Learning A Lot About Electric Range
When I first got my Leaf, I concentrated heavily on how my driving style, techniques and car settings affected my range. The more AC, more heat, more lead foot driving and jack-rabbit starts, the lower the range. So it was a great learning curve and fun to watch the accumulating data.
Then one beautiful spring day I needed to make a round trip up into New Hampshire. The range of the trip was right near the edge of my 80 mile comfort zone. So I planned a route that would take me near several charging options, mostly near the start of the trip, with the same ones on my route near the end. And I also planned the trip using the ECO setting on the Leaf's navigation, which took me somewhat away from charging opportunities... but I knew it would be easy enough to switch routes if necessary.
It turns out that the real beauty of this plan was that I was able to experience the effect ECO routes would have on mileage. It was an amazing trip in that regard.
For the first time I was taking a long trip but wasn't in a hurry and so this route called for an average speed of maybe 40 miles per hour. And that was the beauty of the trip, fast enough but not too fast.
I got to my destination with slightly more than half of my predicted range left. The event was a party, celebrating the change a good friend was making in his life and while enjoying myself I went over the trip home in my head. I figured I would start taking the ECO route, but if necessary, transition to the less-ECO route charging options, near the end of my journey. That would give me some safety in case things looked like they were getting close.
So I headed out and kept my eye on the GOM just to have a sense of how I was doing. What started to become clear was that based on my driving speed and the mild temperatures, it looked like I might get home without stopping. This was pleasantly surprising but I knew it was within the envelope of possibility.
As the trip neared completion and the GOM indicated less and less miles available, it was still safely within the range of arriving at home with energy remaining. I did frequently make use of the Leaf's steering wheel button showing the remaining range on a map. But in the end it was never really in doubt, and as it turned out this was a record-setting trip for me. It was the first and only single-charge, 100+ mile day for me in my Leaf. Pretty cool and a great learning experience, about range.