PHEV Loss of Km Range with Battery.

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tressteleg1
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PHEV Loss of Km Range with Battery.

Post by tressteleg1 » Wed, 26 Sep 2018, 11:21

If you own a PHEV and it is showing signs of reduced battery range at a rate that is somewhat faster than the reasonable ageing rate of the battery, I would like to hear from you.

From other sites it seems that this is not a particularly isolated problem. One example is a PHEV that is less than 4 years old and struggles to travel 30km on a battery charge but when new could do 45km for the same trips. However battery life has been checked and found to have 89% life remaining. Mitsubishi promised something like ‘80% battery life after 8 years’. When deciding about buying a PHEV I took that as meaning that 80% Km range after 8 years could be expected but results like above are major shortfalls.

I have theories as to why this is happening but won’t go into these at this stage.

Please comment if you are displeased with the range of your PHEV.

tressteleg1

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Re: PHEV Loss of Km Range with Battery.

Post by zzcoopej » Wed, 26 Sep 2018, 14:15

tressteleg1 wrote:
Wed, 26 Sep 2018, 11:21
One example is a PHEV that is less than 4 years old and struggles to travel 30km on a battery charge but when new could do 45km for the same trips. However battery life has been checked and found to have 89% life remaining.
Our PHEV has done 44,000km (and over 50% are EV km) and these days we get about 43km with 2 occupants in winter, about 46km come summer. Battery PMC/SOH = 86%

Very strange that you would only get 30km at 89% SOH, how many km and what kind of use (towing, interstate travel or mainly EV etc)?
A few things to check -

1. Tyre pressure (should be 36 - 38psi)
2. Rear brakes sticking (known recall issue, should be able to feel heat from rear brakes)
3. Extra luggage load or added accessories eg towbar, roofbars, roof pod
4. Driving terrain or climate changes, if you have moved house or changed job in the time you have owned your PHEV
5. Cabin pre-heat timers, and general heating demand such as cabin temp set above 18c or climate control not switched OFF.
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Re: PHEV Loss of Km Range with Battery.

Post by reecho » Wed, 26 Sep 2018, 18:41

The PHEV eats the battery with low tyre pressures. My 2014 build at 25000kms gets 44-46kms after an overnight charge. I am using a 16A EVSE to max out the onboard charger though..

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Re: PHEV Loss of Km Range with Battery.

Post by tressteleg1 » Thu, 27 Sep 2018, 04:49

To reecho, I believe that tyre pressure is kept up. Could you please give some details of what the 16A EVSE charger does better than the supplied charger?

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Re: PHEV Loss of Km Range with Battery.

Post by tressteleg1 » Thu, 27 Sep 2018, 05:15

To zzcoopej
Thanks for you suggestions. The odometer reading is around your 44,000km and nearly all of these are Battery km.
The PHEV in question does much the same trips every day. Two trips to the school, one or two trips to the bus station totalling around 40km. This was originally done on one charge but now needs a topup.
The Queensland climate is mild and neither heating nor cooling is used on these trips. Sometimes at weekends a longer trip is made. It has never journeyed much more than 100km from home.
No towing or high speed running is involved. No luggage is involved. Just boring routine trips.
I suspect that the Battery Monitoring (controlling) Unit has been programmed to gradually reduce the amount of charge permitted. This is down to about 6.2 Kw per charge.

Any further suggestions will be appreciated.

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Re: PHEV Loss of Km Range with Battery.

Post by rhills » Sat, 29 Sep 2018, 17:39

We had the BMS replaced in our PHEV last year. Following this, our "guessometer" battery range after a full charge shot up from 50km to 65km. Actual range experienced on a full battery increased from 42-45km to 50-55km. I was convinced that our 2014 PHEV had received a 2017 BMS as I'd read somewhere that the increased battery range in the newer PHEV came from tweaks to the BMS however the Mitsubishi Dealer that did the replacement were adamant that our replacement BMS was not the new model.
Rob Hills
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Jul 2014 - Jun 2018
Total Petrol: 586.8L
ODO: 42885
Av Consumption: 1.37 L/100km

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Re: PHEV Loss of Km Range with Battery.

Post by tressteleg1 » Mon, 01 Oct 2018, 04:07

To Rob, That Information is EXTREMELY interesting. How were you able to convince the dealership to replace the BMU, and was it done under warranty? Unfortunately the dealerships in Brisbane/Gold Coast seem to have minimal understanding of the PHEV and say that there is nothing wrong with the car, normal ageing drop in km range etc etc and ignore the big discrepancy between 89% battery life and 60% full charge Kw of around just 6.2Kw.
Regards, tressteleg1

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Re: PHEV Loss of Km Range with Battery.

