alozzy wrote: ↑Sat Sep 24, 2022 12:00 am
If you want higher efficiency, you need to learn to coast in neutral at the right times. Doing that can definitely beat cruise control on longer trips, unless the highway is dead flat and you never change speed.
It took me a while to get the hang of using neutral, but wow, you're right. This coasting in neutral can make for some very impressive efficiency gains. I managed a max of 7 mi/kWh on my normal 19 mile one-way trip (slightly downhill direction, maxxed 5 mi/kWh on the uphill direction), never got that good before.
I see why Nissan made the shifter a joystick now -- it makes this feel a lot like driving a manual stick. Only, I'm not shifting up in gears from a start like in an ICE -- the predominant activity is downshifting to N when I can see I'm going to need to stop way ahead, then D, B, and finally braking to a final stop (if I get that far, sometimes the light turns green and I just get back to D or B and go).
Now, regarding accelerating from a stop or staying at constant speed... In my ICE car, I get the best efficiency by just ever so slightly pressing the accelerator pedal by the minimum amount to get the car to barely accelerate or just barely maintain speed. I'm finding that strategy doesn't pan out in the Leaf, and I think this graph below explains why:
At low torque (barely accelerating/maintaining speed), you end up in the purple 85% efficient zone along the bottom of the graph, at all speeds. If you push the accelerator a little harder so the motor is under load, that's when you can get up into the 95% efficiency zone.
I wonder if cruise control keeps the motor in the 95% efficiency zone (while operating at a constant speed) by applying small pulses of alternating acceleration/coasting? That could explain why it does so much better than trying to maintain constant speed manually with the accelerator pedal.