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TonyWilliams
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Tony's Excellent LEAF Adventure

Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:01 pm

I decided to buy Gary's SOC meter kit, and I wanted to see how far I could actually drive the car. So, we set up to meet at a Nissan dealer over 60 miles from my house to get it.

I started at 100% charge, and did about 11 miles of "around town" driving before hitting the freeway at 60mph on cruise control. Burnt up bars #11 and #12.

The next 59 miles, at steady 60mph, to the south end of San Juan Capistrano left me with 1 bar remaining, with 1.6 miles burnt into that fuel bar. My range chart predicted that I had about 16 miles remaining at 60 mph. The Battery Value from Gary's SOC display showed 52 (out of 281) before we plugged in the L2 charger for 63 minutes at the Nissan dealer.

With an estimated one mile (at 60mph) per 5 minutes of L2 charge, that should have added almost 13 miles to the calculated 16 miles remaining, for 29 total. All the numbers were adding up nicely to go 30 miles to the next stop.

Average so far was 4.4 miles/kW.

My first plan was to drive back to Oceanside at 38mph, but I think sanity prevailed. To drive back at 60mph for 30 miles, I needed three full bars, or some value over 102 (of 281) on the SOC display. When we unplugged, the display showed 105 and I had the three bars. Both my charging rule of thumb, the SOC value, and the fuel bars all indicated that 29 to 30 miles was indeed likely at 60mph. I love it when a plan comes together.

So, with virtually no reserve planned, I started the return trip at 60mph. The super intelligent navigation computer was showing out of range, of course, but surprisingly, that went away within the first few miles. The "miles to go" on the navigation and my calculated range continued to remain very, very close, and things were progressing according to plan. Plan the flight, and fly the plan. Besides, I could always slow down if my cross checks showed something not kosher.

With 13.1 miles to go, "Low Battery" popped up. Ok, chart says that I can't do that at 60mph. Hmmmmmmmmm. Have to slow down. Also, I had forgotten that the highway had a couple of hills, but not until "Very Low" popped up at 5.3 miles to go. Crap, time for emergency action to ensure mission completion.

I slowed to about 45mph, and 38mph up the last few hills. Fortunately, there wasn't lots of traffic, and I turned the emergency flashers on and kept fully to the right of the slow lane for the grand finale. Honestly, it was going to be exactly as close as I planned, but now I was wishing that I'd just spent another 10 or 15 minutes charging in Orange County. Maybe I'm getting soft. No guts, no glory !

Anyhoo, I cruised into Mossy Nissan Oceanside without hitting Turtle, but I predict that I was within a mile of that, as it was planned to be from the start. 104.4 miles total covered, with 63 minutes of L2 charge previously. Maximum use of the equipment, and time. It was a beautiful day for walking, if it had come to that!

It was 10:43am, and the next leg was about 27.4 miles home; 27.4 multiplied by 5 minutes per mile added (for 60mph consumption) per hour of charging on L2 meant I needed 137 minutes of charging... 2 hours 17 minutes. So, I plugged in, left my courtesy charger note on the dash that had my phone number and the paper clip on a 2:00pm charge finish time. I set my iPhone for 2 hours 15 minutes, and had lunch and went shopping. There are lots of places withing walking distance, so this is a great refueling stop.

Had a nice lunch, bought some golf crap, some great maps of Baja California, walked around a bit, and it was time to hit the highway. I went 15 minutes past my calculated charging time (now 2:15pm), and then I thought that instead of going home and getting the ICE, I would just go straight to pick up my daughter at 2:30pm in the LEAF. I was late either way! Plan B was if it was going to be mega super close, I could pick her up, and charge at Mossy Poway, about 5 miles from my house. This excursion added 4 miles, and the extra 15 minutes should have only given me 3.

I had 3 fuel bars, and it would have been AWESOME to know the SOC number. Fuel bar number 3 disappeared at 8.0 miles into the trip, which was a right at expectation. The range chart now has 24 miles to go, and I only needed about 23 on the navigation screen. Press on at 60mph.

Crap. Traffic. XM wasn't showing this, and I wasn't worried about range, since slowing only helps. But, I'd be even later to pick up my daughter. This was really helping the gas mileage, since I knocked down 9.5 miles before fuel bar number 2 went bye-bye.

Traffic cleared up, and back up to 60mph. At 4.4 miles into fuel bar number 1, "Low Battery" popped up. If I added up 9.5 miles and 4.4 miles, I got 13.9, divided by two meant that I was getting well in excess of 6 miles average for each of those two, so no panic. Range chart predicted 12 miles from Low Battery as I sailed by Mossy Nissan's chargers in Escondido (you guys like the foreshadowing there? Like I'm going to Turtle it, or something ;-) Fortunately, I only needed about 10 miles to get to my daughter's pickup point.

