Cold Weather Performance - North American 2023

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Lon12

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 12, 2018
Messages
133
Location
Calgary AB
Finally got a chance to test drive the new 2023 PHEV. Car had been cold soaked to -10ºC. In EV mode I could not get more than 45 kW of power to the motors. Acceleration was poor.
Does anyone else have a similar experience at those temperatures? My 2018 PHEV would always give the same electric power regardless of temperature.
 
Performance would be poor!

My first response would be that if you wanted an EV that performs well at all temperatures then perhaps a full EV would have been developed as such. A PHEV could just use the engine and you'd get the benefit of some of the waste heat from the engine that most people are going to want anyway for journeys that are anything but very short.

I know it's not really the response you might want, but there will always be edge use cases that the manufacturers can't develop perfect products for.
 
Not sure what you are saying.
I've owned 5 pure EVs and owned the 2018 PHEV. I need to know if there was something wrong with the 2023 unit I test drove or if there is a system wide issue with all of the 2023 models before I purchase it.
(edit):
The dealership got back to me today and told me that the owners manual states that "Low temperatures will restrict motor output and vehicle performance may be decreased, the engine will then compensate for the power reduction"!

So that kind of defeats the purpose of having a bigger battery and heat pump if the the engine has to run in cold weather anyway.

I guess we will find out soon enough about this from the current North American owners as the cold weather descends across the continent.
 
Hello Lon. Here looking for 2023 answers myself. A bit of a sorting process just filtering out critical thinkers from fan boys.

Some thoughts, and let's call then conjecture for now, that might help (and might already be obvious to you).

1) 14F? Yea, that's a bit brisk.
2) Most battery technologies, and I don't know exactly what this is using, don't handle cold well. With less than 18KW available when warm, a cold PHEV battery can't output much power without hurting itself. Was I you I'd be asking these things:

A: Does the battery system have a pre-conditioning capability adequate to avoid this limitation?
B: Assuming so, can said conditioning operate while plugged in?
C: Is the vehicle capable of pre-conditioning, both battery and cabin, exclusively via EVSE, or might it start the ICE (a bad thing in a garaged vehicle).
D: At what ambient temperature is battery output restrictions lifted? (I want to say it's 40F for the Pacifica PHEV, as an example, but I don't remember anymore).
E: Is there a known worst-case period of time battery pre-condition is required?
F: Are these decisions based on ambient temperature or battery temperature?

If not obvious my thought is your issue is largely driven by a somewhat less common: An attempt to be used unexpectedly, literally frozen, and undocked. Had it been "docked" and pre-conditioned most PHEV"s would have been fine. Nor is there much of an answer given today's battery tech. It's my understanding solid state batteries perform much better at either temperature extreme so there is hope for the future.

This one? Depends on answers to above,
 
I'm saying exactly what the dealer has told you, which is to be expected for a PHEV.

It's not worth having that level of battery thermal management when the engine can just be used instead, whereas for an EV they still have to perform in cold weather so would have to employ battery heating systems, which would also reduce the capacity of a PHEV battery to a larger proportion.
 
littlescrote said:
I'm saying exactly what the dealer has told you, which is to be expected for a PHEV.

It's not worth having that level of battery thermal management when the engine can just be used instead, whereas for an EV they still have to perform in cold weather so would have to employ battery heating systems, which would also reduce the capacity of a PHEV battery to a larger proportion.

There seem to a lot of people around who figure that PHEV means you get a BEV with a backup ICE engine. It's just not that way ... it is a hybrid and the control of which power is used when is controlled by the car's software. I think the someone (dealer or Mitsu) should tell folks that the various drive modes are things you can suggest to the car but the ultimate decision is made by the car's computer after analysing the current battery level, fuel level, ambient temperature and who knows what else.
 
littlescrote said:
I'm saying exactly what the dealer has told you, which is to be expected for a PHEV.

It's not worth having that level of battery thermal management when the engine can just be used instead, whereas for an EV they still have to perform in cold weather so would have to employ battery heating systems, which would also reduce the capacity of a PHEV battery to a larger proportion.

