Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Advertised, expected, real world and your mileage may vary

Sorry for being silent so long. No excuses but I have been busy. Lately it's been busy driving. Early on Nissan was advertising the Leaf had a range of 100 miles in a single charge. When you looked at the sticker it said EPA rated 73 miles. When I test drove the Leaf the dealer demo was charged to 100% and the Guess-O-Meter showed 100+ miles of available range. I toodled around the neighborhood and a little on a nearby busy street and fell in love with it immediately.

On a second test drive I was shocked when the GOM quite rapidly dropped from 100 miles to 70 in a short 2-3 mile test on the interstate. I was so surprised I took it for a third test drive from the dealer to the office and back all on the interstate to be sure that I felt good about the range. I was still wet behind the ears with EV's and hadn't spent the same time on the forums that I have in the intervening 12 months.

First of all, yes 100 miles is possible. I spent the last 3 days on my fourth attempt to break the 100 mile mark. My previous three tries all ended around 90 miles with range to spare but needing more the next day than the available residual. With 13k miles showing on the dash there is surely some battery degradation and I wasn't charged fully to 100% but I was pretty close. I didn't touch the highway but there were some significant hills involved during the run. There were also some abandoned roads that were perfectly suited for 20 mph driving/neutral coasting. I also ended the trip with 6 miles to the kWh for the energy efficiency.

Number, number, blah, blah, blah...bottom line you won't get 100 miles running 70 mph on the interstate. The last 88 mile trip I registered did include a trip out to Independence and 30 minutes plugged into their charger. But overall I spent less than 20 miles of that trip on the interstate.

So really what does all this mean? EV's can and do work. I'm taking mine to Lake Perry in July which is a 60 mile one way trip. Real world use of a Leaf you can easily get 40 miles of comfortable charge preheating in the winter. You can easily get 60 miles of comfortable charge in the spring/summer/fall with or without A/C and these ranges are what you can expect after two, three, or possibly even four years of ownership. I'm not done trying to get more 100 mile single charge trips to see how many I can get. But at the same time it is nice to just get out and drive.

When you look at the maps of Kansas City and the charging infrastructure you are always near a plug if you need one. Fortunately we are getting better about not parking our gas cars at the EV charging stations so those of us who need to charge can. Best of all people are buying EV's. Recently the most popular model of EV I have seen has been the for C-Max Energi PHEV. Each month I see more and more EV's and that makes me smile.

Signing off for today
Try reading a book, it's a novel experience

No comments:

Post a Comment