Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Forum

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 Post subject: MPG in cold winter
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:03 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:40 am
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I would like to know what fuel consumption you get during cold days during winter.

The Outlander PHEV will arrive in Canada's market this winter and I'm interested with the vehicule but I'm worried what to expect during cold days. Here, we get -20C or lower frequently during a few months. I expect that the battery will loose efficiency but I would appreciate if car owners could help me to get a better idea of the MPG I should expect in cold conditions. I guess it must not be that bad for short distances, but I also have to ride about 600km every 2 months and I would like to know if anybody tested the MPG for long distances in very cold conditions.

Thank you very much ! :D


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 Post subject: Re: MPG in cold winter
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:12 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2014 11:30 am
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Location: Netherlands, Utrecht area
I think the impact on short trips will be much worse than the impact on long trips. Thing is: you will need heating. On long trips, your engine will be running larger part of the time anyway and in winter time you will be using residual heat from the engine that would have gone to waste in summer time. On shorter trips, when it is that cold, expect your engine to be started for heating purposes, even when stay well within EV range. Expect it to be a bit frustrating.


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 Post subject: Re: MPG in cold winter
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:09 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:46 am
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Really, there are two (relatively) separate considerations when thinking about effective running costs in cold weather. One is the impact of cold weather on aerodynamics and friction and the other is the impact of cold weather on battery performance.

The PHEV is subject to exactly the same forces as any other car where aerodynamics and friction are concerned and the impact is very similar. Cold air is more viscous than warm air and it takes more power to drive the car through it. Cold tyres on a cold road surface have higher rolling resistance than warm tyres on a warm road and this also adds to fuel consumption. The PHEV is not a particularly aerodynamic car and it has big, fat tyres - fuel consumption while running on petrol will suffer pretty much the same as it would for any other SUV of a similar size and shape. Most people seem to agree that a PHEV running on petrol with a flat battery will give you between 35 and 40 mpg in warm weather - that figure will drop to more like 30mpg in cold weather.

The bigger effect - and one that is unique to electric vehicles - is the effect on battery performance. Mitsubishi claim a battery range of up to 32 miles - this is an optimistic figure and definitely a warm weather figure. In cold weather it will drop significantly - partly because of the reduced performance of a cold battery and partly because of the increased demands placed on the battery by the need for heating, lighting, windscreen wipers etc. and by the increased rolling resistance of those cold tyres and cold air. It's no secret that I don't go out of my way to maximise fuel economy - some here will turn off the heating and drive wearing arctic gear - I didn't pay over £30,000 to drive a car that is as cold and damp as the old wreck I owned 40 years ago! Driving in the (British) summer, I reckon that an EV range of 25 miles is pretty good. Driving the same car in a British winter, I'm happy to get an EV range of 18 miles. And do remember that I'm talking about British winters - the temperature has not dropped below -3 degrees round here in quite a few years.

Our other car is a 4.2 litre diesel Landcruiser - so long as I don't thrash it, I can get something like 30mpg out of it in the summer. The PHEV averages around 45mpg in the summer, but during the cold weather it is coming close to the Landcruiser for performance.


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 Post subject: Re: MPG in cold winter
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:00 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2015 2:34 pm
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Location: Devon UK
I see what you're saying Maby but I can't see that aerodynamics has much to do with it at the car's normally driven speeds and I'd be surprised if air viscosity has much impact when you're driving what is essentially a 2 tonne brick at what are really low speeds at ground level!

What you haven't mentioned is that the petrol engine will actually develop more power at low temperatures because the air drawn in is more dense and therefore contains more oxygen. However this is somewhat offset by the need for more fuel to maintain the design combustion conditions targetted by the ecu.

I do agree with your battery performance in the UK. :lol: Only ever seen more than about 25 miles once in two years/16000 miles using the car in relatively mild (but often wet) conditions 'down yer' in Devon.

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 Post subject: Re: MPG in cold winter
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:00 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:46 am
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The viscosity of cold and damp air has a big impact on fuel economy! Coupled with the increased rolling resistance of cold tyres, these factors can significantly drag performance down. The fact that the PHEV has the aerodynamics of a brick just means that it is even more influenced by air viscosity than a sleek sports car might be.


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 Post subject: Re: MPG in cold winter
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:35 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2016 4:05 am
Posts: 112
There are a number of (frustrated) posts here on how to avoid having ICE start in cold weather on shorter trips (well within EV range) and still drive a heated car. It requires careful planning and diciplined starting procedure. Being in Sweden I have tested this down to -15 C and the process works down to -10 roughly. If the night has been really cold and the main battery is somewhere below -15 (my quick experience) you get into different "protective modes" to protect the battery. My "protect mode" was at -15 C for a long journey and the car refused to go into parallell hybrid mode on the highway for 45 minutes. Then suddenly parallell worked. I do not understand why the car behaved like that but maybe a battery expert can?

