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Hi Guys -

Well, I have been thoroughly enjoying my Karma now for about 2 weeks now and I am learning about her daily and still continuing to read and research everything I can get my hands on when time allows (and I'm not cruising around in my Karma ;).
As some of you may have read in my post from a week or so ago, I had my first "issue" with my car within a day or two of it being delivered.....sigh.:-/
That issue was the I got an error message telling me the car's battery and fuel was completely depleted (which neither was) and that I needed to stop driving it immediately - basically, and all in red. Well, it kind of freaked me out being so new to this electric car world and specifically my Karma. After some friendly advice on the board I was able to get the message to erase and my car has run perfectly since.
I noted that when this issue happened I was driving it in sport mode as my battery level was low (under 10 miles charge left) and I had well over a 200 mile range on the fuel gauge.

Okay, so my question for you: when driving your Karma when do you switch it into Sport? At a standstill? While moving? Before you take off for the day? Can you wait until the battery is completely depleted or do you need to save some battery charge? If you know you will be needing more miles than the battery can provide do you just leave it in sport all the time and not worry about charging it until you are back home and can do so? I'm just not really sure how it is recommended to be used and if there is a wrong way.

I don't know what driving my car in Sport mode triggered the error message but it was a pretty big coincidence. Since having left it in stealth since then I have had no further issues. I've been too scared to put it back into sport mode since that happened in case there is something wrong with my car that doing so triggers.

I am sending my car to Joe at Cherry Hill next week for a full work over and hope to know more about my specific Karma then and what may be an underlying issue for this specific fault. I'm looking forward to fully enjoying my car after Joe gives it a good shake down! :) Maybe (hopefully) it was just a glitch and there really was nothing really ever "wrong". I'm just curious how other owners and using/driving so when I get her back I can feel confident in how I am using the modes.

Also, due to the advice on the board I ordered and had installed a Clipper Creek charging station and it is like a dream! Charging is so fast and I love the unit - thanks for all the great advice guys. This forum is invaluable to me already and I hope to be a part of this community for many many years to come :heart:
 

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@yoursupergirl, you can switch either at stand still or while driving. The ICE is start-stop. So if you are at a traffic light, and switch the ICE may not come on immediately, since the battery does require additional charge to maintain its current State of Charge (SOC). Also, if you stop at a traffic light while in SPORT, the ICE may temporarily stop and restart when you press the accelerator. The ICE when turned on after reaching 27 miles of SOC, will maintain the battery at that SOC -- borrowing some power from the battery when needed (going up hill, or accelerating) and replacing it when not needed (downhill/coasting).

For me when traveling long distances -- more the the 45-50 mile battery, I generally place in SPORT mode at 27 miles of battery and drive purely on the ICE. My rationale is that I will always have 27 miles of battery should I run low on gas (i.e. between interstate exits). I have done so even traveling 500 miles or more. I continuously drive in SPORT and hold the battery at about 50% charge. Keeps my peace of mind. With the 535 update, the Fuel Gauge is more accurate, so not as much an issue. There was previously a couple of "holes" in the algorithm that gave false fuel range remaining. I am sure that if you don't have 530 and 535, Joe will update your Karma. Enjoy!
 

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I flip mine on & off while moving or not. Doesn't matter. The only time I have had a problem was going up hill on an on ramp, when I suddenly noticed a lane was going away and I flipped it on just as I "stepped on it pretty hard" ... and I got a torque hole (1 second where nothing very much happened), but then it all kicked in and got me going - but with a bit of a lurch. So, maybe I would avoid trying to kick it in while mid-way thru a hard acceleration. But, doing it just before you put your foot down helps boost your acceleration. And, it was only once that that happened to me. So, basically, I'm telling you not to worry about it. In general, I use the engine on the intercity freeways and use my stealth mode miles on the city streets. And, like AIJOHN - I kick it in when I get down to 27 Stealth miles and leave it in SPORT until I'm within that range of home (or a charger).
 

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@yoursupergirl, first, you don't need to manually switch to Sport mode at all. You can drive around in Stealth mode and the car automatically starts up the ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) when the battery gets low enough.

Second, the ICE is not physically connected to the wheels, and you can switch into Sport mode whenever you like and the car will manage turning the ICE on and off for you as needed. As noted before, if you are using Sport mode in stop-and-go traffic, the car will shut the ICE off when you are moving very very slowly or when you are stopped and will restart it as needed.