Post by rhills » Tue, 02 Oct 2018, 10:18

Hi @tressteleg1,

I put the full story on this forum last year. However, to provide a brief answer to your questions:
  • Yes, it was done under warranty;
  • The dealership themselves decided to replace the BMU, in desperation after weeks of diagnostic effort failed to pinpoint the cause of our multiple system failures.
  • The Dealer's main problem was that they had to pay (several thousands) for the BMU and wear the cost if they were wrong so I sympathise on one level. However, like many on this forum I have found Mitsubishi Dealers' knowledge and commitment to fall very short when dealing with EVs.
After the BMU was replaced the error messages went away and as I mentioned previously, I experienced a sudden, significant uptick in range.

Since that time, we've had another major problem with our PHEV after driving through some deep puddles and as we experienced the same multiple system failure error messages as we did previously, we now suspect our two "catastrophic failures" may have had the same underlying cause and the BMU might have been replaced unnecessarily! I emphasise this is our personal view, not that of the dealer.
Rob Hills
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Total Petrol: 586.8L
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Av Consumption: 1.37 L/100km

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Re: PHEV Loss of Km Range with Battery.

Post by tressteleg1 » Tue, 02 Oct 2018, 18:45

Thank You very much for your detailed response and the link to your disaster last year. Just a few km from a dealership! Such a failure on my trip to Cairns could have been much less happy with dealerships hundreds of km apart!

Sorry to read of your puddle problem. I will certainly now be very careful in such situations. Even prior to that, I had long wondered how waterproof the battery is considering it’s under the car floor. I think the answer is to stay out of water.

I had not earlier realised that your BMU (Battery Monitoring Unit, according to Mitsubishi) was replaced because of that other big failure. I didn’t think it would be replaced simply because your kilometre range was tapering off and the dealership was feeling benevolent.

From another location, one person had the BMU reset by a dealership which surprisingly knew what to do and this restored the range like new but again it started tapering off fairly soon.

Mitsubishi, at the time I bought my PHEV, was promising 80% battery life after eight years. Like most people would have, I correlated that to 80% kilometre range. But that friend’s PHEV which is struggling to do 30 km nowadays on one charge has fallen far short of that promise in less than 4 years.

Consumer laws could reasonably be assumed to consider the PHEV as a Major Failure on the grounds that we would not have bought the vehicle if we knew that its performance would degrade so rapidly. A Major Failure entitles a refund of the full purchase price.

I have played with batteries all my life and have some understanding of of lithium ion batteries from what I have read about them. They will accept 1000 full charges before the life has dropped to 80%. One charge per day would mean three years.

However, besides the fact that a lithium ion battery must never be totally discharged, if you only partly charge it, its life will be great the extended. I can only guess, but I suspect that the BMU is designed to limit the battery charge quantity to the point where the battery will last the eight years and have 80% life left, but this is only achieved by progressively reducing the permitted amount of charge to somewhat less than 80% which is totally unacceptable.

I had been hoping to come across somebody else on this forum who has also had significant drop in kilometre range. Nevertheless your experience has proved a valuable step along the way. If anything develops from my friends communications with Mitsubishi, I will put relevant information here. Nevertheless it is astonishing that a company with the apparent reputation of Mitsubishi would launch a complex car while leaving its agencies so very poorly educated to cope with them. It’s also astonishing that as part of the very expensive annual servicing, absolutely no consideration or examination of the battery takes place.

Kind Regards,
Richard.

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Re: PHEV Loss of Km Range with Battery.

Post by rhills » Wed, 03 Oct 2018, 08:57

Hi Richard,
tressteleg1 wrote:
Tue, 02 Oct 2018, 18:45
... Sorry to read of your puddle problem. I will certainly now be very careful in such situations. Even prior to that, I had long wondered how waterproof the battery is considering it’s under the car floor. I think the answer is to stay out of water...
I've not updated the other thread yet as our vehicle is still with Mitsubishi and not yet repaired, but what I can say is that the likely cause of our problem was due to a drainage plug being dislodged from the underside of the battery module. This happened when we dinged the underside of the vehicle (driving accidentally over a low ledge between two carparks) about three years ago.

If you've ever dinged the underside of your PHEV, I recommend you identify the 6 plastic plugs in the underside of the battery module (3 each side, visible from under the vehicle, roughly between the front doors) and make sure they are all present and intact.

