Last weekend I did a range test slash back-country ride on the VX-1. I decided to cruise unhurriedly to a campground on the Battenkill River (really just a stream) where my family used to go in the Summer. It was about 29 miles there, and maybe a bit longer for the ride home, so since I had guesstimated the bike's range at 60 miles before I had to start using the "invisible reserve" resulting from the pack being larger (about 60AH) than the bike "thought" (40AH), I arranged for a return trip partial recharge, just in case. There was only one non-Tesla location on PlugShare in the area, but it turned out to be right on my route, so after making arrangements I stopped on the way out to meet Sean, who has both a J-1772 station and 120 volt outlet available, and show him the bike.
I was running a little late by then, though: I had planned to leave at about 5:00pm, and when the charge indicator showed a full 17 bars at 4:00Pm, I thought I was on track - about an hour for equalizing seemed right. By 5:30PM, though, the bike was still doing the EQ, albeit with a charge rate that had tapered to 300 watts, with the voltage at 142-143, alternating back and forth. I gave it until 5:45Pm, and with the charger running at only 200 watts, I figured I was close enough to full. I took the scenic, lower-consumption route around the ridge that runs near my house, and when I reached Sean's place, about 10 miles from home, I was still seeing 15 bars. We talked for about ten minutes, he admired the bike, and I was on my way again, telling him I'd stop on the way back if needed.
I took it fairly easy on the ride out, avoiding getting up to 55MPH on the few stretches where that was the legal limit, instead waving cars around me and staying at 40-50MPH, mostly. There are quite a few smaller hills on Route 67 here, though, so it was a fair test of gentle country road riding range. I was at 9 bars when I passed the campground, but I wanted to ride just a couple of miles farther on, to visit the covered bridge where we used to swim and fish. The spot was just as I remembered it, but it was also crowded with young people, so I only stayed a few minutes, then headed back to the campground.
I knew the place had RV hookups, with water and power at quite a few sites, so I was hopeful that I could rent a site and then use it for just a couple of hours, so I could recharge there, by the river, instead of in Sean's driveway.
The campground is under new ownership, a nice enough woman and her very nice daughter. I was told I could get a "day pass" for a site for $15, and to enjoy myself. I bought the pass, and gave her $20. (Money is finally not a big issue for me, these days.) The dirt road to the river was the same, long and very dusty, but I got though without another vehicle "dusting" me. I had been told to pick any empty site, so I chose one near the river, albeit not actually on the bank. I had had the foresight to bring along the NEMA TT-30 (120 volts, 30 amps, triangular prong pattern) to NEMA 5-15/20 household plug adapter I picked up a while back for my Leaf, and while the site's power box had a standard 120 volt GFCI adapter, it was "upside down" as is now the fashion, to make it easier to get the ground prong in when it's dark. That would have worked OK, but I used the adapter, instead, and it worked like a charm. The bike started charging, and I hiked to the bathroom (much nicer than when I was a teenager) and then settled down on a rock shelf on the river bank to relax.
I had planned to stay until actual night fell, but we've been having slightly unusual Summer weather this year: fairly warm temps (~85F) but with very low humidity, and like the previous night the temperature started to drop quickly as the sun reached the horizon. I decided to leave at 8:00pm, only an hour or so after arriving. I added a turtleneck shirt under my jacket, thought it over a moment, then also donned the light open-face balaclava I had thought to bring. The bike, meanwhile, had charged from either 8 or 9 bars to 10 or eleven - I figured it had added about 1.5 actual bars to the charge, and since there would be an elevation drop on the ride home, I felt that this was enough. I didn't take it as easy on the bike on the ride home, riding at 55MPH where it was allowed, and 45 for most of the rest of the route. It was just reaching full dark outside as I arrived home. I wanted to "even out" the trip odometer, so I rode a few extra blocks after having taken a side trip to a cemetery on my way back. I arrived home with 67 miles on the trip meter, and exactly two bars showing on the charge gauge - the third one dropped about 100 feet from my house. I wasn't sure if I should charge immediately or not; I ended up letting it cool for about 90 minutes in my garage, and then later charged it only to 5 bars / 139 volts, leaving it to cool off fully afterwards. I recharged to 15 bars the day after that. The bike performed flawlessly (possibly excepting the annoying chirping noise under load from the rear) and since I added slightly less charge than was left showing on the gauge when I arrived, I figure I can ride for 70 miles on back roads, and probably 60 miles with more highway riding included. It was a good ride!
2013 "Brilliant Silver" SV with Premium and no QC, a 2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, and 3 EZIP E-bicycles.
PLEASE don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.