KeithEV
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2019 4:40 pm

What should I know before a battery replacement?

Tue Sep 24, 2019 12:29 pm

I recently purchased a 2015 Soul EV in great cosmetic shape, but with less-than-ideal range. Before completing the purchase, I learned a fair bit from folks here in the forum and checked the SOH with SoulSpy. At that time, the SOH read 76% with a fully-charged range of ~65mi. Not great, but sufficient for my commute most days.

Cut to today (a few weeks later), and I'm getting mixed-signals. I tried doing a calibration several times by allowing the battery to fall to <20% twice before charging back to 100% in a single session. But each time, the SOH remained unchanged. Then on the third attempt, I took the battery to ~10% and when it finished charging, the SOH re-calculated to 61%. I suspect that the SOH prior to purchase was outdated (drive history confirms that the car sat mostly-undriven in the dealer's shop for over 3 months). So perhaps this was the first full cycle it's had in a while. The GOM range hasn't changed much (it's actually gone up a few mi, likely due to careful driving performance).

I'll let the car get another calibration in to confirm my findings before heading into the dealership for an in-warranty repair. But before I do, I just thought I'd check in with this community since you've offered such good advice so far.

  • It appears from other threads that 2015 EV batteries are getting replaced with refurbished units rather than new. This is reasonable, so no complaints from me. Should I expect a 27 kWh or 30 kWh pack if this is the case?
  • Do refurbished batteries degrade more quickly, more slowly, or about the same as new batteries? My driving and storage conditions will be pretty ideal for an EV (garage-kept, low-speed driving).
  • How much push-back should I expect from the dealer? Will they require repeat-visits and troubleshooting before allowing the replacement?
  • How long should I expect to be without a car if I take this in? Will I be allowed to keep driving it while they order a new battery? My impression is that it takes several weeks to arrive here.
  • Is there anything else we know about the battery replacement process which would give me reason to delay the replacement - such as if for some reason they started using newer (2018/2019) batteries to replace 2015-2017 models? I know this might be a pipe-dream, but why not ask?

Thank you!

cixelsyd
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2018 6:44 pm

Re: What should I know before a battery replacement?

Wed Sep 25, 2019 2:01 pm

I am a recent '15 battery recipient. I got a remanufactured pack, rated at 110% SOH, same as the original 27kWh pack. I don't expect it to degrade any worse than a new one, we don't know how many of the cells have been replaced, it could even be all of them! So far mine has not degraded at all (around 3K miles put on it, and in the hottest months).

My dealer was a pain to get to actually run an SOH check, they insisted they had done it multiple times and that the car "passed", yet wonder of wonders when they finally did run it my SOH was 42%. What I would do is run your calibration cycles and then take the car in, and ask them to PAY for an SOH report, and ask them to do that before attempting any BMS updates or other recalls. Make sure they do this first, there have been a rash of people getting BMS updates done (which resets the SOH - I imagine this is why they thought my car was fine?) You may have to press them that you are willing to pay for them to do that test. Once you get the results it's a warranty replacement issue at that point.

They did NOT allow me to keep my car, I had specifically asked about that as well. I made a big stink about having to pay for gas and they did work to find me a solution, in my case it was an Optima hybrid. I was without my car for about a week. I was anticipating it being longer, but once they got the part ordered it was a matter of a couple days before they got it fixed.

I doubt they will actually start giving higher capacity batteries, I think the remanufactured packs are the way forward, since you can't buy them new anymore.

KeithEV
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2019 4:40 pm

Re: What should I know before a battery replacement?

Wed Sep 25, 2019 7:16 pm

cixelsyd wrote:I am a recent '15 battery recipient. I got a remanufactured pack, rated at 110% SOH, same as the original 27kWh pack. I don't expect it to degrade any worse than a new one, we don't know how many of the cells have been replaced, it could even be all of them! So far mine has not degraded at all (around 3K miles put on it, and in the hottest months).

My dealer was a pain to get to actually run an SOH check, they insisted they had done it multiple times and that the car "passed", yet wonder of wonders when they finally did run it my SOH was 42%. What I would do is run your calibration cycles and then take the car in, and ask them to PAY for an SOH report, and ask them to do that before attempting any BMS updates or other recalls. Make sure they do this first, there have been a rash of people getting BMS updates done (which resets the SOH - I imagine this is why they thought my car was fine?) You may have to press them that you are willing to pay for them to do that test. Once you get the results it's a warranty replacement issue at that point.

They did NOT allow me to keep my car, I had specifically asked about that as well. I made a big stink about having to pay for gas and they did work to find me a solution, in my case it was an Optima hybrid. I was without my car for about a week. I was anticipating it being longer, but once they got the part ordered it was a matter of a couple days before they got it fixed.

I doubt they will actually start giving higher capacity batteries, I think the remanufactured packs are the way forward, since you can't buy them new anymore.

Thanks for your recent experience, cixelsyd.

