Simon's new Xantia V6 and Leaf blog

Tell us your ongoing tales and experiences with your French car here. Post pictures of your car here as well.

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Mandrake
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

Post by Mandrake »

So I woke up unexpectedly to this this morning:

Image

Apparently everyone else knew it was coming and it was on the news, but I don't watch the news! :-D

I had a wee panic because I'd deliberately not plugged the car in the previous night as it was still at 70% after yesterdays commute and I wanted to run the battery down a bit to trigger a cell re-balance, but I suddenly realised that was a bit of a foolish thing to do when you can't predict what might go wrong the next day, eg snow and ice, traffic accidents causing traffic jams and so on. So I quickly plugged it in and in the hour that it took me to get ready the RR went up from 44 miles to 54 miles - so it looks like it charges at about 10 miles range per hour at 10 amps from a 230v socket. (16 miles per hour on a Type 2 charger then, as that is 16 amps)

The car itself worked fine in the conditions, the traction control was a bit odd on very slippery surfaces - when I'd initially try to accelerate I could hear one of the rear wheels slipping and pulsing on and off, sounding exactly as if ABS was activating - it looks like as well as limiting torque the traction control can independently apply the rear left or right brake to help in cases where one wheel has lost traction - a poor mans limited slip diff. I believe Tesla's do the same thing - they also have fully open diffs, but will selectively apply the brake on a slipping wheel at slow speeds to allow some torque to reach the wheel which does have grip.

If I gave it too much throttle it would initially try to spin the rear wheels but after a second or two it would settle down and pull away smoothly - it seems like when it detects a lot of wheel spin from a stationary start that it goes into a kind of limited torque snow mode automatically and stays in that mode for a while, as I noticed acceleration was cut significantly.

The tyres are dunlops and judging by their performance in the snow they're summer tyres! The regenerative braking slowed me very well in the snow without any skidding but I found that applying the friction brake was triggering the ABS on the front wheels quite easily - possibly a consequence of the much narrower tyres on the front where most of the friction braking is applied, vs the wider tyres on the rear where the regenerative braking is applied!

The roads were complete blizzard conditions with traffic jams galore. I needed to use the heater and A/C a bit to keep the window clear so after an 8 mile journey (most of it hardly moving due to the traffic jam) I'd used 14 miles of range. Ouch! So sitting in nearly stationary traffic with your heater running is a sure fire way to chew through the battery...

I think the next EV I buy will definitely be one with a heat pump heater and a pre-heating option! :lol:
CitroJim wrote:Good to know Diagbox/Lexia talks to it Simon, even if not 100% fluently it's still a good help...

I'm sure our friends out in the Far east will soon make a suitable dongle readily available at an affordable cost ;)
Yes Diagbox works fine and lets me do all the dealer diagnostic stuff.

Suitable Bluetooth OBD-II dongles that are compatible with both Canion and EVBatMon seem to be available for about $50 US which is not bad at all. I'd buy one if I had an Android phone or Tablet to run the software but I don't, so I'd have to buy an Android tablet as well! So not going to happen just at the moment as we have to pull our socks up for the next couple of months...
lexi wrote:That is a nice bit of room you have off road at your new house Simon? Good for jacking and spannering on the slabs.
These leccy cars are very interesting and I knew nothing about them till all this on here. You must be quite excited and new fangled with it Simon. I think I would have went out for my "free charge" as well. :lol:
The slabs are a bit of a pain to be honest as they haven't been laid very well so they move around a bit and nothing is level so any jobs that need level ground (like checking gearbox oil) can't be done. I had to fix a few rocking slabs last summer to bed them down and level them properly but one of them is rocking again, presumably some of the dirt underneath has washed away. :evil:

Yes the electric car is a fun new toy - I like the fact that it's a toe in the water so I can get some real world experience and use of a cheap EV, but I still have the other car as a backup as well. So I can experiment with what the "limits" of the car are in real world conditions, and find what it can and can't do.
Last edited by Mandrake on 21 Mar 2017, 14:56, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

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When you are looking to buy a tablet you could do worse than looking in the Managers Specials at PC World. Some time back I got a Lenovo 7" tablet for around 60% of the normal price, as it was missing the charger. As it had a normal USB socket this was not an issue. Other than that it was bran new.
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

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That made a very pretty picture Simon :) First snow I've seen this year...

