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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Apologies if this question has been asked before.

Is it beneficial financially to pre-condition my car for the daily commute? I understand pre-conditioning can warm the car up, but as I'm only driving for 40 mins/20 miles I tend to just throw on a coat and get driving. I'm driving an e208 and use OctopusGo for charging, so am wondering if the claimed extra efficiency of a pre-conditioned battery on a journey will save enough money to pay for the cost of pre-conditioning at 40p/kWH (presumably there is no point pre-conditioning at 4 am in the morning for a commute several hours later?).
 

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If you're talking about warming the cabin, it's purely a personal comfort decision, though getting windows defrosted/demisted is defintely a big convenience plus.
If you mean warming the battery, better check your car really does that. But probably not worth it if you're going to complete the round trip without need to charge till you get back home again. Again a convenience decision.
 

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If you are on you own the cheapest thing would be to set the heated seat and steering wheel on to maintain a level of comfort.
You could experiment with taking a SOC reading for the outward and return figure for a few days and average that out.
Do the same again but precondition for 15 minutes or so before leaving
Youll then have some figures to compare.

Gaz
 

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I'd do it to clear the windows of mist and ice, and to make the cabin more comfortable, I have never considered whether it would make my battery pack more efficient.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
"
If you are on you own the cheapest thing would be to set the heated seat and steering wheel on to maintain a level of comfort.
You could experiment with taking a SOC reading for the outward and return figure for a few days and average that out. "

What is a SOC reading?

Sadly I'm at the non heated seat or steering wheel level of trim, but maybe I could get the dog to sit in the front :)

Perhaps some more fundamental questions:
  • Does pre-conditioning improve miles per Kilowatt, - if so by roughly how much?
  • Does pre-conditioning improve battery life? And by how much?
 

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"
If you are on you own the cheapest thing would be to set the heated seat and steering wheel on to maintain a level of comfort.
You could experiment with taking a SOC reading for the outward and return figure for a few days and average that out. "

What is a SOC reading?

Sadly I'm at the non heated seat or steering wheel level of trim, but maybe I could get the dog to sit in the front :)

Perhaps some more fundamental questions:
  • Does pre-conditioning improve miles per Kilowatt, - if so by roughly how much?
  • Does pre-conditioning improve battery life? And by how much?
State Of Charge, how much the battery has in it.
Say 86% you use so much on your journey and get back with a lower percenrage.

Doing a similar journey with the heater on will use an additional percentage.

Preconditioning on the car won't do anything for the batteries in the winter. They are cooled in the summer.
Other cars do preheat the batteries but the pug, Vx and Citroen models based on the same platform don't do that at the moment.

Without heated seats you'll find it best to precondition for a few minutes prior to jumping in just to clear the windows, give the windows and mirrors a quick wipe down, go back inside and dry yourself off. Bum on radiator for a couple of minutes then back in the car with the heater on as low as possible.
That should be the most cost effective thing to do as you'll then be using your own body heat rather than relying on the car heater entirely.

So to directly answer tge bullet points, no it won't really help but is going to be more convenient whilst costing some % of charge.

Gaz
 

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I'm going to say no financially. This is because my set-off time falls outside of off-peak window.
But I still do pre-conditioning so it's more comfortable when I get in and no foggy window when I drive off imminently.

Does it improve mi/kwh? Yes, because you are effectively store heat energy in the car cabin, reducing heating usage. I used to drive my 60 mi commute with a Leaf 24, it needed the pre-heating to get the return journey done.

Does it improve battery life? In theory, because you are pre-heating from the grid, not using the battery, and you are reducing the load on your battery, it should improve battery life. But for modern cars heating is going to be a small percentage of additional usage, it wouldn't matter as much.
 

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Apologies if this question has been asked before.

Is it beneficial financially to pre-condition my car for the daily commute? I understand pre-conditioning can warm the car up, but as I'm only driving for 40 mins/20 miles I tend to just throw on a coat and get driving. I'm driving an e208 and use OctopusGo for charging, so am wondering if the claimed extra efficiency of a pre-conditioned battery on a journey will save enough money to pay for the cost of pre-conditioning at 40p/kWH (presumably there is no point pre-conditioning at 4 am in the morning for a commute several hours later?).
Would you give it a thought, either way, if you had an ICE vehicle?
 

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Apologies if this question has been asked before.

Is it beneficial financially to pre-condition my car for the daily commute? I understand pre-conditioning can warm the car up, but as I'm only driving for 40 mins/20 miles I tend to just throw on a coat and get driving. I'm driving an e208 and use OctopusGo for charging, so am wondering if the claimed extra efficiency of a pre-conditioned battery on a journey will save enough money to pay for the cost of pre-conditioning at 40p/kWH (presumably there is no point pre-conditioning at 4 am in the morning for a commute several hours later?).
If you're talking about warming the cabin, it's purely a personal comfort decision, though getting windows defrosted/demisted is defintely a big convenience plus.
If you mean warming the battery, better check your car really does that. But probably not worth it if you're going to complete the round trip without need to charge till you get back home again. Again a convenience decision.
Preheating an EV (cabin) is more than just a comfort/convenience thing in the depths of winter IMHO. It also provides some extra safety.

