Limited Performance due to hot battery

Well, somehow we’ve had this car for over two years and have never gotten this warning before! I’m kinda happy but also kinda pissed about this. It isn’t really a big deal and is a pretty self-explanatory warning — the battery is hot — but the fact that it never occurred before is kinda strange. It was hot today (around 30 degrees Celsius), but nothing that hasn’t been seen in July and August for the past few years. So why the warning now?

First I should explain what this message means even if it is self-explanatory. I knew about this warning from simply reading the book even if I haven’t had any personal experience with it. The warning means that the battery is hot and the car doesn’t want to give you a ton of power to play with. A car battery is just like a phone battery really; when you demand a lot of power out of it it will heat up. Heat is pretty bad for a battery so the car naturally wants to limit extra battery heat, especially if the battery is already hot! This is why I wasn’t too upset by the warning. It is just the car protecting itself.

As for why we haven’t seen it yet? I have an idea although I don’t know if it is correct. Like phones, electric car batteries warm up when you charge them. This is also related to how fast they are charged; batteries that are slowly charged warm up less than those that are quickly charged. Well, remember my post here talking about my fancy level two charger that can charge the car quickly? Yeah. I think maybe since the car was charging on a level two charger on a hot day that the battery was already getting its butt beaten by heat, so when we tried to drive it it gave us this warning. It makes sense, but from my understanding the car is also supposed to run a battery cooling system to keep the battery from warming up. I don’t know if the heat today was just beyond its capabilities or what, but either way the battery was hot. Maybe by using the level one charger for the past two years we never heated the battery up enough to trigger the warning.

A close up of our pixelated turtle friend. The red variety.

Apparently the “turtle” symbol is also color-coded, a fact I didn’t remember from reading the car’s manual years ago. When we started driving the turtle was red and after about 10 minutes it became a yellow turtle. My step-daughter was driving at the time (she had just gotten her learner’s permit!) and noted that her foot was pressing the accelerator down to the floor and the car was mildly accelerating. Fellow EV and Ford Focus EV drivers know that EVs accelerate much quicker and smoother than gas cars so this was a notable difference. It wasn’t a big deal, but I imagine if we needed to quickly move away from an impending accident or crash we might have a bad day.

So that’s it: a quick and easy post about my first encounter with the “you’re going to drive slow” turtle that is apparently color coded depending on how slow you’re actually going to be forced to drive. I was surprised because I had driven two years without seeing this, and while it isn’t a major problem, it sure was a new experience.

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