qflyer
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2014 7:32 pm

Range anxiety and I haven't even bought it yet!

Tue Oct 07, 2014 7:55 pm

My fiance drives my old Ford Mustang with 260,000 miles, no AC, funny noises, weird vibrations, etc etc. We were almost sold on a new Chevy Cruze diesel until I started reading about electric vehicles. I love the idea, but the fiance is very skeptical of having a 100% electric car. I made a spreadsheet to show her what distances she drives on various trips, and all but one or two trips a month fall under 63 miles round trip.

The more I read about the FFE, the more concerned I am about whether the advertised 76 mile range is realistic. Her daily commute is 46 miles round trip. Throw in lunch or a quick errand, and she'll typically see 55 miles daily. Of her 46 mile round trip, 24 of that is on a low-traffic interstate where she drives 72-75 mph. Another 9 miles is on a low to moderate traffic highway with speeds of 50-55 mph. The rest is back streets at 35-45 mph. Total trip time is 25-30 minutes. Lunch breaks and errands would all be on 35-45 mph streets and be another 15 minutes driving time.

We are in north Alabama, some hilly terrain, summer temps in the 85-100 degree range. Winters are typically in the 40s, but with the occasional 10-20 degree mornings. Car would be garage kept so pre heating would be used.

She does not want to be forced to limit her AC or heat use, and she doesn't want to have to drive slower than usual to extend her range. So my question is, in a worst case weather/temperature scenario, can she keep the cabin at 70+ degrees, drive her normal speeds, and still have enough range to comfortably make her commute? Charging at work or anywhere along the route is not an option.

We also have a boat that's kept 39 miles from the house. We only go out in the summer, so the AC would be running the entire 45 minute trip. 14 miles on interstate, the rest on 45-55 mph 2 lane highway with no traffic and only a few stop lights. 120V charge would be available at the marina, so I don't expect this trip to be a problem, but how much range should I plan to lose by running the A/C to keep a 70 degree cabin on a 100 degree day?

Thanks for any input!

NightHawk
Posts: 535
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2014 10:20 pm
Location: Southern CA

Re: Range anxiety and I haven't even bought it yet!

Tue Oct 07, 2014 8:16 pm

Might consider then one of the Ford Energi models or the Chevy Volt that give you 20-35 electric only miles for short trips and high mileage gas engine power for longer than that.
2014 Ford Focus Electric - Oxford White, Cloth Seats (Lease ended 9/28/2017)

qflyer
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2014 7:32 pm

Re: Range anxiety and I haven't even bought it yet!

Tue Oct 07, 2014 8:36 pm

I think we'd go back to the Cruze diesel before a Volt/Fusion - we really liked that car. I should have also pointed out that she would still have the Mustang or my truck for the rare long trip. What I don't want to happen is to buy a FFE and then realize that she can only use it during the spring/fall, never on interstates, never in extreme cold/heat, etc. It needs to do her daily commute 100% of the time. The "trip to grandma's" isn't a concern as we would still have gas powered vehicles as backup.
NightHawk wrote:Might consider then one of the Ford Energi models or the Chevy Volt that give you 20-35 electric only miles for short trips and high mileage gas engine power for longer than that.

v_traveller
Posts: 422
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:22 am
Location: So Cal

Re: Range anxiety and I haven't even bought it yet!

Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:22 pm

Well, if you like the Cruze... the Volt is built on a Cruze platform and has about a 40 mile all-electric range before switching to gas. Might be worth a test drive. If you do, try it in Sport mode. Perhaps the quietness and responsiveness of the electric drivetrain will sway you from the diesel...

As for the FFE - Temps range in my area from 25F all the way up to 105F+... going by my experience, I think you might be cutting it close on the commutes during cold winter days if killing the heat is not an option. Worst indicated range I've had on a 30F morning was 55 miles, with the heat blasting. Summer will not be a problem at all, the A/C is quite efficient.

Perhaps one of our forum members in the Atlanta area could comment with their winter range experience?
vin
2015 B-Class Electric Drive - Cirrus White
2014 Volt - Summit White
2014 RAV4 EV - Blizzard Pearl White
2013 FFE - White Platinum Metallic (2/2013 -12/2015)
http://ev-vin.blogspot.com/

jenjc
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2014 4:06 pm

Re: Range anxiety and I haven't even bought it yet!

Wed Oct 08, 2014 2:23 am

When we were evaluating whether or not to go EV (and which one) I posted a similar question. The accumulated wisdom was quite helpful:

http://www.myfocuselectric.com/forum/vi ... f=8&t=2227

I'm not going to speak to range other than we decided to make the leap and purchased a FFE.

What may be even more important than range is attitude. The FFE will be my primary commuter. I'm excited about making it work. This will require behavior change. If I want to make it home without a charge at work I will NOT be driving 80 mph in the left lane like I do when I drive my BMW. And yes, on really cold days, you may find me in the left lane in the BMW.

The FFE is a great car. I can hardly wait for it to arrive. That said, with the current state of development, EVs (with the possible exception of the Tesla) are not a 1:1 replacement for an ICE. You have to embrace the challenges, know where your charging stations are and have fun being different.

Jenny
2014 Ice Blue Metallic
Delivery October 2014

EVA
Posts: 874
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:10 pm
Location: Chicago Area

Re: Range anxiety and I haven't even bought it yet!

Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:24 pm

I smile when I see - doesn't want to limit AC use. And yet she drives a Mustang with no AC!

I'm afraid sir, logic and a spreadsheet will not sway your fiancé.

Jenny has the right idea about reading that other thread - there was a lot of discussion and your scenario doesn't sound too different.

