A look at the bottom of the “tank”

by Ernie Hernandez on July 5, 2013

ZeroBars

Using up almost all of our juice

The photo at the top of this post is what I was looking at for a couple of miles on the way home from visiting with friends yesterday. After some running around early in the day, we plugged in for awhile before heading out. We had plenty of electrons in the tank – both according to the remaining bars and the range remaining indicator. I forgot about the fairly steep several hundred foot elevation change on State Route 52 westbound from Santee – the way home that we needed to traverse along the way. At the base of the incline we showed about 15 miles but by the time we got to the top about 2 miles later we were down to 8 miles – with 11 miles to go!

We gained a little back on the downside of the hill but by now I was starting to get slightly concerned. I haven’t run a bottom of range test yet on the 2013 LEAF, though I knew from testing the 2011 LEAF that there were about 17 miles remaining after hitting the Low Battery Warning (found here). We hit the Low Battery Warning on the I-15 freeway heading north about eight miles from home. I figured we would probably make it, but just to be on the safe side, we pulled off of the freeway to drive on surface streets most of the rest of the way home. There were only two areas of concern for me – the first was a couple hundred foot climb coming up out of the Los Penasquitos Canyon, then a mile or so long trek on State Route 56 East before it turns into Ted Williams Parkway. Sure enough, just as we pulled onto SR-56 the Very Low Battery Warning came on. Our previous Very Low Battery warning test gave us over 7 miles after that point was reached – although naturally I could not remember that at the time. I knew that if we could coax it another mile or so that we could walk home if we needed to. Fortunately, that proved to not be necessary, as we never even got to see the Power limitation indicator light (otherwise known as Turtle Mode).

Turtle Mode

Look for another bottom of range test on the 2013 LEAF soon – as much for my own sanity as providing useful information for you!

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Ron Solberg July 6, 2013 at 2:46 pm

– as much for my own sanity as providing useful information for you!

A first EVSE customer and at the same time, a first Tesla here at J & R Housing in Hills MN. A family of 4, Mom & Dad with 2 boys, destination California, arrived today from Quebec. I am told that there about 100 more Teslas exist and EVs get a special green license plate instead of the usual blue for other cars.

I understood this Tesla was equipped with only a single charger so my ClipperCreek CS 100 would not be called upon to supply 70 amps but I was surprised that at the end of about an hour of charging that heavy duty CS 100 cable was warm to the touch.

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Fredrik Pedersen July 25, 2013 at 7:20 pm

Boy, this blog posts brings up a potential issue for me. In Norway, there are a lot of hills and changes in elevation (I live on the coast, where it’s even more prevalent)

Can I expect that to dramatically effect capacity.

If I buy one, I am most likely to do no more than 20km a day any way, but all aspects of going EV are interesting to me — especially any downsides.

But from what I have gathered from 1 year of passive research, I am unlikely to even own a gas-powered car unless I find myself financially incapable of being electric

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Ernie Hernandez (LEAFguy) July 26, 2013 at 9:23 pm

Fredrik – elevation changes can significantly impact the range remaining indicator. Knowing this ahead of time is half the battle. If you know that you have a serious climb ahead, be sure that you have plenty of juice to take on the drive, or know where you can add to your existing charge.

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dgate July 3, 2014 at 1:59 pm

Don’t forget that while using energy to climb those hills you will regain a percentage of that with regen on the way down.

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Ernie Hernandez July 3, 2014 at 2:05 pm

dgate – Welcome to Living LEAF. Absolutely. Given that you will be going down the hill, which is not always the case. In the experience in this article, we were climbing the hill to get home.

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