[Oeva-list] Leaf vs the Freeway

Alan Batie alan at batie.org
Thu Apr 14 15:09:45 PDT 2011

One of the multitude of papers I had to sign yesterday when picking up
the Leaf was a "disclosure", which included these range estimate examples:

Ideal conditions: 138 miles
  Speed: 38mph
  Temp: 68F
  Climate control: Off

Suburban, nice day: 105 miles
  Speed: 24mph
  Temp: 72F
  Climate control: Off

Highway, summer: 70 miles
  Speed: 55mph
  Temp: 95F
  Climate control: On

Cross-town, hot day: 68 miles
  Speed: 49mph
  Temp: 110F
  Climate control: On

Winter, stop-and-go: 62 miles
  Speed: 15mph
  Temp: 14F
  Climate control: On

The Highway estimate is particularly telling, and in line with what I
saw when I made a test run last night:  Corvallis to the freeway (10
miles @60mph), freeway to Albany (6 miles @70mph), Albany to Corvallis
on Hwy 20 (15 miles, 10 @ 55mph).  Plus about 8 miles of this and that
getting the car and juggling the old car for 38 miles when I plugged it
in at home, and it was at half charge.

The key part is the 6 miles @70mph on I-5 --- the range estimator was
dropping a mile for every 1/2 mile I travelled, whereas it was only
dropping slight faster than a mile per mile at 55-60 on Hwy 20.  At that
rate, I'd barely make Salem...

That range is noticeably reduced at freeway speeds isn't terribly
unexpected, but I was expecting the 70 mile range to be at 65, not 55,
with the 100 mile range being at slower speeds (as it is).  It makes me
pessimistic about the viability of the fast charge stations in enabling
cross-country travel, but this was one simple, crude, eyeball test.
I'll be doing more experiments, of course, to see how it goes.  I still
think it's a perfect metro area car, and I love driving it; it's just
going to make hash of my plans on driving it to Portland when the fast
chargers get installed...

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