There are lots of pictures and stories on the web of PHEVs happily fording quite deep bodies of water so it should be able to go through puddles without any problem, as should any vehicle sold in Australia!
Rob Hills
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Jul 2014 - Jun 2018
Total Petrol: 586.8L
ODO: 42885
Av Consumption: 1.37 L/100km

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Re: PHEV Loss of Km Range with Battery.

Post by tressteleg1 » Thu, 04 Oct 2018, 08:30

Hi Rob,

That information about the drainage plugs was reassuring re water crossing. I also had a minor car park misadventure. Without jacking, I had a look under the car and although I did not know exactly what I was looking for, there was no sign of anything having made contact with any obstruction.

I am having the car serviced on 16th and have requested a cell smoothing/balancing procedure and battery health report. Wait and see.

Re the declining battery km range, if it is just a minority of people who who have had their PHEVs for 3 or more years suffering range drop, possibly some of us have cars supplied with defective BMUs.

So if any PHEV owners have cars about that old and are still getting good battery range, just a few km less than when new, I would like to hear from them to see if there is some pattern.

Incidentally PHEV km is 29747, zero litres/100km. In fact I had trouble squeezing in 15 litres for the last 3 months but some weeks it only does 20km.

Regards,
Richard

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Re: PHEV Loss of Km Range with Battery.

Post by rhills » Thu, 04 Oct 2018, 09:19

Hi Richard,
tressteleg1 wrote:
Thu, 04 Oct 2018, 08:30
That information about the drainage plugs was reassuring re water crossing. I also had a minor car park misadventure. Without jacking, I had a look under the car and although I did not know exactly what I was looking for, there was no sign of anything having made contact with any obstruction.
Unfortunately our PHEV is in the Mitsubishi workshop or I'd take some photos and post them. You're looking for two rows of ?black plastic discs about 30mm in diameter, three down each side of the battery module. I will post photos when I can get access to our vehicle but that may not be until December!
tressteleg1 wrote:
Thu, 04 Oct 2018, 08:30
I am having the car serviced on 16th and have requested a cell smoothing/balancing procedure and battery health report. Wait and see.
I would specifically ask them to inspect the traction battery module casing for any damage and confirm its water integrity has not been compromised. I'd get that in writing so that if you're unlucky enough to get the same problem we did, you can sheet it home to them. IMHO, Mitsubishi were partly responsible for our problem as I believe it was likely to have been present through at least one service and they didn't pick it up. Of course they wouldn't have a bar of that but fortunately we had an Insurance Consultant inspection report that clearly spelled out the cause of our problem being accidental damage so the Insurance company has accepted the claim.
tressteleg1 wrote:
Thu, 04 Oct 2018, 08:30
Re the declining battery km range, if it is just a minority of people who who have had their PHEVs for 3 or more years suffering range drop, possibly some of us have cars supplied with defective BMUs.

So if any PHEV owners have cars about that old and are still getting good battery range, just a few km less than when new, I would like to hear from them to see if there is some pattern.
For the record, our battery range was good up until a year ago (when the vehicle was about 3 years old) and then improved further after the BMU was replaced. I regularly do a 40km trip in our PHEV and have always done it on battery alone with some residual battery range at the end of the journey, regardless of headwinds, ambient temperature, AC usage etc.
tressteleg1 wrote:
Thu, 04 Oct 2018, 08:30
Incidentally PHEV km is 29747, zero litres/100km. In fact I had trouble squeezing in 15 litres for the last 3 months but some weeks it only does 20km.
I know that feeling! I't very frustrating to have a full battery but have the motor run all the time until you've used enough fuel to be able to fill up enough to switch back to normal running!

Cheers,
Rob Hills
AEVA Webmaster
2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Aspire PHEV
Jul 2014 - Jun 2018
Total Petrol: 586.8L
ODO: 42885
Av Consumption: 1.37 L/100km

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Re: PHEV Loss of Km Range with Battery.

Post by mikedufty » Thu, 04 Oct 2018, 10:53

rhills wrote:
Thu, 04 Oct 2018, 09:19
IMHO, Mitsubishi were partly responsible for our problem as I believe it was likely to have been present through at least one service and they didn't pick it up.
You must be wrong because the internet tells me that EVs don't require any servicing. The battery plugs are not moving parts so couldn't possibly cause any problems.

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Re: PHEV Loss of Km Range with Battery.

Post by tressteleg1 » Sat, 06 Oct 2018, 15:28

Thanks for those interesting replies, Rob. The PHEV certainly is a slug on petrol alone. I would never try towing a caravan with it in hilly country. But for what I use it for, it is fine.

