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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This car has been engineered for the people fortunate enough to have heated garages or that live in a warm year-round climate. I just got a 12 battery fault and found out that many owners also received the same warning. It is because my car is parked in a non-heated garage and I don't have a dedicated charger where it can stay plugged in. Now I have to go out in the cold to drive my car around to charge the battery from what the dealer told me. It has been below 20ºF here in Chicago for over a day. When I do drive the car I get about 1 mile/kWh that gives my car about 100 miles on a full charge.

Everything is written and geared to the garage owners and personal charging stations. If you don't have this, I would not suggest buying the car unless you are willing to have a fair-weather car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So you bought an EV with no way to charge it at home?
There was a charger in the public garage where I park my car but it stopped working and Chargepoint didn't fix it for over two month, and even now there is only one station on it working. I watched the availability of the charging station for months before I decided to buy the car. There are other public charges within a few miles and in the summer months they would be manageable but needing almost twice the electricity in the winter it becomes much more difficult.

I am an environmental scientist and have been in the field for over 30 years. I felt a strong need to jump into this electric vehicle world and expected problems. I did not expect a car that was designed in Detroit to have so many cold weather problems because well, they are in Detroit! These problems are not unique to EVs but they are amplified, becoming much more significant.

So, the way you phrase your question has a tone of the indifference and callousness of so many EV manufacturers, the press and owners which implies a condescending attitude. You may not have meant it like that and right now with all these issues I have become hyper sensitive to the attitude. EVs need to be part of mainstream US and not just for the very fortunate that have their own private charging if we are going to improve our climate change catastrophe. I am hoping this attitude will change and the problems will have reasonable solutions for most of the public that does not have this ability to charge without public charging options.
 

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I couldn't imagine buying an EV when I didn't have a guaranteed way to charge it at home. Seems you are knocking Ford because of a vehicle you do not have the home capabilities that the vehicle is inteded to have. The beauty from your position is the car is in very high demand, and you should not have any issue selling (probably without any loss) should you choose to go that route. Best of luck to you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I couldn't imagine buying an EV when I didn't have a guaranteed way to charge it at home. Seems you are knocking Ford because of a vehicle you do not have the home capabilities that the vehicle is inteded to have. The beauty from your position is the car is in very high demand, and you should not have any issue selling (probably without any loss) should you choose to go that route. Best of luck to you!
Thanks. I am trying to push Ford, and the industry for solutions and a tone of disappointment is hard not to keep hidden. EVs are a huge nationwide push to try and solve our energy dependence on fossil fuels. To do this the electric vehicles with the ability to charge them must be available to a much wider public than just those that can charge at home. I do not intend to sell my car. I intend to learn how to best mitigate these problems as they arise and share solutions with other owners. I meet many owners of other EVs in charging areas that have the same limitations as I do and they are owning an EV to improve our environment. So best of luck to all of us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
No access to even a 120-volt outlet, even with a properly rated extension cord?
I live in a condo where I don’t have a personal parking space so even a L1 plug isn’t an option . The majority or at least a very substantial amount of auto owners are in the same situation. it’s early in this EV transition but I really hope that Ford and others adapt with reasonable solutions. I am surprised they didn’t prepare for extreme cold weather. Right note I’m at a free charge spot eating dinner so it ain’t all that bad.
 

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I think Wayne has a very valid concern, issue of pesonal parking spot aside what about if you are on a long trip in cold weather? Most of the hotels do NOT have charging options, if I am going cross country in the EV it will likely be parked outside for days and most of the time without being plugged in. I am in Colorado also and have a garage that I park in normally. But I have noticed the caution light in cold weather where MME tells you that outside temp is low and car should be plugged in when not in use. It would make me mad if I am traveling cross country and stopped somewhere for couple days and the car is dead when I come out in the morning.
 

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Extreme cold plus 12v battery equals problems. In the 1960s I drove a NYC taxi to pay for my university tuition, during the winter I would make extra cash by jumping "dead" batteries in vehicles that were parked on the streets during the winter weather.
If I didn't have a regular place to plug in, I would have stayed with my PHEV Fusion Energi. When I lived in an apartment in Oregon that had two outside L-2 stations I rented one of the spots in order to have a charging slot. Things will improve but it's a tough time to own a BEV without a dedicated plug-in area.
 

