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Longer Distance EV Test Run

September 7th, 2020 at 02:18 pm

We did our first longer distance test run.


I suppose one big electric car adjustment is not knowing how much range you are actually going to get. It depends on a few different factors.

Things that helped us along: Some minor stop-and-go traffic along the way, and also some city driving when we drove between relatives' homes.

The thing going most against us: One of the hottest days of the year. A - this directs more energy to cooling off the battery. B - A/C is an energy suck. Best we could tell, blasting the AC was taking 7 miles off of the range. Not a lot, but adds up more on a bigger battery with longer range.

{Holy cow that AC is amazing though. A+}.

The end result:
We could have probably made the entire trip, even with hot conditions and a few stops, without a stop to re-charge.

Literally, we stopped for a free 100-mile charge and the car estimated we had 100 miles left when we got home. How is that for cutting it close? IT sounds extremely feasible to make the roundtrip without any stops. The battery might go 20 miles further in fall and spring (more mild weather). It will be interesting to see on future test runs.

Of course, in a gas car I know you can run it to empty and still drive another 20-30 miles. I don't know what the deal is on an electric car. Probably same, but it's not ideal to run the battery to empty. I don't expect we will ever cut it close.

Considering that we literally always get gas on the way to/from the Bay Area, I can tell this will not be any different (logistics) from driving a gas car. We either fill up gas when we plan for a longer trip, or we fill up on cheaper gas on the way home (most likely). The electric car is going to be the same. We might need to stop for 10 minutes to top off a few extra miles to make sure we can get home. *shrugs*

Considering we often make this kind of trip multiple times a month... We are very pleased with the outcome.

When we bought our hybrid car we were considering that the "around town" car and had no intention whatsoever to make it the "road trip" car. Then we drove it to the Bay Area the first time and the gas mpg was 50. We had no idea that the car could do that! So then that became our "drive everywhere" car. Because of that, I am not surprised at all that the all-electric is easily going to become our "drive everywhere" car. Like the hybrid, the official quoted range is less than it really is.

MH did fill up 100 free miles (free charger test run) middle of the week. The only other driving he had done was to drive 5 miles home from that charger. I plugged the newer car in when I left for work on Friday.

Saturday morning we left with a full charge. This is how the numbers worked out, and I will compare to our other vehicles.

Miles Driven: 261.2
{After paying close attention to our hybrid driving and costs, I would have guessed that 250 miles is pretty average for us when visiting our Bay Are relatives. This was a very average drive}.

Electricity Used: 58.5 kWh
Free Charge: Less: 23.25 kWh
Net Electricity paid for: 35.25 kWh
x.1059 (summer electricity rates @ home)

That is $3.73 in fuel costs to drive 260 miles.


{I guess technically it was cheaper than that because we got two free charges! But that will probably not be typical}.

It's official. The only time I ever get gas in my hybrid car is when we drive out of town. After this trip? I am removing gas fuel from our budget. It will be -$0-. Car gas will no longer have any place in our monthly budget.

Anyway, here are the comparisons:
260 mile trip Fuel Costs
All-Electric: $3.73
Hybrid: $13.90
Gas Car: $19.50

That said... We failed on our trip and spent more money.

We chose the most ideal place to stop. It was 50% or 75% off. (Free charging *all the time* ended last week, but it's still discounted and sometimes free).

We had decided to stop and eat dinner. Not that we would always do that, but it's a test run and it was just MH and I. Plus, we usually eat with our parents. We just aren't going to do that during a pandemic. So you can somewhat put this in the pandemic category.

We were still in the Bay Area and all the restaurants over there ended up being $$$$.

Downside: Spent a lot on food. $25. If there had been a Taco Bell or something, we would have been perfectly happy with that.

Because the charge was deeply discounted, we decided to stop 45-minutes for the max amount of free charge. It was a billion degrees and not much shade.

Upside: Sat and ate in completely comfortable car with A/C. It doesn't idle like a traditional car. I am well aware after 2 years with the hybrid. It is a great pandemic car, if you are sitting around in your car waiting a lot. You can turn on the car and be comfortable, without bothering anyone else or spewing exhaust.

Overall, we were happy with the stop. It was a very large shopping center and I expect in the future we would just get out and go for a walk. Maybe pick up a snack or something. Don't need to eat an entire meal every time we need fuel. & like I mentioned before, a 10-minute re-fuel would have got us home comfortably.

I believe that this charger was going to be 50%-off during the time frame that we arrived. Just as we were about to charge, a survey popped up on my phone. In exchange for answering a few questions I got a free charge. That was unexpected! MH was jealous that he did not get a survey when he charged.

Then there was a glitch and they credited me twice, so it looks like I have another free charge? I don't know. Not holding my breath on that one. But if it's still there next time I drive out of town...

2 Responses to “Longer Distance EV Test Run”

  1. rob62521 Says:

    That's terrific your test run was such a success!

  2. GoodLiving Says:

    That's fantastic!

    I had inherited my Dad's old 1992 honda civic vx that had amazing mpg gas because it was so small and light. I loved commuting in that. I'm glad I was never in an accident. I don't know that it would pass the current safety codes but it was good while it lasted. Of course, now my goal is to not have to commute very far.

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