If it's near or below freezing and your windows are iced up, what are you going to do - drive off in a cold car with the window iced up so you can't see or use your wipers ? Your jacket doesn't help you see through iced/fogged windows...

If you use a can of de-icer (not good for the environment when it gets into drains and the water table) you dissolve the ice on the window and can see initially, sure, until your breath fogs the windows up again seconds later as you drive away, until there is a decent amount of heat in the cabin, so for several minutes you can't see properly.

Do we all do this to some degree in ICE cars that don't have pre-heat and have heaters that are slower to warm up than an EV when just idling ? Sure, as an ICE car takes an eternity to heat up enough to properly defrost a window when just idling, but does it within a few minutes when driving. I don't like doing it though as it's not very safe, but then it's supposedly illegal to sit there idling an ICE vehicle unnecessarily while parked, so go figure...

How much does pre-heating cost ? That depends on the car and how cold it is of course, but I can give a rough idea from my Leaf as I've actually measured it.

In temperatures around 4C with a bit of ice on the window it uses approximately 1kWh for the 30 minute pre-heat. When it's below freezing say -4C it's something like 1.5kWh.

So, 1 to 1.5kWh 5 times a week is a rough estimate. A decent can of de-icer costs around £3, and when I still used to use them (on an ICE car) I found they didn't last much more than a week if I was dealing with badly iced windows.

So the pre-heating actually worked out cheaper than de-icer back when we all paid around 14p/kWh... now that I'm paying 28p/kWh outside my 2am-6am nightly window it's roughly a draw between the pre-heating and a can of de-icer.

Could I use "free" warm water instead of de-icer ? Sure, but if it's below 0C outside the window quickly cools, fogs up and sometimes ice reforms if you just use plain water, while de-icer will at least prevent ice-reforming as soon as you start driving since it lowers the melting point of any precipitation on the window.

If you pre-heat not only are you warm, the windows are warm and will stay clear and fog free when you get in the car and start breathing on them. For me it's a no-brainer, as clear, clean windows that don't fog or ice up again as soon as you start driving give improved safety, especially in the dark... I still use pre-heating even now that electricity prices are soaring and I have not touched a can of de-icer in years now.

One other comment - some EV's can preheat from battery, so if yours is one that can (my Leaf can't using the built in timer but can using the phone app) then schedule your charge point to be off before the preheating time and the preheat will come from the battery.

It will reduce your range slightly but the energy for preheating will come from your cheap night rate charging. That deals with the "it costs too much now" argument.
 

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I can't remember having to de-ice last winter, but back in my ICE days I just used a milk carton of tepid water over the windows, quick flip of the wipers and good to go, much easier and cheaper than de-icer or pre-heating. Jump in the car, the heater works far sooner than it used to in the old diesel and in any case there's always the heated wheel and seats, luxury.
 

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How on earth could it be cheaper to precondition with 40p electric instead of bear a cold car for a minute or two (or even do it the old fashioned way and start it before finishing a cup of tea before departing) using the 7p electric in the battery?
 

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How on earth could it be cheaper to precondition with 40p electric instead of bear a cold car for a minute or two (or even do it the old fashioned way and start it before finishing a cup of tea before departing) using the 7p electric in the battery?
I assumed by preconditioning the OP was referring to using the climate option for his car.
It seems a number of people have answered without thought for his car and lead to confusion.
There also seems to have been a few assume he would still be on charge at the point he left.

You're quite right, but no need to sit in the car shivering for a few minutes when the climate function will happily come on using a schedule 5 or 10 minutes before he leaves.

So he can go out to wipe a few things down, unplug if needed then go back inside to warm up whilst the car does the same.

His car will work that way. Whatever other cars might do isn't really of interest until he's looking to change.

Gaz
 
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Preheating an EV (cabin) is more than just a comfort/convenience thing in the depths of winter IMHO. It also provides some extra safety.

If it's near or below freezing and your windows are iced up, what are you going to do - drive off in a cold car with the window iced up so you can't see or use your wipers ? Your jacket doesn't help you see through iced/fogged windows...

If you use a can of de-icer (not good for the environment when it gets into drains and the water table) you dissolve the ice on the window and can see initially, sure, until your breath fogs the windows up again seconds later as you drive away, until there is a decent amount of heat in the cabin, so for several minutes you can't see properly.

Do we all do this to some degree in ICE cars that don't have pre-heat and have heaters that are slower to warm up than an EV when just idling ? Sure, as an ICE car takes an eternity to heat up enough to properly defrost a window when just idling, but does it within a few minutes when driving. I don't like doing it though as it's not very safe, but then it's supposedly illegal to sit there idling an ICE vehicle unnecessarily while parked, so go figure...

