Loss of Range

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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 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
    1. I will first go for a 20% discharge were the bike will run like a lame duck.
    2. Then I will put the bike back on charge with extra charger while the batteries are warmed up
    3. 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