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Emergency Reserve Battery Power -- A Suggestion to Fisker

2580 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Fabulist
While browsing through the Karma's user manual, I saw the dire warning about seeking qualified assistance if you ever run out of fuel. (See Karma's Handbook on top of page 6.10). They certainly make it sound like serious damage will ensue if the ICE runs out of fuel.

The Chevy volt has a very clever way of dealing with this situation that Fisker should consider emulating. The Volt, just like the Karma, never runs the big battery all the way down and there is always some charge left in it. In the case of the Karma, I believe this reserve is around 15%. If the Volt runs out of gas, it puts up a lot of warnings and notices, and then taps into the power reserve left in the battery to give you a few extra miles to the next gas station. You obviously don't want to do this too often because it impact battery life, but once in a great while, it could make the difference between coasting to a stop in a traffic lane on the highway and being able to get to the next exit and safely get off the highway and, hopefully, to a gas station.

When Autoweek deliberately ran their Volt dry, they managed to get an extra 3 miles from the battery before the car quit altogether and they had to put more gas in to to get going.

Obviously, the best thing to do is never run out of gas, but it does happen to the most careful of drivers once in a while, and it would be great to have that last emergency bit of reserve to get you to safety. Best of all, this is a pure software change and no actual modification to car would be needed to implement this feature in the Karma.

So how do we go about presenting this suggestion to Fisker?

-- Fab.
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I'd rather have the battery miles to use daily
Agreed, but repeatedly deep discharging the battery would significantly shorten the life of the battery. That's one of the reasons the EVs try not to fully discharge the main battery. See this article for additional explanations.

-- Fab.
Ah, I see.

How often do you run out of gas? For me, it is since college when I didn't have any money for fuel so I just left my car wherever it ran out.
I've been driving since the mid 80's and I've never once run out of gas. Not really worried about this.

Admittedly, this has only happened to me once in the last 20 years but it is still a clever feature and a good way to tap into the reserve battery power in an emergency.

-- Fab.
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