This is making me crazy and I don't have the car yet.
We've got three things happening in parallel here and it's going to take Leafers some time to really grok what's happening.
- First, we have energy in the battery. If we charge to 100% we've got 24kWh of stored energy. This is hard fact.
- Next, we have the driver and his/her habits. A driver transitioning to a Leaf from a high-power vehicle or a driver that's used to driving 20mph over the limit and zig-zagging through traffic does not realize how much energy they use. Rude awakening time! This is erratic, fuzzy, and hard to predict.
- Third, we have the computer in that car that's trying to be helpful and supportive but it's being misunderstood by most. It's trying to take a hard fact, merge it with erratic/fuzzy/hard to predict, and display a number that too many of us want to use as a fact in a court of law.
When it displays 90 miles range, it's saying "hey - based on the energy in the 'tank' and how you drove for the past (30 seconds, minute, 3 minutes), if
you keep driving like that then
you'll be able to go this far on a flat road with no wind." Throw in a hill, wind, or a lead foot and all bets are off.
The same way we don't automatically trust any nav system's "turn right now" and turn into the side of a building, we should not bet our life on the range meter. What do we know for sure? What can we trust? We know if we filled the 'tank' the night before, and we know that the 'fuel gauge' shows us how much energy we have in the tank. When we learn the car we'll know how far we can travel based on where and how we drive.