WetEV
Posts: 1786
Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 8:25 am
Delivery Date: 16 Feb 2014
Location: Near Seattle, WA

To bail or not to bail, that can be an important question

Tue Apr 11, 2017 7:19 am

On longer legs of trips, I've always set up "bail plans" for what I do if things to wrong.

Yesterday, for the first time, I had to use one of these bail plans.

I was driving a trip I've done a bunch of times, about 66 miles, mixed slower and 55 mph speed limits, with rolling hills. Has always been a smooth trip, have never hit LBW even on a cold day. This time was different. Things went wrong. Biggest difference was (according to NWS) 20+ mph headwinds. Gusts to 35 mph. Next difference is the car has 30k miles and 3 years, and is down roughly 10% in capacity (262 GIDs at full charge, for the geeks, 60Ah, SOH=91%). Lastly, I departed with a 95% (dash) charge rather than 100% charge. Leafspy log gives 249 GIDs at departure, which is about 95 percent as well.

The car still has about a 70 mile range to Low Battery Warning (LBW) at 55 mph with current battery capacity. So this trip is a milk run most of the time, as only part is at 55 mph. And usually checking the dashboard miles per kWh and percentage charge before the turn for the DCQC is usually just a way to avoid boredom.

The first part is mixed 40mph, 45mph and 50mph, and I was driving slower than the speed limit, mostly near 40mph, as traffic was very light. Pulled over and let another car pass 3 times. This careful driving should have pushed my mileage above 5m/kWh. But instead it was 4.2m/kWh. I then started the middle section, all 55 mph speed limit and enough traffic to require I drive the speed limit, matching the other traffic. Dashboard m/kWh was dropping. A few miles before the bail point, I needed to average about 4.1 m/kWh for the rest of the trip according to Leafspy, to get home before Very Low Battery Warning (VLBW). So as I was approaching the turn for the first "bail point", it was looking like I would be getting home below VLBW. To make matters worse, we were getting intense but short bursts of rain. Rain and wet roads hurt mileage as well. Was looking very bad. So at about the half way point, I bailed. Went out of my way (about 7 miles extra) to get to a DCQC station.

As it turn out, DCQC was occupied, so we plugged into a L2, four stations, one car was already there. Were there for 50 minutes, and picked up about 5kWh. That was enough so even with the added distance we hit LBW a block away from home.

Somehow, it doesn't feel good. Yes, I made the right decision to bail, no question. The stop wasn't all wasted time, bathroom break and snack was requested before we stopped. Yes, the car can't do as well with headwinds, that's not a real problem, just physics. Yes, the car is getting older, this trip has less margin than it used to have, expected. Yes, a 100% charge would have been better at departure, my fault...And all this is understandable. But somehow doesn't feel right. Not sure why.

Perhaps it is because I've never had to change plans based on the Leaf before. I've taken this trip with less than idea weather before, and been able to get there by careful driving.

Perhaps it is because the car's range is less, when new this trip wouldn't have needed a charge stop. Yet the problem yesterday was mostly headwinds.

Perhaps I should have a plan for headwinds, with a different route and a planned charge stop. As the car gets older, I'll need to have a route with a planned charge stop anyways. Or take the spouses ICE.
WetEV
#49
Most everything around here is wet during the rainy season. And the rainy season is long.
2012 Leaf SL Red (Totaled)
2014 Leaf SL Red

BillHolz
Posts: 72
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2016 6:32 am
Delivery Date: 07 May 2016
Leaf Number: 322345
Location: Norfolk, VA

Re: To bail or not to bail, that can be an important question

Tue Apr 11, 2017 7:43 am

So, considering the head wind, you were driving a close to the limit of your range route at 60 to 90 MPH and starting out with 5% less charge. Throw in rain and wet roads and you don't make it without the extra charge at your bail point.

On the other hand, because you know your Leaf and have good information from LeafSpy and Plugshare, you know you can make the run and know when to evaluate the situation for a possible bail point and the Leaf is so much cheaper to drive than any ICEV.
2015 SV no QC

DaveinOlyWA
Posts: 12340
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:43 pm
Delivery Date: 10 Nov 2016
Leaf Number: 314199
Location: Olympia, WA
Contact: Website

Re: To bail or not to bail, that can be an important question

Tue Apr 11, 2017 8:32 am

Not sure "plan B" is supposed to feel good. Plan A is for that. Plan B is all about survival. You were successful. Be happy about that. Be happy that your "training" and knowledge did its job. Be happy that Plan C (recovery) was not needed.

As for me? I wouldn't have stopped. With LEAF Spy, I don't plan my trips to VLB. That's like giving back 2 kwh of my pack. LEAF Spy now has setting to range to ZERO SOC. I have always used Distance to one % mostly because that has always been an option and I am a creature of habit.

I actually had something similar happen to me on a scheduled 103 mile trip but realized that I was only going to get 95 miles of range and worse; didn't realize it until I had done over 50 miles of it. It was simply an unknown change in weather ( I would say unexpected but since I did not check the weather forecast, I cannot blame the weatherman... this time)
2011 SL; 44,598 miles. 2013 S; 44,840 miles.2016 S30 (build 10/2016)"low water marks" 27,000 miles.363GID Ahr 79.13Hx95.17%kwh28.1QCs238,L2's 251
My Blog; http://daveinolywa.blogspot.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

WetEV
Posts: 1786
Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 8:25 am
Delivery Date: 16 Feb 2014
Location: Near Seattle, WA

Re: To bail or not to bail, that can be an important question

Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:10 am

DaveinOlyWA wrote:Be happy that Plan C (recovery) was not needed.