Finally, there are two reasons to manually switch into Sport mode: (i) to get more power, and (ii) to save the charge in the battery.

(i) When the battery is charged to 50% or more (26+ miles indicated range), switching into Sport mode provides twice the power you would have with the battery alone. If you are going up a steep hill, or need extra power to merge into traffic, this would be a good option.

(ii) Below 50%, (25 or fewer miles indicated range), switching into Sport mode will preserve whatever charge you have in the battery until you switch back to Stealth mode. This is useful if you are on a long drive and want to use the battery charge for city driving at the beginning and end of your trip. In this scenario, you would start off in Stealth mode until your are cruising on the highway, then switch to Sport to preserve the charge left in the battery, and when you get off the freeway, you switch back to Stealth for city driving.

Of course, you don't really need to do any of this. You can just keep the car in Stealth mode and it will manage the ICE for you. But on longer drives, especially at constant speeds and using the cruise control, the ICE tends to operate at its max efficiency, so it makes sense to switch to Sport when you are settled into the long cruise portion of the trip and use Stealth mode for the beginning and end of the trip.

Also, keep in mind that the ICE does not turn on and off instantly. When you first switch to Sport, the ICE will come on and run continuously for several minutes to warm up and to heat up the emissions control system. So if you switch into Sport and then out again a couple of minutes later, the ICE may keep running for a few minutes. Also, when you switch out of Sport mode at the end of your long trip, the ICE will keep running for a couple of minutes to let everything cool down gradually before shutting itself off. This is all normal and controlled by the car's computers.

Hope this helps.
 

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@yoursupergirl, first, you don't need to manually switch to Sport mode at all. You can drive around in Stealth mode and the car automatically starts up the ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) when the battery gets low enough.

Second, the ICE is not physically connected to the wheels, and you can switch into Sport mode whenever you like and the car will manage turning the ICE on and off for you as needed. As noted before, if you are using Sport mode in stop-and-go traffic, the car will shut the ICE off when you are moving very very slowly or when you are stopped and will restart it as needed.

Finally, there are two reasons to manually switch into Sport mode: (i) to get more power, and (ii) to save the charge in the battery.

(i) When the battery is charged to 50% or more (26+ miles indicated range), switching into Sport mode provides twice the power you would have with the battery alone. If you are going up a steep hill, or need extra power to merge into traffic, this would be a good option.

(ii) Below 50%, (25 or fewer miles indicated range), switching into Sport mode will preserve whatever charge you have in the battery until you switch back to Stealth mode. This is useful if you are on a long drive and want to use the battery charge for city driving at the beginning and end of your trip. In this scenario, you would start off in Stealth mode until your are cruising on the highway, then switch to Sport to preserve the charge left in the battery, and when you get off the freeway, you switch back to Stealth for city driving.

Of course, you don't really need to do any of this. You can just keep the car in Stealth mode and it will manage the ICE for you. But on longer drives, especially at constant speeds and using the cruise control, the ICE tends to operate at its max efficiency, so it makes sense to switch to Sport when you are settled into the long cruise portion of the trip and use Stealth mode for the beginning and end of the trip.

Also, keep in mind that the ICE does not turn on and off instantly. When you first switch to Sport, the ICE will come on and run continuously for several minutes to warm up and to heat up the emissions control system. So if you switch into Sport and then out again a couple of minutes later, the ICE may keep running for a few minutes. Also, when you switch out of Sport mode at the end of your long trip, the ICE will keep running for a couple of minutes to let everything cool down gradually before shutting itself off. This is all normal and controlled by the car's computers.

Hope this helps.
This info should be a sticky! It really helped me better utilize the car and be more efficient. Everyone who is a new owner should have this info, really sticky it. :idea:
 

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This info should be a sticky! It really helped me better utilize the car and be more efficient. Everyone who is a new owner should have this info, really sticky it. :idea:
Thanks. I am glad it was helpful. Just to make things more interesting, if you add a TOM module to your car, you will have two additional modes to choose from. We can leave that discussion for later. :D
 

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Good explanation, i agree with jomak, fab you should stick it as a post. Just recently I spoke to FiskerPhilly about the TOM. FiskerPhilly has done many TOM installs and I'm planning to get the unit myself. I like the idea of charging my battery on demand , especially on highway drives -- i so hate to drive with engine rumble in the city -- besides it give me the option to get full power when i deplete the battery below 26 miles, i can charge it back up when i forget to hit sport mode when i get to 27 miles ;-)
 