Almost on cue, Very Low Battery popped up after 8.1 miles, meaning I had 4 miles left, with 2 to go. I found my daughter waiting, and explained how these crazy electric cars are just so slow !!!

Could we make it the last 3 miles home, or run over to Mossy Poway for a quick blast of electrons? We'd just drive as close to 38 mph as I could, and hope for the best. Turtle mode popped up less than a mile from the house. There is one thing I have learned; don't let the car auto-shutdown. It takes too long to get going again. So, I pulled into the local strip mall, where I can see my house on the hill, and parked. Then, I went scouting around for a plug in.

Found one at the local Mexican eatery, so I drove over, plugged in, and had some chips and salsa. And an ice cream bar. Waited about 30 minutes, for two reasons. 120 volt just doesn't get it charged very fast, and secondly, I have a big hill to go up. Ten minutes of charging at Mossy Poway would have been the right answer, but then it wouldn't be an LEAF adventure.

We drove up the hill, and hit Turtle again, but my destiny would not be denied. We made it to the garage, and plugged in.

140.3 miles total at mostly 60mph
3 hours 35 minutes of L2 charging total
30 minutes L1
4.4 miles/kw average


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JPVLeaf
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Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2010 5:32 am
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: Tony's Excellent LEAF Adventure

Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:28 pm

Wow! Thanks for write-up. That's quite the OC-to-SD Leaf Adventure. I like the use of the L1 at the restaurant.
I have to keep my eye open for outlets like that. Could come in handy some day. ;)

I plan to make an Irvine-to-La Jolla trip this weekend. But since we will have the family in tow,
I cannot be quite the risk taker you were on this one. My direct-route will look something like this:

Image

with a (crude) elevation profile like this:
Image

As this will be our longest one-way leg in the Leaf, I'll be a little conservative on the leg heading south.
We'll make a short leg to Laguna Beach and use the ChargePoints for about an hr at 240v. From there,
take the PCH to the 5 Fwy through SJC. I'm counting on access to one of the Blinks at the Torrey Pines Lodge
for L2 for 6-7 hrs. That should be some nice lunch/beach/hiking time in Torrey Pines. :P

So that's the plan. The return trip, we can probably do in one leg. We shall see.
Last edited by JPVLeaf on Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
-jp
.
R 4/20/10, RAQ 9/3/10,
O 9/10/10, D 6/6/11
72k mi @ 50 mo, #1 [new batt @ 39 mos.]
33k mi @ 34 mo, #2

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DaveEV
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Location: San Diego

Re: Tony's Excellent LEAF Adventure

Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:29 pm

Great story! Imagine how much easier it would have been with a DC quick charge station located along the route...

Given that one can only charge at about 12 miles / hour on L2, perhaps it would have been better to have driven 55 mph the entire route instead of 60 mph?

Let's assume that you needed 32 kWh to make the trip. 55 mph instead of 60 mph is about 8% more efficient, so it would have taken 29.5 kWh instead - 2.5 kWh less. That would eliminate about 45 minutes of L2 time. But you'd spend about 15 minutes more time driving. So in the end you'd save 30 minutes.

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TonyWilliams
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Re: Tony's Excellent LEAF Adventure

Fri Aug 05, 2011 11:04 pm

Here's the mileage data points:

100% charge, temperature 65-70F (17-20C), winds southwest at 5 knots, air pressure 29.94 inches (1014 millibars), elevation 580 feet (187 meters) at the start, and ending at about 100-200 feet elevation at first charge point.

Cruise control on at 60 mph. No headlights or heater, but A/C on auto, at 70F.

Code: Select all

Fuel..Miles......Miles
Bar...Driven.....Predicted
12.....3.5...........4...(city, 20-45 mph)
11.....7.5...........8...(city, 20-45 mph)
10.....6.2...........6...(highway, 60 mph)
-9.....6.1...........6...(highway, 60 mph)
-8.....6.7...........6...(highway, 60 mph)
-7.....6.2...........6...(highway, 60 mph)
-6.....5.6...........6...(highway, 60 mph)
-5.....5.9...........6...(highway, 60 mph)
-4.....5.7...........6...(highway, 60 mph)
-3.....6.7...........6...(highway, 60 mph... some traffic, had to slow)
-2.....8.1...........6...(highway, 60 mph... some traffic, had to slow)
-1.....1.6..........n/a..(arrived)
-1.....4.4...........6....(estimate remaining)
LB.....8.0...........8....(estimate remaining)
VL.....4.0...........4....(estimate remaining)

Total--86.2.........84....(that's right...2.2 mile difference !!!)

