Shall I keep the car outside during winter months?

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Jaymin, Apr 10, 2018.

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  1. Jaymin

    Jaymin New Member

    I’m planning to buy Honda-Clarity but have a small problem: My garage is not long enough that I can keep the car inside. Is it OK to leave the car outside after charging the car in the evening during freezing temperature? Will it affect ignition in the morning?

    Also if the battery (Electric) gets dead, can we start the car with gas engine?

    Appreciate your help.
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  3. K8QM

    K8QM Active Member

    The short answers are that you can keep it outside and the Clarity doesn't let itself get depleted enough not to start.

    You can probably get a better answer if you let the group know what area you live in as the battery behavior at different temperatures is quite variable.

  4. Jaymin

    Jaymin New Member

    Thank you Geo. I live in Ajax, Ontario.

  5. K8QM

    K8QM Active Member

    There are a bunch of Canadian users on the forum so hopefully some will chime in with their experience in your area.

  6. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    Can you leave it plugged in outside (at least on very cold nights)? The Canada model has a battery heater and should be fine left outside. The US model without a battery heater should not be left out in the extreme cold if possible (like -20F or colder). It is okay, but might not start if the temperature is too cold.

    So as long as your battery doesn't reach -22 F I think (it is in manual) the car should be fine outside. However, the engine will run much more with a cold battery. Plugging in overnight with the Canadian model should reduce the amount of time the engine runs since the car uses the engine more if the battery is cold.
    Atul Thakkar likes this.
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  8. Atul Thakkar

    Atul Thakkar Active Member

    -22 F is -30 Deg C
  9. Atul Thakkar

    Atul Thakkar Active Member

  10. Atul Thakkar

    Atul Thakkar Active Member

    we are too far away from -30 deg C
  11. Jaymin

    Jaymin New Member

    Thank you guys for your help. I appreciate your time.
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  13. Ben007

    Ben007 New Member

    I am in the same situation. I have installed my level 2 charger outside. It is not a problem but when temperature drops make sure to keep your car plugged in all the time even when the battery is charged, so the battery heater can work to maintain battery performance. Also I program pre heating in the morning so i don’t waste battery charge to heat the car.

    Important to specify the battery heater is only in the Canadian version. If you live in the US in a northern state, because there is not battery heater in the US version, they indeed recommend to store the vehicle in a garage when temperature drops, but i don’t know if it is a show stopper.

    Sent from my iPad using Inside EVs
  14. Ben007

    Ben007 New Member

    Also yes you can start the car when the battery is ‘dead’ because the system will not allow to completely drain the battery; it always maintains a minimum charge. The only situation where the car will not start is if the battery temp drops below -30 C as others have pointed out. It is unlikely but a point of caution not to leave the car outside not plugged in for a long period of time if the temp is extremely cold weather.

    Sent from my iPad using Inside EVs
  15. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    A workaround in the US might be to schedule charging over night to be done before leaving, which will naturally warm the battery some. As a warning, battery charge rates are reduced at low temps.
  16. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    I wrote an answer before reading further and discovering you live in Canada.

    Viking79 gave you the correct answer. So long as you can plug the battery pack in at night, to run the battery heater, you'll be better off than your American cousins whose Clarity PHEV, sadly, is not equipped with a battery heater.

    But seriously, if you have a garage, why waste it by not parking your car inside on a regular basis? If you own your own home, perhaps you can extend the back wall of the garage to allow a longer car to park there? Doesn't necessarily need a major remodeling job, unless your home is on the other side of that wall!
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
  17. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Another warning: What you never, ever want to do is fully charge the battery when it's warm, and then let it freeze while still fully charged. That can permanently damage the battery pack, since the capacity drops as the temperature drops, and allowing a fully charged battery to freeze might result in (in effect) overcharging the battery cells, which may permanently reduce the capacity of the pack. As a rule of thumb, if you can't keep the battery pack warm throughout the night and it's likely to freeze, then you should limit charging to 80% or less.

    That's something our Canadian cousins shouldn't have to worry about, so long as they do plug the car in every night when it's likely to freeze.
  18. iluvscuba

    iluvscuba Active Member

    It is important to distinguish which 'battery' you are talking about. Indeed the traction battery will have a 12% buffer per Honda presentation but to start the car, you need the 12V battery to have enough juice to power the electronics so if your 12V battery is drained due to cold or over usage (sitting in the car in ACC mode listening to music for example), then you won't be able to start the car even though your traction battery is completely full. I believe in this situation, you will need a 'jump' from another battery or (I am not sure about this) turn the car into 'On' mode and let the traction battery to charge the 12V battery for a bit until it has enough voltage to 'start' the car (can the traction battery charge the 12V if it is too low?)
  19. Jaymin

    Jaymin New Member

    Thank you everyone for your help. Really appreciate your time. @Pushmi-Pullyu , unfortunately my garage is in front!:(
    @iluvscuba, I was worried about that 12 V battery, I hope there is another alternate to boost this battery. Looks like I'll hold on to buy Clarity at this time. Fortunately I'm not in rush to buy any car right away but because of the grant and it's an Electric/Gas option, I was tempted to go for it. But because of my garage issue I'll wait for couple more years to see if Civic comes with this option.(Might loose the grant by that time):(.
    Once again thanks everyone for your help and time.
  20. bpratt

    bpratt Active Member

    Can you direct me to where you got that information. I have spent a lot of time reading about lithium ion batteries and have never seen a warning like that.
  21. iluvscuba

    iluvscuba Active Member

    There is no reason to hold off on buying this car if it fits your need. Since you are in Ajax, you are getting the Canadian model with battery heater and the temp in the GTA rarely go below -20C let alone -30C, the 12V battery should not give you trouble until a few years later (no different than any other car). The only quesiton is if you can park your car in the garage in the winter. One thing you can do is to install the 240V charger closer to the garage door (depending on the cable length) so you can charge the car even while it's park outside and that will reduce your worry regarding not able to start the car in the winter when parked ouside as the battery warmer will keep the battery warm while plugged in
  22. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Ah, too bad. Perhaps you need a more radical solution? ;)

  23. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    It's pretty obscure, so perhaps I shouldn't have raised the issue. It's really only an issue when the batteries are at or near full charge, and EVs all restrict battery charging to less than full. (That is, when you car tells you it's 100% charged, the battery cells are still at a lower state of charge than what the cell manufacturer rates as a full charge. This is good, because repeatedly charging li-ion batteries to 100% of manufacturer rated capacity sharply reduces their cycle life.)

    What concerns me is just how much less than full the batteries need to be, when allowed to freeze. Sometimes people (especially Leaf drivers) report an apparently inexplicable loss in battery capacity, in colder climates and apparently unrelated to overheating, and I do wonder if this might be the cause.

    My Google-fu has failed to find any authoritative source for this issue; as I said, it's pretty obscure, so perhaps it's nothing that EV drivers need to worry about. I did find one random anonymous forum post that addresses this, but it appears to be aimed at people using small numbers of li-ion battery cells, rather than aimed at those driving EVs:

    freezing can cause damage to the batteries in some cases, because the maximum voltage they can handle is reduced at cold temps. dont charge them under 10 degrees to be safe, and dont feeze them below 5 degrees when they are at maximum voltage, like 3.8 or 4.2 per cell, because at freezing they can only handle 3,7 voltage, so maxiumum overcharges them. so if you freeze your batteries, make sure you use them for 5 minutes first, to get to 95 percent recharge. if your bms has higher figure for the recharge, say 4.2 instead of 4, its especially important not to freeze them at those levels. it reduces their maximum capacity and subsequently they cant recharge as high as they did.​


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