FlufferMew
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2013 12:54 am

Ways to Extend Range

Sat Jun 14, 2014 2:38 am

Hey!

So, are there any practical ways I can extend my range to go longer distances? On the highway, I can usually average about 60-70 miles on a single charge, depending on traffic, and if I'm going up hill or down hill. I want to be able to go from San Dimas to Apple Valley. However, that's a 60-70 mile drive through a mountain area, uphill, which screams unpredictability to me. According to Plug Share, charge points along the way aren't as accessible as I would like either because half of the trip is throughout he desert/mountain range.

SO, does anyone know if there are batteries, or generators I could use to pull over and charge so I can make it to my destination? I tried looking this up myself, but the combination of terms gave me some mixed results. But, I'm just assuming there's no practical products for this just yet that is ready for consumers.

jmueller065
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Re: Ways to Extend Range

Sat Jun 14, 2014 3:43 am

Don't take the freeway and go slower. By only going 45 mph instead of 60-70 you'll get closer to 80-90 miles out of the car.
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jeffand
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Re: Ways to Extend Range

Sat Jun 14, 2014 8:15 am

I found if you drive at speed of about 40-45 MPH it's possible to get just over 100 miles of driving range. Driving at a speed of 30-35 MPH may increase the range over 110 miles. This can be done with the climate control off, few stops, and relatively level roads. I know that driving at 40-45 MPH can deliver 100+ mile driving range. I haven't tried driving at the much slower 30-35 MPH speed to check the range. I would think under ideal conditions it may be possible to drive 130 miles on a single charge. The speed to do this may be in the area of 25 to 35 MPH.
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unplugged
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Re: Ways to Extend Range

Sat Jun 14, 2014 4:31 pm

You have the benefit of leaving at an altitude of around 1000 feet. At least you aren't starting from closer to the coast. Your highest altitude is about 4100 feet. I make a similar route from 100 feet in Irvine to 2700 ft. So your altitude gain is 3100. Mine is 2600. My mileage is around 65 miles also. My end altitude is 1600 ft, or 1000 ft below my summit. Apple Valley is about 3000 ft. (That's why they call it the high desert.) So your end altitude from the summit is about 1100 ft.

Since I take the Ortega Highway (74), I use the 5 freeway to get there from Irvine, about 17 miles at 65 mph. I then go about 55 mph until I hit traffic. I can maintain a minimum of 40 to 45 up the incline. Ortega Highway is a lot of fun in the FFE.

So my conclusion is that if you maintain a speed below 55 mph, you should have about 10 miles left on your range. That's what I end up with, and I don't really go slow. (What fun would that be?)
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FlufferMew
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2013 12:54 am

Re: Ways to Extend Range

Sun Jun 15, 2014 12:05 pm

AWESOME! Great responses everyone! That completely makes sense about the speed. I notice when there's heavy traffic on the highway, I actually get great milage because I can coast half the time going about 45-50mph. Going to Simi Valley, it's a 60 mile drive, if there's traffic, I can get there with still 30% battery sometimes. However, on my drive back, when there's no traffic, and it's slightly uphill, driving at 60mph, I get home with only 14% battery.

I think I'm willing to give this trip a shot at some point. It still makes me absurdly anxious to get stuck somewhere. This has happened to be before when I took the wrong onramp on the freeway once. LOL doh. I wish car batteries were like computer memory, and you could modify it as time goes on. As a young adult with new opportunities coming into play that I didn't foresee a year ago, my need to travel longer distances is increasing. I should have gone with the Fusion! Haha! :lol:

WattsUp
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Re: Ways to Extend Range

Sun Jun 15, 2014 3:22 pm

Also keep in mind (for any car) that wind resistance, and hence the energy required to overcome it, increases exponentially with speed. In other words, to go twice as fast, you'll need more than twice the energy. This is why, in your EV, all other things being equal, range is greatly diminished the faster you go, and greatly improved the slower you go.

