TLeaf wrote:But you would be even MORE efficient if you accelerated slowly and then coasted.. The only way your average power consumption would be any better is if your average speed (and hence your associated drag) was low enough to offset the extra power required during your more rapid acceleration.
Well, let me think about that. Certainly rapid acceleration uses extra power during the acceleration. But it uses that power for a shorter period of time. Leaving drag out of the equation for the moment, are you claiming that rapid acceleration will use more energy
to reach a given speed than slow acceleration will?
If so, we need to explore why that should be true. From a thermodynamic viewpoint, that would imply additional heat generation. Higher amperages could heat the battery, wires, inverter, and motor more, so this is feasible. But assuming LEAFfan is not talking about flooring it, I would be surprised if the additional energy loss was above the rounding error compared to the energy used to actually accelerate the car.
If we can agree that rapid acceleration does not use significantly more energy, then think about the velocity curve for acceleration followed by coasting, plotted against time. Draw a line at any particular speed across that. The time spent above that line will be shorter if the acceleration is more rapid. Since this is true for any speed where you draw the line, it seems clear that the energy lost to drag will always be lower with rapid acceleration.