Trip Report - Skokie (North of Chicago) to Bloomington Indiana and back

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Well-known member
May 10, 2013
Chicago North Side
Quick trip report -Skokie Illinois to Bloomington Indiana.

Total Distance: 561 miles
Car: 2019 SV+ with tech and winter package. Stock tires and 17" alloy rims at 44psi

This is hardly notable anymore, but I always enjoy others' trip stories.

We headed out from Skokie in the afternoon. The plan was the fill up in Lafayette, about 150 miles from home. It usually 130 if you go through the city, but between traffic and the daily shootings on the Dan Ryan south of the city, we take the long way around now usually.. It was just shy of 50F. As Lafayette has only the single Chademo, I wanted to conserve enough power so that if for any reason Lafayette was down, I could limp the remaining 68 miles to the Indy Airport where there are 4 Chademos.

To prep the car, I double full charged it, pushing any many gids as I could into the pack (not a healthy practice) . Leaving SoH was 91.36%. I additionally ram a small space heater in the garage to give the pack a few extra degrees. Even though my garage is not heated, leaving pack temp was about 66F.

We ran the first 150 miles without heat. The sun provided just enough umph for the first 90 minutes to keep the car reasonably comfortable. The second 90 minutes started to get chilly as temps dropped I to the low to mid 30s as we reached Lafayette. Efficiency around around 294 was as always amazing. For EV drivers, 294 is kind of an efficiency paradise, as there are so many trucks and SUVs in both directions, you get very optimistic efficiency while on the circuit. We left the Chicago area at 4.7 miles/kWh. Once on the way south the average started dropping quickly. Hitting 3.9 as we pulled in for dinner (4.1 per Nissan Connect).

Thankfully the charger worked (big sigh of relief). As I have done trips with my kids before, this was the first trip of this length in the car with my wife too. We do many 200 (on a charge) trips with the car, but this was the first one requiring a myriad of charges. Once plugged in, I walked over to the Olive Garden for di. Er as it was already nearly 8pm. That first breadstick tasted good.

I walked back and picked up the car about an hour after I had plugged in. We arrived at 25% SoC (34% LS) and unplugged at 93%. More than enough for the 102 miles to go. After 3 hours of driving, I need the break, so in a sense the car was ready before I was, as we only needed about 70% do do the rest with buffer. Cost for 1 hour on the charger..$11. End battery temp 95F. (Up from about 72F)

The temps dropped as we made the final 2 hour trek. As I had plenty of Juice, we cranked the heat. Arrived with 3.4 miles/kWh efficiency, which given the speeds and heat, felt pretty reasonable. The heat pump helps alot, which I will come to on The way back.

We were in town for 2 nights. We just L1'ed at am outlet st the hotel both nights with some local driving the day while there.

Coming home we started with 75% SoC and the battery at 53F in spite of 25F ambient temps in the morning. I was meeting a friend in Indy on the way back, so first stop was the city.

Over the 58 miles, I averaged 3.2 miles/kWh. Here I made a mistake, not watching my LF. I had left the AC activated after warming and defrosting the car. When you leave the AC on, it keeps the resistive heater on. Wow, does that suck power. 25 minutes into the drive I realized my mistake as it was still pulling nearly 4kW..once I deactivated the AC, it stayed well under 1kW. A big ouch, but thankfully had plenty to get to Indy.

In Indy we charged for 35 minutes at one of the new BP station chargers in the city. Its a single ccs/Chademo unit, but free. Not sure how the business models for that, but not complaining.

After visiting, we left Indy with 66% charge with a 60 mile drive to Lafayette. We could of charged all the way up in Indy and done it in one go, but that's 4 hours, and unlikely that we wouldn't need a bathroom stop anyway. The weather was warmer now, and averaged 4.0 for the 60 miles.

In Lafayette again, at 35%, we charged and again thankfully it worked. A beautiful blue Rivian was there as we pulled in.

The Rivian was charging at about 114kW at 17% SoC.

After stretching, going to Walmart, hitting the washroom, and picking out some snacks, we got back in the car at 93%. Again we could have easily left 15 minutes earlier (charging time was around 50 minutes), but it's hard to get the 4 of us to move faster (both teenage daughters in tow). Battery temp 85F when leaving (2nd Chademo for the day). $9 for the charge.

We made the final 150 mile journey back a bit faster than the way out as traffic was lighter. Temps were in the mid 50s and sunny, so no heat needed. Efficiency of 4.2 for the leg (per Nissan connect; 4.1 per dash). Traffic was thick going north, and with construction, often we could only go 65-67mph. When we got to the bypass around Chicago, I punched it with sections above 70mph. I saw a Polestar 2 for the first time, and was trying to chase it. As speed limits were 55, I was nervous about sustaining anything above 75mph. Neat to see it on the road though. I have to say, I did enjoy using pro pilot for a solid 100 miles each way. Much more than I have on previous trips.

Thankfully every charger worked on the trip. The overshadow of charging uncertainty though was a detractor for my wife. She is now thinking we need a longer range EV or....cover those ears...a Phev., though I think it will partially depend on where my daughter goes to college. I have a friend who just ordered his Lucid. Well out of my price range, but maybe 500 mile range will be the eventual sweet spot.

561 miles and honestly as about a good of a trip as I could have asked for driving/charging.

Next trip will be in the S+ Chicago to Kansas. I can't wait, as I can route it all with multi Chademo stations now. I will try to make a dumb video for that one, as while Chademo may be going out of fashion, the availability has never been so good.

561 miles for $20! Not a bad deal at all.
I just bought my Leaf a few weeks ago but not for long trips. Maybe try one for the experience but that’s about it. If you watch YouTube Chademo is dead and the chargers are extremely unreliable. I’ll add this for what it’s worth. Around Southern California and Western Nevada between EVGo and ChargePoint, Chademo is alive and well and well served with stations to this day with even more stations being actively added. I’ll tell YouTube reviewers in general tarnish the reputations of more products and companies, and I’m not just talking about cars, that it’s to the point where they have zero credibility with me. I won’t even start to guess how many people have been steered away from the Leaf or Chevy Bolt by people with an agenda. Anyway, your report is excellent. Thank you!
It was cool seeing a Polestar 2 on the road. I found myself liking it more than when watching videos on it. It was this weird mix of class, clean look, and muscular stance.

My wife told me to turn off the testosterone when she saw I was pushing 80 in a 55 zone to keep up with it.