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This info should be a sticky! It really helped me better utilize the car and be more efficient. Everyone who is a new owner should have this info, really sticky it. :idea:
You speak and your humble moderator listens. :D
 

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One further point on letting your car just "turn on the ICE" when it wants to when you reach 0 Stealth -- I live on top of a hill in Phoenix. I've had my battery red warning come on doing that climbing the hill with my A/C on max. I've also had it go red climbing mountains driving from CA to AZ the one time I forgot to put my Sport mode on and protect my last Stealth miles -- again in major heat. So, I just don't like getting down to 0. If you see that warning and your battery indicator turn red -- pull over and let the engine charge the battery for a little while.
 

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One further point on letting your car just "turn on the ICE" when it wants to when you reach 0 Stealth -- I live on top of a hill in Phoenix. I've had my battery red warning come on doing that climbing the hill with my A/C on max. I've also had it go red climbing mountains driving from CA to AZ the one time I forgot to put my Sport mode on and protect my last Stealth miles -- again in major heat. So, I just don't like getting down to 0. If you see that warning and your battery indicator turn red -- pull over and let the engine charge the battery for a little while.
Right. If you ever see the battery guage on the cluster go red, you should switch to Sport immediately to protect the battery.
 

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Just to revive this thread and for an update on driving with a TOM vs without...

I commute about an hour each way to work and back through mountains, then foothillls straight into the city. About an equal mix and varied expect for the lack of freeway.

Before TOM (BT?) I would just use sport for the hills, hill mode 2 for the descents and stealth for the city. That was my most fuel efficient combination and reserved the stealth for the city to avoid the embarrassing engine noise in stopped traffic. I would average about 36-37 mpg.

After TOM (AT?) I now fire up sport mode for the first few minutes to condition the cab without draining the battery to much, then use stealth for the mountains and foothills with Hill 2 engaged for the descents. I then use ER (recharge) on any areas where I can keep my foot steady so as to let the TOM build miles. This is easy if the road is flat and speed constant, but tricky if you have to adjust for traffic or undulations in the road. If my foot position is just right and the road is flat, I can generate up to 20kW while driving. I still use stealth in the city. After 1300 miles I'm at 38mpg and it's still going up, even with an additional weekly 4-5 hour drive included, which always lowers my average mpg.
 

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What is a TOM


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
It's a third party device that provides some additional functionality to the vehicle, such as charging while driving (firmware 520 and 535) and charging while parked (firmware version 520 only). They're manufactured by a company called PowerSoirce. If you search these forums you will find more info on it. They also have a website http://www.pwr-source.com/
 

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without the 'power source' TOM, does the car not recharge the batteries at all? how about in hill climb modes?

and further question, does the solar roof panel run any of the non-motive needs like aircon or interior lights?
 

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without the 'power source' TOM, does the car not recharge the batteries at all? how about in hill climb modes?

and further question, does the solar roof panel run any of the non-motive needs like aircon or interior lights?
In charge deplete mode (i.e above 27 electric miles with sport mode engaged) the car will only recharge the batteries to 27 miles if the vehicle is forced to dip into the reserve and use electric miles to make up for power demand (i.e. mountainous roads).

If you use stealth mode the vehicle will deplete to 0 miles then turn the ICE on

There is no stock way to recharge the battery other than through regen braking, plugging in or banking miles (i.e. using regen to make up a mile under the 27 mile threshold in stealth mode then immediately switching to sport mode). Sport mode will only hold the mileage 27 and under.

Solar panel is a 12v battery maintainer and blows a cabin fan that just recirculates ambient cabin air.

TOM generates miles while driving, holds miles up to 45 all electric miles and allows you to stationary charge (520). TOM also removes the current limit in stealth mode.
 

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without the 'power source' TOM, does the car not recharge the batteries at all? how about in hill climb modes?

and further question, does the solar roof panel run any of the non-motive needs like aircon or interior lights?
When you engage SPORT above 27 Stealth miles, the Stealth miles will drop at about half normal rate ... down to 27. At that point (or at any point below 27) having Sport mode on runs the engine more and "holds" the Stealth miles there. If you are climbing a hill, it might go down briefly, but eventually the engine will bring the Stealth miles back to where they were when you first engaged SPORT mode and hold it there. In a stock Karma, the software doesn't permit the engine to bring the Stealth miles up ever.
It just holds them at whatever point they were when you first engaged SPORT mode (but at no higher than 27).

