Denny
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:59 pm

Range with headlights on

Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:43 pm

I'm a newbee,and I'm wading into this car slowly. I'm alittle freaked about range especially with half or all my 42 mi commute at this time of year in the dark+a 10-12 hour workday. I love driving this car,although I'm surrounded by v8 loving gear heads-Iwork in an autobody repair shop. So I want this car to make a good impression at work. thanks,Denny

Don
Site Moderator
Posts: 2942
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 3:55 pm
Location: Biloxi MS

Re: Range with headlights on

Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:49 pm

Welcome to the forum, Denny!

In my experience (7800 miles) the headlights make so little difference in the range of the car that it's almost impossible to measure. The lights draw about 100 watts when they are on and the battery has 16,000 watts of total power, so they draw less than 1% of the battery power every hour they are on

Now, the climate controls . . . . that's another story all together. The heater can draw as much as 5,000 watts for every hour is is running and the A/C is about 4,000 watts max, so you can add to the range you're getting by not using the climate controls as much - In other words, use them all you want when range isn't an issue and turn them off when it is an issue

Don
2012 iMiEV SE Premium, White
2012 iMiEV SE Premium, Raspberry Metallic
2012 iMiEV SE, White
2017 Chevy Volt Premier
2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT SWB wagon

Denny
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:59 pm

Re: Range with headlights on

Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:07 pm

Thanks Don that makes me feel alot better-time to take the plunge. I did read that the heat and air are a big draw and that pre-heating-cooling are the way to go. Thanks again,Denny

benswing
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:35 pm
Location: Montclair, NJ

Re: Range with headlights on

Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:19 pm

Denny, is it a 42 mile roundtrip commute? Or one way?

Also, depending on the weather and the speed you want to travel, you may want to plug in while you're at work just for peace of mind.
Driving Electric since 2007: Vectrix VX1 - 2007-2010, Zero S ZF9 - 2012-Present, Mitsubishi iMIEV - 2013 - 2015

jennrod12
Posts: 230
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:51 pm
Location: Santa Clara, CA

Re: Range with headlights on

Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:49 pm

I always drive with the headlights on for safety, and get about 75 miles per charge. I don't use the freeway much, but commute on an expressway at speeds around 50 mph.

Jenn
2012 Diamond White i-MiEV ES
with green racing stripes and hubcaps (thanks to WeeJohn)
Santa Clara, CA

MLucas
Posts: 833
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:52 am
Location: Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada

Re: Range with headlights on

Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:22 am

Denny wrote:I'm a newbee,and I'm wading into this car slowly. I'm alittle freaked about range especially with half or all my 42 mi commute at this time of year in the dark+a 10-12 hour workday. I love driving this car,although I'm surrounded by v8 loving gear heads-Iwork in an autobody repair shop. So I want this car to make a good impression at work. thanks,Denny


+1 on whether 42 miles is round trip or one way, I'm thinking its round trip.

What part of the world are you posting from? That would help us out a lot.

Finally, if you are trying to make a good impression on a bunch of 'v8 loving gear heads', I think you are wasting your time. It will take a long time for them to 'evolve' to the point of wanting to drive an EV. Even if it's a mega-truck EV conversion (they exist) - they love the sound of those large ICE engines and dont' seem to mind filling the tanks with gobs of cash either. I'm surprised you weren't laughed out of the shop when you first brought it to work.

One comment I got after I sold my motorcycle was, 'You sold your bike for this?' All I say is 'Yes.' and drive away - its not worth my breath to explain it all to them. They are just looking for an argument after all.

Like Dylan...I went electric.

  • Purchased: June 29th, 2012
  • Mileage on June 29th, 2013 - 25,431 km / 15,802 miles
  • Mileage on June 29th, 2014 - 51,286 km / 32,616 miles

List of Oil Spills: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_oil_spills

iDriver
Posts: 105
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:01 pm

Re: Range with headlights on

Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:22 am

Edit: Turns out just about everything I wrote was wrong! :oops: Don set me straight.
Last edited by iDriver on Tue Mar 05, 2013 1:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Don
Site Moderator
Posts: 2942
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 3:55 pm
Location: Biloxi MS

Re: Range with headlights on

Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:00 pm

iDriver wrote:Denny. You might already know this, but i'll go over it just in case.

So the Headlights actually run directly from the 12volt battery under the front hood and not the traction battery. This means it has nearly zero impact on our range. Among the many good reasons for this is safety, Mitsubishi (and other EV manufacturers) don't want drivers turn off the Headlights to help with range.

Same thing goes for the wiper blades, radio, fans, and any accessories you plug into the cigarette lighter. All of these run from the 12volt. So use your headlights and wipers as much as you want. It's totally fine. :-)

Now I know what your thinking "Doesn't the main LiON pack charge the 12volt, thereby reducing our range?". Yes and no. The pack doesn't have to keep the 12volt charged all the time, just when it dips too low, and even then, it takes so little current to do this that it's negligible on your range.

