Skokie IL to Lawrence KS and back road trip report

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^^ I didn't know the LEAF could rapid-gate at those temperatures. :lol:

You averaged ~ 35 mph. I think that was around the average speed I have read about in other warm weather but long LEAF trips. I suppose it makes sense --- what you gain in charging speed, you lose in increased consumption.

Thanks for the nice, descriptive report. Too bad the performance is so lacklustre.

I put your trip into ABRP using a Tesla Model Y LR, and I'm pretty sure, current local driving conditions**. It came back as 9 hours of driving and 1 hour of charging to travel 572 miles.

** 83% SoC use to travel 187 miles for the first leg :lol:
Yeah, this trip was miserable. 38 mph by my calculation and specific end points...but pretty horrible none the less

With the light wheels and eco tires my average was about 46-47mph...which feels better mentally because we could drive 70-75mph vs. 65 and have many fewer stops.

One surprise was that the pack cooling was pretty similar to the more efficient car/tires. I thought the additional power load would keep the battery from cooling. The bottom of the pack cooled very well, and was generally in the mid to upper 80s by the next stop. If the top of the pack even cooled a bit faster, it would improve the 3rd and successive charges.

I think I could touch 50mph avg. if it was just my son and myself as we could run with lower margins in the pack than when I have my wife in the car. A few new Iowa stations have appeared allowing for better charge spacing. I would need clean charging stops and ideal temps/weather though. A perfect run of sorts. But that is approaching theoretical on what a Plus could do.

A small chance we could caravan the Leafs this summer to move her home, but guessing my idea will get shot down.
DougWantsALeaf said:
but guessing my idea will get shot down.

Just be sure you are a good distance from your wife when you broach the topic. I expect flying furniture.

By the way, I took our Bolt out for a 150 mile trip yesterday in 37F, wet road conditions. Most of the driving was 63 - 65 mph highway. Pre-heating the car resulted in 5% of total energy going to cabin heating (no heated steering or heated seats). Better than anticipated. But overall consumption was a mediocre 3.5 miles/kWh.

Such is winter

Thanks for the report. We are not currently needing a car, but if we did, I would certainly look at the EUV/Bolt given the superb pricing and range.

How do you feel the ride quality/comfort is with the Bolt vs. Leaf? When we test drove the Bolt in early 2018, we didn't feel like it was as nice. I have heard it has improved though.
DougWantsALeaf said:
How do you feel the ride quality/comfort is with the Bolt vs. Leaf? When we test drove the Bolt in early 2018, we didn't feel like it was as nice. I have heard it has improved though.

This is a huge ymmv.

I never took the LEAF on trips over an hour so I have no basis for comparison.
Regarding the Bolt, I like the seats when I sit down but e.g. after the 150 mile drive my butt was getting numb. My back is in poor shape so this is not the seats per se, but MY posture in the seat. My wife said she was OK.

My most fervent advice to you is to ignore what anybody else says. Some people will be fine, some will complain bitterly. You have to find out for yourself.

One thing I have learned to not appreciate is the steering on new CC2 tyres. It is a little wobbly for my preferences, and all the more obvious compared to a Tesla. Once again though, my wife has no complaints. I don't mean to suggest that the car will not stay in its lane, but rather that it takes some attention. This is not a car that 'drives on rails.'

Just as the LEAF is a 'value' car with trade-offs, so is the Bolt. I pigeon hole it as an OK car, a darn good EV for daily driving tasks, and an outstanding value. My wife thinks it is the best car ever. But that is because she judges cars in 3 ways: Is it a high-riding hatchback, can she park it, and was it relatively inexpensive. I think a long trip would average 45 kW charging so long as you can stay away from high SoC charges. That would imply interval hops of about 100 - 130 miles once you deplete the start-of-day charge.
Thanks Sage.

That kind of confirms my thoughts that the Bolt would be an incremental improvement for my longer treks.

A Bolt that could charge at 80KW+ would be very attractive. I find it curious that GM limits the charging rate so much 5+ years on with the car.
DougWantsALeaf said:
I find it curious that GM limits the charging rate so much 5+ years on with the car.
You, and another couple million people ;)

Part of the story is that the battery thermal control is a bit feeble. Good for its current design but strained at higher charge rates. I think that the main story is that the Bolt 'value placement' in the market means that GM has pretty much invested all it wants to in the car tech, and is now sucking every dollar it can out of its investment. A major redesign of the battery pack is just not going to happen.

In that the Bolt and the LEAF are similar. They both got a cosmetic do-over to appeal to a wider audience (2018+ LEAF; Bolt -> EUV) but the main drivetrain tech has changed very, very little. Not at all in the Bolt, and only a slightly better motor in the LEAF

In other news, GM has cancelled one of its much ballyhooed battery factory partnerships with LG. The scuttlebutt is that GM is second-guessing its earlier decision to base its EV future on pouch cells and is now leaning towards the Tesla invented 4680 cylindrical cell (though I presume not Tesla manufactured.) Ever since the spate of LG battery pack fires the writing has been on the wall: LG is going to have to re-invent its cell technology to remain competitive in safety and manufacturing efficiency.

GM hitched its cart to the wrong horse, and it now has much bigger problems than thinking about Bolt.2
Well not will come as no surprise to this group that running fans in the reach battery hatch to push air over the battery did basically nothing. That said there is 0 natural air flow over the battery, even when driving.

I found it surprising that the top cover to the traction battery was only just modestly warm at 9 and 10 battery segments even though it's metal.

I think short of a little liquid nitrogen there is little hope of improving the thermodynamics of the Leaf....beyond just reducing the pull (or push) on the battery.
Could you check to see if there is a path for air from the rear of the car forward to the pack? If so, that would leave the option of using cold air blown in through the rear to cool it.
Leftie, I love you are giving me hope. Will see if I can see into it from the rear. The battery hatch was such a convenient hope because it was a 10 minute job to set up.

Not related, with the crossclimate2s and mid 70s weather I was able to get 3.6-3.8 miles/kWh which is better than than 3.1 I January, but pretty far off the low to mid 4s with the Ecopias. These are on the stock 16" rims.