So how do the heaters work in these cars then? Sounds like there may be a couple of types?
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

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CitroJim wrote:That made a very pretty picture Simon :) First snow I've seen this year...

So how do the heaters work in these cars then? Sounds like there may be a couple of types?
Just been to the shops Jim and it was snowing a bit here - brilliant sunshine too :)

Bought some oil and filter at long last. May get an oil change soon - before Christmas anyway :roll:
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

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CitroJim wrote:That made a very pretty picture Simon :) First snow I've seen this year...
Wasn't too pretty where I was - I gave up about 12 miles from home when it was white out, all the traffic was stopped, and there were numerous cars stuck, and a couple in the ditch. Thank god for All-season tyres! I did get out the car to have a look, but the heavy snow coupled with a 40kt cross wind meant I soon got back in!
CitroJim wrote:So how do the heaters work in these cars then? Sounds like there may be a couple of types?
Early / cheap ones are just a resistor (which Simon has). Later / better / expensive ones use a heat pump (AC effectively with the condenser inside giving out heat, and the evaporator outside picking it up).
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

Post by Mandrake »

RichardW wrote:
CitroJim wrote:That made a very pretty picture Simon :) First snow I've seen this year...
Wasn't too pretty where I was - I gave up about 12 miles from home when it was white out, all the traffic was stopped, and there were numerous cars stuck, and a couple in the ditch. Thank god for All-season tyres! I did get out the car to have a look, but the heavy snow coupled with a 40kt cross wind meant I soon got back in!
Ouch! :shock: So I take it you're back home at the moment ? It wasn't quite that bad where I was, most of the roads were salted but those stretches that weren't were very slippery on summer tyres so I was taking it easy. A lorry had jacknifed on the M8 upstream of me and caused a massive snarl up - fortunately I go through Bellshill and across Shawhead junction to Coatbridge so I don't actually use the M8 anymore, but of course those waiting to get onto the M8 were holding me up...

I think the next set of tyres that go on the Ion will be Michelin All-Seasons. Unlike the Xantia where I want summer tyres for tearing around corners in a hurry, this car is intended to be driven sedately and smoothly in the first place, so the grip benefits of a proper summer tyre over an all season in summer don't outweigh the risks in the winter! I also only have one set of wheel rims for it.
CitroJim wrote:So how do the heaters work in these cars then? Sounds like there may be a couple of types?
Early / cheap ones are just a resistor (which Simon has). Later / better / expensive ones use a heat pump (AC effectively with the condenser inside giving out heat, and the evaporator outside picking it up).
Yes, a resistance heater on mine unfortunately, same as the early Leaf's. I don't know exactly what wattage they are but I'd say it's between 1 and 2kW on full blast, considering the battery is only 16kWh that's a lot.

The strange thing is they are not a glorified fan heater like you would expect (with a hot element directly in the airflow) they actually use a conventional heater matrix behind the dash with a coolant like fluid which is circulated by a pump to an electric water heater!!! #-o And then a fan to blow through the heater matrix, as normal.

This means that unlike a fan heater which will heat up in seconds, it takes a couple of minutes for the heater to even start to get warm, and a good 5 minutes for it to be properly hot, due to the thermal mass of the heater matrix, all the circulating coolant etc... [-X Unlike an ICE car which normally just moves an air diverter flap you have to wait for the heater matrix itself to heat up every time you turn the heater back on.

It took me a while to figure out why they probably do this - to avoid bringing the 360v DC from the main traction battery into the passenger compartment behind the dashboard. Which could be VERY dangerous in the event of a crash that damaged the firewall or dashboard area, not to mention when a shade tree mechanic pulls the dashboard apart and electrocutes himself! As it is, there are no dangerous voltages inside the car, they are kept strictly outside in armoured high vis orange cables.

A resistance heater is 100% efficient more or less, however a heatpump is approximately 300% efficient in terms of heat out for energy in, since you're really just pumping in the heat from outside! They get less efficient as the outside temperature drops and below about -15 they aren't terribly good, but in UK weather a heat pump system will give you the same amount of heat for less than 1/3rd of the energy from the battery making heater use a relatively minor factor.

