davidgpedersen
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Location: Louisville, CO

Louisville, CO to RMNP, Round Trip

Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:45 am

On Saturday, I drove my 2013 Leaf S up to Rocky Mountain National Park for a day of fly fishing. Posting here to let you know it can be done, and pretty easily. The elevation difference is appx. 2800 ft (Louisville is 5335' and Moraine Park where I fished is 8150'.)

I left Louisville early on Saturday morning and did a quick top-off at Boulder Nissan. I was at 100% charge when I left home and 96% charge when I arrived at Boulder Nissan. Within about 45 minutes, I was back at 100% charge.

I made it to the Safeway in Estes Park with 51% charge remaining, thanks to some careful driving on the way up. I got some coffee at the Starbucks there and headed on into Rocky Mountain National Park. I arrived at my fishing spot with 41% charge remaining.

I fished from about 8:30 am to about 3:00 pm. Caught 9 trout.

I headed back home without a recharge. At the top of the grade coming out of Estes Park, I had 27% charge remaining. At Lyons, I was at 36% charge (it only charged up about 9% on the way down the mountain). I coasted in eco mode, rather than braking, as much as I could. I've only had my Leaf for about 5 weeks, so I have a lot to learn about the best way to do these things. As I came through Boulder and past the Nissan dealer, I had 19% charge remaining, so I didn’t stop. As I headed down South Boulder Road toward home, it was clear I was going to make it home, so I turned the AC on. Outside temp was 87, so it was nice to have the ac on.

I arrived at home with 9% charge remaining and 9 miles left on the range guestimator. My total miles from Boulder Nissan, up to RMNP and then back home to Louisville was 101 miles on one charge. I might’ve made the complete trip from Louisville up and back on one charge, but it would've been scary close as I was coming home.

I drove with a pretty light accelerator foot, in normal drive mode going uphill and in eco mode going downhill.

I knew of a couple places to charge up with my level 1 charger in Estes Park, even though I chose not to. There are currently no level 2 chargers up there, but the city has plans to put some in, which will make this trip much easier in the future.

If you're pondering such a trip and wondering if it is doable, go for it. It is doable. Enjoy!

Dave
My boys named our Leaf The Tardis (from Dr. Who), as it transports them through time and space and seems roomier on the inside than it looks on the outside. 2013 Model S, slate grey.

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ampitupco
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Re: Louisville, CO to RMNP, Round Trip

Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:54 am

Thanks for this! Perhaps Boulder Nissan will get a QC and then all of us from a little farther down the road in Denver can do this sort of thing without having to wait so long to charge.
ampitupco
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dsiravo
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Re: Louisville, CO to RMNP, Round Trip

Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:15 am

Thanks for the post pioneers like you help build confidence. I am excited to
Try this trip. I know there is regen going down hill but still working on trusting
The technology.
Don Siravo
Driving Blue Leaf SV as of April 2013

VictorV
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Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2013 9:35 pm
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Re: Louisville, CO to RMNP, Round Trip

Sun Sep 01, 2013 9:44 pm

A much simpler trip. For half a year I wanted to see if using leaf to go skiing in Eldora, without worrying too much about state of charge, remaining miles, hard or soft acceleration, heater and ac, is possible.

Today I drove the leaf from boulder to Eldora with all the accessories on. I left boulder with 11 bars (so, not even fully charged), arrived in Eldora with 4 bars. Drove back to boulder, had 5 bars when pulled into the garage.

Verdict: easy.

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ampitupco
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Re: Louisville, CO to RMNP, Round Trip

Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:47 am

VictorV wrote:A much simpler trip. For half a year I wanted to see if using leaf to go skiing in Eldora, without worrying too much about state of charge, remaining miles, hard or soft acceleration, heater and ac, is possible.

Today I drove the leaf from boulder to Eldora with all the accessories on. I left boulder with 11 bars (so, not even fully charged), arrived in Eldora with 4 bars. Drove back to boulder, had 5 bars when pulled into the garage.

Verdict: easy.


Try it when it's 20 degrees F.
ampitupco
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dgpcolorado
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Re: Louisville, CO to RMNP, Round Trip

Mon Sep 02, 2013 12:06 pm

^ Boulder to Eldora should still be doable at 20ºF, or even 0ºF (it gets cold at Eldora), assuming that the road isn't snowpacked. The grade is steady, no up and down at all. The speeds up Boulder Canyon shouldn't be too high, as always: slower is better for range. And if it doesn't work out one can turn around at LBW ("Low Battery Warning") and head back home. I've done a much more challenging winter trip.
Image

Some numbers from Tony Williams' range chart:

21 miles @ 45 mph: 21.4 miles/5.2 miles/kWh = 4.1 kWh (I'm guessing that some of the speeds will be lower than that)
Elevation gain: 4000 feet x 1.5 kWh/1000 feet = 6 kWh
Temperature correction for 0ºF = 17.5%
Altitude correction for 5300 feet = -8% (that's just at the starting point, the average altitude is more like 7300 feet or -11%)
Net correction: 17.5% - 8% = 9.5%

Total estimated energy: 4.1 kWh + (4.1 kWh x .095) + 6 kWh = 4.1 kWh + 0.39 kWh + 6 kWh = ~10.5 kWh

That leaves plenty of extra battery for heating, although if dressed for downhill skiing it won't likely be necessary on the way up IME. The return trip, even if at LBW, would be very easy due to going downhill the entire way and regen (although regen will be limited in very cold weather). Been there, done that.