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There was a charger in the public garage where I park my car but it stopped working and Chargepoint didn't fix it for over two month, and even now there is only one station on it working. I watched the availability of the charging station for months before I decided to buy the car. There are other public charges within a few miles and in the summer months they would be manageable but needing almost twice the electricity in the winter it becomes much more difficult.

I am an environmental scientist and have been in the field for over 30 years. I felt a strong need to jump into this electric vehicle world and expected problems. I did not expect a car that was designed in Detroit to have so many cold weather problems because well, they are in Detroit! These problems are not unique to EVs but they are amplified, becoming much more significant.

So, the way you phrase your question has a tone of the indifference and callousness of so many EV manufacturers, the press and owners which implies a condescending attitude. You may not have meant it like that and right now with all these issues I have become hyper sensitive to the attitude. EVs need to be part of mainstream US and not just for the very fortunate that have their own private charging if we are going to improve our climate change catastrophe. I am hoping this attitude will change and the problems will have reasonable solutions for most of the public that does not have this ability to charge without public charging options.
I guess I'm wondering as a scientist, did you not do some research into the aspects of ownership and whether or not the current technology would work for you? I mean I literally knew nothing about EVs or the Mach E prior to january 2021. I looked up and read everything online I could find, and I actually ordered a few weeks later and have enjoyed the seven months I've had it. Clearly tech where it stands now won't work for everyone. Your situation seems especially bad in that you live in a very harsh winter climate, have no real home charging capability. Those seem like two monstrous red flags to ownership.

You're absolutely right that EVs need to be mainstream, but we're not there yet, I think five to ten years down the road the EV landscape will be substantially improved with charging stations everywhere, including apt complexes all on a large scale basis.

I hope this doesn't come off as being callous and indifferent. You're by no means the first to have the rude awakening of ev ownership.
 

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I live in a condo where I don’t have a personal parking space so even a L1 plug isn’t an option . The majority or at least a very substantial amount of auto owners are in the same situation. it’s early in this EV transition but I really hope that Ford and others adapt with reasonable solutions. I am surprised they didn’t prepare for extreme cold weather. Right note I’m at a free charge spot eating dinner so it ain’t all that bad.
You are one of the ones who has to make a pretty big sacrifice to convenience to embrace the tech, I applaud you for it. THis is really still early days in mainstream EV.
 

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This car has been engineered for the people fortunate enough to have heated garages or that live in a warm year-round climate. I just got a 12 battery fault and found out that many owners also received the same warning. It is because my car is parked in a non-heated garage and I don't have a dedicated charger where it can stay plugged in. Now I have to go out in the cold to drive my car around to charge the battery from what the dealer told me. It has been below 20ºF here in Chicago for over a day. When I do drive the car I get about 1 mile/kWh that gives my car about 100 miles on a full charge.

Everything is written and geared to the garage owners and personal charging stations. If you don't have this, I would not suggest buying the car unless you are willing to have a fair-weather car.
I disagree with the reference to a heated garage. I live in MI and park in an unheated garage with a dedicated charger. Although my range has taken the winter hit, I’ve had no real problems.

There is no way I would have bought an EV without a dedicated charger.
 

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You don't necessarily have to go drive the car around to top off the 12V battery. Just turning it on for awhile should produce a high voltage battery to 12V battery transfer (turn off the cabin heat to avoid wasting range on unnecessarily heating the cabin).

Also, we don't necessarily know when your car was purchased, but there was an issue early on where the 12V battery could become depleted due to a software bug. This was patched at some point, which should make power transfers to the 12V battery fully automatic, regardless of vehicle's operational state.

Cold weather is indeed a struggle with EVs, and unfortunately even more challenging when you can't keep it plugged-in any possible way when the temperature dips.


I'll throw one other possibly creative solution for you. Do you park somewhere that gets some degree of sunlight? You could connect a small solar battery maintainer to the 12V battery if you don't use the car every day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You don't necessarily have to go drive the car around to top off the 12V battery. Just turning it on for awhile should produce a high voltage battery to 12V battery transfer (turn off the cabin heat to avoid wasting range on unnecessarily heating the cabin).

Also, we don't necessarily know when your car was purchased, but there was an issue early on where the 12V battery could become depleted due to a software bug. This was patched at some point, which should make power transfers to the 12V battery fully automatic, regardless of vehicle's operational state.

Cold weather is indeed a struggle with EVs, and unfortunately even more challenging when you can't keep it plugged-in any possible way when the temperature dips.


