Friday, July 3, 2020

June 2020 Drive Report; How Roadtripping Is Done!

As the weather has eased into Summer...sort of, road trips were going to be common. With the new E Plus range, it was rather easy to reach previously "very" difficult to reach places. life does, it has tossed a wrench into the process.  My landlord is dying so her family is divesting all her assets which includes my house. So the place was sold and I am being evicted July 31st so July's road trips have to be put on hold but since I only got the notice on Monday it was too late to change all my plans so I still managed to get in two trips!

The Numbers

miles; 1396.9
kwh used 300.61
miles/kwh 4.65
Home charging; 320 kwh (all time record for plus)
Public charging cost $6.50 (16.4 cents per kwh)
Home cost $27.68
Cost; $34.18

Per mile; 2.44 cents per mile

Note; due to inefficiencies, the numbers DO NOT add up. The miles/kwh figure was calculated using daily trip computer numbers. 

Things to note; I had 2 longish trips mostly freeway done on nice sunny dry days.  Freeway speeds were cruise control set to 65 mph. Trips made during the week to minimize traffic issues and I didn't see much of a slow down. Trips were 4.7 miles/kwh and 4.8 miles/kwh.  Those two trips goes a long way towards explaining my great efficiency as both were over 250 miles.

We also see a rare category of public charging fees. Yeah, the gravy train has reached the station so I am back to paying for most of it. Yes, we still have a bundle of free level 2's which I do use if I have business in those areas.

The Electrify America Tour

As mentioned earlier, Electrify America has 50 KW DC's at their locations but they actually charge at higher rates. EA Lacey I clocked 200 amps but I am also seeing many reports of Souls (which can get to 175 amps) and other E Pluses seeing lower speeds at some stations so I had decided to take a tour of the EA locations that I encounter on various road trips to check their speed status.  So far, its been all good news. Battery temps at the start of the charge noted.

Kelso; 190 amps  (80.2/80.6/83.2)

Lacey; Still 200 amps. (70's)

North Bend; 191 amps. (89.2/87.8/85.8) Surprising at this temperature!

Vancouver Plaza; 202.75 amps (75.9/75.6/73.4)   A great number and also the coolest pack charge with temps in the mid 70's to begin.  Makes me think that a cooler pack might hit 200 amps on the above stations?

So I have done one of the first in the area and one of the newest (Vancouver Plaza opened June 18th)
So anyone who has an E Plus or a 2018 and newer Soul EV who has seen under 125 amp charging at EA, chime in so I can go check it out. Eventually I plan to hit nearly all of them but that might take a while.


Yes, its still here but better.  I stopped at Lacey for a quick boost with pack warmer (99.8/99.0/96.8) and only saw 155 amps @ 28% SOC instead of the usual 200 amps.  The charge curve was temperature controlled (nearly steady power) ending at 149.6 amps at 41.6% SOC.

We can also see on the North Bend charge that we can start with a warmer pack than the 40 kwh pack and still get impressive speeds.

There are other things to note here but too much info means only half if it gets to its destination so a deeper dive will be in a separate blog when I have more data.

Road Tripping Done Right!

Nissan reported a 226 mile EPA range on their E Plus. Yes, the S gets more range due to being lighter but mostly because it has smaller wheels. Smaller wheels means more efficiency and no smaller wheels do not mean smaller diameter or significantly so. the rotations per mile on each wheel size comes nowhere near accounting for the difference in efficiency but that is another story.

What we need to realize is that Nissan only reported the range the GOM provides us. As we now (or should) know, LEAF Spy allows us to use that hidden range of 10% which in my case is 22.6 miles (EPA rating) Obviously what you actually gets depends on how you drive, etc. YMMV!

But the real need is all about how far I want to go and how far can "I" go?  So I decided it was time to take my Son to the rock, Beacon Rock of course. Its a HUGE rock sitting on the banks of the Columbia about 140 miles from home. So we charged up, drove out there and... The Rock was closed.

View of Beacon Rock taken while standing on shoulder of highway. 
Yeah, directions not needed. Its impossible to miss

So we backtracked a quarter mile and stopped at Beacon Rock State Park and did the "Rock to Beach" hike.  I guess we wanted to see what we were missing

Now that the side views were done, we switched to top view which meant crossing the highway and heading for the Hamilton Mountain Trailhead.

Along the way we had several nice detours

But we did get our picture!  I have another panorama shot but it simply didn't turn out but we can see the top of the Rock!

This was taken when we were just past the halfway mark. 

After almost 6 hours on the mountain, it was time to jet. Next stop was the nearly brand new Vancouver Plaza Electrify America Station and it didn't disappoint

202.75 amps! An all time high!

After 14 minutes, we had just about enough to make it home so we left. Realistically, it was a pee stop charge.  The stations were situated at the far end of the Target parking lot so not sure we had enough time for pee and food to go!  

15.8 cents/kwh is more than acceptable as an on the road
expense. Again, a weird charging curve as it charged at 202 amps
for like 6 minutes then suddenly dropped to 191 amps (sound familiar?) 

The final tally; a 300 mile road trip with charging that added maybe 30 minutes to the trip.  I will take that any day!   FYI; no I did not miscalculate the charge needed. We stopped at Red Robin on the way home and grabbed just about 8%.  Realize that "6% GOM" equals "16% LEAF Spy" 

When An Extra 14 Minutes To Charge Is Too Long

Beacon Rock was Wednesday's trip.  Thursday it was the Western Olympic Peninsula; home of ZERO DC charging options.  The original plan was to do the 101 loop and charge at Dan Wilder Nissan but their normally very reliable DC charger was down and the EA station is not up yet but there was still the downtown charger to use but after mulling it over, I decided that the day after the Rock needed to be a bit shorter so decided on just a short round trip instead.  

The weather reports were not good and rain was predicted (in a rain forest?? How can that be!!) So the idea of a 260 mile trip in a car that did do 260 miles in very good weather, was not all that appealing so I simply added a hike that just happened to be a few hundred yards from Kalaloch Lodge near Forks, WA. (yeah, the vampire place) 

Kalaloch Lodge; SemaConnect Level 2 "drive up, plug in" 

We did the Kalaloch Nature Hike which is on the mountain side of Highway 101 a few hundred yards down the road. Just over 3 miles in distance allowing me to gain 6.91 kwh which was more than enough to make it home. 

On return, it was time to head to our destination; Ruby Beach. I will post only a few shots because there is simply so much to see...well, if you like rocks and driftwood that is.

Soon, it was time to head home but not before detouring to the "Big Cedar" 

On the way up, it rained about 80% of the time but as soon as we hit the coast, it cleared up. So Kalaloch, Ruby Beach and the Big Cedar, not a drop fell. I couldn't believe our luck but rain covered at least half our trip home with clear skies after cresting the hills just outside Olympia allowing us to bump from 4.2 miles/kwh to our final 4.3

Total distance was 266.0 miles and still have range to spare! (TBT; I only posted this pix for Gen One LEAFers!) 


  1. Nice report. Keep them coming. I fully believe now that the S+ is the range monster of the Leaf Plus family.

    1. No doubts there. An easy .2 to .3 miles/kwh advantage!

  2. Great adventure and very interesting to see that EA is running 200 amps on the CHAdeMO connectors.