Nfuzzy wrote:Oh, and I drove in D mode on the freeway, B mode off freeway, non-ECO the whole way. Had 24 miles on the GOM at the top of Monument hill which climbed back to like 35 by the time I got home.
Oh, and can you describe what type of speed and other hypermile tricks you use on the way back? This is a few times a year type of trip for me (and one I wouldn't attempt in winter), but I'm still curious what I have in store a few years from now.
For hypermiling start here:
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You'll see that ECO mode isn't necessarily more efficient if you are a careful driver. For a non-careful driver ECO mode may be more efficient as it discourages excessive acceleration, but it's debatable just how much the extra regeneration helps.
For Colorado - specifically for the hilly areas between the Springs and Denver - hypermiling places a lot of emphasis on dealing with those hills. In flat areas it's mostly about: keeping the acceleration low; keeping speeds at the limit or, for highways, under approximately 62 mph; and avoiding unnecessary regen so that you use the bare minimum energy needed. The S model doesn't have the navigation feature so it's a little harder. On the SV and SL the nav feature has a screen which shows precise energy used or being regenerated and the goal of hypermiling is to keep the usage line at "0" as much as possible - coasting - or close to 0 with never more than 10-15 kWh of energy expended (I extend that to 20 on steep hills, and higher when traffic demands it). On the S model you have to approximate with the energy bubbles. This means a driving style of gentle acceleration, anticipating well in advance traffic situations such as red lights or slowing traffic and adjusting speed accordingly, and gentle braking.
Throw in hills like on I-25 and it gets more challenging. If you try to keep the acceleration low going up, say, the climb covering the 75 mph stretch to Castle Pines from Ridgegate you'll be in the far right lane (of 4 lanes) and still have people trying to run you off the road. Worse when a 2-lane, 75 mph section is involved, such as moving from the Greenland exit to County Line Road. Often I have to compromise range for safety just to keep up. So alternate routes are advised if possible. The frontage roads south of Castle Rock are great for this, as is the side road from Ridgegate to Castle Pines, where you can usually do 35 mph while doing that 9% grade with no one coming up behind you. Over time you learn to follow the water-level routes like the railroads did. From downtown Denver it is more efficient to take US 85 to Castle Rock than I-25, despite an additional 2 miles, because you avoid the extra 600 foot climb-and-fall at Castle Pines and because the climb in general is gradual. Similarly, taking the side road from Larkspur to Monument via Palmer Lake follows the railway route, except one short, steep climb south of Larkspur, so is more efficient than I-25 despite being 2 miles longer.
It's things like this that really keep the LEAF an early adopter car - most people aren't willing to do this. But it's an option if you want to.