Anyway, here comes the starting procedure.

1 Most important, run Pre heat to get cabin temp to minimum desired temp minus 10 C. When really cold outside this can take time (30 min or longer) or be impossible if very cold (do not know when this kicks in but at -15 C 30 min was not enough) Note that the car cabin sensor must detect desired temp minus 10 C and the sensor sits in the dashboard slot to the right of the steering wheel and is slow to get heated.

2 Open door and jump in quickly and close the door. Preheat stops as soon as a door is opened so if you are going to load a lot of luggage (skitrip) you must load first and then Preheat:-(

3 Start the car and now you also recall that before you shut down the car on the PREVIOUS trip you MUST have reduced temp setting to 15C. If on 15,5 or higher and you did not preheat long enough, ICE starts immediately. Then directly after starting, push Eco mode button.

4 Having safely managed the previous bullets you now look at the cheap temp sensor you bought at Home Depot (or wherever), which you have laying on the dashboard with the sensor being close to the car cabin sensor. You will see the temp indicating say 8 C and you can now safely turn on heat and adjust desired temp to 8 plus 10=18 C. You are a little bit conservative and adjust to 17 and happily drive away.

5 You will not immedately see that the heater comsumes power as it is already warm from preheat but soon you will see power being consumed and battery drained. The indoor temp you can sustain on EV mode depends on outside temp and driving speed. Driving fast in cold weather makes it impossible to run on EV only, but shorter trips in the city or suburban areas works fine.

6 Soon you will see Heater power reaching maximum level and then after a while reduces power again. Look at you cheap indoor sensor and you will likely see that indoor temp has now risen from 8 at start to say 14 C. It is now time to rise desired temp to 14+10=24 but you conservatively sets it to 22 and are comfortable in your car.

So this is the easy and simple way to drive on EV only in the PHEV, thanks to Mitsu engineering. Now let's see where did the requirement for the EV-Only button go.

There are other parameters dictating ICE start at cold temps as well but this works down to -10C roughly. And you will ofcourse benefit from having a 16A charger at home if you are gong to run preheat for a long time.


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 Post subject: Re: MPG in cold winter
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:01 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2016 6:37 am
Posts: 294
Location: Bucks
Do all new PHEVs now come with an EV button, or is it only on selected models?

Thanks to Steepndeep for a very thorough explanation, interesting even for those of us unlikely to experience such severe cold weather.

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 Post subject: Re: MPG in cold winter
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:27 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2014 11:30 am
Posts: 2489
Location: Netherlands, Utrecht area
This is also where the PHEV Box by EVTun (techtuning) comes in play. It manipulates the output of the interior temp sensor, so the car believes tje interior temperature of the car is at least 13 deg C.

Two shortcomings IMHO:
- 13 deg C is a tad to low, when the heater is set to 20 or more degrees.
- It only does it when WCO mode is selected. So, at start up, you are still to late (if you hadn't turned down the heater at the end of the previous run)

But, when the proper procedures are followed, it allows you to use the heater in EV mode, even without preheating.


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 Post subject: Re: MPG in cold winter
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:42 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2016 4:05 am
Posts: 112
#anko

Yes I have not tried the Ev box yet but may buy one. I was delaying the purchase as I hoped for a better sw only solution coming out (from Mitsu maybe, or not) but that may not happen.

Anyway I guess if you have the box the trusted 2 handed start procedure will always work. I.e. one hand pressing the ventilation off button and then simultaeously pressing the start button. Ventilation off is a "hard button", meaning it happens directly, before car boot sequence starts. Then you always start with vent off, wait for a few seconds to let Eco box work and press Eco mode, then start ventilation again. That I guess should solve one of your issues.

It is really a fantastic car. Reminds me of the old days 40 years ago when trying to start an old carburettor car in cold weather was a very "manly" task. Only real men could start a car in northern Sweden. Finally Mitsu have brought those good times back. Do you accept the Mitsubishi "PHEV no ICE start procedure" challenge? -20 outside, a couple of PHEVs, the first one who drives off with heater on (>15 C degrees setting) and no ICE start wins.


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 Post subject: Re: MPG in cold winter
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:47 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2014 11:30 am
Posts: 2489
Location: Netherlands, Utrecht area
Indeed, that might work well. But I think the issue is not "beging fast enough" but more "thinking about it in time (before your second cup of coffee in the morning)".


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