KTBolt

Battery died with 35 miles left. Is this normal?

I was a few miles from home and had 35 miles left, according to the dashboard. I was on the freeway, going about 60, and received the message "Propulsion Power Is Reduced." The car immediately slowed to about 40 mph and, luckily, I was right at my exit so slowly made my way off the freeway. For a mile, still reading 35 miles, the car slowed to around 20 mph and then shut off on a low grade hill. Unfortunately, I had to get the car towed 1 block to my house. So does "35 miles" actually mean ZERO? I had planned the trip in a way knowing that I'd have a small buffer and made sure to not run AC. I've read that Propulsion Power can be reduced in extreme temperatures but it was a moderate 70 degrees.
phil0909
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Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2017 7:25 pm

Re: Battery died with 35 miles left. Is this normal?

KTBolt wrote:I was a few miles from home and had 35 miles left, according to the dashboard. I was on the freeway, going about 60, and received the message "Propulsion Power Is Reduced." The car immediately slowed to about 40 mph and, luckily, I was right at my exit so slowly made my way off the freeway. For a mile, still reading 35 miles, the car slowed to around 20 mph and then shut off on a low grade hill. Unfortunately, I had to get the car towed 1 block to my house. So does "35 miles" actually mean ZERO? I had planned the trip in a way knowing that I'd have a small buffer and made sure to not run AC. I've read that Propulsion Power can be reduced in extreme temperatures but it was a moderate 70 degrees.
I don't think GM bothers to tell us what is 'normal' in this situation. What the manual says is that "This message is most commonly
displayed when the high voltage battery charge level is low. "

They give no hint as to how low...

But I can tell you that this does not always happen at 35 miles. The lowest I've gotten is 31 miles estimated range left, and I did not get the power reduction or the message. I did have the battery meter turn orange to warn me, though.
devbolt
Posts: 466
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2016 2:17 am
Location: Bay Area, California.

Re: Battery died with 35 miles left. Is this normal?

The two times I've gotten the "Propulsion Power is Reduced" is when the SOC hit ~10%. In both cases, estimated remaining miles was between 14 and 20 miles. And in both cases, I was easily able to get to a charger to recharge (I had actually deliberately ran the battery down as a test).

The fact that your car decided to "die" with 35 miles remaining is troubling. Do you recall what your battery percentage was (how many bars on the left side of the DIC), or how many miles per kWh you were getting at the time? Of if you had recently done a full charge (not hilltop reserve limited)?
KTBolt

Re: Battery died with 35 miles left. Is this normal?

Thanks for the replies. The battery SOC was around 10 percent and the battery meter turned orange about 30 seconds before the car shut off completely. Not much of a fair warning. I had driven approximately 150 miles, a mix of city and freeway, since the last charge which was several days before. I'm going to be much more cognizant of my battery percentage from now on.
SparkE
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Re: Battery died with 35 miles left. Is this normal?

Frankly, I would make a complaint to GM - the car shut off with 10% Soc? If it happens again, I would *immediately* pull over (safely) and call OnStar and say "my car is telling me I am running out of energy, what do you show?". Followed by "my estimated range is 32 miles, and it won't drive faster than 25 mph - is that normal?" (This is simply to get another example of this failure DOCUMENTED - OnStar should be able to see all the stats you see - including range remaining, and SoC.)

Personally, running out of 'juice' when 10% SoC is showing is UNACCEPTABLE, and a warranty item.
dandrewk
Posts: 239
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2016 6:29 am

Re: Battery died with 35 miles left. Is this normal?

This sounds like a serious calibration issues. If this happens to others, it's an issue that needs to be fixed ASAP. I'm thinking it's software related, so hopefully an update will make things right.

In the meantime, don't let your battery get that low. ABC.
SeanNelson
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Location: Vancouver, BC

Re: Battery died with 35 miles left. Is this normal?

KTBolt wrote:The battery SOC was around 10 percent and the battery meter turned orange about 30 seconds before the car shut off completely.
Have you been charging your car in "Hilltop Reserve" mode? If so, when was the last time you charged it fully (right up to 100%)?

I've read some posts that suggest that full charging is occasionally required to calibrate the SOC meter, so I'm wondering if it hasn't been fully charged over a period of time whether that might result in this kind of issue.
dandrewk
Posts: 239
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2016 6:29 am

Re: Battery died with 35 miles left. Is this normal?

SeanNelson wrote:
KTBolt wrote:The battery SOC was around 10 percent and the battery meter turned orange about 30 seconds before the car shut off completely.
Have you been charging your car in "Hilltop Reserve" mode? If so, when was the last time you charged it fully (right up to 100%)?

I've read some posts that suggest that full charging is occasionally required to calibrate the SOC meter, so I'm wondering if it hasn't been fully charged over a period of time whether that might result in this kind of issue.
Good point.

Come to think of it, when we got our Bolt in early January, it wasn't fully charged. One of the first things I did was to activate hill mode. So I don't think the car has ever been at 100%.
DNAinaGoodWay
Posts: 247
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2016 11:19 am
Location: Central Massachusetts

Re: Battery died with 35 miles left. Is this normal?

Charging to 100% allows the pack to balance fully, you should do it once monthly at a minimum, and definitely before a long trip. Unbalanced cells wil cause it to shut down sooner.

Speed also plays into this, highway speeds will cause it to shut down sooner when you're low.
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WetEV
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Re: Battery died with 35 miles left. Is this normal?

DNAinaGoodWay wrote:Charging to 100% allows the pack to balance fully, you should do it once monthly at a minimum, and definitely before a long trip. Unbalanced cells wil cause it to shut down sooner.

This is correct for other EVs, but is it true for the Bolt?

Has anyone studied how the Bolt does battery balancing?

Does GM document it?
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Or perhaps a Buick version? Buick Electra 225???

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