I'll throw one other possibly creative solution for you. Do you park somewhere that gets some degree of sunlight? You could connect a small solar battery maintainer to the 12V battery if you don't use the car every day.
Great information although it leaves many questions. First, are you part of Ford and where did you get this information from? Sorry about the fact check but it is hard to find out from Ford how their systems are functioning. Next, does that mean pressing the "Start" button on the FordPass app will charge the 12 V battery? This is important because if I get the chance to travel again I don't think Electra is coming with me to LaPaz Mexico, or Quito (Need warmth!). The next one is does the 12 V battery charge when the car is off and charging in a public charging station? Will charging the vehicle's high voltage cells help charging the 12 V battery? This would be a strategy to minimize this, although charging the battery during very cold weather is said to potentially degrade the battery (high voltage battery).

It would be helpful to have a choice to allow a charge to the 12 V while the car is off as long as there is sufficient power in the main battery. I don't think that would be that difficult to program into the already complex system.

The solar cell is an idea. I am not sure if the window would retard the wavelengths necessary to keep up a current. I live in Chicago, somehow I think a cool looking solar cell sitting open might be a short lived investment, at least for me.

Thanks for your information, it was very helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I guess I'm wondering as a scientist, did you not do some research into the aspects of ownership and whether or not the current technology would work for you? I mean I literally knew nothing about EVs or the Mach E prior to january 2021. I looked up and read everything online I could find, and I actually ordered a few weeks later and have enjoyed the seven months I've had it. Clearly tech where it stands now won't work for everyone. Your situation seems especially bad in that you live in a very harsh winter climate, have no real home charging capability. Those seem like two monstrous red flags to ownership.

You're absolutely right that EVs need to be mainstream, but we're not there yet, I think five to ten years down the road the EV landscape will be substantially improved with charging stations everywhere, including apt complexes all on a large scale basis.

I hope this doesn't come off as being callous and indifferent. You're by no means the first to have the rude awakening of ev ownership.
I am a scientist, but never said I was a good one. In fact I made an extremely impulse buy. I had been considering EVs and through the first months of 2021 I felt the need to move on it because of all the floods in Europe, heat extremes in the Pacific Northwest and Siberia and wild fires that have been continually seasonal to that point. When I walked into the Ford dealer just to check on what they had the infinity blue Premium Mach E was on the showroom. A very wonderful sales person gently told me the order on the car was cancelled that morning and the car was available. Two hours later Dory (my blue Prius) was not mine any more and Electra was. So, the answer is I didn't do a lot of research outside of monitoring the charging station at the public garage where I park for months which gave me the confidence to buy an EV. I knew it was a risk that the garage and ChargePoint might not be permanent and that turned out to be true.

As a once committed environmental chemist and university teacher in the field of environmental sciences I felt it was time to support the movement first hand. If Toyota had sold a reasonable plug-in hybrid I most likely would have gone that route. From a practical perspective a well designed plug-in hybrid would have been the best choice for the early EV transition in an urban setting. I almost always use my auto for less than 10 mile trips so I could have sustained using electric charging for most of my trips. Even after all this and all the complaining, which is intended to produce results and not just complain, I still am trying to work through these problems and create or learn effective solutions. I love this forum for that and look forward to your input.

I am disappointed with Ford for not responding or being proactive about these issues. They did release a nice winter guide shortly after many discussions as the temperatures dropped in the Northern Hemisphere. But they can do much better. The company is based in Detroit, they should know better.

Thank you for your help you have offered now and before.
Wayne
 

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To answer your questions:
- No, I am not with Ford, but I am an Electrical Engineer that enjoys taking deep technical dives into things. The information about the software bug has been published on the web, but it only affects very early models. I'm sorry, but I don't know specifics, but very roughly if your vehicle was built after June 2021, then you shouldn't be affected. If you are, it's a simple software update.

- Yes, pressing start on the FordPass app will have the same effect. However, you are only allowed to remote start the vehicle two times before you need to locally start it.

- I haven't tested whether the 12V battery is supplied power when the charging cable is connected, however the later software does initiate a power transfer whenever the 12V battery voltage is sensed to be below a certain threshold, regardless of the vehicle operating state. In place of an alternator, a DC to DC converter is used to replenish the 12VDC system. The converter takes power from the high voltage battery bus and converts it to low voltage DC (~12V) that is suitable for running all of the vehicle's lights and conventional electrical accessories (excluding the E-heat and A/C compressor).

