepared for.
I'd recommend just doing a test drive in the cold some day. I took my 2017 smart ED in the 15-30 F temps recently with a mix of highway and high-speed city driving, and total range (~60% depleted plus remaining estimate) was still just over 60 miles. I notice the car seems to take greater hits from doing cold starts as opposed to starting out from my garage (even if not pre-conditioned).

On my last EV, there would be a drastic range drop between 40 F and 20 F, but the difference between 20 and -15 F was actually pretty minimal by comparison.
 

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Thanks, @eloder. I just got back from a "drive around the block" - a nine mile loop that took my SOC from 40% to 20%. That's twice the depletion from a week ago. But I wanted to bring it down below 30%, as I've read the battery charges more efficiently when it's depleted that low. I'll find out tomorrow when I drive to work, as it's supposed to be 29°F tonight.
 

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...I've read the battery charges more efficiently when it's depleted that low. I'll find out tomorrow when I drive to work, as it's supposed to be 29°F tonight.
Don't think level of depletion will make much difference to the battery management system?

In cold weather preconditioning the battery/interior BEFORE departure might provide the margin you are looking for?

Cold weather can be quite a challenge, especially if you are driving a short range EV.
 

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Note that range estimate indication is always conservative. So you would have easily made that 32 mile trip on a charge- even with heavy heater use. My wife did fine on her 32 mile commute yesterday and it was 17F going, 28F return. SOC upon getting back home was still 35%

Relax, and don't give in to irrational range anxiety!
 

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Note that range estimate indication is always conservative. So you would have easily made that 32 mile trip on a charge- even with heavy heater use. My wife did fine on her 32 mile commute yesterday and it was 17F going, 28F return. SOC upon getting back home was still 35%

Relax, and don't give in to irrational range anxiety!
You have GUTS. I took my 2013 smart EV (I now have a '16) out during a Winter cold wave in Los Angeles (temps between about 38 to 42) after work on a 35 mile commute. Even with a nearly full battery I ended up as close to reserve as possible, basically ended with about 25% on the battery. The cold weather certainly effects performance.

We'll see what happens this Winter with the newest generation. I am eager to see how it compares...
 

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We haven't noticed significant degradation in our 451. Yesterday, we drove 58 miles and had about 20% SOC left, and that was in wind and rain, with temps primarily in the 40's. The headlights and seat heaters were used a fair amount, but the interior heat was just turned up one notch (I think to indicate 60 degrees F.) with the fan speed set on "1", just enough to take the chill off the incoming air as the seat heater did the rest.

We probably wouldn't have been able to go that far except for a 20 mile trip on roads with 40-45 MPH speed limits, which were basically nonstop for a long portion of the distance. At the beginning of the trip, the combined distance driven plus estimated range remaining totaled about 50 miles. As I drove along, the total slowly climbed to a sum of about 75 and stayed there for most of the return trip home.

If anything, it seems like regen is not as effective as stop and go traffic seems to more greatly affect the range than steady state driving. Maybe some of that is due to the electrical losses that are time based (like the headlights and heaters being on) that aren't as great of an effect on faster steady state driving.
 

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I should add though, that I was on the freeway the entire time averaging around 70mph. And I did absolutely nothing other than "whatever it takes" to get warm, which meant seat heater + however much dash heat I wanted. I am sure I could have returned much better results, but I estimate losing about 15% from the cold weather alone.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, I left it plugged in all night and came out to a less cold morning (~39°F). Set it to warm up prior to disconnecting. At 100% charge, my range estimate was 45 miles. That's a 50% decrease from my all-time high, and more than 20% from my usual range estimate. I drove to work this morning, a six mile drive, and consumed 10% of my SOC. I usually get 8-9 miles every ten percent.

It's warmer today, so my range estimate is now sitting at 47 miles, giving my total range calculation for this charge 53 miles.

I can still drive my basic routes without worry, but I may need to charge more often. And longer trips may require me pulling my ICE out of the garage sooner.
 

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Imagine this discussion at a gas powered car dealership. It would be an instant "no sale" and IMHO until EVs get past the range limitation plateau sales are not going to get into "mass market" territory. Just my .02. :)
 

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Imagine this discussion at a gas powered car dealership. It would be an instant "no sale" and IMHO until EVs get past the range limitation plateau sales are not going to get into "mass market" territory. Just my .02.
Yeah, I could see that conversation going like "your worst mileage ever was 45 miles to a charge? And it costs less that a gallon of gas for a full charge from 0-100%? Where do I buy one?"
 

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Imagine this discussion at a gas powered car dealership. It would be an instant "no sale" and IMHO until EVs get past the range limitation plateau sales are not going to get into "mass market" territory. Just my .02. :)
Perhaps. But that's because we don't live in a logical world. So many American families live in multi-vehicle households. All they need to do is replace one of their other 2nd or 3rd or 4th vehicles in exchange for the smart EV, and BOOM!... it's their commuter vehicle to and from work.

