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Needed a Little More Juice
Old 02-23-2019, 04:25 PM   #1
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TromboneAl's Avatar
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Needed a Little More Juice

For the first time in the three years of having our LEAF, we had to stop and charge it up a bit on the way home from our errands (we're thirty miles from town). There's a charger about eight miles from our house, and if we don't have at least 15% charge at that point, we figure it would be too risky to continue. That's why I'm in the library right now (by the charger).

Actually, we probably would have made it, but when it gets very low, the car gives up on estimating the miles left—and that's scary.

The problem was that it was cold and rainy, so the battery didn't work as well, plus we needed the heat, the lights, and the wipers. We could have made it if we snållade (drove conservatively, slowly) but we thought we had plenty and slössade (drove extravagantly).

Fifteen minutes should do it.

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Old 02-23-2019, 05:59 PM   #2
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Sounds like fun....not ! I'll keep my GT Mustang, thank you !

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Old 02-24-2019, 08:49 AM   #3
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It's good to hear some real-world experience with electric cars, thanks!!

For one of the first used cars I bought, I was thumbing through the specs and noticed that the air conditioner compressor took almost as much horsepower as the motor in the little economy car used for driver's ed put out altogether.

I've always wondered how heating and air conditioning affect the mileage between charges. It seems to me it's got to be significant.

I've driven to and from work (25 minutes of highway) many times when the heater barely kept the windshield from completely icing up. That takes a tremendous amount of heat. Ditto for air conditioning on a hot, sunny day. I can't imagine trying to pull that much juice from a battery bank for long.
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Old 02-24-2019, 10:14 AM   #4
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Some tricks with the heat:

1. You can preheat the car before you leave, which uses power from the house.
2. It has butt heaters in addition to standard hot air heating. Those use less energy.
3. Some models have steering wheel heaters. I wish ours did.
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Old 02-24-2019, 12:50 PM   #5
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I've had a 2014 Leaf for about a year. Getting below 45 degrees reduces the range, but I'm pushing my range daily to begin with. And yeah the defogger/defroster in cold rains really seems to be a drag.

But now I have access to a 110V plug at work, so even 2-3 hours of slow-charging makes all the range anxiety go away and allows for a detour on the way home.

The current generation of EVs with 150+ mile rated ranges would also take away all my range anxiety, but I had to be an earlyish adopter....
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