Pre-heating is another feature lacking in the Ion - as long as it is plugged in and charging it will not let you put the car in "READY" state, which is when you turn the key to the start position. When not in ready the fan will blow but the water heater will not heat up the matrix! This is because the water heater runs directly from the 360v DC from the main pack, but the contactors inside the pack only connect the battery to the rest of the car when it is in READY state. In any other state the high voltage is isolated and only the 12v battery is available.

Most other EV's including i-Miev, Leaf and so on allow pre-heating where you can turn on the heater in the car while it is still plugged in and charging thus pre-heat the car without wasting any of the battery charge. Usually you can do this remotely as well without even going out to the car. This morning I had to unplug the car and put the heater on, which after about 15 minutes running had used about 4 miles of range which I could have avoided if it had pre-heat.

Heat pump and remote pre-heat is definitely a feature to look for in an EV purchase unless you are buying a bare bones car like an Ion on a budget. :-D
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

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Simon, thanks for the very detailed description of the heater... It first it seems madness to do it like that but indeed, in the case of any mishap that 360v DC would be lethal in more ways than one with all that potential current behind it. Fire is a big risk as well as electrocution - especially as traditionally 12v is the norm for a car and 30 times that is unexpected... You just know someone who was not aware may feel those nice thick cables are just the job for powering their big sub-woofer amp and the next thing they know they're knocking on the old pearly gates clutching a Darwin Award...

It's a crying shame the heater can't run as a pre-heater on cold mornings as that would be a real boon...

The heat pump system I take it works on exactly the same principle as a domestic one?
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

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Yes, at home - got a work laptop so I am getting some done. It's a very pleasant wintry day here now! The amount of traction on all-season tyres is incredible. Cars on summer tyres were just spinning out on even slight slopes, whereas mine just kept going - I was able to pull away up the slope they were stuck on with no wheel spin. Obviously you can break traction if you try, and it needs care to slow it down, but otherwise great! We've got Michelin Cross Climates on the C4 now (and on the back of the 307; out of stock when I needed them for the fronts, so I've got Hankooks on instead). They are supposed to be as good as both summer and winter tyres - but I guess there must be a compromise somewhere, but I think unlikely to find it unless you are driving at 10/10ths on a very hot day (not many of them around here!). They're no more expensive than 'normal' tyres, I can't see any reason not to have them. They are probably what we would have considered a normal tyre 20 years ago, before the fashion for low profiles and motoring journo's obsession with 'handling' :roll:
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

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CitroJim wrote:Simon, thanks for the very detailed description of the heater... It first it seems madness to do it like that but indeed, in the case of any mishap that 360v DC would be lethal in more ways than one with all that potential current behind it. Fire is a big risk as well as electrocution - especially as traditionally 12v is the norm for a car and 30 times that is unexpected... You just know someone who was not aware may feel those nice thick cables are just the job for powering their big sub-woofer amp and the next thing they know they're knocking on the old pearly gates clutching a Darwin Award...
Yes indeed. It also means that no redesign of the cabin heater/dashboard is required - its just a conventional heater matrix and fan, the water pump and hot water heater are outside the cabin under the bonnet. Of course they could have put a fan heater arrangement under the bonnet and ducted the heat into the passenger compartment but I presume there isn't room to do that on the Ion - there is barely enough room to pluck the 12v battery out through the open bonnet!
It's a crying shame the heater can't run as a pre-heater on cold mornings as that would be a real boon...
Yes it is. I don't really understand why the feature exists on the original I-MiEV platform and is disabled or absent on the C-Zero and Ion. Perhaps Mitsubishi wanted to differentiate themselves from the PSA version of the car ? The Ion also lacks the two extra gear lever positions of the I-MiEV which give access to reduced and increased regenerative braking levels - but that can be retrofitted in the Ion simply by replacing the gear lever index plate because it is only mechanically blocked out. :rofl2:
The heat pump system I take it works on exactly the same principle as a domestic one?
Yes it is just a reversible A/C where the condenser and evaporator swap roles depending on which mode its in. I don't know for sure but I presume this is done by reversing the pump ??
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