The easiest way to check whether the 12V battery is receiving charge is to put a multimeter on the passenger compartment fuse block and monitor voltage. Nominal battery voltage is 12.6 - 12.8 volts. When the DC to DC converter is active, the bus voltage rises to 13.5 - 14.2 volts, very similar to what you would expect to see in an ICE vehicle with its alternator operating. (Note: Cigarette plug voltmeters are essentially useless, because the plugs are all switched with the accessory power, and the DC to DC converter also activates when the accessory power is turned on).

- All glass attenuates light to some degree, but a battery maintainer on the dashboard is there to maintain state of charge, not recharge things, so as long as it gets some sunlight across the whole panel, it will work (and works well for ICE cars left for a few weeks in a surface lot at an airport). In truth, it would be better to get to the bottom of the issue of why the 12V battery is not being maintained automatically by the vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I disagree with the reference to a heated garage. I live in MI and park in an unheated garage with a dedicated charger. Although my range has taken the winter hit, I’ve had no real problems.

There is no way I would have bought an EV without a dedicated charger.
I am sure this helps many, thanks for the information. I have had responses and many from Ford that often mention warm garages and not leaving the automobile in extreme cold. They never suggested that the dedicated charging alone was also effective. Regrettably that doesn't help me here in my little lake front Chicago apartment with no parking space.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
To answer your questions:
- No, I am not with Ford, but I am an Electrical Engineer that enjoys taking deep technical dives into things. The information about the software bug has been published on the web, but it only affects very early models. I'm sorry, but I don't know specifics, but very roughly if your vehicle was built after June 2021, then you shouldn't be affected. If you are, it's a simple software update.

- Yes, pressing start on the FordPass app will have the same effect. However, you are only allowed to remote start the vehicle two times before you need to locally start it.

- I haven't tested whether the 12V battery is supplied power when the charging cable is connected, however the later software does initiate a power transfer whenever the 12V battery voltage is sensed to be below a certain threshold, regardless of the vehicle operating state. In place of an alternator, a DC to DC converter is used to replenish the 12VDC system. The converter takes power from the high voltage battery bus and converts it to low voltage DC (~12V) that is suitable for running all of the vehicle's lights and conventional electrical accessories (excluding the E-heat and A/C compressor).

The easiest way to check whether the 12V battery is receiving charge is to put a multimeter on the passenger compartment fuse block and monitor voltage. Nominal battery voltage is 12.6 - 12.8 volts. When the DC to DC converter is active, the bus voltage rises to 13.5 - 14.2 volts, very similar to what you would expect to see in an ICE vehicle with its alternator operating. (Note: Cigarette plug voltmeters are essentially useless, because the plugs are all switched with the accessory power, and the DC to DC converter also activates when the accessory power is turned on).

- All glass attenuates light to some degree, but a battery maintainer on the dashboard is there to maintain state of charge, not recharge things, so as long as it gets some sunlight across the whole panel, it will work (and works well for ICE cars left for a few weeks in a surface lot at an airport). In truth, it would be better to get to the bottom of the issue of why the 12V battery is not being maintained automatically by the vehicle.
Thank you so much for the very thoughtful answer. I purchased the car in July where it was recently sent to the dealer. I didn't order it, just walked in and there it was from a canceled order. But I have had the last software update at the dealer when I went for an inspection of my glass roof.

I don't own a multimeter but I am guessing if I have my headlights on and plug in the car I should see an increase in brightness if it does charge the 12V battery at the same time as the high voltage one, although maybe LED lights might not work the same way so not conclusive. But if they brighten it might be. Kind of like an antigen test these days with false negatives.

Great reply and very useful. Thank you!
Wayne
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thank you so much for the very thoughtful answer. I purchased the car in July where it was recently sent to the dealer. I didn't order it, just walked in and there it was from a canceled order. But I have had the last software update at the dealer when I went for an inspection of my glass roof.

I don't own a multimeter but I am guessing if I have my headlights on and plug in the car I should see an increase in brightness if it does charge the 12V battery at the same time as the high voltage one, although maybe LED lights might not work the same way so not conclusive. But if they brighten it might be. Kind of like an antigen test these days with false negatives.

Great reply and very useful. Thank you!
Wayne
And its really a shame the owners don't have access to critical raw data like low voltage readings and journey summaries with actual efficiency averages. I wish they would offer data analytical tools that you could download into spreadsheet based tools.
 
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