Just to be clear, I didn’t do this because the system prompted me to. I’ve seen those system messages from others, I think it happens mostly to 13.4 kWh batteries, although I can’t say for sure. I also don’t have charging or balancing issues. My bike always reaches 100% on AC and on some DC charges Amp values jump a bit after 80% but never completely stops charging. I just did it because I saw a chance to do so getting home with only 4% battery left.
Before my personal low record would be 8% which is still over 10 km, more likely 20 km to be covered before running empty. I typically arrive with 30 to 40 % left after a 110 km highway commute. So getting here with 4% seemed like the perfect time to test what happens when you’re really out of battery. And I did learn a few things giving me some extra confidence.
Visually you have the battery icon bar on the bottom of you dash with a SOC percentage. That bar is green and turns yellow if you go below 30%, once you drop below 10% it goes red. All the time you also get a predicted range on the dashboard. And I have to say just the precision and the way that number is calculated on Energica is very impressive. If you ride it fast you see it drop, if you start riding slower you see it go up right away. You can really trust this number and adapt your riding to reach your destination.
The bike doesn’t have a proper GPS integration, despite having GPS reception build in. In most EV cars you get warnings and the system will prompt you to find the nearest charger to stop. Most EV cars with battery cooling and heating systems will even use your navigation to preheat a battery for optimal charging. On Energica you can get some arrows to the nearest chargers from a not so up to date dataset of chargers. This is done by a bluetooth connection with your phone. Cause the bike itself doesn’t have an Internet connection. This system doesn’t work very well as you can read in my review of that below. Anyway just to explain there is no real assistance in getting you to a nearby charger.
The first thing you’ll notice once you start riding with lower SOC values is a decrease in power output. My Energica SS9+ has a maximum output of 80 kW, or around 100 pk. As long as the battery is properly charged. I made a graph in the past showing how that output decreases as the SOC drops. This is done to protect the battery. A battery in a low state of charge doesn’t like to be pulled high amps from. If you go below 10% it eventually goes down to 16 kW and once you get to 2 or 1% it will show a system warning and reduce output to 8 kW.
That system warning is the first sign you really need to do something, other than the yellow and red battery bar at the bottom of the screen. It shows on half of the dash and you need to press the menu button for it to go away. Because of the limited output you can only ride it very slowly and ECO friendly. Again I’ll check my footage but I think it had a range of 4 km left at 2% and around 2km left at 1% battery.
Then the battery state of charge eventually goes to 0% and the range number on the dashboard changes from an actual number to “- – – km”. At this point the bike was still responding with 8 kW output just like it was doing for the last 4 km. I only had to run it 500 m downhill so I have no clue for how long you could do this. The watt hours left on the system reported 0. I didn’t stretch it cause for me just knowing that you can count on that range number up to the very last point is very comforting and takes all the range anxiety away (not that I had much of that).
At home I put it on my AC charger at max 3 kW charge speed right away and it reported a 5 h 25 m charge time. I didn’t check later that day how long it really took. If you do this yourself just don’t leave the battery empty. A battery doesn’t like this empty state and will degrade while you look at it. So best is to put it on a charger right away.