Well I took my road trip this past weekend and learned so much about the range of my 2015 Leaf "S" and also had one terrifying moment that ended up fine. So here's a description of my experiences ... Lots of learning and discoveries here for newbies ...
1. It took me a long time initially to figure out what charging stations I wanted to visit along the way betweek Cleveland, Ohio and Columbus, Ohio - about a distance of 125 miles. At the beginning, I was cautious so I started with about 50% charge and headed to a Nissan Dealer (In Medina, Ohio) about 18 miles away to pick up a full charge. The dealer was nice and let me charge there as there was one free spot (of two). They didn't ask for payment and there were no signs so I assumed it was free. Charging took quite a while - probably about 2-1/2 hrs. When fully charged, I headed to the midpoint of my journey, another Nissan Dealer in Mansfield, Ohio.
I drove 55 miles almost exclusively on the freeway and I used 75% of charge (25% was remaining) by the time I arrived at the Mansfield Nissan Dealer. It was pretty late by the time I arrived so this dealer was closed. I was disappointed to see that the charging station was being used but it appeared that Nissan was charging one of their own vehicles because that had those papers on the window telling about the car's specs. So I decided to remove the charger from their vehicle to charge mine with full intentions to put it back when i was finished. I even left a courtesy voice mail to the dealer letting them know what I was doing. I even left my phone number. I charged there for a few hours and then headed the rest of the way.
2. My remaining leg to Columbus took me from the Medina Nissan to Tangier in Columbus - A distance of about 44 miles. However, I never got there. Here's where things got scary. It was dark outside by the time I exited the freeway and with only about 15% charge left, I ended up going back on the freeway rather than turning Left onto a main road. I began to get so nervous because there were no exits coming up for what seemed like a long while. Finally found an exit and got off with about 8% battery left. I was in Columbus by now so I knew there would be a lot of charging stations here. But because I wasn't familiar with the area and didn't want to chance getting lost, I called my brother (Who I was visiting) to come and drive me to a charging station which he found at a IKEA store just a few miles (or less) away. So we got there OK but it was my first case of range anxiety. I arrived at my destination successfully - Yay !
3. For the trip back to Cleveland the next day, I decided to try an experiment. For the trip back, I decided to take the side screets and not the freeway and ended up having a much better experience.
I started with 100% charge at IKEA of Columbus. By the time I arrived at Nissan of Mansfield a distance of 56.8 miles, I still had 39% of charge left. At Nissan of Mansfield, I charged to 100% in probably 1-1/2 hrs. Then continued on my journey to Nissan of Medina.
4. When I arrived at Nissan of Medina, I noticed I didn't record my power level but I recall I probably had about 40% charge left at least. And this was good because both charging stations at the Medina Nissan were being used. I was only about 20 miles from home at this point so I felt confident that I could make it home with 40% of charge remaining. But rathe r than going home, I decided to go a little further and stop near a Walmart with a quickcharger near my home and charged up to 82 %. Then went home.
So here's what I learned on my trip -
1. I definitely got much better mileage per charge by taking back roads than by taking the freeway. The difference was quite amazing, actually. This means that I will probably always take back roads to Columbus when visiting my brother from now on. This does add about an hour to the total drive but in my opinion, the drive is more relaxing and scenic.
2. The next time I travel, I'll leave early in the morning so as to arrive well before sunset. Now that I know which power stations are available and reliable, this should be possible.
3. I feel quite confident that I will be able to make it from my home to my brother's home with only one charge at the Mansfield Nissan but only if taking the back roads and not the freeway. Cleveland to my brother's house is about 125 miles and I discovered that when taking the back roads, I actually get at least 80 miles on a charge with a 2015 Leaf model "S" with all 12 bars remaining. This is likely not possible if taking the freeway. I do want to note that it was a nice but cool day so I didn't use either my heater or my air conditioner during my entire trip coming or going.
4. I learned on this forum to monitor (and trust) the % charge display more than the miles remaining display. So coming and going, I monitored the % charge display. Plus, I don't think the time to full charge display is that accurate. I think the charging time was actually less. I don't think I spent as much time at the Nissan Dealers as the display said I would.