We drove the 2018 GT for four years in up to -30C weather and it never restricted electric power output to the motors. Always had sufficient EV power to do our commute without burning fuel just to add power. So no, it is not to be expected for a PHEV. Guess I should just stick with the older model. None of the EVs I've owned have restricted their power output that much when cold soaked.

I would like to know the actual battery temperature thresholds that Mitsubishi has implemented. If the battery heater is active and warms it up enough during charging then one might be able to coast through the day outside at work and still stay above the lower limit.
 
Heat pump might be country specific? But it is mentioned in this page from Mitsu Canada.

https://www.mitsubishi-motors-pr.ca/2023-mitsubishi-outlander-phev-range-and-packaging-announced/
 
mellobob said:
Heat pump might be country specific? But it is mentioned in this page from Mitsu Canada.

https://www.mitsubishi-motors-pr.ca/2023-mitsubishi-outlander-phev-range-and-packaging-announced/
Ok thanks, wow heat pump and Mi-pilot there. Us "colonials" down-under get the raw end of the deal from Mitsubishi. :x
 
Trex said:
Lon12 said:
.......... and heat pump if the the engine has to run in cold weather anyway.

Heat pump? You sure the new model has a heat pump? Our specs here show no mention of it from what I have seen.

Yes. When I test drove the new car you could definitely hear the heat pump chugging away. Much like the AC on full blast in the summer.
 
dafish said:
Hello Lon. Here looking for 2023 answers myself. A bit of a sorting process just filtering out critical thinkers from fan boys.

Some thoughts, and let's call then conjecture for now, that might help (and might already be obvious to you).

1) 14F? Yea, that's a bit brisk.
2) Most battery technologies, and I don't know exactly what this is using, don't handle cold well. With less than 18KW available when warm, a cold PHEV battery can't output much power without hurting itself. Was I you I'd be asking these things:

A: Does the battery system have a pre-conditioning capability adequate to avoid this limitation?
B: Assuming so, can said conditioning operate while plugged in?
C: Is the vehicle capable of pre-conditioning, both battery and cabin, exclusively via EVSE, or might it start the ICE (a bad thing in a garaged vehicle).
D: At what ambient temperature is battery output restrictions lifted? (I want to say it's 40F for the Pacifica PHEV, as an example, but I don't remember anymore).
E: Is there a known worst-case period of time battery pre-condition is required?
F: Are these decisions based on ambient temperature or battery temperature?

If not obvious my thought is your issue is largely driven by a somewhat less common: An attempt to be used unexpectedly, literally frozen, and undocked. Had it been "docked" and pre-conditioned most PHEV"s would have been fine. Nor is there much of an answer given today's battery tech. It's my understanding solid state batteries perform much better at either temperature extreme so there is hope for the future.

This one? Depends on answers to above,
Exactly the problem. There I can't find any information online yet. The sales manager is going for PHEV training this week and will pass along my questions. Hope someone can give us more details on the thermal management. I can't see Mitsubishi being able to change the EV power reduction software. They couldn't update the old BMU so I think we will be stuck with this forever. With most of the vehicles power being derived from the EV components I think folks will be quite shocked if they find themselves with a cold soaked battery. Mitsubishi obviously wants the battery to last the 10 year warranty period or longer so I totally understand why they would do this if the battery chemistry doesn't support cold temps.
 
Ours may not have a heat pump, but the air-conditioner is a thing to behold.

I was standing in the driveway (pulling down the garage door) the other day when the air-con fired up.

My next door neighbour came walking around the fence and said:

"Good grief! Have you installed a jet-engine in that thing now?"

:lol:
 
mellobob said:
But why would you need a heat pump? Isn't it always warm there :D :) :eek:

:lol: :lol: Snows in winter on The Great Dividing Range just west of where I live where I have a property. Been there done that and stayed to look around with skiing on the snow fields further south and have dealt with what we call black ice, using chains etc. You need to do a little research on Australia one day. ;) :lol: A heat pump is a more efficient way of heating IMO than what we have on the PHEV over here but you know that surely? :D :) :eek:
 
Lon12 said:
Trex said:
Lon12 said:
.......... and heat pump if the the engine has to run in cold weather anyway.

