My First EV, Half V: My First Lengthy Journey

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Six months after shopping for my first EV (see My First EV — Half I), the time has come for the primary lengthy journey — Cupertino to Huntington Seaside, about 420 miles every method. We determined to go on Freeway 101 quite than 5, about 20 miles longer, however a prettier drive. We took two days to get to the vacation spot, with one in a single day cease in Santa Maria and at some point to get again dwelling.

Able to go, 283 miles within the tank.

We drove 931 miles, together with just a few journeys to the seaside. We charged on the street six occasions at quick charging stations, paying a mean of $0.47/kWh. We charged in a single day on the Hampton Inn in Santa Maria at a Stage 2 gradual station, and in a single day at our host in Huntington Seaside, which had a Stage 2 charger in his storage and was variety sufficient to allow us to use it.

Sluggish and costly Stage 2 charger at Hampton Inn in Santa Maria.

We spent 3½ hours charging on the street and about 16 hours driving. All the quick charging stations had been in purchasing facilities, welcome stops for lavatory breaks, espresso, or gentle purchasing.

Pit cease and cost in Soledad after 97 miles.

We purchased 138 kWh of electrical energy, spending $64 for it. This might have purchased us about 11 gallons of gasoline, resulting in an equal 84.6 mpg — rather less if I factored within the free charging at our host.

5 out of six occasions, we charged at Electrify America. 4 stations had 4 chargers every, and one had 11. A number of charging slots had been at all times out there. With handy bank card cost, I’d give it 5 stars and at all times search for it on the street.

As soon as we charged at a ChargePoint station. There have been additionally 4 chargers, however it’s important to use your smartphone, which I don’t recognize. 4 stars.

In Ventura, we tried charging at PowerFlex. It had many charging stations, and after spending about half an hour there and on the cellphone, I gave up. Zero stars. I’ll by no means ever use PowerFlex once more.

Earlier than leaving dwelling, I made a listing of the entire quick charging stations on the route, but it surely was not crucial. The Bolt GPS has a handy Cost Stations tab, which lists them by distance. Too unhealthy you can’t kind out Stage 2 chargers, which provide you with solely about 25 miles/hour, in comparison with greater than 100 miles/hour at a quick charger. Stage 2 chargers on an extended journey are ineffective.

Charging in a single day on the resort was just a little little bit of a shock. It had 4 charging stations. I requested on the reception if I may go away the automotive plugged in in a single day and so they stated “certain.” Within the morning, I came upon the cost was $28, or about $1.41/kWh. They charged for the idle time greater than for electrical energy. … This was not disclosed on the charger or on the entrance desk. There was not a straightforward solution to keep away from it, although, since I didn’t need to get up at 3:00 AM to unplug the automotive, however it will be simple to keep away from with higher planning.

I drove on a regular basis with the cruise management set at 65 mph. The Bolt averaged 4.1 miles/kWh, or about $0.12/mile. The A/C was on for a lot of the journey — it had about 4% impression on the power consumption.

Drive Slower To Get There Quicker?

It appears contradictory, however in an EV, it is perhaps true. These readers mathematically inclined know that E=mV2. “E” is power, “m” is the load of the automotive (mass), “V” is the pace. There’s not a lot you are able to do concerning the weight. The empty Bolt weighs 3,700 lb, about 4,000 lb loaded. Saving 40 lb would add just one% to your vary, however attempt to go away the kitchen sink at dwelling for those who can.

Oh, however “V” is a killer, because it comes into play squared. To make it easier, at 85 mph, your power consumption is twice that at 60 mph. For a brief journey, the sooner you drive, the earlier you get there. However issues are totally different if it’s important to cost.

On the return dwelling, I drove 420 miles in at some point. If the journey would have been on a flat street, with no site visitors, at 60 mph I’d have pushed for 7 hours. At 85 mpg, I’d drive solely 5 hours — if I may preserve the pace fixed. I’m not factoring within the time spent with the freeway patrol, which may range relying on the temper of the officer who stopped you.

At 60 mph, the Bolt goes about 4.2 miles/kWh. This isn’t solely my empirical statement, however after my 900-mile journey on cruise management set at 65 mph, the dashboard displayed a mean of 4.1 miles/kWh. To search out the perfect pace, I want the reverse quantity, 1/4.2 = 0.24 kWh/mile. To search out the power spent per hour, I multiply 60 mph by 0.24 kWh/mile and I get 14.4 kWh/hour.

4.2 miles/kWh after 240 miles, very economical.

Assuming the electrical motor’s effectivity is just not influenced by pace, I exploit Einstein’s system to learn the way a lot power is spent per hour at varied speeds:

At 50 mph: (502 / 602 ) x 14.4 = 10 kWh/hour
At 85 mph: (852 / 602) x 14.4 = 28.9 kWh/hour

On a quick charger, the Bolt can take about 35 kWh per hour. All of the quick chargers I used weren’t on the freeway, however in purchasing facilities close by. It took a 5-minute detour to get to 1, a couple of minutes to plug and pay, and one other 5 to get again on the street. So, that’s about quarter-hour overhead on every cost.

When you cost from 20% as much as 80%, every cost can provide you about 40 kWh. I’ll assume 35 kWh because you may not have the ability to time it completely.

The outcomes for a 420-mile journey are within the subsequent desk.

Final Hour Vary Nervousness

Our final cost was in King Metropolis, at a ChargePoint station 110 miles from dwelling. I charged for less than quarter-hour, till the odometer confirmed 170 miles of vary. Anxious to get dwelling and with 60 miles to spare, I assumed I may drive quick. I name “margin” the distinction between the automotive’s listed vary and the gap to the vacation spot. Feeling secure with the 60-mile margin, I pushed it. Seventy mph, 80, 85 — I used to be simply maintaining with the site visitors.

The margin began to drop like a punctured balloon. Sixty went right down to 50, then to 30. When it acquired right down to 10, I noticed I needed to cost or decelerate. My spouse stated “cost,” however I didn’t need one other cease. “Let’s strive slowing down,” I stated. I dropped the pace to 60 and my margin began to creep up. I acquired dwelling with 22 miles to spare and plugged it in. The subsequent morning, I’d have one other 260 miles to go. Perhaps 300 if I drove round city. I’ve photo voltaic, so charging at house is free.


Disclaimer: I’m not advocating driving gradual, besides when it makes logical sense. Driving quick is commonly helpful, and generally even nice. I as soon as pushed my bike to 100 mph briefly, simply to see the way it feels. It seems like flying low. However I’m not advocating driving quick both. Do it at your personal danger.

A number of occasions in my life, I drove virtually 1,000 miles in at some point, clearly utilizing an ICE. It was not a nice expertise — exhausting and vulnerable to tickets. I’d not have interaction to greater than 500 miles per day with the Bolt. Perhaps a Tesla can cost sooner and go farther. Nonetheless, driving gradual was a brand new and refreshing expertise. The Tremendous Cruise helped. After the 10-hour journey (with stops), I arrived dwelling quite recent and prepared for dinner.

Is it price it to drive 420 miles at 85 mph with a view to save quarter-hour? Contemplating the additional value, the wear and tear and tear on the automotive and tires, and the potential for Freeway Patrol encounters, I feel the reply is clearly no.

Driving quick half-hour lower the common to 4.0 miles/kWh

Is it price it to drive at 50 mph and spend an additional hour on the street with a view to save $10? I don’t suppose so. Apparently sufficient, the Bolt appears to be optimized across the pace restrict.

By Mihai Beffa, CEO of Additionally see half II, III, and IV.

Featured photograph: Electrify America will get * * * * *


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