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TonyWilliams
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Re: 114 miles to Long Beach, California, and 114 to San Dieg

Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:29 am

We ended up watching two movies. I'm going to launch shortly, and have had enough time sitting here planning to get the mileage down to 98 miles. The FMS is loaded and cross checked, awaiting clearance, release and push-back.

It's a beautiful night to drive, but of course, with temps around 60F, I'm going to take a bit of a hit on battery capacity. Going to return faster at the beginning, and slow at the end (if needed), which is opposite from how I drove here (started in the 30mph range at about 7.0m/kWh, and ended at 55mph down the freeway for the last few miles).

11:17pm: Your car's status: plugged in, charging, 92% charged

NYLEAF
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Re: 114 miles to Long Beach, California, and 114 to San Dieg

Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:09 am

Well? What happened?
Former Ride: 2012 Leaf SL, Ocean Blue, Leased 1/27/2012, Returned 4/27/2015, 37.7k miles & 12/12 bars
Final LeafSpy readings: AHr 60.73, SOH 92%, Hx 90.90%, 250 Gids on full charge

Current Ride: 2012 Nissan Rogue SL AWD, Black

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TonyWilliams
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Turtle Mode Surprise

Fri Nov 18, 2011 11:54 am

NYLEAF wrote:Well? What happened?
NOTE: Any time I mention range data, or how many miles to go, it is NEVER from the GuessOmeter.

To recap, I arrived at my destination with about 1 mile of range left, so I felt that the planning and execution met expectations. Plan A had been to recharge at Cypress, Plan B was recharge at Signal Hill, plan D was find a hotel with an electrical outlet. Plan C only entered the picture at the last moment, and worked great.

For the return, I left Lakewood City Hall (south Los Angeles County) to San Diego at about 11:45pm, after 6 hours of charging. The plan was that I should be able to cover the 98 miles down the Pacific coast on California Highway 1 at 45mph. It was too late at night to consider any option that including charging along the way.

The trip started out great; I got about 7 miles in the 12th fuel bar as I drove through the mostly deserted city streets toward the ocean. It was a bit foggy along the coast, and I had to use the wipers occasionally. The heater was off, as were some of the 12 volt energy suckers, like the fog lights and high beams. Just the LED low beam headlights. I was not able to time the lights well through Seal Beach, in northwest coastal Orange County, and my range suffered slightly, netting less than 7 miles per fuel bar in the 11th and 10th fuel bars.

Of course, with temperatures in the 50F/10C range, I was going to have some reduced battery capacity issues that I estimated should be about 10% loss in range (1% loss per 2F below 70F). Therefore, at a projected 5.3m/kWh driving, I was going to have 111 miles of range, minus 10% for temperature related battery capacity losses, or about 101 miles of range for the 98 mile trip. I didn't expect any losses from wind this late at night, and there's not many elevation changes along the coast. "Density altitude" air pressure was not going to help me at sea level and at these temperatures, and the poor little LEAF would be pushing air at about standard 29.92"/1013mb of pressure. We did have a heavier load than just a driver, as I had a light passenger plus fairly heavy "contingency" gear (probably adding up to one full size passenger), but no significant impact to my range on mostly level terrain.

My driving was eating the eFuel at the planned 5.3 m/kWh, significantly lower than the 5.9 that I averaged on the trip up to Long Beach/Lakewood. Two factors are involved; the first is that I planned for a slightly longer trip up (to get to the potential charging sites) and adjusted my speed to make that happen. And secondly, I live on a 580 foot hill, so everything on the coast is downhill. I won't have that luxury going home, and when you're planning a trip with virtually zero reserve, you must be cognizant of all the variables (unless you don't mind walking).

At Dana Point, I left Pacific Coast Highway 1, and entered the 5 freeway for the trek across Camp Pendleton. There's not a practical option for surface streets here, even though I have access to the military base. The nuclear power plants at San Onofre were lit up in the coastal fog, now well past 1am. Traffic was very light on the freeway, and I felt much safer than I did on the trip up on the freeway. Each time a truck approached at the 55mph speed limit, I turned on the four way emergency flashers to wake them up to the fact that I was only going 45mph. Some U.S. Marines were doing a night drill on the beach.