Heat pump? You sure the new model has a heat pump? Our specs here show no mention of it from what I have seen.

Yes. When I test drove the new car you could definitely hear the heat pump chugging away. Much like the AC on full blast in the summer.

Thanks, off topic but did you get to try Mi-Pilot and if you did how's it compare to Autopilot on Tesla as I think I see you have a Model Y as well ?
 
Lon12 said:
Exactly the problem. There I can't find any information online yet. The sales manager is going for PHEV training this week and will pass along my questions. Hope someone can give us more details on the thermal management. I can't see Mitsubishi being able to change the EV power reduction software. They couldn't update the old BMU so I think we will be stuck with this forever. With most of the vehicles power being derived from the EV components I think folks will be quite shocked if they find themselves with a cold soaked battery. Mitsubishi obviously wants the battery to last the 10 year warranty period or longer so I totally understand why they would do this if the battery chemistry doesn't support cold temps.

Ok, I will wade in here with my thoughts on the subject. From videos online I have seen and even from the Tesla's Winter Driving Tips https://www.tesla.com/support/winter-driving-tips where it states:

"A blue snowflake icon may appear on your touchscreen if your car battery is too cold to access all of its stored energy. When this icon is displayed you may also notice that battery power and regenerative braking are limited."

It is just common physics for the current state of battery technology from what I have seen to have performance and range reductions from a cold soaked battery.

But by using preconditioning especially while still plugged into the grid, which I have done with the PHEV even here in Australia up on The Great Dividing Range in the snow (to stop the petrol motor starting and heat the cabin), can solve that issue IMO.

Would be very surprised that the new model PHEV can not precondition the drive battery, and cabin, and probably far more efficiently now you get a heat pump over there.

Are you sure with your old PHEV that the drive battery and cabin was properly cold soaked, ie PHEV was indoors or preconditioned or both, to allow you no performance issues or the petrol motor starting?
 
Trex said:
Lon12 said:
Trex said:
Heat pump? You sure the new model has a heat pump? Our specs here show no mention of it from what I have seen.

Yes. When I test drove the new car you could definitely hear the heat pump chugging away. Much like the AC on full blast in the summer.

Thanks, off topic but did you get to try Mi-Pilot and if you did how's it compare to Autopilot on Tesla as I think I see you have a Model Y as well ?
Unfortunately I was not able to test out Mi-Pilot, so am not able to comment on how it performs. The new PHEVs are so back ordered that the dealerships do not have any demo units to test. We were going to buy the one I test drove until my heart sank with the loss of EV power. At the time they could not explain it and I didn't feel comfortable buying a car like that if it was a defect. So that is why I am on this forum looking for answers.
 
Trex said:
mellobob said:
But why would you need a heat pump? Isn't it always warm there :D :) :eek:

:lol: :lol: Snows in winter on The Great Dividing Range just west of where I live where I have a property. Been there done that and stayed to look around with skiing on the snow fields further south and have dealt with what we call black ice, using chains etc. You need to do a little research on Australia one day. ;) :lol: A heat pump is a more efficient way of heating IMO than what we have on the PHEV over here but you know that surely? :D :) :eek:

Yeah, I know all that :) Actually have some family down in the Brisbane area and would love to go for a visit before we all die. Two things holding me back are the insanely long air flight (and I really hate to fly at the best of times) and my wife who just hates to travel ... she's at the point where a 10 minute drive into town is becoming a "long journey". So ... probably no trips down south to visit.

Yes, I know all about heat pumps. I don't know what kind of unit they are using on the PHEV and wonder if it would keep up in -20 weather? One more reason to start up the ICE and heat some water :)
 
Was the car outside before the test drive or it was taken out from a garage with a higher temperature?

Cause if it was like sleeping outside for days in the cold, it makes sense. The heater would need the engine and at least a couple of minutes to give some heat to the battery, so during that time, the power is restricted as a safety measure for the battery itself.

Now, if the car was in a garage before that, the case you described is concerning. But there are a couple of freezing temperature tests of the new Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV on Youtube, and all of them were able to get at least 50 KMs.
 
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