Friday, August 17, 2012

To Pre or Not To Pre: There's no question about the Power of Preconditioning

Right now it's hot in the Inland Empire--110 degrees for multiple days.  But hot days don't burn me up because my E knows how to precondition itself.  Preconditioning is a handy little feature of this electric car and it's made possible because the cooling system (the one used to cool the battery and the cabin air conditioning system) can run independently of the electric motor.  Since every system in an electric car is...well electric...they can be activated independently without the motor running (as opposed to a gas-powered car where the engine must run to power the other systems, include the a/c).  And preconditioning can either be used immediately or set to begin at a future time, so the process can happen without me be anywhere near the car; provided that, the car is plugged into an EVSE (the car will not precondition when not plugged in).

The Precondition setting screen--it can be activated immediately or at a set time.

So rather than climbing into a preheated oven of a car, and scalding my fingers on the steering wheel, my E is a comfortable 72 degrees when I'm ready to go.  And the battery can be cooled down to the low 90's or high 80's, which is cool when the ambient temperature is 110 degrees and the temperature on the asphalt is a million degrees (well feels like it anyway).  Preconditioning also works in the winter months to warm the battery and the cabin to optimum temperatures before departure.

The real benefit of preconditioning is the power saved cooling the car and the battery.  Without it, the car has to cool itself using power from the battery pack.  And it takes much less energy to keep a cold car cool than it does to cool it down in the first place.  So not only is it a pleasure to get into a cool car, it also means more miles for my drive.

1 comment:

  1. It is one of the best perks about owning an EV. When I got my ActiveE I was stuck on the 110 for a couple of months so I had to read about everyone else enjoying this perk - there was not enough juice through the 110 to run it.

    As soon as the 240V went in I did some preconditioning - it was magic!