This may seem counter-intuitive having driven gasoline cars all your life, where mileage is better on the freeway (going faster) and worse in the city (going slower). But, that behavior is a product of gasoline engines using less gasoline at lower RPMs (higher gears) when cruising at freeway speeds. Likewise, reduced city mileage is a testament to how inefficient gasoline engines are when running at the higher RPMs (lower gears) typical of non-freeway driving, with overall lower cruising speeds, frequent idling, and increased stop/go cycles, all of which are very inefficient for gasoline engines. (Btw, that last point is why hybrid cars like the Prius use their electric motor to stop/go instead of the gasoline engine.)

In EVs, however, there are no gears (there is usually a fixed "step down" gear box, but not the typical automotive transmission). The motor is simply driving the wheels "directly" -- and the RPM for the motor has a direct, linear correlation to car speed. Electric motors are very efficient in general, and efficient through most of their speed range, and are also the most efficient at the higher end of the range. That said, it is still the energy required to push the car through the air (overcoming wind resistance) that is the overwhelming factor limiting EV range (aside from the battery capacity, of course).

My point: There is nothing more effective for increasing the range of your EV than simply driving slower and reducing the wind resistance (second to perhaps driving on the freeway with an 80 MPH tailwind). ;)
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FlufferMew
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2013 12:54 am

Re: Ways to Extend Range

Sun Jun 15, 2014 9:32 pm

Wattsup, that makes a lot of sense! I remember as a kid, my parents complaining about "wasting gas" sitting in traffic. I suppose that doesn't happen with electric exactly? Speaking of wind resistance, Simi Valley can get REALLY windy, and I remember at certain downhill point where I would normally regenerate power, I'd actually USE power downhill due to the wind. I wish I could make the car more aerodynamic!

So, I looked up a route to apple valley that is all surface streets. Unfortunately, that is 79 miles, instead of 66 on the highway. Do you think I could go nearly 80 miles taking surface streets?

WattsUp
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Re: Ways to Extend Range

Sun Jun 15, 2014 10:52 pm

FlufferMew wrote:Wattsup, that makes a lot of sense! I remember as a kid, my parents complaining about "wasting gas" sitting in traffic. I suppose that doesn't happen with electric exactly?
You're right, it exactly doesn't. In an EV, when you are stopped (for example, at a stop light), but the car is still turned on, you are not using any energy (or at least a very minuscule amount). A gasoline car sits there (unless you turn it off) still consuming gasoline as it idles. (I wonder how much gasoline is utterly wasted every day in the world by people waiting at stop lights?)
FlufferMew wrote:So, I looked up a route to apple valley that is all surface streets. Unfortunately, that is 79 miles, instead of 66 on the highway. Do you think I could go nearly 80 miles taking surface streets?
I don't want to make any guarantees, but you should be able to best 80 miles in your FFE is you drive strictly 45 mph and under. Some people do over 100 miles if they keep it below 30. So, yes, it is possible, but it may prove difficult to drive an entire long trip at such slows speeds though. (You don't want to drive unsafely under the speed limit, which may be higher than 30 or 45 on many surface streets. You'll probably annoy a lot of people, and perhaps cause an accident.)

Of course, after wind resistance and speed, elevation changes must be taken into account. If you're going uphill all the way (even a slight incline), you will use more energy. But, if the elevation at your destination is roughly the same as your origin, and you're not climbing any "mountains" on the way, you should be able to estimate energy usage as if the entire route was flat (all the hills will effectively cancel out... you'll use more energy going up a bit, but then less, or even regenerate a bit, coming down).
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jeffand
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Re: Ways to Extend Range

Tue Jun 17, 2014 1:51 pm

San Dimas has an elevation of 750 feet, while Apple Valley has an elevation of 2900 feet. So have an elevation change of 2150 feet. This will use significant energy out of the battery pack. If you could take on a charge before climbing the mountain range on your way to Apple Valley you should be able to make the trip. Returning to Sam Dimas on the other hand, a recharge may not be nessary.
As for making the trip to Apple Valley on a single charge very likely may not be possible!
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