I read some messages about people warning for extra battery heat created by using regen. Apart from high regen levels often not being the best choice for range I was triggered to find out if this is true or not. So I went riding on my Energise SS9 plus electric motorcycle with a phone mounted showing battery temperature.
I started from my garage where ambient temperature was around 15 °C. Outside temperature was more like 5° C. The dash showed 8, eventually 9 °C, but is known to be very optimistic. Checking in the weather app for my location showed it was “expected to be” 6 °C. Battery temperature reported at start was 14/15 °C. That is lowest and highest value reported by the system.
Anyway I had a ride of around 50 km to do with mostly 90 kph (some 70) roads with frequent stops for intersections and roundabouts. I rode the first 15 minutes like I normally do, except with regen completely OFF. I typically use regen level 1 all the time. I was planning on riding until the temperature would stabilise… but in those 15 minutes it didn’t change, like not at all.
So I considered that the baseline values for a no regen situation and triggered the SET button to change regen level to 3. On Energica motorcycles you can change regen from 0 (OFF) to level 3 at any time using the menu on the bike. No app or ride mode creation needed.
Another 15 minutes later, including some extra regen slow downs where traffic allowed, I was about to report that it had no effect at all. But just when I was recording the lowest value jumped one degree. So I now was riding around with 15/15 °C. And a bit later the higher value also jumped resulting in 15/16 °C.
I continued my route to work and after 45 minutes (15 with no regen, 30 with regen level 3) it had settled at 16/17 °C. That is barely any difference. The heat might as well be generated by just riding instead of the regen at this point. After all I kept an eye on the maximum regen level and it never reported more than -19 kW (or 19 kW back into the battery).
That is not even half of the maximum value I saw flowing the other way, which was 40 kW from time to time. Note that this is in cold and misty conditions and I was riding in Urban mode, not sport mode. On my specific Energica model the maximum output is 80 kW. For other models like the Ribelle and Ego it is 107 or even up to 126 kW.
Something else I noticed on the first 15 minutes is that it never reported a negative kW number having regen level set to OFF. So it’s safe to say that on Energica regen OFF is really OFF. I also really don’t like riding that way as I had to operate the brakes a lot to slow down. More so than on my boxer and triple engines I used to ride.
My bike is on firmware version 41, I do remember at some point that the maximum regen was reduced after a firmware update at my dealer. Not something I care about since I’m on level 1 most of the time anyway. Still it might explain why others do see more influence on battery temperature.
I will be riding back on a more twisty road just to verify these findings but for now it seems like regen doesn’t affect battery temperature that much. It does have a big influence on range in my experience though, and not in the sense most people think. But that’s for another time.
Update; rode back on twisty roads with lots of regen braking just before corners. Started with 16/17 °C battery temperature and after 50 minutes of riding… still 16/17.