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Discussion Starter #1
We're in the middle of a heatwave in central California. 105-108 degrees. Today when I came out the car sounded like a jet. I assume it's keeping the battery pack cool.

Questions:
At what temp does it start cooling itself down?
Has anyone living in the same hot climate ever had troubles with the car in excessive heat, i. e. electronics and such not working properly?

It took me about 10-15 minutes of driving for everything to return to normal quiet (aside from the AC howling with full fan on Max and Recirculation :cool:)
 

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The owners manual for my 2017 Volt says 95 degrees.
 

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From 9-57 of the GEN1 owner's manual.

"Do not allow the vehicle to remain in temperature extremes for long periods without
being driven or plugged in. It is recommended that the vehicle be plugged in when temperatures are
below 0°C (32°F) and above 32°C (90°F) to maximize high voltage battery life."
 

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Do you mean it was running the engine?
Was the battery charged, or was it out of charge?

I have been driving a 2011 in Fresno for six years without any problems, but I nearly always park it in the shade, and usually also plugged in to a level 2 charger at home and at my work.

That way it is cool and comfortable within 2-3 minutes of starting the air conditioner.
 

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This is interesting. I know Tesla did this, but I wasn't sure if Volts did as well.

Tesla upped this feature and has even gone so far as to limit the cabin temperature so that animals, children, napping people won't die in the cabin in the heat.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Do you mean it was running the engine?
Was the battery charged, or was it out of charge?

I have been driving a 2011 in Fresno for six years without any problems, but I nearly always park it in the shade, and usually also plugged in to a level 2 charger at home and at my work.

That way it is cool and comfortable within 2-3 minutes of starting the air conditioner.
alas, I have no shaded parking at home. It was fully charged and sounded like the AC was going at full rate, but no ICE. After I drove it for about 5-10 minutes it returned to normal. I'm now keeping it plugged in in my brand-new (today) Level 2.

I'm 90 miles north of you in the valley, We have 105 so I assume you're probably at 107! I lived and went to college in Fresno in the early 80s. Man has that city grown!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
OK, found this in the manual:

"If the high
voltage battery cell temperature
rises above the normal operating
temperature range, the battery
cooling system turns on the air
conditioning compressor and cools
the coolant until the correct battery
cell temperature is reached."


Haven't found anything, yet, about needing to keep it plugged in in the heat, but it makes total sense to do so, since the AC needs to run to cool stuff down.
 

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Discussion Starter #9

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The only problem is that if the car is not plugged in, it will only continue to cool the battery until battery charge gets down to about 50%, at which time it shuts off and lets the battery overheat.

But if it is plugged in, it will keep the battery cooled indefinitely, as needed.

And, when you realize that the Leaf batteries in Phoenix, Arizona, which reaches closer to 115 degrees in summer, lost as much as 30% of their capacity in only a few years, due to no liquid cooling provided by Nissan, you realize we don't want to allow the Volt or Bolt batteries to suffer that loss because of neglect.

So I leave mine plugged in all day in the summer months when it is over 90 degrees.
 

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Haven't found anything, yet, about needing to keep it plugged in in the heat, but it makes total sense to do so, since the AC needs to run to cool stuff down.
The Volt will only run the battery conditioning systems when it's powered on or plugged in. That is why it's good to have it plugged in if it'll be in severe temperatures. It will both help keep the battery healthy and it will slightly increase EV range since the battery will be at a proper temperature when you start driving.

During extreme temperatures, you'll likely notice the Volt will constantly be running its cooling/heating systems to keep the battery and inverter at healthy temperatures. You may also notice it when you turn on only the fan, the air will turn cold since the AC is running to cool the battery. This is because the Volt uses the same AC system for the cabin and battery.
 

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For daily driving I wouldn't be too concerned. The Volt battery is heavily insulated, and the TMS will cool down the battery to normal temperatures at least twice a day. I assume 12 hours in the hot sun is fine with the heavily insulated battery since it will take a long time for the battery to heat up to unsafe temperatures. Shade would probably be better, but perhaps someone else could chime in. Some Volt owner's out there should be able to say they have or have not lost measurable range over the 5 years since the gen1 came out in 2012, due to daily parking in the hot sun. The Volt battery is much more protected than the leaf due to TMS cooling.

But I do have a question. We're driving to the airport in a week and half, with shaded parking. The Austin daily summer temperature range is from 76 to 100 or sometimes hotter. If the gen2 gets to the Airport with a 65% battery charge, is that too stressful? We could arrange to get to the airport with a 50% charge, or take a Shuttle and leave the car home.
 

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Basically, plug in when you can, don't worry about it when you cannot. Remote start is nice (for the human entering the car). As for when the AC turns on, it's not dependent on outside temp, but the temp of the insulated battery. It will turn on the AC when it needs to. Some people like to turn on Fan Only thinking they are getting free AC, but it's not free. You're actually robbing the battery of coolness. My entire family Comfort and hates Eco modes. Just drive, enjoy, and don't go through heroics for a few hundred feet of range.
 

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At work (we're in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia) there are now 5 Volts. We're very fortunate that our work site runs the chargers from an experimental solar farm they are testing so we get free juice. Recently we had a micro-heatwave and I was coming out at the end of the day to 101 temps in the parking lot.

It was pretty funny that 4 of the 5 Volts kicked on cooling at almost the same time as I was unplugging mine to go home. I felt like they were all having a conversation.

At this point I am pretty sure that the Volt (and it's battery pack) is a lot less fragile than most people think. GM did a hell of an engineering job on it and I suspect things will rapidly improve (and simplify) in the future.
 

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This is interesting. I know Tesla did this, but I wasn't sure if Volts did as well.

Tesla upped this feature and has even gone so far as to limit the cabin temperature so that animals, children, napping people won't die in the cabin in the heat.
Are you sure about this? How long will it keep the cabin comfortable? Until the battery is depleted?

I have read that it will use TMS for the battery from 100% down to 80% SOC.
After that the pack is on it's own.

You don't want to leave a car at the airport and return to a depleted battery.
 

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I usually wait a 15-20 min after I get home before plugging it in. Don't know the validity of that, should probably just plug it right in.

So if I drive somewhere and have to park in the sun it will cool the battery even though it's not plugged in as long as batter is more than half charged? Something to consider about hold mode on hot days to keep the juice up.
 

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Related note: at 120°F in Phoenix today, flights are being cancelled. It's too hot for the planes to fly. Apparently 120° is above their operating temperature.
 

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Related note: at 120°F in Phoenix today, flights are being cancelled. It's too hot for the planes to fly. Apparently 120° is above their operating temperature.
The planes are not the problem. The runways are not long enough for the planes to reach the additional ground velocity that is necessary for take off due to the hot air at ground level being less dense than cooler air and not generating sufficient lift for take off with a full load of passengers and fuel. If they wait to take off until 10 or 11PM the air will have cooled to where the planes can safely take off. This also happened in Phoenix in June 1990. [Correction: This also applies to landing as higher landing speeds and longer runways for braking are required at higher temperatures.]

Here is a Wired article: https://www.wired.com/story/phoenix-flights-canceled-heat/?mbid=synd_digg
 

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Related note: at 120°F in Phoenix today, flights are being cancelled. It's too hot for the planes to fly. Apparently 120° is above their operating temperature.
I read someplace that air that hot also reduces their lift a lot. Don't know if that is accurate.
 

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I read someplace that air that hot also reduces their lift a lot. Don't know if that is accurate.
Yup, hot air is thinner, which means planes can't carry as much, which means less fuel because fewer passengers isn't an option, and the fuel is literally bigger per BTU.
 
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