Actually, I was on Plan C. Plan B was using the DCQC, Plan C was to use the L2 at the same location. And there was a Plan D, stop at an L2 closer to home, and less out of the way.


DaveinOlyWA wrote:As for me? I wouldn't have stopped. With LEAF Spy, I don't plan my trips to VLB. That's like giving back 2 kwh of my pack. LEAF Spy now has setting to range to ZERO SOC.


Even Leafspy is a Guess Oh Meter (GOM). There are limits to my trust of GOMs, even the one in my head. In this case, the bursts of rain increased the odds of not making it home. A sustained heavy rain would have made getting home without a stop unlikely. I do not want to take such risks. Clear and dry, or even steady light rain, might have not stopped. It is one thing to cut it close when you can compute how close you are cutting it. Different when unknowns are present.

I could have pushed on and re-evaluated at the turn for Plan D... However there is a single L2 at this location, hate to count on it even though it has been very reliable. And yes, there are other possible ways home, some of which are not planned out in advance.
WetEV
#49
Most everything around here is wet during the rainy season. And the rainy season is long.
2012 Leaf SL Red (Totaled)
2014 Leaf SL Red

LeftieBiker
Posts: 7402
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 31 May 2013
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: To bail or not to bail, that can be an important question

Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:21 am

So, considering the head wind, you were driving a close to the limit of your range route at 60 to 90 MPH and starting out with 5% less charge.


Eh?
2013 "Brilliant Silver" SV with Premium Package and no QC, and 2009 Vectrix VX-1 with 18 Leaf cells.

The most offensive, tasteless phrase in use here is "Pulled the trigger." I no longer respond to posts that use it.

sub3marathonman
Posts: 306
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:57 am
Delivery Date: 31 Mar 2012
Location: Bartow, FL

Re: To bail or not to bail, that can be an important question

Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:10 pm

LeftieBiker wrote: Eh?


You cannot say "Eh" unless you live on the OTHER side of the border!!! :lol:

GRA
Posts: 7584
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:49 pm
Location: East side of San Francisco Bay

Re: To bail or not to bail, that can be an important question

Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:15 pm

But what if he's already bought a tuque, and laid in a supply of back-bacon? ;)
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

ElectricEddy
Posts: 375
Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:42 pm
Delivery Date: 31 Oct 2016
Leaf Number: 313506
Location: Nanaimo, B.C.

Re: To bail or not to bail, that can be an important question

Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:57 pm

sub3marathonman wrote:
LeftieBiker wrote: Eh?


You cannot say "Eh" unless you live on the OTHER side of the border!!! :lol:

Couldn't resist "eh"... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5VTYDOSFIk
Pearl White Sl
mfd date 09/16

WetEV
Posts: 1786
Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 8:25 am
Delivery Date: 16 Feb 2014
Location: Near Seattle, WA

Re: To bail or not to bail, that can be an important question

Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:40 am

I have pulled up the Leafspy logs and reanalyzed this trip. Making the (probably correct) assumption that the weather stayed the same as it had been in the first half of the route, I would have run out of charge about 2 to 4 miles away from home, at best.

I just did this route again, and found I was slightly dreading the experience before I left. However, it was a joy ticking off the checkpoints, and I got home with 5.5kW. Doing the trip again made me understand that needing to bail to Plan B every once in a while is a good thing. What I've realized was that I had the unexamined and untrue belief that I could always make the trips that I've planned as planned. When that belief was challenged by the quickly dropping charge level in the battery, I felt bad. Grief, denial, and all that.

As George Orwell wrote:

"To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle. One thing that helps toward it is to keep a diary, or, at any rate, to keep some kind of record of one’s opinions about important events. Otherwise, when some particularly absurd belief is exploded by events, one may simply forget that one ever held it."

"(W)e are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right. Intellectually, it is possible to carry on this process for an indefinite time: the only check on it is that sooner or later a false belief bumps up against solid reality, usually on a battlefield."

Or on a roadway.
WetEV
#49
Most everything around here is wet during the rainy season. And the rainy season is long.
2012 Leaf SL Red (Totaled)
2014 Leaf SL Red

DaveinOlyWA
Posts: 12340
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:43 pm
Delivery Date: 10 Nov 2016
Leaf Number: 314199
Location: Olympia, WA
Contact: Website

Re: To bail or not to bail, that can be an important question

Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:00 am

WetEV wrote:I have pulled up the Leafspy logs and reanalyzed this trip. Making the (probably correct) assumption that the weather stayed the same as it had been in the first half of the route, I would have run out of charge about 2 to 4 miles away from home, at best.

I just did this route again, and found I was slightly dreading the experience before I left. However, it was a joy ticking off the checkpoints, and I got home with 5.5kW. Doing the trip again made me understand that needing to bail to Plan B every once in a while is a good thing. What I've realized was that I had the unexamined and untrue belief that I could always make the trips that I've planned as planned. When that belief was challenged by the quickly dropping charge level in the battery, I felt bad. Grief, denial, and all that.

As George Orwell wrote:

"To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle. One thing that helps toward it is to keep a diary, or, at any rate, to keep some kind of record of one’s opinions about important events. Otherwise, when some particularly absurd belief is exploded by events, one may simply forget that one ever held it."

"(W)e are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right. Intellectually, it is possible to carry on this process for an indefinite time: the only check on it is that sooner or later a false belief bumps up against solid reality, usually on a battlefield."

Or on a roadway.


Is this your way of saying even the best of Google Maps or Automated Driving still needs your help? ;)
2011 SL; 44,598 miles. 2013 S; 44,840 miles.2016 S30 (build 10/2016)"low water marks" 27,000 miles.363GID Ahr 79.13Hx95.17%kwh28.1QCs238,L2's 251
My Blog; http://daveinolywa.blogspot.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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