I will try to keep this trip report brief, but we don't have too many reports on 500+ mile in a day drives, and as this one had 2 of them, I thought it was worth the write up. We took a different route in each direction.
Outbound 564 miles; 156.4 kWh charged; 180 min charging; 622 minutes driving time
Return: 587 miles; 150 kWh charged; 159 min charging; 562 min driving time.
Our Outbound trip took us down through Springfield IL then west to Bowlingreen Iowa, Kingdom City MO, and then finally Lawrence KS. We took this route primarily to visit Wallys in Pontiac IL, which has a full EV charging plaza, and a huge indoor area with bakery, beef jerky bar, deli, etc..
Temp was in the mid 30s at departure and we had some pretty heavy head winds (garaged battery was at 68F). 3.4 efficiency which was only that high due to the first 25 miles around the city (294) which has physics defying properties for EVs. The real time efficiency headed south was closer to 2.5 (so about 135 mile range for the Plus at that rate).
At wallys we arrived around 35% dash and charged up to 90%. 4 Chademos (100amp)! I don't have a hard number on charging time as their chargers are unaffiliated and did not have a digital monitor. We lost a little time as the charger stopped at 80% and we didn't immediately notice before resuming. Wallys was the fun stop, so the length of the stop really wasn't a bother.
Given efficiency, my original plan of making the 200 drive to Bowling green at 1 go was out. I would have needed a full charge and 4 miles/kWh to have a shot, and our efficiencies were not even close. The fail safe was Springfield. While Springfield has 2 Chademos, there are not really that close to each other. The EA station reported up and was in route, so went there.
EA Springfield thankfully worked. Efficiency was brutal at 3.1 including hanging with some trucks. We went to the adjacent Walmart to use the restroom, and take a walk around the store to stretch our legs. With 39 kWh in the car, we headed on to Bowling Green. Battery was at 105F.
The weather had warmed a bit (low to mid 40s) and now heading west, efficiency moved up to 3.6 miles/kWh. This felt amazing efficiency-wise versus early in the day.
We only had 65 miles to go between Bowling Green and Kingdom City MO, so only charged for 25 minutes. (In retrospect, I should have charged here or Champaign much longer) While the first 2 chargers were 100 amp, this one was 125 amp, charging at around 51kW. No noticeable charge slowing yet at this point with 3 sessions done. The pack was pretty warm though. 2 DC Chademos (and L2s), and the unit was in perfect shape.
Between Bowling Green and Kingdom I made the mistake of following Google's "fuel efficient" route, which included gravel roads...the upside was we got a great shot of the rising moon at dusk and saw a pair of bald eagles (at least that's what they looked like..I am not a bird watcher).
In Kingdom we planned to have dinner as we needed 90% to make the 176 miles to the Lawrence service area which had our last stop for the day. I had expected charge slowing for this stop. We arrived with 108F on the temp sensor. We were above 40kW for the first half but then slowed. 70% - 90% charged at barely above 20kW. I wasn't too upset given every location had worked without issue. We ate too fast though and had to wait the last 20 min.
The final drive saw declining temps, falling eventually into the upper 20s. Thankfully we didn't face headwinds, and 0got our best efficiency of the day while keeping up with the fairly thick traffic. We pulled I to the Lawrence plaza with 6 dashes and a little over 4kWh left per Leafspy. Some would say a perfect run. 2 DC and 2L2 here as well. 15 minutes to take the car up over 20% charge and then drove the final 7 miles to the hotel.
We came home a couple days later.
We left at 90% SoC. The hotel didn't even have a Level 1 and I didn't want to leave the car at 100 overnight, so 90% felt like a good compromise. It was low 40s when we left and battery was in the mid 60s to start.
The first stop was only 129 miles. We were lucky and caught a fast moving set of cars and trucks doing upper 70s, so made great time to the first stop with 3.8 m/kWh. I am guessing wind was in our favor until Illinois.
In Bethany, MO I charged to just over 65% as we were only going 117 miles on the next leg. This was a mistake, and I should have charged to at least 80%. The car at this stop we getting 55kWh at the 125 amp charger. Stop was only 25 min which gave time for coffee, pit stop, and a quick stretch.
Pulling into Altoona Iowa (with efficiency of 4.2) While we had plenty of charge, we didn't cool the battery too much, and in the final couple miles, the couple degrees which it went down came back up as the voltage decreased. It would have been much better if I had spent more time at the first stop as we basically wasted almost 2 hour of rapid air cooling. Temps were now in mid 50s.
In Altoona, we charged at a free 200amp charger. Again standard 2 DC location. We moved up to 60% in 25 min at a charge rate rate 60kW….the battery also gained over 20F in that time. The car quickly dropped to 20kW. We had to charge to 80% for the next leg. At 70%, I unplugged to get a car wash (we still had an inch of soot on the car from the gravel roads) and plugged back in at 29kW to 80%.. even here I should have let it charge up to 90%. Another Leaf (2021 SL Plus) from Florida was charging at the same time. We chatted a bit about the travel dynamics.
Tue 3rd leg was 157 miles. Again, while I had enough charge, we pulled into our last stop with just over 10kW. At 15 kW the air cooling of the battery essentially stops and starts increasing again. Different than with cars using liquid cooling, every degree matters and so that 10% additional charge would have given me 4 extra degrees of thermal room, which is not trivial. We left at 117F.
The last stop of the trip in Davenport was the most painful. It was a nice strip mall, and we were just tired of traveling so we're not in the mood to shop and also we're not hungry. A Tesla driver was charging at the stop when we arrived. Thankfully 2 DC chargers. He was using his Chademo adapter. He said he had moved back from the local Tesla chargers to this one as Tesla had doubled or more the charging costs. This charger at .14/kWh was the best deal. He mentioned his Chademo adapter had paid for itself many times over. We arrived at 108F on the battery. The car kept 41kW from 11% on the dash until somewhere in the 40s. Then down to 20kW. I reconnected a bit later and it went up to 25 for a while, than slowly drifted down again. Ending temp at the top 122F. At 85% with cooling weather and some pretty good efficiency, I decided to leave a little early (original target was 90%)
We made the final 175 mile journey home with 6 kWh left in the tank, but did keep speeds between 65-70mph vs. the 75 I was doing earlier in the day on the other legs.
Still in spite of the slowness, we still stopped for less time than on the way down and covered more miles. Over an hour less overall.
Infrastructure is soo much better than 2 years ago (we only had EA then). I had many possible stopping points in Iowa to charge. (Iowa city has 4 DC plazas bear the highway)
For the Leaf, plan to charge with no less than 20% on the dash (15kWh Leaf Spy) if going multiple charging stops. Going lower actually heats the battery.
Keep to 100 and 125 amp chargers. Yes the 200s are fast, but the Leaf can really only take 1 charge at them before maxing out the battery...great if only needing 1 stop for say a 350 mile trip...not good when needing 3 or 4 stops.
Air cooling on the Leaf on the highway works fairly well..and seemed to cool at the same rate for both sides of the trip whether it was 55F or 35F out. In 2 hours we could shed over over 10F off the top and 15F on the bottom temp sensor. That's almost enough to do a normal 100amp charge from 20 - 80% (dash) without slowing. You want to keep your efficiency at 4 or above though to limit the draw which competes.
The breaks, while.much longer than with a Tesla, MachE, Lucid, etc.. actually helped keep me fresh for each leg of driving.
Seats were very comfortable for the long hauls.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Ddr8ty ... p=drivesdk