300KM Challenge Nissan Leaf 40kWh

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Oostenrijker

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 19, 2023
Messages
130
This 300KM Challenge is no joke: I left around 7 in the morning, departing to Givet France. On the way I crossed two borders, firstly the Belgium border and in the end the France border. Sadly I didn't have optimal weather conditions, which made things even harder. Because cars including EV's drive less efficiently when it rains. On the way back the temperature actually dropped from 20 degrees Celsius too as low as 14 degrees Celsius.

Leafspy 34.1kWh

I decided to pick this route, because I found it more interesting and it requires more hypermiling skills then when only driving flat land. Before departing I checked Leafspy, to see how much kWh is actually available. My Leaf has about 11% degradation, which makes this challenge more difficult. So it turns out fully charged my battery pack still has 34.1kWh left at 97% SoC as shown nu Leafspy. That's a little bit more than my dramatic experience with my previous high mileage Leaf, which had weak cells and drove me mental ( understatement). Lucky I don't experience any battery problems with my current 40kWh Leaf Tekna.

I'm going be honest, this whole challenge wouldn't be possible if EV's couldn't regenerate and gain back energy. Because I have gained back a lot of energy, basically extending my range greatly. Everytime when I had the chance gain back energy, I did so. Ofcourse that meant my journey was going be longer. That's why I left early in the morning. According too the Nissan EV app I consumed 37kWh during this 300km, but gained back 8.6kWh.

My strategy has been, to try to keep the average consumption around 10kWh/100km. Knowing I had 34kWh available, that would leave me some reserve. In the end I managed to get a average consumption of 10.2kWh/100km. However travel time was a whooping 8 hours! With an average speed of 37km/h, one can probably understand why I didn't wanna take my family. Too be honest it was quite tiring, and it won't be something I will be doing a second time.

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In the end I still had 2% dash SoC left.

On the way back, GoM kept reporting about 1 too 3 km lesser range then what my navigation was showing: if I was driving on the highway, no way I would have managed to get GoM show 12km more than what the navigation was showing. That's the main issue with EV's including the Nissan Leaf: they tend to be extremely energy efficient within the city, but are less efficient at highway speeds.

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GoM was showing me 277km, but I still managed to drive 300km despite GoM saying 277km of range. It's the hypermiling, in which I beated the GoM.

To my opinion the GoM is either too conservative or too optimistic. Especially when fully charged, the GoM is very optimistic: on time it showed me 302km of range. And yes while I have proven it totally possible! It isn't easy with an 5 year old 40kWh Leaf. Because as I mentioned, my battery pack has 11% battery degradation. So without the degradation this Leaf would have between 37kWh and 39kWh available in optimal conditions. One can compensate this with higher tire pressure, but personally I wouldn't recommend putting your tires at 3.5bar. I keep them between 2.9bar and 3.3bar, and I think that's the sweet spot for efficiently driving and still comfortable. Although I advise taking speed bumps slower.

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I took some photos and screenshots, of my journey: which I hope you guys would like. What makes these trips so fun, is that you always get to see some WW2 history. So I can highly recommend a visit to the french speaking part of Belgium, they have a lot of nice cities. Only it's a charger dessert and the state of the roads is sometimes very bad, but the Belgium people don't seem to care.

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So if I didn't make it, that actually would have been a big problem. There are almost no chargers at the route that I drove today, but that's why I first verified if this theoretically was possible. But still: it's no easy task, I'm sure Bjorn Nyland can't manage this challenge. As he tends to speed and use his passport to cover the speedometer. But if you like a challenge? Then go for it?

Lessons I learned about mine Leaf from this challenge

There are also lessons I learned from this journey: I learned how many km's the hidden reserve range is, its easy to calculate once you know how many kWh your battery pack has at fully charged. Mine had 34.1kWh as I mentioned, when I divide this number by 97% then I can roughly calculate how much would be left at --% in my case that would be 3.5kWh.

If you know your average consumption, then its easy to roughly calculate the remaining range when reaching --% so with an average consumption of 10kWh/100km I actually would have still been able to drive 40km. That's why I would always reset the autocomputer before starting a long journey, in this way you actually don't need Leafspy during driving.

Another thing I learned: if one would be able to get an average of 9kWh/100km, then 350km would be achievable. But one would need optimal weather conditions, not to hot not to cold. Only city driving, no speeds above 50km/h etc. So I'm not going do a 350km challenge....

And also: once your average speed drops below 50km/h, then the extra time spend driving is higher than the extra charging time. At 6.6kW with my average of 11.3kWh/100km I would gain 50km extra range, so the most efficient is still sticking behind a big truck at 85km/h at flat roads. But one would still have a slightly higher average consumption, but timewise it's better to do 11kWh/100km at a higher average speed. Then doing 10kWh/100km at a very low average speed. That lower average speed, is due to the regenerating I did whenever going down. I tried to gain back as much as possible, by sometimes even letting go of the padel.

When one would go uphill, the trick is not to drive to fast. In general that's always my strategy, when I drive on hilly highways like in Germany. Downhill try to gain back some energy, but build up some speed at the last part of the downhill to build up some momentum to get uphill without using to much energy. And don't use B mode so much, but try to anticipate and let go of pedal on time so that you can still cruise a bit. That's also why driving with E-Pedal isn't the most efficient, as it will apply maximum regeneration. You never gain back what you used, that's why slightly regenerating while still driving. Is better than slowing down to much.
 
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