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RichardW wrote:Yes, at home - got a work laptop so I am getting some done. It's a very pleasant wintry day here now! The amount of traction on all-season tyres is incredible. Cars on summer tyres were just spinning out on even slight slopes, whereas mine just kept going - I was able to pull away up the slope they were stuck on with no wheel spin. Obviously you can break traction if you try, and it needs care to slow it down, but otherwise great! We've got Michelin Cross Climates on the C4 now (and on the back of the 307; out of stock when I needed them for the fronts, so I've got Hankooks on instead). They are supposed to be as good as both summer and winter tyres - but I guess there must be a compromise somewhere, but I think unlikely to find it unless you are driving at 10/10ths on a very hot day (not many of them around here!). They're no more expensive than 'normal' tyres, I can't see any reason not to have them. They are probably what we would have considered a normal tyre 20 years ago, before the fashion for low profiles and motoring journo's obsession with 'handling' :roll:
Quite interested in the Michelin Cross Climates - I wonder if they're available in the odd sizes used on the Ion ? (Different width front and rear!)

http://www.tyrereviews.co.uk/Article/Mi ... hanger.htm

http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/news/miscel ... ate-tyres/

Tyre sizes on the Ion:

Front - 145/65R15
Rear - 165/50R16

:rofl2:

(At least according to the web - I haven't checked on the car itself)

Looks like Cross Climates are not available in these sizes, so that scuppers that idea! :(
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

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Mandrake wrote: The car itself worked fine in the conditions, the traction control was a bit odd on very slippery surfaces - when I'd initially try to accelerate I could hear one of the rear wheels slipping and pulsing on and off, sounding exactly as if ABS was activating - it looks like as well as limiting torque the traction control can independently apply the rear left or right brake to help in cases where one wheel has lost traction - a poor mans limited slip diff. I believe Tesla's do the same thing - they also have fully open diffs, but will selectively apply the brake on a slipping wheel at slow speeds to allow some torque to reach the wheel which does have grip.

If I gave it too much throttle it would initially try to spin the rear wheels but after a second or two it would settle down and pull away smoothly - it seems like when it detects a lot of wheel spin from a stationary start that it goes into a kind of limited torque snow mode automatically and stays in that mode for a while, as I noticed acceleration was cut significantly.
Aha! Looks like I was correct about the traction control (ASC they call it) pulsing one of the rear brakes on when the wheel was spinning:

http://www.myimiev.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=295
. TRACTION CONTROL DESCRIPTION
When the driving wheels slip on the slippery road surface, TCL applies the brake automatically, sends the signal requesting electric motor unit speed reduction to the EV-ECU, and prevents the loss of the driving force resulting from the slippage of the driving wheel.
There is also a button on the dashboard to disable the traction control / active stability control if you want to... I tried it on Sunday but didn't really notice any difference in the dry as conditions weren't causing it to trigger. I wasn't game to try disabling it in today's Blizzard conditions with a baby in the car! :-D
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

Post by CitroJim »

Mandrake wrote: I wasn't game to try disabling it in today's Blizzard conditions with a baby in the car! :-D
Very wise too :)
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

Post by Mandrake »

Well well well, thanks to a link over on the myimiev forum I now have my hands on a full electronic service manual! :-D



Gotta love the internet for tracking down previously hard to get information...
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

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Excellent! A nice bit of bedtime reading Simon :)
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

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CitroJim wrote:Excellent! A nice bit of bedtime reading Simon :)
Indeed! I lap this sort of thing up. I literally will read a service manual for a car from start to finish for fun, just because I'm curious and want to know how everything works. Especially given the novelty of it being an EV. :)

Even if it turns out the car is reliable and only ever needs basic servicing (fluids, brakes, maybe a few suspension joints etc) I still like to know how every little bit works just in case and for my own amusement!

So now I have a Lexia that works with it and a service manual. What could possibly go wrong... :twisted:

PS I've read the service manual (not the rebuild one though!) for the 4HP20 cover to cover about 5 times I think. Does that make me a bit sad ? :lol: