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

Should I return my 2016 Soul EV?

Sun Sep 08, 2019 6:04 pm

Greetings fellow Soul EV owners.

I have a somewhat urgent concern regarding a 2016 Kia Sould EV that I bought yesterday. I'm concerned that the indicated range is far below what I expected to find, and I have a small window to return the vehicle (2 days from now).

Prior to making this purchase, I'd been lurking around these forums for a few weeks and understand some of the lingo and measurement methods used to gauge battery health. However, I'm no expert and the indications I'm getting are inconsistent. My abbreviated backstory is that I like the configuration of the model I picked up, and in my area there aren't a whole lot to choose from. It took me about a month to find a model with compatible spec's, a color I liked, and a price I could afford. So I'm hesitant to return the vehicle over what could simply be a misunderstanding on my part. However, if the range truly is as degraded as it appears on the indicator, I will have no choice but to return it. Ok, enough backstory, here are the details.

Model: 2016 Kia Soul EV (standard model, not EV-e)
Odometer reading: 29,800 mi
Range indicated at "100% Battery": 74mi
SOH told to me by a Kia Technician with access to the certified equipment: 89%
Efficiency reading indicated in recent drive history: 3.9mi/kW
Energy to charge the battery from 15 -> 85%: 21.83 kWh

Now I will explain my thoughts and questions. Any help you can provide to correct or clarify would be greatly appreciated!
    (1) I've read around here that 'official' battery size is 27 kWh, but that a 30 kWh battery is actually installed. So that in perfect condition, the SOH would read as 110%
    (2) Based on SOH reported by the technician, I expected that my 'usable' capacity would be 0.89*27 = 24.03 kWh. Is this correct?
    (3) If (1) is correct combined with my recent efficiency (3.9 mi/kWh), I would predict a range of 3.9*24.03 = 93.7 mi.
    (4) If my calculated range is 93.7 mi, did I make any mistake in deriving this? Is there any reason why even after calibration my car would still report only 74 mi?
    (5) In order to perform a 'calibration', I brought the battery down to 15%, then charged it back to 100%. This required 21.89 kWh (according to the charger). Extrapolating, I would expect a full charge to require 25.75 kWh. Is there any value to knowing this. Is the amount of power required to charge equivalent to the power available for discharge? (I'm assuming not)
    (6) Since I've already attempted one 'calibration' by charging from <20% to 100% in one session, is there anything else I should do to ensure the car is fully calibrated. Will continued driving potentially revise the projected range upward over time?
    (7) I have an OBD2 device coming tomorrow and should be able to connect SoulSpy or Torque then. I have not used either of these before. What information should I look for these apps to provide which will help me better understand my car's true range? Are the SOH calculations a good proxy for Kia's professional SOH measure? Are there other metrics that I should monitor?

I see this post is getting a little long, so I will take a step back and wait for some responses to see if I'm focusing in the right direction.
    - Is there any hope that my true range is closer to the 93mi calculated vs 74mi projected by the car?
    - And can I do anything to improve my calculation?

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

Re: Should I return my 2016 Soul EV?

Sun Sep 08, 2019 6:25 pm

The more I read, I notice a trend that what I'm calling the 'indicated range' of 74mi at 100% is what you are all referring to as the GOM (Guess-o-meter). Is that right?

So if I assume for a moment that the GOM reading of 74mi is unreliable (entirely possible since the car has been sitting on the dealer's lot barely touched for 3 months), I have a couple follow-up thoughts:
- My return window also specifies that I can't travel more than 250 mi (or else the window is invalidated), so simply driving from 100% to 0% is a real risk. I've probably clocked 30-50 miles since picking it up.
- How long does the GOM take to 'recalibrate' to my driving? Is it a matter of minutes, hours, days?
- If I ignore the GOM, is there any other metric (without an OBD2 port) which I can read confidently in the dash?
- I part the car in an underground garage without cell signal. Is this going to impact the calibration or potential BMS updates?
- Can I take the dealer's SOH reading at face value, and if so, is 89% over 3 years 'normal'? Is that 89% of 27 kWh or 30kWh? And can I use this with my recently recorded 3.9mi/kWh to accurately measure my expected range?

Thanks to all!