A big part of this is due to the Deep Cycle nature of the 12volt. It's the same kind of battery you find in RV's and Boats (no cranking amps required because it doesn't have to crank a starter like in an ICE vehicle). So it lasts forever and can run our headlights, wipers, etc.. all day with no problem, pretty much all on it's own.

If you've ever had a camper or boat with a battery like this, you know how well they work. The only trick to making them last for years and years is to remember to haul them out and keep them hooked up to a battery tender when you're done camping and boating. If they maintain a charge 24-7, they have an insane lifespan.

The good news is, our car does this for us! :) Also, when you plug the car in, the 12volt gets charged right along with the LiON, further increasing it's lifespan and ensuring you have a nicely charged up, fully ready to go 12volt for all your headlight, wiper and radio needs. :-) It's a great system.
Golly, gee whiz - Where to start? So much mis-information all in one post :shock:

First, nothing 'runs' off the 12 volt battery. Lots of things run on 12 volts, but none of them are drawing any current out of the little 12 volt battery (none at all) unless the key is in the accessory position. That is the only time the 12 volt battery powers anything

You can prove this to yourself quite easily. Take a voltmeter and measure the voltage on the little battery with the car shut off (and the EVSE not plugged in). You will get something very close to 12.6 volts. This is the normal, 'resting' voltage of any ordinary 12 volt automotive battery, which is what we have. It's not a marine deep cycle battery BTW - It's just an ordinary flooded 'starting' battery with 33 AH's (Amp Hours) and 272 CCA's (Cold Cranking Amps)

Now, turn the key to the accessory position, turn on the headlights and measure again. You will get something very close to 12.0 volts. What does this mean? It means the 12 volt battery is powering the headlights. How do we know? The battery is seeing a load, so it's voltage went down - The bigger the load, the more it goes down . . . . the battery is powering the lights. 12.6 volts is the resting voltage - Not under charge, not powering anything. If it was charging, the voltage would be higher and if it was powering anything, the voltage would be lower. Elementary electronics

Now, turn the key to on, so you get the 'Ready' light and the first thing you will notice is . . . . the headlights just got much BRIGHTER - Why? Measure the voltage again. You will get something close to 14.4 volts. The lights got brighter because they are now running on 14.4 volts instead of the 12.0 they were getting when the key was in the ACC position and they were running off the battery. What does this mean? Since the battery's voltage has risen nearly 2 volts from it's resting voltage, it means the battery is under charge. The headlights are no longer running off the battery. If they were, the voltage would still be 12.0 and they would still be dim

The 12 volt battery will measure above 14 volts anytime the car is operating. It's always under charge and never powering anything - With the key in the 'On' position, all 12 volt loads are transferred to the traction battery

What is charging the little 12 volt battery AND powering the headlights now? The DC to DC converter has taken all the load off the battery - Nothing coming OUT to power anything - Current is going IN, and it's coming directly from the 330 volt traction battery . . . . all the time, mile after mile. Turn on any 12 volt load (even turn signals) and the cars range gets incrementally (infinitesimally) lower. No 'free lunch'. As I mentioned earlier, the 100 watts or so the headlights use is small potatoes in the overall scheme of things - Less than 1% of the total power, but like every other electrical load, they do affect the range. If you run the headlights for an hour, they might decrease the range by half a mile or so . . . . just a guess, but the range did go down - Remember, everything is running off the traction battery and there is no free lunch ;)

ICE vehicles work exactly the same way, BTW - Nothing 'runs' off the battery when the engine is running there either . . . . all loads are powered directly by the alternator which is holding the battery voltage up to something above 13.8 volts - The battery is charging all the time . . . . powering NOTHING, same as in our car. Our 'alternator' is the DC to DC converter - On all the time, charging all the time, running off the traction battery all the time. Turn the steering wheel, the traction battery INSTANTLY feels the load of the electronic power steering . . . . and the range goes down a teeny, tiny bit

Long story short - Turn on ANY 12 volt accessory and the power to run it INSTANTLY is shifted to the 330 volt traction battery, via the DC to DC converter. You could prove this too by measuring the current the DC to DC converter is drawing from the traction battery. Turn on a 100 watt load (the headlights) and the converter instantly begins to draw an additional 100 watts + from the traction battery . . . . it's not 100% efficient. EVERY single electric thing in this car is running off the 330 volt traction battery all the time . . . . unless you have the key in the ACC position and you're listening to the radio - THEN, you're running something off the little 12 volt battery, but that is the ONLY time

Don
2012 iMiEV SE Premium, White
2012 iMiEV SE Premium, Raspberry Metallic
2012 iMiEV SE, White
2017 Chevy Volt Premier
2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT SWB wagon

fjpod
Posts: 529
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:31 am
Location: NYC

Re: Range with headlights on

Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:34 pm

Yyyup.

Llecentaur
Posts: 240
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:56 am

Re: Range with headlights on

Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:48 pm

As Don explained, the 100watt power drawn by the headlamps is minimal.

If one wishes to optimise to the extreme as a hobby, there is the option of converting to xenon for little money. I installed 2x35w, that saves 30w overall :P but also gives 3x original lighting.

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