Richmond72
Posts: 42
Joined: Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:52 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

First "Long Drive" in Focus Electric and FFE vs. Volt

Sat Feb 15, 2014 11:56 am

I have had my FFElectric for about 3 weeks now. I'm in Atlanta and that means the car and I both survived Snowpocalypse 2014 and IceJam the Sequel. My normal commute is 20 miles roundtrip. I sometimes go out for lunch for a maximum of 10 miles, making my daily driving 30 miles at the most before coming home to charge. When the first snow storm hit a few weeks back, I had just leased by car. I attempted my normal route home only to find a blocked road after about 3 hours. I had to turn around and head back a different direction. Even though I had plenty of charge left (I used the heat sparingly which was no problem since I am very hot natured), I stopped for about 1 hours charge at a Walgreen location, mostly to calm my nerves from what happened on my attempt home (my nerves were shot). By the time I got back on the road, it was too late as the interstates were totally jammed. So, I slept at work. I later found out this was a blessing as others who got on the interstate that day were stuck for hours. At least my office was warm. So, even on this day, I never dipped below 50%ish on the battery.

So, today I had time to kill and thought I would see how far I could get. I thought I would attempt a trip up to the North Georgia Premium Outlets. From my house, this is a 35.5 mile trip. In the middle of the Georgia summer last year, driving as fast or faster than traffic. In the Volt, I made it on battery there and a few miles back back before the gas generator cut on. So far, I have been estimating that the FFElectric has about 2 times the miles available as the Volt. I thought this trip would be fine as I preheat and I wouldn't run the heat going or back if the sun shined while I was shopping. I left our Lincoln MKZHybrid and the Volt (which I haven't turned in yet) behind and headed out. My thought was I would either drive all the way there OR until the battery reached 50%. Well, I didn't make it all the way. The battery reached 50% about 28 miles into the trip. So, at that point, I turned around and changed my plans in locating some of the charges along the way. I knew I would be able to make it home, I just wanted to locate a few chargers. I found the first one at a Walgreen's (different one that from the snowstorm. This one wasn't free but I already had the app to pay for service so no issue. I ate lunch at a nearby restaurant and charged up for about 45 minutes. Afterwards, I located 3 other charger locations. I saw about 8 Nissan Leafs during my travels (Atlanta is a hot spot for Leafs). I'm back home a few hours later, and the car is charging back up. I made it back home with about 12 miles left.

Now for my observations/comparisons between FFElec and the Volt:

Navigation: FFE (It's the same Sync that's in our Lincoln. I love all the options. The Volt's system is more basic. Coincidentally, my partner drives the Lincoln normally and he has been driving the Volt since we got the FFE. He thinks the Volt's system is better and more user friendly.

Interior: FFE but the 2014 Volt that my friend just has is super nice in tan. My Volt is all black interior and I loved it when I first got it but I find the FFE in the mixed tan and black accents very nice.

Drive: Tie. The FFE drives like a small car to me (yes, I know it is one) and the Volt drives like a sports car. The Volt seems faster (not sure if it really is).

Radio: Volt. The Bose speakers in the Volt deliver a lot better sound. This isn't really important to me as the FFE is my commuter car so I am only listening to it for 45 minutes to 1 hour a day.

Brakes: Very different braking. The FFE is super sensitive like the Lincoln. The Volt is not so sensitive. This is almost a problem for me when I drive them both on the same day. When I do, I usually send myself almost into the windshield when I hit the brakes in the FFE and almost don't stop fast enough in the Volt. When I am used to it, I prefer the FFE's braking.

Battery Control: Volt. In the Volt, without running the heat, there is very little mileage drop due to cold weather. In the FFE, even with the heat off, the battery takes a drop in cold temperatures. I normally got 38-44 miles off the battery in the Volt. I can't wait to see how it handles the summer heat.

All in all, I love both cars. I got such a super deal on the FFE that it was worth it to get it before my lease expires on the Volt. I am torn about keeping the Volt until the lease runs out (November). Keeping it will only cost me about $100/month and my partner is actually enjoying driving it. The Lincoln has been sitting almost every day since we got the FFE. If Lincoln comes out with a plug in, I am guessing that's what my partner will want next. He is starting to love driving electric.

And, I WILL make it up to the Outlet mall in my FFE when it warms up even if I have to take secondary roads and stop at one of the chargers I found along the way. I know today was a bad day to try. It was in the 30's and very windy on the way there.

Gigi
Posts: 136
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:08 pm
Location: East Cobb, Georgia

Re: First "Long Drive" in Focus Electric and FFE vs. Volt

Sat Feb 15, 2014 1:02 pm

Richmond72 wrote:I thought I would attempt a trip up to the North Georgia Premium Outlets. From my house, this is a 35.5 mile trip.
I'm surprised you didn't make it up there and back today. What kind of speed were you driving on 400? Do you figure that wind was a factor?

We're 37.4 miles from the outlets, just a bit beyond my comfort range for now. Maybe in summer.

Not many charging opportunities that far up 400 are there?

Yesterday, between my wife's commute (400 - 285 - 85 and back) and some running around after work, we put 68.5 miles on "Effie" before pulling into the garage last night with 6 miles left on the yellow battery symbol. The car was preconditioned when she left in the morning and she didn't use the heat, though we did use it for running around last night. I'm impressed with the range at these temperatures.
2014 Ford Focus Electric - Oxford White
2013 Ford Fusion Energi SE - White Platinum Metallic Tri-coat
2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid - Tuxedo Black Metallic
2005 Ford F-150 Lariat - Arizona Beige Metallic
East Cobb County, Georgia

Richmond72
Posts: 42
Joined: Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:52 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: First "Long Drive" in Focus Electric and FFE vs. Volt

Sun Feb 16, 2014 5:13 am

I was really surprised, too. The round trip would have been 71 miles and my range estimator was showing 80 when I left the house. The funny thing is that even though the battery percentage was showing 50%, the miles remaining was showing more miles than I had achieved with 50%. I would have expected at 50%, the range would be almost equal to or less than the miles I went on the first 50% of the battery. And, the car never gave me a "turn around or you won't make it back message".

