Saturday, October 20, 2012

Efficiency is Not so Easy for Me in the E.

Me and driving efficacy have a rocky relationship.  In Facebook lingo: "it's complicated."  The problem is that I have no interest whatsoever in being efficient.  And efficiency has no patience for my aggressive driving style.  So most of the time we just agree to disagree.

But every now and again I need to be efficient to get where I want to go in the Active E.  I have been driving more lately, and even having to make some unexpected trips.  Learning to be efficient so that I can drive as far as possible on a charge is a necessary evil.

For example, the other day I had to drive from my house in Corona to my office in Temecula (40 miles).  It usually takes me about 50% of my battery power to make that drive without being all that efficient.  And Temecula has free public chargers a block and a half from my office, so all is well once I am there.  The problem is that the E has a little trouble getting along with Clipper Creek chargers on hot days.  That means that the car will detect a fault and stop charging before it is full.  On this particular day, I was only able to charge back to abut 74% rather than 100%.

I then needed to drive from Temecula to my office in Ontario (about 56 miles), drive a bit more for lunch and then drive back home.  All told, the day would take another 82 miles to complete and I usually don't drive with an 82 mile range in mind even with 100% charge much less starting at 74%.

Time to see just how close me and efficiency can get when needed.  I hit the road from Temecula and rather than traveling at 70 mph (which is my idea of being efficient), I slowed down to 60, found a diesel and a nice big, box trailer (one that didn't kick rocks in my face) and settled in for the drive.  To my surprise I traveled the 56 miles from Temecula to Ontario using only 45% on my battery.  45%!!  That's astounding considering I usually use 50% to travel 40 miles.  Using 45% to travel 56 miles was a real accomplishment for me.  I had plenty of power left over to drive around and then go home.

The bottom line is that if you want to be more efficient...slow down.  70 is good, but 60 is fantastic.  The other point is that I can vary my driving habits.  So I might drive with fun in the morning, but if I have an unexpected trip to make, I can simply drive more conservatively and wring out the range for a longer haul.  Most of the time, I can just find a charger so it makes little difference how I drive.

Maybe Efficiency and I will make it after all...

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