I hear people say quite often about even the smart gas version, "the smart car is to go to work and stay around town, for shopping and going to the post office." So why not a smart EV when it handles the local driving even better than the gas versions anyway? If all you do is drive it in town, the smart EV (and other EV's) are easily superior to gas vehicles.
 

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Im not sure if the current range (miles) of cheap EVs is the problem or the time to do a full charge or both. Americans are quite lazy and want for nothing. We see that with a poster here willing to pay almost $200 for a replacement battery instead of the time to get to a smart center for a free replacement. Nothing wrong with that I would do the same. But it does go to the thought that most American's would rather pay at a pump and drive off in 10 minutes time. Not to repeat the process for another 300-400 miles. I admire those who can use an EV right now. But, it's not for me.
 

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My comment was really about the decrease in winter range and the "do what we have to" to eke out more range when it's cold. Not many sales happen when you get the "need to wear your warmest clothes and you can't run the heater" speech. YMMV, of course. :)
 

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My comment was really about the decrease in winter range and the "do what we have to" to eke out more range when it's cold. Not many sales happen when you get the "need to wear your warmest clothes and you can't run the heater" speech. YMMV, of course. :)
You're correct. But this issue is the same for any EV when compared to gassers. That's why it's preferable for those who live in cold climates to get the smart EV with heated seats and perhaps even the "climate" package with that heated steering wheel. They use a lot less battery energy than the dash heater does. It doesn't have to necessarily be a miserable commute. If that were the case I would just use the other car on that particularly cold day.
 

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You have GUTS. Even with a nearly full battery I ended up as close to reserve as possible, basically ended with about 25% on the battery.
Relax, FCOL! Don't let that red zone of the SOC gauge scare you. The car continues to run normally down to the bottom 3 percent. You still had 12 miles more at that rate - and probably more because you would turn the heat down or off and drive conservatively. And at very, very worse, you might have to stop and charge. You are familiar with PlugShare.com aren't you? And even without that, an outdoor 120 volt outlet can usually be found - check parking lot light poles, sidewalk trees, planters, inside parking garages, sides of buildings...I always keep a heavy-duty extension cord with the 120 volt adapter in the tailgate compartment. Never came close to needing it though.

Than again, I don't live in LA where even just an errand to get a loaf of bread involves getting on a freeway and going 12 miles one-way. I'm sure glad I don't live there...
 

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You're correct. But this issue is the same for any EV when compared to gassers. That's why it's preferable for those who live in cold climates to get the smart EV with heated seats and perhaps even the "climate" package with that heated steering wheel. They use a lot less battery energy than the dash heater does. It doesn't have to necessarily be a miserable commute. If that were the case I would just use the other car on that particularly cold day.
There is some part of me that hates the expectation that having an EV should be without compromise. Yeah, if you have to bundle up and dress warmly so you can ensure you have enough range in cold temps, so be it. The good that using an EV does for the world should be enough for that little bit of extra hassle. Just like having a small compact gasoline car means there's less space and a less luxurious ride. That's for the good of the world as well.
 

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Actually LA probably has the most public charging stations per square mile. Plugshare app is fantastic. I've got an event I have to go to next month and it will be the first time I have to drive more than 60 miles in a day in my smart ED. According to plugshare there's a public charger in the lot where I'm going to be. The 3 hours of charge will definitely give me enough mileage to get home.
 

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Imagine this discussion at a gas powered car dealership. It would be an instant "no sale" and IMHO until EVs get past the range limitation plateau sales are not going to get into "mass market" territory. Just my .02. :)
We are already past that range limitation with Teslas and Bolts, just not with Smarts. And if we had a proper charging infrastructure where an EV could be charged almost everywhere it gets parked - especially if using high-voltage DC charging that takes only a half hour or less, even the Smart's limitations would be far less.
 

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Well, I left it plugged in all night and came out to a less cold morning (~39°F). Set it to warm up prior to disconnecting. At 100% charge, my range estimate was 45 miles. That's a 50% decrease from my all-time high, and more than 20% from my usual range estimate. I drove to work this morning, a six mile drive, and consumed 10% of my SOC. I usually get 8-9 miles every ten percent.

It's warmer today, so my range estimate is now sitting at 47 miles, giving my total range calculation for this charge 53 miles.

I can still drive my basic routes without worry, but I may need to charge more often. And longer trips may require me pulling my ICE out of the garage sooner.


Glad to see your numbers. I was starting to get worried something was up with my ED. Last few mornings (39-44*F) have had me start my day off with a 56-62 mile range. I do end up charging nightly since my work commute is 42-45 miles a day with about 37-40 miles highway. Difference depends on traffic and which of the 3 routes I take.


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