I realized after a few weeks of using the C-Max that the Value Charge/Charge Now setting on the car was “global” (See this post). In short: The setting wouldn’t change when switching profiles.
Last week I had the car in for its first oil change and a few recalls. One of the recalls did involve reprogramming the telematics module. Over the next few days I noticed that the charge setting would switch when the profiles changed..! After watching the screens change as it switches profiles it would appear that when they reprogrammed the telematics module they fixed the value charge/charge now switch–its no longer global.
Finally now I can use it the way it was meant to be used.
When I first picked up the C-Max I immediately setup a charge profile for home. For some reason, though, it didn’t work the way I had expected. My experience with the Focus Electric was quite positive with respect to the charge profiles–once I had set them up they pretty much worked 99% of the time. The C-Max was different, and after a couple of weeks I finally gave up and deleted my charge locations. I even have at least one post about this.
I’ve been using the method I described in that post ever since. Fast forward to now. Ford has been working on a software update for Sync 3 that includes Android Auto and Apple Car play. This update has been shipping on 2017 model year cars for a while now; its just been taking Ford a while to get the update for the 2016s working/released. Not too long ago a version of this update leaked (really!?). After a few weeks I figured “what the heck I’ll give it a shot”. The update process went pretty smoothly (it is Ford software, not some hack). Android Auto is pretty cool–perhaps that will deserve a post of its own.
With the new software installed I figured I’d play with value charge and charge locations again. Thus I re-setup my home location with a charge window slightly different from the one I setup for the default location. For the next few days when approaching home I would put the radio on the charge setup screen so I could watch which profile it chose to use. This was very enlightening. Turns out something that I had suspected in my post (linked above) is true: On the C-Max the charge now/value charge setting is global. On the Focus Electric that setting was tied to each charge location (so the default charge location could be set to charge now and your home location could be set to value charge). (I also suspect the older software worked this way as well, just my thick head couldn’t figure it out! LOL) Thus now I can leave the default profile set to charge 24/7 and home to the window I want and it should work. On the my ford mobile website, however, it shows the charge now/value charge setting like it is on the Focus; separate:
The really goofy thing about this is that with the setting global it makes it even easier to put the quick flip on the dashboard like the Focus Electric does. The new version of Sync 3 does reduce that change to three clicks from four though.
I think I have a handle on value charging C-Max Energi/Sync 3 style. In my list of bugs earlier I had indicated an issue with the car and MyFord Mobile accurately representing the Value Charge/Charge Now state.
Well I think I’ve settled on a solution to that. A bit of review first: In MyFord Mobile you can setup multiple charging locations. Once you’ve charged somewhere you can log in and set that location up to “Value Charge”–scheduled charging. On the FFE this worked quite well; I had a “Home” charging location that would start charging at 4am every morning (timed such that the car would be fully charged within about an hour of me departing for work). Doing this can prolong the life of the battery (since its only sitting for a short time at a full charge level) and takes advantage of the power company’s overnight rates.
When I got the C-Max Energi one of the first things I did was to setup the same charge schedule for the “Home” charge location. At that point is where things went kind of goofy. Every time I would check the two locations (Home and the default) either in the car or via web or mobile app I’d get a different setting for each location as far as Value Charge and Charge Now. I was able to get the car to Value Charge by checking on the setting in the car just before turning it off in the garage (ensuring that it was going to charge using the home location and it was set to Value Charge). After doing this a few days I started to notice that even though the screen said it was set to charge using the “Home” location it wouldn’t–setting the on screen prompt to Value Charge would sometimes set Default to Value Charge and leave “Home” at Charge Now…!?
On the C-Max Energi this is a bit more of an issue than on the FFE simply because of range and battery size. On the FFE when I’d come home after work I’d usually only use about 50% of the battery and the rest of the days driving wouldn’t take the other 50% thus most of the time I could leave the home location on Value Charge and be good (in addition, the FFE has a handy display on the dash that allows you to quickly flip between Value Charge and Charge Now after you turn off the car; this is missing on the C-Max). With the C-Max I’ll come home with a depleted “EV” battery and will sometimes want to charge a bit for further evening activities–thus I’m finding I flip back and forth between Value Charge and Charge Now a lot more frequently.
My workaround is this: I’ve deleted the “Home” location and setup a charge schedule for the default (the same as what I had before: start charging at 4am). Now the car has only 1 entry and switching between Value Charge and Charge Now will only switch the default. I’m not really concerned about having multiple charge locations anyway (on the FFE I only ever had the one “Home” one). Since the C-Max also has a gas engine it is unlikely that I’ll make as much use of public charging as I did on the FFE–it simply isn’t necessary.
This morning I was a bit late to loading my car up for work. As I did so I noticed that the EVSE contactors were not engaged (they must disengage after being fully charged as they remain engaged while waiting for a charge). When I opened the door I heard them engage (this was normal behavior in the FFE: When plugged in and not doing anything the FFE would leave the EVSE disengaged but if you did anything, lock or unlock, open a door, etc. it would engage the EVSE). After a few moments, however, the HVAC system kicked on–Ah ha! my go time is now working…
Well this go time was nothing like the FFE’s go time! On the FFE a go time set for 85F would kick off a good 30 minutes or more prior to the set time and by the set time the HVAC fan was roaring full speed and the car was really toasty warm. This morning in the C-Max the fan was barely perceptible (low), it only started to precondition 15-20 minutes prior and by the set time the car was maybe in the high 60s. It was like the FFE’s go time when plugged into a Level 1 EVSE (the C-Max’s charger is only 3.6kW vs the 6.6kW on the FFE so it doesn’t have as much power available either–I did notice the Juicebox reading about 3.9kW during the go time).
No wonder I thought they weren’t working! They could have been working all along and I just didn’t notice it because I was expecting an 85F degree car and hearing the loud roar from the HVAC fan coming from the garage. Hmm.. Remote starting it seemed to give better results…