NEVS focuses on the electric drive at Saab. The first all-electric Saab will celebrate its world premiere in Beijing in April. Reason enough to deal with the topic and to ask the readers for their opinion. Because a problem of vehicles with batteries is the sinking range in winter. The Car media Portal has written an article that makes me think:
Winter brings electric cars to the edge of usability. This is not a surprising finding, because their batteries need to provide more consumers in winter, but their chemistry is less efficient because of the low temperatures. What can realistically be expected from a battery-electric car today is shown by the result of the "Auto Bild" cold test of five E-models. In winter conditions, the BMW i3, Tesla Model S, Nissan Leaf, Renault Zoe and Mitsubishi i-MiEV had to prove themselves in seven disciplines: braking, traction, handling, heating, range, safety equipment and price. In particular, the range test showed some dramatic limitations.
In four out of five test candidates, the range dropped below 70 kilometers. Only the Tesla achieved more than 85 kilometers due to its massive 200 kWh battery. When Renault Zoe the battery was enough even for 58,9 kilometers. Commuting to work on cold winter days can be a risky arithmetic example, especially when commuter traffic jams or detours threaten. Overall, the range in cold break, compared with information on the websites of the manufacturer by about 60 to 70 percent:
Tesla Model S, 85 kWh battery, official range 502 km, in winter test 206 km
Nissan Leaf, 24 kMh battery, official range 199 km, in the winter test 69,1 km
BMW i3, 21,6 kWh battery, range 130 to 160 km, in winter test 61,4 km
Mitsubishi i-MiEV, 16 k / h battery, range 150 km, in winter test 61,3 km
Renault Zoe, 22 kWh battery, range 100 to 150 km, in winter test 58,9 km.
Source: (ampnet / Sm)
The problem is not new. Already 2011 had similar tests, both from the Dekra and Auto Motor Sport. The result is similar to the current numbers. If the temperature drops to minus 5 degrees, the range on average decreases by 47%. That was 2011 like that, 2013 has not changed. The progress is missing.
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The journey to work - a risk in winter
In the winter, I would drive from Spessart to Eschborn to the Saab Tower with an electric vehicle like the BMW i3, from time to time setting up the branch of the former Saab Automobile Parts AB to visit, I would probably stop short of the finish. Which would be little amusing. Rush hour traffic, departure Eschborn, the battery is empty! Then recharge in the underground garage if you can find a free socket and the tour back home would also be an adventure. Detours in order to get the suit from the cleaning shop or quickly get some rolls ... a risk. So a battery vehicle is just a car for mild temperatures?
In principle, BMW uses Lithium Iron Phosphate technology (LiFePO4) on the same basis as Saab batteries. With the difference that BMW has to buy, Saab with Beijing National Battery technology has the technology suppliers in its own group. The Saab 9-3 EV should in the first variant have a range of 200 kilometers. This should be increased continuously over the model runtime. Remained, theoretically, at minus 5 degrees still good 100 kilometers range left. Enough to drive to Eschborn and enough reserve to make a traffic jam not a problem. Nevertheless, a skeptical feeling remains.
Because even the model Tesla loses a good half of its range with its lithium ion batteries. What happens in winter when everything is on the highway? Not unusual in low mountain regions. A night on the highway - almost always on our doorstep. The battery is then quickly empty, the heating stops operating, the load stops and the passenger freezes.
Alternatively a vehicle with range extender?
Electromobility is in its infancy, at least with regard to winter operation. Maybe an electric car is more useful than a car sharing model and only for metropolitan areas. Maybe we have to be patient. Or Saab does it under NEVS direction, as Fisker and BMW have shown. The Fisker Karma was a 2 liter turbo direct injection, we know it from the 9-3 Griffin and the 9-5 II, as a stationary engine with under the hood. If required, it delivered the desired energy to the battery in the favorable speed range. An engine could be optionally purchased from the BMW i3. With NEVS-Saab, on the other hand, everything comes down to a pure battery vehicle. Brave - maybe due to the Chinese market and its expectations. I would prefer a vehicle with a range extender as a backup, so to speak.
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The Saab 9-3 EV should be fun to drive like a turbo Saab. We are promised that and I like to believe that. Because electric cars have impressive acceleration values, almost noiseless driving has its charm. The perception of electric cars is currently changing. A Tesla S is a nice looking car, the Fisker Karma (was it) also. The Saab 9-3 would fit into the desirable cars category. An electric car that just looks like a car should look like, not a strangely styled battery vehicle. But how do we see the problem in winter operation? Is the electric car suitable as a first vehicle, or is it a natural second or third car? Or, with the current state of technology, does an electric car only work with an additional combustion engine?
Electric car mobile in winter - yes or no?
Our question: Is the short range acceptable for the daily drive to work in winter, does it fit into our daily movement schedule? Or is only a solution with an additional range extender conceivable? Or is the electric car simply not an option at its current stage of development? The opinion of our readers is in demand!
Electric car in winter, is that possible?
- Yes, but only with Range Extender (58% 232 Votes)
- No, do not feel like adventures (27% 109 Votes)
- Yes, no problem - my ways are short enough (15% 59 Votes)
Total Voters: 400
Images: saabblog.net (2), Beijing National Battery Technology (1)