Plug-in Hybrid Range

2022-11-08 12:56 - General

As mentioned, I recently got a plug-in hybrid vehicle. When new, e.g. Popular Mechanic's review tells us that the plain Hybrid has a 1.4 kWh battery while the plug-in Energi instead has a "... lithium-ion battery pack pumped up to a big 7.6 kWH ... can travel up to 21 miles ... in pure electric mode." So the plug-in portion might be as much as 6.2 kWh of capacity. Tiny by modern EV standards, but of course this car still has a gasoline engine, too.

When turning off the car, it gives a summary of the trip (i.e. since it was turned on). Online I've read about using this summary to measure your battery capacity: it gives a direct read-out of both gasoline and electricity usage. Charge up to 100% and start a single trip, then watch for the EV mode to end with the car switching to hybrid operation. I managed to do this yesterday, coasting only once the switch to hybrid happened to a place I could pull off the road and shut down.

Trip summary of pure EV operation of my C-Max Energi.

The picture was bad because it was very sunny and I was hurrying (this summary display doesn't stay around for very long). But it tells me both that I have 5.2 kWh of usable EV capacity in my battery, and I managed to go 19.7 miles with it. That sounds like a missing kWh, but a very favorable electric-only range compared to the as-new specs of 21 miles for a roughly nine-year-old car. I don't know exactly what "3.6 regen miles" means.

I also re-charged the battery after this, and spent 7.1 kWh to do so. That makes for roughly 75% charge cycle efficiency. I've heard that 240V charging can be more efficient, and this makes me want to experiment with it, somewhere that I can measure/report on how many kWh went into the charging.


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