Loss of Range
Zero range can vary remarkably more than a gasoline-powered vehicle, which takes time to understand.
- Zero range estimates are accurate for the conditions stated.
- First, consult Zero's Range page for factors that change real-world range.
- Related Confirming Symptoms
- Power Reduction at higher SoC levels.
- Lower range estimates for a given SoC reading, especially near 100%.
- Potential Causes
- The majority of range loss is due to the effects of cold weather on the battery.
- Internal resistance increases in batteries at low temperatures.
- Rain will exacerbate the problem since thermal transfer will be higher with water contacting the battery case.
- The official manual has a section for Cold Weather specifically calling out that up to 30% of range might be reduced at 30F ambient temperature.
- The effect is roughly linear below (say) 45F ambient temperature.
- The internal resistance of the battery is the primary mechanism for reduced performance.
- If full range is required at low temperatures, wrap the battery in a suitable insulating material in cold seasons.
- Neoprene at 1/16" thickness has been tested at highway speeds to make a marked difference in battery temperature (but not to an unsafe degree).
- Cover the front of the battery primarily and the forward halves of the sides.
- Make sure to securely fasten the neoprene so it will not get caught in the front wheel.
- Grommeted holes can be used to secure the wrap through the central frame tube and the tank plastics.
- A thin (3mm or 1/8") sheet above the battery would also help in cold precipitation.
- Masking tape across the front face has also been used effectively.
Warning: Any wrap used to insulate the battery at low temperatures will prevent sufficient cooling for it to operate at normal temperatures. Remove any wrap when operating above 45F.
- Advice/Experience via Zee in Northern Ontario
Well this Canuk is a heavy sled (snowmobile) head and lives in northern ontario and owns 2 Zero's 2010MX & 2015FX and rides all year long as long as the roads are clear.
- The bikes are stored in a non heated garage and it takes full battery awareness and charging smarts to keep everything going all winter.
- The temperature inside the garage is usually 10C warmer then outside.
- I automatically plug every bike in after every discharge when the batteries are still warm so the FX is usually fully charged when I start a ride.
- When I decide to go for a ride and it is -20C outside
- I will first go for a 20% discharge were the bike will run like a lame duck.
- Then I will put the bike back on charge with extra charger while the batteries are warmed up
- When the bike is back at full charge then the bike wakes up a bit but still not at full summer power but enough power to tickle my fancy.
I can't wait for battery technology to advance so I can covert my sled (snowmobile).
- Also be aware that the battery will shut down with up to 20% power left if you are pulling steady on it in the cold weather :) cheers