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Discussion Starter #1


I am driving my Nissan Leaf from my home in Saltash, Cornwall to Preston, Lancashire next weekend to visit another Leaf owner... Mark Tebbutt.

It is 350 miles each way and I hope to do the trip there in a single day rapid charging on the way.

If you want to follow me on this trip then why not take a look at my blog at:

http://purplemud.blogspot.com

Or you can follow along with me on Twitter @paul_churchley
 

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I see that you are taking the Leaf rather than the Ampera which set me wondering how they compared, ignoring the range especially running on electricity cost wise?
Have a safe journey.
Geoff
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well I am taking the Leaf because I can!!!

Normally, for a trip like this naturally I would normally take the Ampera but I haven't done any long trips in the Leaf for a while and certainly not since the Ecotricity rapids have gone in so I thought why not :)

EV performance of the two is not something I have considered much so any comment I make right now is going to be nothing more than impression. The problem with comparing the EV performance of the Leaf vs the Ampera is that with the Ampera you can and do run to empty. With the Leaf that is almost impossible to do without getting stranded and so any Leaf figures are always estimates. I wouldn't rely on the figures on the car either as they have been shown to be quite inaccurate... or at least they were with the early software versions. I haven't retested it since the software upgrades so it might be better now.

Nevertheless, comparing the two is actually difficult just from observation. Having said that... I can kinda work it out from the battery capacities and the ranges I am currently getting so let me see... correct me if I have any of these figures wrong as I am doing this from memory...

Leaf usable capacity 21kwh - typical estimated range to at this time of year at about 90 miles so 4.3miles/kwh

Ampera usable capacity 10kwh - typical range at this time of year (actual) about 45 miles so 4.5miles/kwh

As I say... totally non-scientific and if it were a proper test then I wouldn't be too surprised if these figures were shown to be wrong but it looks to me like it is very close but if anything the Ampera is actually the better performing as far as EV performance goes.

I may try to do a few tests in the coming weeks if my journey profiles allow but I don't really want to do tests for the sake of tests. I did a lot of that when I first got the Leaf and so I am leaving that stuff to others now :)
 

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Sorry Paul I had meant it as a statement not a question as to which car you will use. I was just wondering how the two vehicles compared. It is interesting that they both have a similar cost per mile using the battery. I wonder if the Leaf battery will suffer more than Ampera battery by not charging from flat each time.
Geoff
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi Geoff... yes, I realise it was a statement but I thought I would ellaborate on my reasons just to explain to everyone. Sorry if I didn't make that clear. ;-)

I went out this afternoon for about a 20 mile trip and decided to follow up on this discussion by taking particular note of my power use. It was in the Leaf and I was surprised just what I discovered.

I think that I have slipped into a style of driving that isn't particularly frugal on power. I drive reasonably carefully and almost (aaahm!) always within the speed limits but I can clearly do better. I drove very carefully and my power use was down to nearly 5miles/kwh. I normally never get that.

So I wouldn't place too much reliance on the figures I gave earlier. I must do some more careful driving on each car to get some more accurate figures.

Having said that, I still don't think that there is much between the two. You would imagine that being a specialist 100% EV that the Leaf would perform better but I cannot say that for sure right now.

Watch this space I think they say :) :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks. Sorry. I say MK but it is actually Newport Pagnell. Just got the name wrong in the spreadsheet.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
There is no single app or map to plan ev routes. You have to use all the information available to get the full picture. I use Zap Map, Open Charge Map, Ecotricity Electric Highway to find the charging locations (although I know most of them from experience!) and then use Google Maps to actually do the route although I won't stick 100% to the planned route because I generally follow the car GPS while travelling.

Planning a trip like this is not so difficult when there are rapid chargers available 24/7. The tricky part of this one was at Peterborough, where the rapid charger is at a Nissan garage and only available in opening hours... and getting back to Cornwall at the end because the charger at Exeter is Nissan and only available in open hours. These access restrictions make long distance travel difficult because it restricts travel time to roughly 8-5 but when on a 300 mile trip you need to be able to travel something like 7am to 8pm if you are to make the distances.

To determine whether the trip is at all possible I have a spreadsheet. I put in the leg details... distance, expected avg speed, etc, I also put in how much time I expect to need to charge when I arrive based on the distance of the next leg... then I put in target arrival time at my final destination and it will work out my start and end times for each leg taking into account the charging. That way I know what time I must depart my starting point to arrive at my destination at the planned time. You can see part of this spreadsheet in my schedule.

I had planned on writing a desktop app to do all this but until I can find a sensible way to do the route planning in the app I am stuck. I want ti include data from all the known data sources and elevation data but there are licensing issues that seem impossible to overcome at the moment. Perhaps this will change in a year or two.
 
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