I kept cross checking the performance against the projected range, and things were meeting the target expectations. I was getting cold now, as the benefit of preheat that was done 2 hours ago was gone. I then made some poor decisions, by changing the plan in my somewhat tired state. There's a saying in aviation that a plane should have a pilot and a dog; the pilot is there to watch the plane do what was programmed, and the dog is there to bite his hand if he reaches for any buttons. I needed a dog.

My first mistake was to give in to the mild cold, and turning the heater on. The second was to not follow the surface streets through Rancho Santa Fe to my house, but instead add two miles to the distance by staying on the freeways, via the 78 and 15 freeways. My thinking was that I would get home faster on the freeway, which would probably be true if I had the extra fuel to play with.

I let the heater run for a few minutes, and then turned it off. I wondered how much it affected range, and started my heater contingency plan of lowering speed to 38mph (I tried for 40mph, but must have hit the cruise control button 7 times, instead of 5, to slow the car down... I didn't want waste energy to speed up). My average miles per kWh dropped to 5.1, which means that the actual draw of the heater really put a dent in things. It was now 2 am, with only a few trucks and maybe a few drunks, on the freeway. One more factor is that now, as I was leaving the coast to inland San Diego county, there are hills up to 730 feet elevation, and of course, as mentioned, my house is at 580 feet. I hoped that 38mph would "fix" everything.

Slowly, the meter clicked up a tick.... 5.2; I had to have 5.3 or better. Ok, but now I'm cold again. The car had gotten cold soaked, and it was going to take more than a blast of hot air to keep heat in the car. I powered the heater back up, and tried to determine what speed would get me home now. As I had no dog, I clicked off the automation, and decided to actively challenge the hills. Steady gas pedal going up, letting the speed bleed off, and N coasting down the other side, watching the speed pick up significantly.

Heater off again, and my efforts were working. The meter clicked to 5.3. I needed every bit of that battery to get home now, as the first battery warning popped up, and then right on schedule, VERY LOW battery popped up. I reset the odometer each time, and now I needed over 5 miles to get home. It's 2:30am.

I was at the top of that highest peak prior to my house on the 15 freeway's HOV lane. Nobody was on this part of the freeway at this hour, so I pushed the gear selector to N.

My speed quickly picked up to about 60mph, and just as quickly slowed to the teens as I rolled through the intersection at the freeway off ramp. The speed slowed to just under 10mph, as I entered the surface streets to my house. I had rolled about 3 miles and the speed once again started slowly creeping up into the teens again. I had two small grades to climb prior to finding my bed. One is about 100 feet up, and the other only about 30 feet up.

I pulled the selector to D and carefully held the power just enough to keep the speed between 10 and 15 mph. Once this hill is climbed, I've been successful in the past at hitting Turtle mode and still making it home. I coasted a bit to prepare for the next and last tiny hill. Again, I pulled the selector to D, and got that audible "DING" and a display of "LIMITED POWER". My speed was about 10mph. The turtle popped up on the dash display, but my fate would not be stolen. I was going to drive into that garage, and no turtle was going to stop me.

225 miles total driven for the day, about 212 of which was for this trip. Charge times 1 hour before the trip, to get back to 100%, 20 seconds in Costa Mesa, 13 minutes in Cypress, 6 hours in Lakewood; 7.2 hours total, plus a full battery, ran all the way to zero.

This was my 11th Turtle experience.
Last edited by TonyWilliams on Fri Nov 18, 2011 2:11 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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DaveEV
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Re: 114 miles to Long Beach, California, and 114 to San Dieg

Fri Nov 18, 2011 1:09 pm

Nice story, Tony and well planned! Next time keep the heater off, 5 minutes of heat probably ate up a mile of range or so. :)

GRA
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Re: 114 miles to Long Beach, California, and 114 to San Dieg

Fri Nov 18, 2011 2:32 pm

And people wonder why mainstream consumers haven't jumped on-board BEVs :D Seriously, Tony, while I applaud the explorer in you (I've done my share of "just to see if I can"), I've got to ask if you see this as an efficient use of your time? Sure, it can be done, but why would anyone other than the most dedicated EV fanatic want to, when there are so many quicker ways to get there? After all, the reason most people buy cars is because they provide, quick, convenient, spontaneous transportation for themselves, their passengers and their stuff - they don't want to plan a trip like yours as if they were setting off across the Mojave desert in a jeep.
Last edited by GRA on Sat Nov 19, 2011 2:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