JejuSoul
Posts: 1418
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2015 6:47 am
Location: Jeju
Contact: Website

Re: Should I return my 2016 Soul EV?

Mon Sep 09, 2019 3:45 am

KeithEV wrote:.. Can I take the dealer's SOH reading at face value, and if so, is 89% over 3 years 'normal'? Is that 89% of 27 kWh or 30kWh? And can I use this with my recently recorded 3.9mi/kWh to accurately measure my expected range?...

The 89% SOH is a real reading of what the BMS ( the computer that controls the battery) thinks. It is 89% of 27 kWh. The usable capacity.
Problem is the BMS might not know the real value because the car has not been used for months.
The BMS only learns the true state of the battery by calibrating it during a long drive and recharging.

The GOM adjusts to your driving style over a few weeks. You can't just multiply the current efficiency by usable capacity to get the GOM.
On my car the GOM is often pessimistic. I can actually drive quite a bit further than the GOM says.

The only sensible test to see if this car works for you is to drive it on your normal commute. If it does it easily with plenty to spare then you will be able to drive this car in winter when range may be much lower. If not then return it.
The codes for using Torque Pro can be found by clicking the link in the website icon under my user name on the left.

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

Re: Should I return my 2016 Soul EV?

Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:24 am

JejuSoul wrote:
KeithEV wrote:.. Can I take the dealer's SOH reading at face value, and if so, is 89% over 3 years 'normal'? Is that 89% of 27 kWh or 30kWh? And can I use this with my recently recorded 3.9mi/kWh to accurately measure my expected range?...

The 89% SOH is a real reading of what the BMS ( the computer that controls the battery) thinks. It is 89% of 27 kWh. The usable capacity.
Problem is the BMS might not know the real value because the car has not been used for months.
The BMS only learns the true state of the battery by calibrating it during a long drive and recharging.

The GOM adjusts to your driving style over a few weeks. You can't just multiply the current efficiency by usable capacity to get the GOM.
On my car the GOM is often pessimistic. I can actually drive quite a bit further than the GOM says.

The only sensible test to see if this car works for you is to drive it on your normal commute. If it does it easily with plenty to spare then you will be able to drive this car in winter when range may be much lower. If not then return it.

Thank you for your response, JejuSoul. What you say makes sense.

Unfortunately for me, my 'return period' is also range-limited (I can drive a maximum of 150 miles further before I cross the threshold) or else I would spend the day trying to drive-charge the car to help the SOH recalibrate. Is there any way you know of to force this faster? For instance, if I fill it to 100%, drive it down to 10% and re-charge again, will this do the trick? Is there any sure-fire method to expedite this process within a day?

Part of the reason behind my anxiety is that my backup option (another 2016 Soul EV lacking several upgrade features I wanted) is reporting 90-100mi on the GOM. I can't get a reading of the SOH, but based on the GOM, I'm assuming its higher than 89%.

JejuSoul
Posts: 1418
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2015 6:47 am
Location: Jeju
Contact: Website

Re: Should I return my 2016 Soul EV?

Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:21 am

-
Okay. Here's some guesswork, based on previous cases.
The car was at 89% SOH when it went into the dealer lot before the summer.
It has been sitting in the sun throughout the summer fully charged.
If you had many days with 40C temperatures, this is very, very bad for the battery.
The car could easily have lost a further 10% during the summer.

Hence my guess is that your car is really at 80% SOH.
With your driving style it really will only do 80 miles.

This is either bad for you because you don't want a degraded battery, or good for you because you will soon get a replacement battery under warranty.
The codes for using Torque Pro can be found by clicking the link in the website icon under my user name on the left.

ksoul2084
Posts: 62
Joined: Thu May 16, 2019 10:48 am

Re: Should I return my 2016 Soul EV?

Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:38 am

I would suggest that you explain your concerns to the dealer you purchased from and request an extension to the return time and mileage or you will have no choice but to return it.

They may be more accommodating to save the deal.

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

Re: Should I return my 2016 Soul EV?

Mon Sep 09, 2019 12:40 pm

JejuSoul wrote:-
Okay. Here's some guesswork, based on previous cases.
The car was at 89% SOH when it went into the dealer lot before the summer.
It has been sitting in the sun throughout the summer fully charged.
If you had many days with 40C temperatures, this is very, very bad for the battery.
The car could easily have lost a further 10% during the summer.