How much does pre-heating cost ? That depends on the car and how cold it is of course, but I can give a rough idea from my Leaf as I've actually measured it.

In temperatures around 4C with a bit of ice on the window it uses approximately 1kWh for the 30 minute pre-heat. When it's below freezing say -4C it's something like 1.5kWh.

So, 1 to 1.5kWh 5 times a week is a rough estimate. A decent can of de-icer costs around £3, and when I still used to use them (on an ICE car) I found they didn't last much more than a week if I was dealing with badly iced windows.

So the pre-heating actually worked out cheaper than de-icer back when we all paid around 14p/kWh... now that I'm paying 28p/kWh outside my 2am-6am nightly window it's roughly a draw between the pre-heating and a can of de-icer.

Could I use "free" warm water instead of de-icer ? Sure, but if it's below 0C outside the window quickly cools, fogs up and sometimes ice reforms if you just use plain water, while de-icer will at least prevent ice-reforming as soon as you start driving since it lowers the melting point of any precipitation on the window.

If you pre-heat not only are you warm, the windows are warm and will stay clear and fog free when you get in the car and start breathing on them. For me it's a no-brainer, as clear, clean windows that don't fog or ice up again as soon as you start driving give improved safety, especially in the dark... I still use pre-heating even now that electricity prices are soaring and I have not touched a can of de-icer in years now.

One other comment - some EV's can preheat from battery, so if yours is one that can (my Leaf can't using the built in timer but can using the phone app) then schedule your charge point to be off before the preheating time and the preheat will come from the battery.

It will reduce your range slightly but the energy for preheating will come from your cheap night rate charging. That deals with the "it costs too much now" argument.
De icer :)

My other half is Norwegian so I learned to use a credit card or remember the old CD cases? De icer doesn't work when the temp gets properly cold, its only for namby pamby UK winters..
 

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I would say pre heating on cheap rate is really handy so I am doing it tomorrow as leaving early. Pre heating on more expensive electricity is still worth it if your journey is on the cusp of needing to public charge. I am doing a 110 mile round trip tomorrow south London to Hemel Hempstead and back around the M25. I did it last week on a 90% charge and arrived back with 8% but it was 12 degrees C and dry. Tomorrow is 5 degrees C so I am doing a 100% charge with pre heat and leaving 05.00. Pre heat makes about a 10% range difference on a cold car in my experience so tomorrow its a bit of insurance so I won't have to pay 75p/kW somewhere.
 

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For me, comfort and safety is far more important than saving a few quid. It's much nicer to set off in a warm car and you can see where you're going. Sod sitting outside in the cold. I'm 36 and had nearly 20 years of buggering around with that :LOL:
36 Crikey, I retired when I was 36, 20 years ago.
I feel old now!

Safety goes without question, one of the yokels was driving up the road with a porthole where she had cleared a handful of snow.
I quickly made a snowball but missed the spot by a few inches, now she puts a fluffy blanket on the screen and goes flying up the road without clearing anything, including the other windows and roof.

There are loads of people who drive without being able to see, should be 12 months in a tag with a 15 minute window to stretch their legs. I even clear the silly little windows some cars have at the rear of the back passenger doors but then again, I have a little more time I guess.

Gaz
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thank you all for the useful replies. As my car's pre-conditioning doesn't warm the batteries that answers the question. At the moment it's demisting in much less than a minute in 'normal' mode so working with my leap in and go approach (I only start moving when I can see BTW). I'll experiment with the pre-conditioning on frosty mornings when it will save the bother of scraping.
 

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Apologies if this question has been asked before.

Is it beneficial financially to pre-condition my car for the daily commute? I understand pre-conditioning can warm the car up, but as I'm only driving for 40 mins/20 miles I tend to just throw on a coat and get driving. I'm driving an e208 and use OctopusGo for charging, so am wondering if the claimed extra efficiency of a pre-conditioned battery on a journey will save enough money to pay for the cost of pre-conditioning at 40p/kWH (presumably there is no point pre-conditioning at 4 am in the morning for a commute several hours later?).
If you are charging the battery at off-peak rates, and your question is whether to preheat at the more expensive rate around 8AM off the mains, then definitely and absolutely not.

If you are unplugged and preheating from the battery charge already on board from the off-peak rate, or better still you can do so from the mains and it is still off-peak, then personally I would (and did) do that just for comfort value and that you're demisted already. Demisting 'quickly' inside a few minutes is OK just so long as you don't have an accident in 'those' first few minutes, if you see what I mean. The amount of electricity you will use up will be virtually identical, because you still have to overcome the thermal inertia of the cabin space with the battery. Very little energy difference in total, not worth 'not' doing it, if you can.
 
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