Regarding battery range, something extraordinary happened a little while back.

About every 10 days I do the same seniors then shopping outing which totals 38 km. I always keep a record of kilometres run and the Guess-O-Meter information before and after each run as well as the Kw used for each charge.

Back in March, I still had an estimated 8 km left in the battery after this run.
In May this was down to 2 kilometres and on 19 June I just arrived home with 0 km no petrol usage.
Same on 17 July.
21 July the ICE started about 5km from home having followed the usual route and with no unusual traffic delays.
But since 31 July I have got home with three or more kilometres still on the Guess-O-Meter.

I don’t expect you or anybody else will have an explanation, but this situation certainly is extraordinary. Unfortunately my friend struggling to get 30 km has had no such resurgence.

The PHEVj is a complex machine and sometimes I wonder if anyone in Mitsubishi Australia really knows everything about it.

Do you have any idea how many PHEV owners are Association members?

Regards,

Richard

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Re: PHEV Loss of Km Range with Battery.

Post by PiMan » Sat, 06 Oct 2018, 16:56

While the difference here is more than I'd expect from this one factor, I know heat makes a difference in range. You'll get less electric range in winter than summer, although I don't know how much less given Australia has relatively mild winters.

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Re: PHEV Loss of Km Range with Battery.

Post by rhills » Sun, 07 Oct 2018, 22:11

Hi Richard,
tressteleg1 wrote:
Sat, 06 Oct 2018, 15:28
Thanks for those interesting replies, Rob. The PHEV certainly is a slug on petrol alone. I would never try towing a caravan with it in hilly country. But for what I use it for, it is fine.
I believe that when towing or doing hills, it is important to conserve battery power for extra oomph when needed, using the "Charge" and/or "Hold" buttons. When the petrol motor is driving the wheels alone I believe it does so through a single, fixed, relatively tall gear ratio.
tressteleg1 wrote:
Sat, 06 Oct 2018, 15:28
Regarding battery range, something extraordinary happened a little while back.

About every 10 days I do the same seniors then shopping outing which totals 38 km. I always keep a record of kilometres run and the Guess-O-Meter information before and after each run as well as the Kw used for each charge.

Back in March, I still had an estimated 8 km left in the battery after this run.
In May this was down to 2 kilometres and on 19 June I just arrived home with 0 km no petrol usage.
Same on 17 July.
21 July the ICE started about 5km from home having followed the usual route and with no unusual traffic delays.
But since 31 July I have got home with three or more kilometres still on the Guess-O-Meter.

I don’t expect you or anybody else will have an explanation, but this situation certainly is extraordinary. Unfortunately my friend struggling to get 30 km has had no such resurgence.
Some of the factors that can cause the range to vary are temperature (as someone else has already mentioned), tyre pressure and head/tail winds. Here in WA, it can be quite windy and on my typical 40km journey up/down the coast, headwinds over 15-20kt can reduce the range by up to 5km in my experience. Similarly, tailwinds can improve the range.
tressteleg1 wrote:
Sat, 06 Oct 2018, 15:28
The PHEV is a complex machine and sometimes I wonder if anyone in Mitsubishi Australia really knows everything about it.
I agree it's complex technology, I'm surprised it works as well as it does, especially for their first ever PHEV. I suspect most Mitsubishi Dealerships know very little about it at all. Here in Perth, I believe there's one "expert" shared between several dealerships.
tressteleg1 wrote:
Sat, 06 Oct 2018, 15:28
Do you have any idea how many PHEV owners are Association members?
Unfortunately I can't answer that. I'm not actually sure if the AEVA collects information about which vehicle(s) its members own, do you know @jonescg?

Cheers,
Rob Hills
AEVA Webmaster
2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Aspire PHEV
Jul 2014 - Jun 2018
Total Petrol: 586.8L
ODO: 42885
Av Consumption: 1.37 L/100km

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Re: PHEV Loss of Km Range with Battery.

Post by jonescg » Mon, 08 Oct 2018, 08:14

Nah, we don't keep a record of peoples vehicles. Mainly rely on the friendly community we have to share amongst themselves :)
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Re: PHEV Loss of Km Range with Battery.