The commute doesn't sound bad to me - like it should work with no problems.

I worked for somebody a long time ago that said, if you tell them what to do, they will find the 100 ways to make it not work. If you make it their idea, they will find the 1 way to make it work.
2014 Platinum White FFE (Turning in mid Dec. 2016 25,000 miles)
2013 Ingot Silver FFE
2012 Titanium ICE Focus
2014 Tesla Model S 85

Rogerschro
Posts: 99
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2014 5:55 am
Location: Bellbrook Ohio

Re: Range anxiety and I haven't even bought it yet!

Thu Oct 09, 2014 4:46 am

EVA wrote:I worked for somebody a long time ago that said, if you tell them what to do, they will find the 100 ways to make it not work. If you make it their idea, they will find the 1 way to make it work.
So very true... I used to have used cars that were lucky to make a trip without wondering when it was going to quit on me. And so very many times I would use the weekends to get them running well enough to make it through the week until I could get the parts to get it through the next week. It was much like range anxiety, but there wasn't any range security at all. It could die any moment! ( and occasionally did) I think the range mentioned by the OP is well within acceptable distances and the what if scenarios are at best hypothetical. With a little driving time we will get to know what is realistic with the car and make better plans on how to use the car to achieve the goals and get the trips done that we want.

ElSupreme
Posts: 89
Joined: Sat May 03, 2014 7:31 am
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Range anxiety and I haven't even bought it yet!

Thu Oct 09, 2014 6:22 am

I live in Atlanta, so probably pretty similar climate to you in Alabama. In the summer I can drive 90 miles (with some speed restraint on the interstate 60-65) with some AC. I wouldn't worry about a 46 miles commute anytime but the coldest winter days. Even then driving a little slowly, or plugging into a 120 outlet for a few hours would give you plenty of buffer to make it happen.

And you can start with a warm car in the morning, and wear a jacket, keep the seat heated and really not need the heat.

I made a log of every single trip I made for over 400 days. Whether or not I could charge. And convinced myself that I couldn't work a LEAF/FocusElectric. But the past 2 months I have traded my Tesla to the wife, for the Focus Electric. And making my trips isn't hard at all. I have so much buffer that I think even the winter should be easy.

But if you, or her, are going to get worried when the dash says 10 miles left, and you are 4 from home it probably isn't the car for you. If you see 10 miles on the dash, 9 miles from home and you don't get worried (but adjust your driving slightly) then this is a fine car.
Think with dispassion; Speak with equanimity; Act in calm.

2012 Tesla Model S 85, Green
2014 Ford Focus Electric, Ice Storm

hybridbear
Posts: 1425
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:46 pm
Location: Minneapolis

Re: Range anxiety and I haven't even bought it yet!

Thu Oct 09, 2014 6:31 am

jenjc wrote:What may be even more important than range is attitude. The FFE will be my primary commuter. I'm excited about making it work. This will require behavior change. If I want to make it home without a charge at work I will NOT be driving 80 mph in the left lane like I do when I drive my BMW. And yes, on really cold days, you may find me in the left lane in the BMW.

The FFE is a great car. I can hardly wait for it to arrive. That said, with the current state of development, EVs (with the possible exception of the Tesla) are not a 1:1 replacement for an ICE. You have to embrace the challenges, know where your charging stations are and have fun being different.
Jenny's attitude is right on how many of us feel. An EV has different advantages & disadvantages compared to an ICE car. It also has different challenges. An ICE car will challenge you with maintenance as it breaks down, an EV should be much more reliable because of its much more simple design, but an EV will challenge you with range.
EVA wrote:I worked for somebody a long time ago that said, if you tell them what to do, they will find the 100 ways to make it not work. If you make it their idea, they will find the 1 way to make it work.
This is the key. Hopefully you can convince your fiancée to become excited about driving an EV and get her enthused about the possibilities & challenges. It's taken a few months with my wife but she is much more engaged now and I've even heard her talking about EVs and promoting them herself now.

You can also look at the potential cost savings for driving an FFE and make a plan for what you'd do with the money you save. Then you can ask her if a few minor changes in behavior aren't worth the potentially hundreds of dollars a month you'd save.
2013 Ford Focus Electric - Ice Storm - leased through 8/15/16
Replaced by a 2016 Tesla Model S 60D

blackbeasst
Posts: 143
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2014 5:00 am
Location: GA

Re: Range anxiety and I haven't even bought it yet!

Thu Oct 09, 2014 9:48 am

ElSupreme wrote:I live in Atlanta, so probably pretty similar climate to you in Alabama. In the summer I can drive 90 miles (with some speed restraint on the interstate 60-65) with some AC. I wouldn't worry about a 46 miles commute anytime but the coldest winter days. Even then driving a little slowly, or plugging into a 120 outlet for a few hours would give you plenty of buffer to make it happen.

And you can start with a warm car in the morning, and wear a jacket, keep the seat heated and really not need the heat.

I made a log of every single trip I made for over 400 days. Whether or not I could charge. And convinced myself that I couldn't work a LEAF/FocusElectric. But the past 2 months I have traded my Tesla to the wife, for the Focus Electric. And making my trips isn't hard at all. I have so much buffer that I think even the winter should be easy.

But if you, or her, are going to get worried when the dash says 10 miles left, and you are 4 from home it probably isn't the car for you. If you see 10 miles on the dash, 9 miles from home and you don't get worried (but adjust your driving slightly) then this is a fine car.
i'll be getting my first taste of ga winters here soon in my ffe. should be interesting to track my drive down 316 from athens to lawrenceville :D

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