manitou820 wrote:Over Thanksgiving I drove from Colorado Springs (actually Manitou Springs) to just northeast of city park in Denver. It was about 45F out during my drive but I was conservative with the heat. I drove on 105 and 85 (west of I-25) to avoid driving slow on I-25. It added extra miles but I was able to cruise at 55mph most of the way. It actually worked out well because I avoided all of the holiday traffic. I stopped at Larry Miller Nissan to walk my dog and charge for 30min just in case. I made the trip (86mi) with 31% remaining, however I added about 9% at Larry Miller Nissan. So the reality is I could have done it on about 80% of the battery.
On the way home I drove I-25 to Castle Rock, and then took the Frontage Road to Palmer Lake then to Monument and then I-25 back home. I didn't stop to charge and I got home with 14% remaining after driving 76mi. I was going 70mph most of the way to Castle Rock and then from Monument into Colorado Springs. There were three options for charging on the way back just in case; the Walgreens in Castle Rock and in Monument, and the Woodmen Nissan on the north side of Colorado Springs.
Felt pretty cool to do this drive on all electric.
Welcome to the club! Not sure how I missed this post when it was first made - the trip you describe covers areas I've driven over many times.
So a few points:
1) Colorado Springs Utilities has two level 2 chargers on Mesa Road near Fillmore - great for a last minute top-up on your way home. One nice thing about these is that they are full 240V, unlike the slower 208V Aerovironment chargers at the Nissan dealers.
" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
2) Following up on the charger speed, the Walgreens chargers are faster than Nissan dealer chargers. If you haven't already I suggest you sign up for a SemaCharge RFID card so you can use them if needed. In addition to the two you mention there are two a bit south of Larry Miller. I know they cost $0.49/kWh, but to me the faster charge is worth it (also, those 4 Walgreens are all walking distance from restaurants and shops).
3) I-25 from Lincoln Ave to Monument Hill is a huge drain on the battery, to be sure - not only do you have all those hills and a net elevation climb of about 2200 ft, but the widely-flaunted 75 mph limit means you have to go faster than optimal just to keep up, especially when it gets down to 2 lanes after Castle Rock. You're right that US 85 helps - it's the railroad route and less hilly than I-25, and I've often done the frontage road to Larkspur then the side road to Palmer Lake if battery is low. Now that Arapahoe Nissan has a QC - plus two parking garages with QC in downtown Denver - making trips to Denver with the LEAF should be less time consuming.