Saturday, July 5, 2014

June Drive Report and Unofficial Range Results In My 2013 LEAF

With no vacations in June, the mileage went up. (Well we did do an overnighter but that was it. Just a single day away from the LEAF since we did not drive) The Corolla was used for 4 trips, 3 of which were simply to drive it.  The trips were well within the LEAF's range but the car had just simply been sitting too much so I took it out.  Naturally a schedule change happened which required the Corolla (185 miles) so at least one trip was taken on gas needlessly. Its been two weeks now...time to stop beating myself up over that.

Moving on, The Corolla drove 489.5 miles at a cost of$46.97 or 9.6 cents per mile. There seems to be a lot of confusion over the actual financial benefits of EV over gas so this month we are adding some "reference" statistics.  I fueled up June 11 th (first time in a month and a day) @41.98 MPG and again on June 28th @ 38.87 MPG. The latter tank is showing the results of A/C which was used several times including nearly all of the 185 mile trip which was a 7 hospital run so a lot of stopping and starting. Twice we had the luxury of indoor parking but the rest was out in full sun and it was a VERY warm day.  Because the Corolla is never used in a day to day manner, I estimate I am getting 5-8 MPG more than if I took the Corolla out for 3 mile errands that the LEAF does.  Based on the EPA rating of 27/30/34, I am reducing my gas cost by at least 25% and usually more.  Using that as a reference, if the Corolla was my only car, it would be more in the range of 12-13 cents per mile. My gas cost using 12 cents per mile for all driving totaling over 2000 miles would have been about $246.  Reimbursement for work will be added next week when my pay stub arrives. It should be over $100 for the Corolla.

The LEAF drove 1567.4 miles costing me $30.33 or 1.94 cents per mile.  Another fact that seems to be "disputable" is my true cost for electricity. In June, I paid 7.8 cents per Kwh and that figure seems to be GREATLY disputed by people who want to do nothing but quote rates. Well, that is fine but that is NOT my cost.  This in no way proves the bill is actually mine but I hesitate to post my street address. Not sure why so feedback on pros and cons would be nice

Either way, I figured my electric costs on the bill being $49.05 with kwh usage of 531 and connect charge of $7.87 making my per kwh charge bill minus connect charge divided by kwh used or 7.8 cents per kwh.

I know this may come as a shock to some (Charlie) but to the LEAFer's in the Pacific NW who actually do the calculations, it is pretty common knowledge...

So "my" EV benefit is what I could have paid in gas minus what I actually paid in gas/electricity or $246 - 46.97 - 30.33 = $168.70.

This would not include the reimbursement from work of course since most of you do not have that option.  As mentioned above, will have to wait on that but LEAF should getting $300+ which will take care of my lease and insurance payments quite nicely putting my overall transportation cost at a still astronomical "my time" (What can I say? traffic is a Beeyatch!)

Last week, in a jealous fit, I vowed to not use the Corolla (still seething over driving it for nothing...) so managing 3 90+ mile commutes would be a challenge.  The worst day was Tuesday where it was a  96 mile commute that ran from Lacey to Tacoma to Kent to Tacoma to Lacey. The Tacoma to Tacoma part included 2 co-workers. Lucky for me that neither was overweight!

Knowing the challenge and possible problems ahead, I started out at a steady 58-60 mph to the office in Tacoma, picking up passengers and did the same until hitting traffic at the Tacoma Dome a few miles down the road. Speeds dropped to 20-40ish for 4-5 miles then picked up until the Highway 18 interchange where there was another brief slowdown (by now we were in HOV lane) to 50 mph that again lasted only a few miles. We got to the jobsite in Kent, did the deed and piled back in to return. It was hot so A/C was on and set to 75ยบ.  Keeping in mind; the morning trip started at 4:30 AM, the afternoon trip experienced MUCH more traffic. This time, it was slow (we were stuck behind a school bus... like its nearly July, when do they park for the Summer??)  in the HOV lanes at 20-40 mph for roughly 8-10 miles coming back to the office. The slowdown at the Tacoma Dome, 705 Freeway/ Highway 18 freeway was minimal at 50ish MPH. My passengers were dropped off, I did about 20 minutes of paperwork and home for the day and it wasn't even Noon yet!

Was hoping to have some miles to show you but just missed it by about a half mile. Pulled in with 23 GIDs left. Not even close!

Now there has been a general consensus that the 2013 LEAF did not have a range increase but testing on the Japan cycle showed a 14% improvement.  While my unofficial observations have not been as optimistic, others have done various "constant" speed tests and showed no or minimal improvement.  In my 2011, I had attempted the Kent drive before (Its a pharmacy and we do jobs there once a month on the first of every month) and failed. Twice I even tried Highway 99, a road that parallels I-5 and is a hypermilers dream if you can manage the lights which are far enough apart and viewable from a good distance so can be easy to time, or not...

But there was a distinctive line drawn on where I could and could not go in my 2011 LEAF. Auburn yes, Federal Way, yes. Southcenter, no, Covington, no,  Kent yes and no (depending on which end of town!)

All the above are now reachable in my LEAF. So you can do set course testing and use those results for baseline testing if you like but my life is simply not that predictable.

One final note; the Corolla day of 185 miles ended with a 95 minute commute from St. Francis in Federal Way to my home. Unfortunately a car fire (yea, pretty common around here!) caused a HUGE traffic jam right at rush hour.  Normally its about 45 minutes home.  OBTW, it was a gasser on fire, not a Tesla.

Finally; a Kansas LEAFer sent me a link of a tent camper that was pulled by a motorcycle he saw on a trip out West!  Gotta be "LEAFable!"

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