The wind was really strong yesterday when I was driving and I believe it was a coming as a headwind. I started out going about 60 MPH. I was following behind a Coke truck so keeping a speed that low wasn't a problem. Once I wasn't behind him, I had to push my speed up to 65 to avoid the tailgaters (in the right lanes). Once 400 turned into just the 4 total lanes, I had to keep my speed up to 70ish as people were starting to line up behind me trying to pass. I was really tempted to continue but chickened out. I know where the charger on the way home is now so I will try the trip again soon. I was considering doing it today if it warms up a little more.

My dad lives in Dahlonega and I thought when I got the car I would be able to drive it up to his house if I either charged for an hour or so on the way up and/or charged for a few hours at his house. Now I realize it will take a charge on the way up and I'll have to stay for a while to charge up on 120v and then again on the way home. Driving the FFElec up there would only be a last resort, when the other car isn't available so I'm not really worried about having to drive the FFE up there.

jmueller065
Posts: 2386
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:36 am
Location: Southeastern MI
Contact: Website

Re: First "Long Drive" in Focus Electric and FFE vs. Volt

Sun Feb 16, 2014 7:24 am

A headwind really kills the FFEs range. Keep in mind that the drag goes up with the square of the speed.

In the summer we regularly take our FFE to Detroit Tiger games. That trip is about 60 miles round trip from our house. We'll typically end up with 20 or so miles remaining on the guess-o-meter.
This past January we took the FFE to the Detroit Auto Show which is right around the corner from Comerica Park where the Tigers play. For this trip we parked in a parking structure with a Chargepoint station so we could charge back up (I wasn't expecting the FFE to make the round trip like it does in the summer). The trip down we consumed 45% of the battery. The trip back home was straight into 22 mph headwinds (gusting to 37). We had 9 miles left on the battery for that 30 mile trip.
More on the Detroit Auto Show--along with more details about that drive:
http://jamiegeek.myevblog.com/2014/01/1 ... auto-show/
2018 Cajun Red Chevy Bolt
2016 Magnetic C-Max Energi (lease returned)
2014 Sunset Escape
2014 Thor Axis (V-10)
2013 Focus Electric (lease returned Jan 2016 for the C-Max above)
https://spareelectrons.wordpress.com/

Richmond72
Posts: 42
Joined: Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:52 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: First "Long Drive" in Focus Electric and FFE vs. Volt

Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:36 am

I may have missed it from your blog but how many MPH are you usually going on the trips in the summer?

jmueller065
Posts: 2386
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:36 am
Location: Southeastern MI
Contact: Website

Re: First "Long Drive" in Focus Electric and FFE vs. Volt

Sun Feb 16, 2014 11:31 am

Good question and I don't think I list it. Typically on our way to the event we'll drive 65 mph our so. Depending on the battery condition I'll drive 65 or 70 on the way home.

For the auto show, since I knew we were going to charge there I also drove 70 mph--no heat though.

I've developed this pattern with the FFE: On the way to our destination I'll conserve as much electricity as possible. Then on the return trip I'll use the Nav and depending on the battery available drive normally and/or comfortably.
2018 Cajun Red Chevy Bolt
2016 Magnetic C-Max Energi (lease returned)
2014 Sunset Escape
2014 Thor Axis (V-10)
2013 Focus Electric (lease returned Jan 2016 for the C-Max above)
https://spareelectrons.wordpress.com/

Lithium
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:10 pm
Location: Shelter Island NY

Re: First "Long Drive" in Focus Electric and FFE vs. Volt

Sun Feb 16, 2014 12:10 pm

Interesting read... The Guess-O-Meter seems adaptive to your style. I hammered it for 15 miles and the next time I drove, the meter projects a low range estimate. Once going conservatively, the car picked up in range. I drove 12 miles consuming only 9 miles of range. The Algorithm seems to be complex in looking at your habits and temp use and more to predict how far you'll get. 55 miles with heat in freezing temps seems about average for me. At 42F the FFE was much better. Preheating, now that my Clipper Creek HCS-40 is installed, is sweet. Driving in the blizzard this week in NY, I went down to 7 miles on the range. Slush and snow drag make a big difference in rolling resistance.

So far, very pleased, meeting all my expectations.
H
2014 Ford Focus Electric Silver Leather, Returned Feb 2017 36K now at Washington Ford PA.
2013 VW Passat 3.6 SEL Premium 27MPG

2004 Audi S4 Avant 345HP (Deceased) 16 MPG
2001 Jeep Wrangler Sahara (Rotted then Deceased) 15MPG

jmueller065
Posts: 2386
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:36 am
Location: Southeastern MI
Contact: Website

Re: First "Long Drive" in Focus Electric and FFE vs. Volt

Sun Feb 16, 2014 12:43 pm

Lithium wrote:Slush and snow drag make a big difference in rolling resistance.
Over my 15 mile commute I've calculated that slush and snow consume an extra 800 Wh over dry pavement.
http://jamiegeek.myevblog.com/2014/01/3 ... ear-roads/
2018 Cajun Red Chevy Bolt
2016 Magnetic C-Max Energi (lease returned)
2014 Sunset Escape
2014 Thor Axis (V-10)
2013 Focus Electric (lease returned Jan 2016 for the C-Max above)
https://spareelectrons.wordpress.com/

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