Post by tressteleg1 » Wed, 24 Oct 2018, 13:10

Thanks to everybody for your comments and suggestions. As I understand it, the direct engine to wheels mechanical drive only connects above the speed of 120 km/h, a bit too fast!
I did not reply sooner as the PHEV was being serviced last week and I additionally asked them to do the cell smoothing process and wanted to wait to see if there was any change in performance since that was done.
Anyway I have done the 38 km trip twice since then and especially the second time I got home with 9 kilometres still promised which is the best for a long time. So it seems possible that cell smoothing is worth it especially since the dealership charged nothing extra on top of the $470 fixed servicing fee. However they did have the car for three days (not unexpected) as they had to send the TSR report of that to Mitsubishi and await the reply. The battery has been assessed as OK.
To Rob, I did ask that they check the plugs underneath the car and when I looked at a previous servicing report, checking underneath for damage is a routine part of the servicing. I don’t know if that helps you at all with your drain plug problem.

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Re: PHEV Loss of Km Range with Battery.

Post by Johny » Wed, 24 Oct 2018, 13:50

tressteleg1 wrote:
Wed, 24 Oct 2018, 13:10
Thanks to everybody for your comments and suggestions. As I understand it, the direct engine to wheels mechanical drive only connects above the speed of 120 km/h, a bit too fast!
That's not quite right. The ICE directly powers the front wheels as low as 70km/h which is a real pain towing. I constantly have to slow down on hills to get it to kick into series mode. It makes the car look under powered when actually it's under energied!
The display shows you this stuff.

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Re: PHEV Loss of Km Range with Battery.

Post by rhills » Thu, 25 Oct 2018, 00:03

tressteleg1 wrote:
Wed, 24 Oct 2018, 13:10
Thanks to everybody for your comments and suggestions. As I understand it, the direct engine to wheels mechanical drive only connects above the speed of 120 km/h, a bit too fast!
I agree with @Johny, the engine-direct-to-wheels kicks in around 70kph if the battery is low enough, or you have either "Save" or "Charge" mode enabled. As he says, you can see this from the display, either on the centre console if you have the relevant screen displaying, or on the dashboard, again if you have the relevant page selected using the button on the dash just to the right of the steering wheel.
tressteleg1 wrote:
Wed, 24 Oct 2018, 13:10
...To Rob, I did ask that they check the plugs underneath the car and when I looked at a previous servicing report, checking underneath for damage is a routine part of the servicing. I don’t know if that helps you at all with your drain plug problem.
I've not looked back at the old service records to see if they suggest that the underside of the vehicle was checked, but I'd suggest that unless you were looking specifically at each plug, it would be quite easy to miss. I saw my old battery container yesterday and even though I knew (from the photo) what I was looking for, I had to scan across the underside of the battery container twice before I spotted the missing plug and associated scrape marks.

Given the risk of it costing $13,000 for a replacement battery pack if the existing one is "holed" and lets water in, knowing what I know now, if I ever ding the underside of our PHEV with anything remotely solid, I'll be checking each of these six plugs myself to ensure none is damaged or lost. I'm quite certain that the accident that caused the loss of our plug occurred over 3 years ago.
Rob Hills
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2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Aspire PHEV
Jul 2014 - Jun 2018
Total Petrol: 586.8L
ODO: 42885
Av Consumption: 1.37 L/100km

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Re: PHEV Loss of Km Range with Battery.

Post by zzcoopej » Thu, 25 Oct 2018, 14:12

rhills wrote:
Thu, 25 Oct 2018, 00:03
costing $13,000 for a replacement battery pack
Is that the price you've seen on insurance receipts, or an educated guess? I'm interested as this is the first price I've seen for a PHEV battery. I've seen a couple of iMiEV pack prices which have varied from $5k (subsidised we suspect) to about $14k from memory.
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Re: PHEV Loss of Km Range with Battery.

Post by rhills » Thu, 25 Oct 2018, 17:26

Actually, I've just received the invoice for the work today, $13,000 was what I was told that our insurer was quoted. The actual amounts were:
  • Battery Pack Assembly: $9545.45
  • Labour: $1745.45
  • GST: $1129.09
Giving a total of $12420.00

I believe from what I know now that a likely alternative fix for this problem could have been:
  • Remove Battery Module
  • Disassemble Battery Module
  • Dry out Battery Module container and parts
  • Repair/replace some superficially rusted battery pack retention frames (sandblast and powder-coat?)
  • Replace missing plug
  • Reassemble and re-fit battery module
  • Reset CAN Bus error codes and re-test
I'm no auto mechanic, but I'd have thought that someone who knew what s/he was doing could get that done (except maybe the sand-blasting/powder-coating) within 8 hours.

Cheers,
Rob Hills
AEVA Webmaster
2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Aspire PHEV
Jul 2014 - Jun 2018
Total Petrol: 586.8L
ODO: 42885
Av Consumption: 1.37 L/100km

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