69.8 miles covered, 16 more miles predicted at 60 mph
Actual range with calculated remaining; 86.2 miles, Chart predicted 84 miles
Average 4.4miles/kw
Last edited by TonyWilliams on Sat Aug 06, 2011 9:00 am, edited 13 times in total.

ENIAC
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Re: Tony's Excellent LEAF Adventure

Fri Aug 05, 2011 11:50 pm

Great story Tony. We used to eat at that Alvaro's every Friday. They have a chicken burrito that's amazing.
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TonyWilliams
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Re: Tony's Excellent LEAF Adventure

Sat Aug 06, 2011 12:25 am

drees wrote: That would eliminate about 45 minutes of L2 time. But you'd spend about 15 minutes more time driving. So in the end you'd save 30 minutes.
I ended up driving about 18 miles more than the original plan. But, with 140 miles covered, at 38mph, I should be able to go 130-ish miles, and only need about 1 hour of L2.

140 miles at 38mph is 3.7 hours, plus one hour charging, or 4.7 hours total trip time.With a 6.6kW charger in the LEAF, only 30 minutes of charge time, or 4.2 hours total.

140 miles at 60mph, 2.35 hours driving plus 3.75 hours on L2; total 6.1 hours total. With a 6.6kW charger (come on Nissan with an upgrade), 1.875 hour charge plus 2.35, total: 4.25 hours

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TonyWilliams
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Re: Tony's Excellent LEAF Adventure

Sat Aug 06, 2011 1:01 am

This is the second leg after 63 minutes of charging. All conditions very similar; temperature up to 70-75 degrees (20-24C), elevation starts at about 200 feet and ends at about 200 feet. Slight left quarter tailwind of previous leg is now a slight right quarter headwind.

Code: Select all

Fuel..Miles......Miles
Bar...Driven.....Predicted
-4.....3.5..........3.5..(ok, had to take some liberties with the data, as fuel bar 4 was not lit)
-3.....6.0...........6...(highway, 60 mph... obviously charged up into the not shown 4 fuel bar)
-2.....7.5...........6...(highway, 60 mph... I think the number 2 bar is fatter than the others)
-1.....2.9...........6...(well... number 1 fuel bar remains, but Low Battery popped up)
LB.....7.8...........8....(highway, 60 mph)
VL.....5.3...........6....(slowed WAY down to the 20-45 value)

Total--33.0.........35.5....(2.5 mile difference)
Last edited by TonyWilliams on Sat Aug 06, 2011 8:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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TonyWilliams
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Re: Tony's Excellent LEAF Adventure

Sat Aug 06, 2011 1:16 am

Final leg, temps up to 75-80 (24-27C), elevation change from about 200 feet to 580 feet at my house. I'm not going to include the last mile to my house, after 30 minutes of L1 charge:

Code: Select all

Fuel..Miles......Miles
Bar...Driven.....Predicted
-4.....2.0..........2.0..(ok, had to take some liberties again with the data)
-3.....6.0...........6...(highway, 60 mph... obviously charged up into the not shown 4 fuel bar)
-2.....9.5...........8...(traffic 20-45 mph... slowed for traffic)
-1.....4.4...........6...(number 1 fuel bar remains, but Low Battery popped up)
LB.....8.1...........8....(highway, 60 mph)
VL.....3.7...........6....(city, 20-45 mph, with 3 stops, including fast food drive through)
Turt...0.4..........0.5...(ya, that was close)

Total--33.7.........36.5...(2.8 mile difference)

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TonyWilliams
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Re: Tony's Excellent LEAF Adventure

Sat Aug 06, 2011 1:29 am

JPVLeaf wrote:I'm counting on access to one of the Blinks at the Torrey Pines Lodge
for L2 for 6-7 hrs. That should be some nice lunch/beach/hiking time in Torrey Pines. :P

So that's the plan. The return trip, we can probably do in one leg. We shall see.

You should be able to go both ways at 65mph, non-stop.

My only concern would be, what's your plan B if Torrey Pines is full / not available? Where else can you go?

Your charge in Laguna Beach should give you some options.

occ
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Re: Tony's Excellent LEAF Adventure

Sat Aug 06, 2011 8:08 am

Excellent detailed report Tony, and quite an adventurer you are :) It's great to see your estimation is so accurate. Thanks!
2011 Nissan LEAF:
Res: 4/21/10 7am
RAQ: 11/23/10 (& ordered)
Delivered: 6/17 vin 4873
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