Just finished a 2 day run to / from Iowa (from Chicago north side). I took my son on a tour of Iowa and Iowa state.
We did the run to Iowa City from Chicago in one shot. Dash said 4.3 miles /kWh though ev connect said 4.4 for the 223 miles. We did well on the the first stretch between 55 and 60 around Chicago at 4.5 m/kWh. Then as we headed west leaving the burbs efficiency dropped. Not sure if we had head winds, but even at 55-57mph average efficiency slowly dropped to 4.1 over the next 60 or so miles. I started to get a bit nervous as 4 miles/kEh was the mark. I wanted to be sure to stay above for make it to Iowa City. As we got to the west of the state somehow things got better and with a bit more traffic enjoyed some efficiency driving in a pack of cars. Between the west side of IL and Iowa city, my speed picked up to 63-65 and efficiency went up to 4.2 then 4.3, adding back that buffer. Pulled into a level 2 at 10% and 29 miles on the GOM.
We charged during the tour and left at 82% for Ames. This section was 128 miles. With the large rolling hills in central Iowa, efficiency suffered (it was hot, so was running AC as well).
4.2 m/kWh average. Speeds of 55-65 mph. Pulled in with 26%
In Ames, we tricked charged overnight at the hotel, then left the car in the morning at one of the very few Level 2 Chargepoint stations in town during the tour of Iowa state.
We left Iowa State with nearly a full charge (blazing hot in the 90s) and drove wistfully to the Williamsburg EA Chademo. Even through it was only 97 miles, between ac and faster speeds, I thought that that this was the one section I would not have to sweat efficiency, we arrived at in the mid 50s. I had seen on PlugShare that another leaf had had problems a few days before, but was crossing fingers it was resolved. Sure enough, it couldn’t initiate a charge. EA gave me a free session for my troubles.
The original plan was to make a careful 250 mile trek back from there in one shot. As plan A was toast, we stopped for 30 minutes at the chargers outside Iowa city at the ACT headquarters, 27 miles from Williamsburg. We had 4.9 efficiency for that part, all highway. They have 3 strong clipper creek chargers. We added the range (from 46 to 53%) as it was 80 miles the plan B Chademo at Geneseo IL. In spite of heavy rain, we made the 80 mile drive at an efficiency of 4.5 and 17% left on the dash. It was enough to go back to Davenport if plan B failed.
Plan B worked, we gave a sigh of relief, and left it charge for an hour while we had dinner. The Chademo charged at 53KW which was great. Somewhere between 80 and 90 the rate dropped to 20KW/h. Thanks EA for the $18 free charge. We unplugged at 90 and made the 160 mile run back home. At 90% we had ample range, so enjoyed AC and 70+mph speeds. It said 4 miles/kWh efficiency, but that was buoyed by the 55 mph speed limit around 294 and a few local miles at the end.
All in all a successful trip over the 2 days of 718 miles. Using the EV cost is about 15 minutes of extra travel time on the way out and an extra hour on the way back due to the broken Chademo (plan A was going to be 30 min slower due to reduced travel speeds to mAke the 250 mile journey), so over the 2 days I would say about an hour and 1/2 of extra time over an ICE. The hour Chademo, we would have stopped for dinner in any case, so didn’t see that as extra time. Total power costs for the trip were $5.40 from Ames. Iowa city charging ended up being free. The leaf did well, though 1 month in to this leaf Iam looking forward to my 2024 100 KW Leaf ++. That said, it’s a great feeling to be able to do 3-
+ hours of highway driving at one time. My 13 Leaf could barely do more then 1.
EA on my support call they took down (again) the concern regarding a single Chademo for remote locations. If the stations had 2 I would feel a lot better about a bigger trip like going to Denver. I don’t think I would try in a 40KW though.
2019 SV Plus Silver 6/19 purchase 7,000 Miles
2013 Leaf SV
100 Mile Club Member (Number 87)
Max distance on 13 Leaf: 120 miles
Max distance on 19 Leaf: 242 Highway 4.5 miles/kWh