The only caveat to that is ... if you happen to be somewhere below 27 (say, at 20) in SPORT mode "Holding", and you go down a hill, or rapidly decelerate from highway speed, it is possible for the Re-Gen system to add a Stealth mile back. If, the moment you see that your Stealth counter pop up to 21, you flip Sport mode off and immediately back on, you can make the computer "lock in" that mile and start "holding" at that new level. This can happen even if you're at 0.

A Karma accelerates better when the battery is at or above 50% (which is why the TOM module gives back modes to charge the battery from the engine). So, for best performance, on a trip that exceeds my 50 stealth miles, I engage SPORT as soon as I get down around 27, and continue to hold the battery there (instead of letting it deplete down to 0 stealth miles and only then engage the engine). I use my last Stealth miles when I know I'm within that distance from home. So, I still try to use them all, but preserve the amount of time I'm holding the battery above 50%.

Note: Since the car never wants to let you get below 15% charge, when your Stealth miles say 0, your battery is still at 15% charge. So, when your car says 27 Stealth miles, you're actually above 50%.

Once, on a long trip, I forgot to engage sport and depleted to 0 pretty fast going up mountain roads. But, I was able to get it back up to holding at 8 miles by the end of that trip locking in the Re-Gen'd miles every time it happened.

I don't like holding at 0. I live where it's very hot and halfway up a mountain, so I've had my car give the "red" battery warning with my A/C on going up hill at 0. If you see that, pull off to the side for a minute and let the engine build you back up to 15%. To prevent that, I watch my numbers as I drive and try to keep my Stealth miles away from 0 until I'm almost home.

Once in a while, you should go to 0. It will help the cycle of cell balancing.

That's my experience after 3 years and 28K miles.
 

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(DISCLAIMER: I have a battery module on order and it will be replaced next week. I drive about ~20 miles round trip each day and I have just enough battery juice to make it. My battery range so far has been 21, 20, 24, 19, 18, 20, etc.)


I guess I need to experiment a bit more with my driving habits. On the way to work the other day I tried using sport mode when I got to ~28 remaining miles, but my battery range continued to decrease. I was driving on side roads between 45-55mph with a stop every 1-2 miles or so.


Was I doing something wrong? Or, could this be because I need a battery module replaced?
 

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That would not be "normal" behavior for the car. (You do have to engage Sport Mode every time you start the car, if you were stopping, shutting down, and restarting.)

Below 50% State Of Charge (@ around 27 stealth miles left), Sport Mode should equal "maintain the battery here" mode. If, your computer detects cells out of balance, it could drop you instantly to "0" on the display, but I believe that the engine is still trying to maintain the battery charge at whatever level the battery had when it dropped the display to 0. Because as the overall state of charge gets lower, the disparity often becomes more pronounced and you don't want any one cell to flip and become a power sink instead of a "cooperative provider".

I am not an electrical engineer, but that is my layman's understanding.

If your stealth miles are dropping (slowly) in SPORT mode below 27, I would suggest that indicates some issue with your engine or the generator attached to it. Which would make it dangerous for you to travel very far.
 

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(DISCLAIMER: I have a battery module on order and it will be replaced next week. I drive about ~20 miles round trip each day and I have just enough battery juice to make it. My battery range so far has been 21, 20, 24, 19, 18, 20, etc.)


I guess I need to experiment a bit more with my driving habits. On the way to work the other day I tried using sport mode when I got to ~28 remaining miles, but my battery range continued to decrease. I was driving on side roads between 45-55mph with a stop every 1-2 miles or so.


Was I doing something wrong? Or, could this be because I need a battery module replaced?
In a typical Karma, the indicated EV range would drop to 25/25 Miles (50% State of Charge) and then would stay in that range as long you were in Sport mode. As I understand the system, in sustain mode, the power is going into and out of the battery. So if you have some bad modules, it would very likely affect the system's performance.
 

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In a typical Karma, the indicated EV range would drop to 25/25 Miles (50% State of Charge) and then would stay in that range as long you were in Sport mode. As I understand the system, in sustain mode, the power is going into and out of the battery. So if you have some bad modules, it would very likely affect the system's performance.
Thanks. The new module should arrive this week.
 
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