Hence my guess is that your car is really at 80% SOH.
With your driving style it really will only do 80 miles.

This is either bad for you because you don't want a degraded battery, or good for you because you will soon get a replacement battery under warranty.

Once again, your expertise is very appreciated, JejuSoul.

I received the OBD-II BT device today and was able to connect it to the SoulEV app referenced here in the community. The 89% value I previously received from the dealer was taken immediately after I picked up the car, and as you said, it probably represents the state of the car this past April/May (~4mo ago). Although I am in Northern California rather than Arizona, it does get plenty hot at this East Bay dealership. I connected the dongle and app (after my attempted calibration yesterday) and it's reading a SOH of 85%.

So my next questions are:
    - Do the SoulEV app and the dealership diagnostic tools use the same (or very similar)?
    - And if this new value is reflective of the vehicle (following a 15->100% calibration), is this relatively stable or does it fluctuate from day-to-day?


My plan is to start from a 100% charge, drive it down to <10%, and charge it back to 100% and see (a) what my actual range was, and (b) if this further changes the SOH. Since I can only safely drive the vehicle 150 miles before returning it to the dealer, I've only got one shot at this.

    - Once I have a new SOH, is there a proper way to calculate my range rather than relying on the GOM?

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

Re: Should I return my 2016 Soul EV?

Mon Sep 09, 2019 12:49 pm

ksoul2084 wrote:I would suggest that you explain your concerns to the dealer you purchased from and request an extension to the return time and mileage or you will have no choice but to return it.

They may be more accommodating to save the deal.

Thank you for the suggestion. I did call the dealer yesterday, effectively telling them I would return the vehicle unless I could prove to my own satisfaction that the range reading was wrong. The agent was un-phased and didn't try to 'save the deal' over the phone. But I expect they encounter this as a second-level negotiating tactic and probably don't engage customers unless they physically come in to unwind the deal. It's understandable.

The fact of the matter is that for my primary needs, the more limited range would serve most of the time. But there are undoubtedly times when a 20+mi gap will fundamentally change where I can and can't take the car. If I were to accept this 'defect', I couldn't do so at the price I paid when my backup option is GOM'ing 96+ mi (and over cheaper to boot).

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

Re: Should I return my 2016 Soul EV?

Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:23 am

Another update, in case this experience helps anyone who comes across it down the road...

Yesterday I drove the car as conservatively as possible - no AC, ECO on, and trying as hard as possible to stretch out the battery with careful acceleration and braking. I brought the car below 10% battery and then charged back to 100%. Here were my new findings.

Under the very conservative driving conditions I described, using 98% of the battery (charging when it indicated 2%, although the OBD2 reading was closer to 4.5%), I was able to get 90mi (vs 75mi the GOM anticipated at the outset). So it's good to know that it's possible (albeit cumbersome) to exceed the GOM range.

Now for the bad news. After charging up again, the SOH re-calibrated once again, and my SOH is now 82.8. And with a full charge, the GOM is still guessing 75mi range. So my working hypothesis is that 're-calibration' averages over a few charge cycles rather than one as I believed. That would explain the drop from 89% -> 85% -> 82.8%. And my expectation is that one more calibration would bring it down further to ~80% (which would also explain the range: 75/93 = 80.6).

I took the opportunity to visit my 'backup' car yesterday after discussing its exceptional range (as indicated) from the dealer. Despite being over 4 years old now, I checked SoulSpy and found its SOH to be comfortably over 100! Do despite my reluctance to return my current model (I'm truly going to miss the color and trim level), I'm 90% committed to the return option. It's a shame, but I can't justify keeping it now that I know about the range limitations. (And for those who may be wondering about a battery replacement, it's crossed my mind, but I'm currently too far from the 70% threshold, and my driving habits - short commute, garaged at both ends - lead me to think the degradation will be less from here on.)

notfred
Posts: 403
Joined: Thu May 07, 2015 2:28 pm

Re: Should I return my 2016 Soul EV?

Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:18 am

On your backup car check the cumulative charge and discharge figures. If the car has had a recent BMS update then it zeros out those counters and sets the SOH to 110% until it relearns the battery state. If the cumulative charge and discharge figures are very low then the SOH may not be a true reading.

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