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TonyWilliams
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Re: 114 miles to Long Beach, California, and 114 to San Dieg

Fri Nov 18, 2011 2:45 pm

GRA wrote:And people wonder why mainstream consumers haven't jumped on-board BEVs :D Seriously, Tony, while I applaud the explorer in you (I've done my share of ("just to see if I can"), I've got to ask if you see this as an efficient use of your time?.... they don't want to plan a trip like yours as if they were setting off across the Mojave desert in a jeep.
Huh? I'm not sure if sucking air is an efficient use of my time. I'm not "selling" anybody on doing this, or even promoting BEV's in general. I enjoy exploring the absolute performance of the vehicle, and to that regard, it gives me pleasure, and is therefore worth my time. I've done similar stuff in planes and motorcycles, both on and off road.

First, I had not planned (or hoped, actually) for this to be quite the time consuming ordeal it became. Plan A was a 45 minute quick charge. Instead, I spent over 6 hours charging.

Secondly, the LEAF is now my primary car. I do have a street legal dirt bike if I ever got stuck, but this car has to "make it happen". I wanted to go to Long Beach. They paid me money for my time there. The car should not be a limitation to any large degree, but it is in reality. So, it has to work, and these are the steps that I did to accomplish that.

Finally, I hope that folks will understand that you can, in fact, plan quite accurately and methodically, how far this car will go. Many of my trips are "proving" runs of data that I've compiled. I can frequently plan to within a few miles of actual performance. I don't like guessing.

Let me add that saying electrics can become mainstream, but not have mainstream utility, is already a lost cause. The infrastructure is decades away from being adequate, amongst many other issues, as my trip so aptly highlights. My parents will never own one just for those reasons.

smkettner
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Re: 114 miles to Long Beach, California, and 114 to San Dieg

Fri Nov 18, 2011 2:55 pm

You did well considering the loss of the QC. I think I may have started earlier to allow time if needed to take in a movie before your appointment. Total time is the same, just shifts it away from the midnight hour. Some day there will be alternate QC available and such a trip will become common rather than a big adventure. Good to hear you made it ;)
1 bar lost at 21,451 miles, 16 months.
2 bar lost at 35,339 miles, 25 months.
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davewill
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Re: 114 miles to Long Beach, California, and 114 to San Dieg

Fri Nov 18, 2011 3:06 pm

smkettner wrote:You did well considering the loss of the QC. I think I may have started earlier to allow time if needed to take in a movie before your appointment. Total time is the same, just shifts it away from the midnight hour. Some day there will be alternate QC available and such a trip will become common rather than a big adventure. Good to hear you made it ;)
Fantastic is more like it. I did a similar trip, but only as far as Newport Beach and I stayed overnight. The run home was from South Coast Plaza, and I only had to go 82 miles starting at 100%. Piece of cake compared to Tony's effort. In his shoes, I would have been tempted to terminate the long charge much earlier and plug back in farther down the road...although it may already have been too late in the day to consider that alternative. It would have moved part of the drive to a warmer time of day, and charging past 80% is less efficient. Faster to charge twice and keep the SOC below 80% than trying to get to 100%.
Last edited by davewill on Fri Nov 18, 2011 3:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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surfingslovak
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Re: 114 miles to Long Beach, California, and 114 to San Dieg

Fri Nov 18, 2011 3:08 pm

TonyWilliams wrote:Finally, I hope that folks will understand that you can, in fact, plan quite accurately and methodically, how far this car will go. Many of my trips are "proving" runs of data that I've compiled. I can frequently plan to within a few miles of actual performance. I don't like guessing.
Yes, this has been my takeaway from your trip reports and the range table you compiled. Although most people won't push the limits in their everyday driving, this sort of information is invaluable. At least I found it to be. Congrats on another successful trip!

Herm
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Re: 114 miles to Long Beach, California, and 114 to San Dieg

Fri Nov 18, 2011 3:27 pm

You should make a sport of this.. how about an E-Rally?.. one navigator, a set course with check points and who gets to the end first wins.

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