Was I mistaken in understanding that 27 kWh = 100% SOH, and 110% comes from Kia unofficially installing overcapacity 30 kWh batteries in new models?

Regarding the SOH test, I've heard experiences similar to yours from several members. Which is odd, since I brought multiple Soul EVs to my local Kia dealer before making a purchase and they didn't seem to have any problem running the test freely. They didn't even mention payment. Hopefully that carries forward. In your case, was the diagnostic credited through the warranty?

JejuSoul
Posts: 1417
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2015 6:47 am
Location: Jeju
Contact: Website

Re: What should I know before a battery replacement?

Wed Sep 25, 2019 9:50 pm

KeithEV wrote:...Was I mistaken in understanding that 27 kWh = 100% SOH, and 110% comes from Kia unofficially installing overcapacity 30 kWh batteries in new models?..


Yes.

27 kWh = 100% SOH of Usable Capacity.
The actual total capacity of a 27 kWh Soul EV is 30.5kWh
Part of this extra capacity is a buffer that is lost before any Usable Capacity is reduced.
The codes for using Torque Pro can be found by clicking the link in the website icon under my user name on the left.

RubberToe
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2018 7:38 am

Re: What should I know before a battery replacement?

Thu Sep 26, 2019 6:52 am

I think we are about 8 months into our 2015 replacement battery. Just checked now and a 67% charge is showing 81 miles estimated range. Car now has 39,406 miles. Don't drive 75mph after your car has been sitting in the hot sun all day.

RT

KeithEV
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2019 4:40 pm

Re: What should I know before a battery replacement?

Thu Sep 26, 2019 9:12 pm

JejuSoul wrote:
KeithEV wrote:...Was I mistaken in understanding that 27 kWh = 100% SOH, and 110% comes from Kia unofficially installing overcapacity 30 kWh batteries in new models?..


Yes.

27 kWh = 100% SOH of Usable Capacity.
The actual total capacity of a 27 kWh Soul EV is 30.5kWh
Part of this extra capacity is a buffer that is lost before any Usable Capacity is reduced.

I see. I was under the impression there were two different parts. Thanks for clearing that up.
RubberToe wrote:I think we are about 8 months into our 2015 replacement battery. Just checked now and a 67% charge is showing 81 miles estimated range. Car now has 39,406 miles. Don't drive 75mph after your car has been sitting in the hot sun all day.

RT

Sounds like you're probably getting >100mi at full charge then. Great!

I can't speak for the original owner's commute, but from here on my driving conditions will be pretty ideal for an EV: garaged on both sides and driven at city-speeds in mostly 70-80 degree weather.

KeithEV
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2019 4:40 pm

Re: What should I know before a battery replacement?

Fri Sep 27, 2019 10:45 am

Yesterday, my Soul EV calibrated for the second time. This time I ended up with SOH = 58%. So the trend is consistent.

If my personal experience is any indication, Kia really should notify its dealers NOT to park their EVs in direct sun for extended periods. In my case, I purchased 2 models of 2015/2016 Soul EV. Both had been sitting on their respective lots for 3-4 months with next to no driving (confirmed in the driving 'History' record). Both initially reported one SOH, then reported massive degradation after 1-2 charging cycles. I presume with more time, they would have revealed even further degradation:
  • Car 1: Initially reported on dealer lot 89%. After 1 calibration: 85%. After 2 calibrations: 83%
  • Car 2: Initially reported on dealer lot 76%. After 1 calibration: 61%. After 2 calibrations: 58%

Knowing how expensive battery replacements are for Kia, and that nearly all Soul EVs carry a 100mi EV warranty, preventing this degradation is in their own best interest. I cringe now to think of all the unprocessed lease-returns I saw sitting on my local Kia dealer's lot, in direct sun all day for months now (I asked my dealer why they were just holding these units on their lot instead of selling them, and they indicated that lease-returns are owned by Corporate, not the dealership).

cixelsyd
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2018 6:44 pm

Re: What should I know before a battery replacement?

Sat Sep 28, 2019 8:28 pm

KeithEV wrote:
Was I mistaken in understanding that 27 kWh = 100% SOH, and 110% comes from Kia unofficially installing overcapacity 30 kWh batteries in new models?

Regarding the SOH test, I've heard experiences similar to yours from several members. Which is odd, since I brought multiple Soul EVs to my local Kia dealer before making a purchase and they didn't seem to have any problem running the test freely. They didn't even mention payment. Hopefully that carries forward. In your case, was the diagnostic credited through the warranty?


My understanding is the same regarding the 110% thing.

They did not charge me a cent after it was established that it was in fact a warranty issue, but my advisor very reluctantly said they would do it, but made sure I was 100% clear that if it weren't warranty it would cost money, and made a big deal of writing and underlining $135 on my paperwork, lol. That guy was a jerk, though, and I ended up asking to deal with someone else, so your experience may be different.

Return to “Batteries and Charging”