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 Post subject: Did you notice battery/range issues over time ?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:58 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2017 6:48 am
Posts: 58
I am less than 3 months away from lease end. I was seriously considering keeping the car, where else can I buy a 2y old car that costs me nothing to operate for $13000 ? However, lately I'm noticing range changes and that makes me wonder if I would not be better off returning it. My commute has not changed one iota in 2 years. I used to go home with slightly above 1/2 a "tank" of electrons in summer. Basically exactly 1/2 in winter (using heated seats and heater for a bit). Now, even before it got colder, I get home with 2 notches under 1/2. Systematically. Nothing's changed in my driving habits (I still treat it like a GTI) or routes. Looks like the battery just drains faster. I imagine that is possible as I gave the car zero quarters (driving fast, full charge every day jus tin case I needed the range). Is that a common experience ?


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 Post subject: Re: Did you notice battery/range issues over time ?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:51 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2015 2:01 pm
Posts: 2130
Deschodt wrote:
I am less than 3 months away from lease end. I was seriously considering keeping the car, where else can I buy a 2y old car that costs me nothing to operate for $13000 ? However, lately I'm noticing range changes and that makes me wonder if I would not be better off returning it. My commute has not changed one iota in 2 years. I used to go home with slightly above 1/2 a "tank" of electrons in summer. Basically exactly 1/2 in winter (using heated seats and heater for a bit). Now, even before it got colder, I get home with 2 notches under 1/2. Systematically. Nothing's changed in my driving habits (I still treat it like a GTI) or routes. Looks like the battery just drains faster. I imagine that is possible as I gave the car zero quarters (driving fast, full charge every day jus tin case I needed the range). Is that a common experience ?


How many miles on your e-Golf ? What made you think you could drive it/treat it like a GTI?


I have 19200 miles on my 2015 SEL. I charge up fully every 3 to 5 days. Range was 129 miles when I got it. It's down to 115 miles now. It's been really cold the past 2 or 3 weeks down here, in So CA. I never use the ancillaries, except maybe the headlights. My range, I hope, will pick up again come late spring, when the temps warm up again. When you average 6 to 6.3 miles per kWh on the battery, you do less recharge cycles, for the amount of miles driven. Lease a car, drive it hard, thrash it, get low miles per kWh, and you're going to beat up not only the battery, but the whole car. Leased cars are no better than rental cars. No pride in ownership.

It's a LiPo battery pack, same as in your smart phone. The batteries don't last forever. They will last longer if you treat the car right, like probably if you owned it, and had pride in ownership, instead of leasing it. One of the many reasons why I would never buy a car off lease. Turn it in and let someone else suffer with the reduced driving range.

Next time you lease a car, ask yourself if you think you'd like to keep it when the lease is up, and see if it affects how you treat and operate the car, in terms of preserve or abuse it, because you just don't care, in the end.

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2015 e-Golf SEL


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 Post subject: Re: Did you notice battery/range issues over time ?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:58 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2015 7:27 pm
Posts: 66
Location: NJ
Deschodt wrote:
Nothing's changed in my driving habits (I still treat it like a GTI) or routes. Looks like the battery just drains faster. I imagine that is possible as I gave the car zero quarters (driving fast, full charge every day jus tin case I needed the range). Is that a common experience ?
It's not really draining faster, there's just less capacity available though that seems pretty dramatic for 2 years old. To your question, I haven't observed a loss of range. It's surely happened but it's not dramatic enough to notice. My car is a year older than yours. I just extended my 3yr lease 6mos and will probably buy the car at end of term. Like you say, it's hard to beat the package for the price ($11.8k in my case).

You're charging technique contributed more than your driving techniques. At full power, which can only happen for a few seconds at a time, it's drawing on the battery at about 4.5C (1C is the current the pack can supply for 1 hour), which is not really crazy. Chevy Volts will pull 10C.

I'm curious: did you do timed charging or just plug it in each evening so it spent many hours each night at 100%? Also, where do you live?

FWIW, I delay charge to 90% on days I'm driving to work where it sits at about 75% during the day. My "min charge" is 60%. If I'm not driving it to work the following day, I'll unplug it after it reaches 60%. Basically, I'm a complete nerd about it. I also more-or-less drive it like a slow GTI too.

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Mike
Still Plays With Cars - '15 e-golf, '04 V70R, '04 FFR, '01 360, '91 318is


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 Post subject: Re: Did you notice battery/range issues over time ?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:22 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2017 6:48 am
Posts: 58
mfennell wrote:
You're charging technique contributed more than your driving techniques. I'm curious: did you do timed charging or just plug it in each evening so it spent many hours each night at 100%? Also, where do you live?


Thanks for that... I suspected the full charge contributed just as much - like my phone. Yes, I fully charge the car every night of the work week (not on week ends) because I don't know what I might need to do and I have kids to pick up. Also it's a base car - no fast charging for me - so full charge all the time. It's on timer but it'll only need 3-4 hours to recharge in general and the timer goes from 11PM to 7AM.... When that works - I've had a lot of issues with carnet or the car's charge settings not working and then working again for no reason.

Oh, and Nor-Cal. And it started becoming noticeable before the current cold snap. I don't want to overplay the loss either, but it's 2 small notches, I'd call it 5-10% max depending on usage.

Joulesthief, as far as driving goes, either it is a car or it's not. I treated that lease as a test of that technology. I enjoy the instant torque, and I use it every chance I get because I could not care less about range 99% of the time. Does that damage batteries? If so, odd... I enjoy driving, the car is fun in the city - bit of a dog on the freeways - but you won't catch me hypermiling... I even put ultra sticky tires on the car which cost me a little range too (less than you'd think) because the braking "squeal" irritated me (my car would make a brief tire lock sound when braking on painted lines, even at super low speeds, I imagine the transition between regen and brake disc). As far as treating a lease well, this car is a beater for me, I don't abuse it per se (how can you abuse a car with an electric motor and no gears ?) but I suppose my charging habits are not conducive to long term ownership. If so they should put a big warning label on it or something. Frankly I don't care, it's not like the dealer said I should not charge it fully.

I was just curious but after talking to my colleague about his Tesla's decreasing range, it seems pretty common. So I guess I won't be keeping it. I wish VW made a new one with more power, but so far it's just the Audi GT ($$$) on my radar.


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 Post subject: Re: Did you notice battery/range issues over time ?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:13 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:30 pm
Posts: 102
Deschodt wrote:
I am less than 3 months away from lease end. I was seriously considering keeping the car, where else can I buy a 2y old car that costs me nothing to operate for $13000 ? However, lately I'm noticing range changes and that makes me wonder if I would not be better off returning it. My commute has not changed one iota in 2 years. I used to go home with slightly above 1/2 a "tank" of electrons in summer. Basically exactly 1/2 in winter (using heated seats and heater for a bit). Now, even before it got colder, I get home with 2 notches under 1/2. Systematically. Nothing's changed in my driving habits (I still treat it like a GTI) or routes. Looks like the battery just drains faster. I imagine that is possible as I gave the car zero quarters (driving fast, full charge every day jus tin case I needed the range). Is that a common experience ?


How many miles are you at? We bought our '15 SEL used a little over a year ago at ~32k miles. We are at ~44k miles now with no noticeable reduction in range but I think the range is a little less than it was new, just haven't noticed a drop during our ownership.

The only place I have read not to charge to 100% (besides in forum posts) in a recently revised CarNet web page where 95% max charge is suggested. I agree, one would think there would be enough buffer built into the software to allow non-geeks to drive it like a normal car. My wife and I recently took the e-Golf on a weekend getaway to Monterey (not far, we live in Santa Cruz) and I sorta hypermiled (speeds down around 55-60, gentle on the pedal, lots of coasting) on the way down not knowing exactly when or where we would recharge down there. Took slightly under half a "tank." On the trip home I used climate control and stayed with speed of traffic (well over the speed limit on some stretches of Hwy 1, especially in the Marina area) driving it like I would drive an ICE car. The gauge read only slightly more energy used than the trip down. I doubt we will ever see even close to JT's 6mi/kwh. We are generally well over 4 and sometimes in the low 5s which is really efficient compared to many EVs and we drive it pretty much like a normal car (maybe not if that normal car were a GTI or Golf R but it zips around town better than our ~300hp BMW range extender).

_________________
2015 e-Golf SEL my wife's daily, shared on weekends
2000 BMW 540iT my daily and our range extender
1986 Audi 4000 quattro "the cockroach" my alternate daily
1983 Audi Ur Quattro "the garage queen" looks pretty and appreciates daily


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 Post subject: Re: Did you notice battery/range issues over time ?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:28 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2015 2:24 am
Posts: 756
Location: SoCal
Before you give back the car, look at your total outlay on leasing another car. It seems like the days of cheap EV leases are behind us, and an example recently posted was for a 2019 eGolf that required a LOT of money down and still quite a large payment every month.

So if you're going to spend $13k for leasing a new car and end up with...nothing...at the end, vs. buying out your car and being able to drive it for at least the same time frame as your lease, and still have some value left over should you decide to get rid of it at that time. Or if the range still works for you after that time, keep driving it until the battery has become too degraded to be useful.

Now if the car is giving you range anxiety now, then by all means turn it in and get something else. But in my case, my daily needs are far below the car's capabilities, and the battery would have to degrade by 50% or more before it will affect me. Add to that the fact that dealers either had no stock, or were just refusing to budge on a 2017 that had been sitting around for 7 months, led me to simply buy out my present car. Yeah 50% more range, Apple Car Play, a larger infotainment screen, and the ability to set charge timers without CarNet would be nice, but not enough to overcome the added cash outlay.

We're in the middle of a cold snap here in SoCal too, and I think your sudden range loss has far more to do with that than degradation.

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2015 eGolf SEL (originally leased, bought out lease)
former EV: 2012 Nissan Leaf SV (lease returned)
Range Extender: 2017 VW Golf Alltrack S 4Motion


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 Post subject: Re: Did you notice battery/range issues over time ?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:04 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2017 6:48 am
Posts: 58
Thanks for the extra answers... Yeah the cold doesn't help but I noticed that before then, mid summer... Again it's not massive, it's just that my driving is *very* consistent in style and destination and it definitely dropped midway through year 2 - car has 14000 mi only. I was wondering if that was expected or a sign of things to come.

Again I drive this thing relatively hard by JouleThief's estimation (max power all the time until freeway speed or city speed limit when possible) because it's fun, and always max charge it just in case (and because nobody said anything at the dealership).
Also let me point out I own the El cheapo one with no fast charging capability, so fast charge was never done !

It's been so good and so cheap ($140/mo lease is less than gas alone on my regular car) I *considered* actually buying it out. But the killer is the combo of the super expensive insurance and that battery drop, with a touch of "I got the low end model with zero frills". (the car costs 50% more to insure than my 911, despite being worth 1/4 of it - no joke - ins.co says it's new tech and expensive to repair)

Think I'll go back to a used gas powered beater for a couple of years and revisit when the gorgeous Audi GT appears or if VW actually pulls the trigger on something nice. I've enjoyed it.


Last edited by Deschodt on Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Did you notice battery/range issues over time ?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:20 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2015 2:32 pm
Posts: 568
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
2016 SE, 29 months, 22,000 miles. I'm currently estimating the usable battery at 20.2 kWh, down from its original value of 22 kW. Driving has been mostly highway.

_________________
2016 e-Golf SE in Urano Grey leased 8/1/2016 for $1500 down + $50 x 24 months * Purchased 7/31/2018 * ChargePoint Home 32a (wired)
2018 BMW i3s REx in Mineral Gray purchased 6/12/2018 w/ Giga, Tech, Parking, CarPlay, Harmon Kardons, and of course Moonroof


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 Post subject: Re: Did you notice battery/range issues over time ?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:30 pm
Posts: 102
Our car was at around 19kWh usable capacity last time I checked. I was doing a spreadsheet and calculating regularly for a while, but got lazy. That was in the mid-30k miles sometime last year. I have not seen any noticeable change since we bought the car at ~31k miles and we are at ~44k miles now.

I have read in some forum posts that the capacity degradation happens early on and levels off. I think at this point in our car's life it has leveled off since we have not experienced a change during our ownership. We do generally charge to 100% (but try to drive it ASAP after). We try to leave the car around 50% if it sits for any length of time. Have not done a DCFC yet, level 2 only and mostly at home. We still see a usable range between 80-90 miles (around town--city miles, not highway) depending on weather (cold drops range noticeably) driving it like a normal car.

It sounds like we have similar taste in cars. I hear ya about insurance cost being a shocker. Just be glad it isn't a Tesla Model S. I hear tell those are the #1 most expensive to insure car in the US today.

I am just guessing, but I don't think you will see much more reduction in range for a while but that is with my limited experience and a data point of one so really just a hunch.

Looking at used e-Golf prices (which if anything have risen in the past year, but the good supply of the surprise 2019s may change that) $11k is a bargain and I would keep it if it were me and worked for my needs. Sounds like your commute may be in the fringe of "keeper" status but what can you get for $11k these days and you know how your car has done for you.

_________________
2015 e-Golf SEL my wife's daily, shared on weekends
2000 BMW 540iT my daily and our range extender
1986 Audi 4000 quattro "the cockroach" my alternate daily
1983 Audi Ur Quattro "the garage queen" looks pretty and appreciates daily


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 Post subject: Re: Did you notice battery/range issues over time ?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:34 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2015 7:27 pm
Posts: 66
Location: NJ
Deschodt wrote:
(the car costs 50% more to insure than my 911, despite being worth 1/4 of it - no joke - ins.co says it's new tech and expensive to repair)
.
That's lame. I just checked - mine is only about $100/yr more to insure than my old and cheap Volvo V70R (the Volvo does see 50% more miles annually). The 360, at 1/4 the yearly mileage, is about $250 more.

Come to think of it, the Volvo is nearing the "time to go liability-only" stage of life...

Everything different of course. Different area, probably a different carrier, etc.

_________________
Mike
Still Plays With Cars - '15 e-golf, '04 V70R, '04 FFR, '01 360, '91 318is


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