Yes, this trip can be done with some confidence IMO. Doing it from Louisville, Lafayette, or Longmont would be more difficult unless one was willing to take the time to charge in Boulder.


For the record: I lived in Boulder for more than fourteen years and have skied at Eldora many times, so I am familiar with the trip.
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GREENEV
Posts: 142
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Leaf Number: 17351
Location: Denver, CO

Re: Louisville, CO to RMNP, Round Trip

Sun Sep 08, 2013 5:11 pm

I'm a little confused that it took 45 minutes to go from 96% to 100% charge at Boulder Nissan?







davidgpedersen wrote:On Saturday, I drove my 2013 Leaf S up to Rocky Mountain National Park for a day of fly fishing. Posting here to let you know it can be done, and pretty easily. The elevation difference is appx. 2800 ft (Louisville is 5335' and Moraine Park where I fished is 8150'.)

I left Louisville early on Saturday morning and did a quick top-off at Boulder Nissan. I was at 100% charge when I left home and 96% charge when I arrived at Boulder Nissan. Within about 45 minutes, I was back at 100% charge.

I made it to the Safeway in Estes Park with 51% charge remaining, thanks to some careful driving on the way up. I got some coffee at the Starbucks there and headed on into Rocky Mountain National Park. I arrived at my fishing spot with 41% charge remaining.

I fished from about 8:30 am to about 3:00 pm. Caught 9 trout.

I headed back home without a recharge. At the top of the grade coming out of Estes Park, I had 27% charge remaining. At Lyons, I was at 36% charge (it only charged up about 9% on the way down the mountain). I coasted in eco mode, rather than braking, as much as I could. I've only had my Leaf for about 5 weeks, so I have a lot to learn about the best way to do these things. As I came through Boulder and past the Nissan dealer, I had 19% charge remaining, so I didn’t stop. As I headed down South Boulder Road toward home, it was clear I was going to make it home, so I turned the AC on. Outside temp was 87, so it was nice to have the ac on.

I arrived at home with 9% charge remaining and 9 miles left on the range guestimator. My total miles from Boulder Nissan, up to RMNP and then back home to Louisville was 101 miles on one charge. I might’ve made the complete trip from Louisville up and back on one charge, but it would've been scary close as I was coming home.

I drove with a pretty light accelerator foot, in normal drive mode going uphill and in eco mode going downhill.

I knew of a couple places to charge up with my level 1 charger in Estes Park, even though I chose not to. There are currently no level 2 chargers up there, but the city has plans to put some in, which will make this trip much easier in the future.

If you're pondering such a trip and wondering if it is doable, go for it. It is doable. Enjoy!

Dave
2012 LEAF: Glacier Pearl SL
Delivered 1-14-12
20,000 Miles as of 9/2014
26,000 Miles as of 8/2015

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dgpcolorado
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Re: Louisville, CO to RMNP, Round Trip

Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:14 am

GREENEV wrote:I'm a little confused that it took 45 minutes to go from 96% to 100% charge at Boulder Nissan?
The 2013 models have been reported to taper the charge near 100% more than the 2012 models. That final bit of charge when charging to 100% takes much longer on the 2013s.
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manitou820
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:51 am
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Re: Louisville, CO to RMNP, Round Trip

Mon Oct 14, 2013 12:01 pm

I had a similar trip into the mountains this weekend. My first long trip with our Leaf. I had two adults, two kids, large dog and hiking gear in the car. We drove from Manitou Springs to the trail head for the Craggs outside of Divide. We climbed from 6,400ft at home to 10,150ft at the trail with the last 3.5mi and 900ft of climbing on a dirt road. 74mi round trip.

The battery went from 100% at the beginning, to 71% in Woodland park, to 53% in Divide, to 41% at the trail head. We hiked for three hours and then drove home. By the time we got back to Manitou Springs our battery was at 38%. On the return trip it varied from 34% to 46% depending on the hills/descents we just drove through. I drove the speed limit most of the way (55-60mph for the majority) to save as much battery as possible.

I was a little nervous before heading out because of the elevation gain and the lack of cell service around the trail. But we were pretty surprised at how well the Leaf performed.

Hardbeans
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Re: Louisville, CO to RMNP, Round Trip

Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:41 pm

Appreciate the detailed info. Someone is obviously an engineer or lab rat =) We just picked up a 2013 leaf SV with 19k on it for 11.5k. I feel like a bandit. And the good news for us in Lafayette is, Boulder Nissan does in-fact now have a level 3 charger. So, those Eldora trips should be fairly uneventful. My only thought thus far really has been, will the rims for winter tires have to be specific for a leaf, with all the regenerative breaking mechanisms lurking about?

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