JoeS
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Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:47 am
Location: Los Altos Hills, California

Why I Don't Have Range Anxiety

Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:17 am

It's called PLANNING AHEAD

Pilots do it meticulously (I'm not a pilot)
Ocean and Coastal Navigators do it meticulously (I spent many years cruising)

Everyone does it, sort of, even if subconsciously. It's a mindset that is now brought to the forefront.

Look yourself in the mirror: how many times have you hopped into the car and not known where you're going?

Nowadays, with GoogleMaps, GPS, and SmartPhones, it is so easy to be able to predict how many miles we're going to go.

With our excellent Range Remaining display, it's a piece of cake. Sure beats the simple voltmeter/ammeter and wildly inaccurate SOC gauges on my other EVs. A cheap GPS (they're down to $40 at Fry's) is a nice accessory for the iMiEV.

Sure, there are times when we head to the store and find out that what we need is out of stock and need to go elsewhere - but then we reassess the situation to determine if that additional mileage is acceptable before venturing out there (don't we?).

So, why don't I have Range Anxiety? Because I always know exactly how far I'm going and I pay attention to my Range Remaining and Fuel Gauge as I'm driving. I basically don't go under 3 bars or RR=10, primarily to conserve my battery. If there is any question at all, I simply slow down and use a few hypermiling tricks - the iMiEV is magically responsive to such tactics, and it's always fun to watch the RR actually increase as one is driving.

If I need to make a round trip of over 50 miles (high speed highway - it's easily 70+ miles for lower-speed driving) and can't guarantee that I can recharge or have time constraints, I simply don't do it and take the Gen1 Insight hybrid. In practice, since we bought the iMiEV, using the ICE is a very rare occurrence for our local driving.

Longer trips are actually fun from a planning standpoint: if we can't make the round trip without recharging, we check to ensure we can charge at our destination (and have more than one place as backup) and pinpoint their location and availability using PlugShare or Recargo or ChargePoint. We also check along our route to see if there are any public charging stations (and EXACTLY where they are), and as a further backup we note what friends we might have along the route - just in case...

That last case is the reason that I made sure my Level 2 EVSE is transportable (I bought an SPX Xpress which works on either 120v or 240v and has a number of current setting to tailor it to the supply). I've used it a few times when visiting friends and plugged into their dryer outlets - reality is that in each case my Mitsu 120v Level 1 EVSE would have sufficed.

Since "what's the Range" is by far the most-frequently-asked question from bystanders, I really try to use this as an opportunity to educate the person and have them think realistically about the majority of their automotive excursions in order to have them realize that the iMiEV really is suitable as a primary car - the ICE vehicle becomes secondary and reserved for longer trips.

I've now taken to answering the range question by saying "a couple of hundred miles a day" instead of "EPA says 62 miles" - the former elicits positive reactions whereas the latter results in frowns and head shaking. Simply plugging in the car at home during the day has to be explained, as for some reason many people think you have to deplete the battery before charging it (NiCd legacy?). The cellphone analogy is helpful: "Would you rather charge your cellphone once a week in five minutes in this special charging place a few miles away or would you rather charge at home any time you want?" and point out that you have a "full tank" every morning. Let me re-emphasize that: the convenience of "fueling up" at home is priceless!

The preceding rant was triggered by, once again, being asked the same question over and over again and the realization that most people have not taken the time to assess their own driving habits and just how easily a "limited range" electric vehicle such as our iMiEV can satisfy most of their driving needs. Sorry, I've repeated stuff I've said before.

Edit 7/31: added the phrase " exactly how far I'm going"
EVs: 2 Wht/Blu SE Prem., '13 Tesla MS85, 3 156v CorbinSparrows (2 Li-ion), 24v EcoScoot(LiFePO4)
EV Conv: 156v '86 Ram PU, 144v '65 Saab 96
Hybrids: 48v1kW bike
ICE: '88 Isuzu Trooper. Mothballed: '67 Saab (orig.owner), '76 MBZ L206D RHD RV

MLucas
Posts: 833
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:52 am
Location: Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada

Re: Why I Don't Have Range Anxiety

Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:06 am

Joe - we all understand what you are saying or are learning about what you are saying as we experience these great cars. I think you have given us some new tools to tell those that come up to us in parking lots asking about the car. We are the avangelist of the new age whether we like it or not. I think we should all do our part to be as friendly as possible (not saying that you aren't Joe - I think you are a peach) anyway, and help the uninformed and show them there is a better way to get yourself from point A to point B.

I've had several conversations and most people are gobsmacked that this is a 'full' electric car. I had one guy keep asking me where do I put the gas, and are you sure this is not a hybrid. We'll do more good for Mitsubishi than any advertising they can pay for.

Like Dylan...I went electric.

  • Purchased: June 29th, 2012
  • Mileage on June 29th, 2013 - 25,431 km / 15,802 miles
  • Mileage on June 29th, 2014 - 51,286 km / 32,616 miles

List of Oil Spills: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_oil_spills

Don
Site Moderator
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Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 3:55 pm
Location: Biloxi MS

Re: Why I Don't Have Range Anxiety

Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:16 am

This is my first EV, though I'd considered building one for the past several years and I'm quite surprised at how quickly any range anxiety I may have had went away. We've always planned well enough so that we arrive back home usually with 10 or more miles range remaining, though we have had a couple trips where we were down to 4 and 6 miles when we pulled back into the garage. We've never recharged anywhere but at home . . . . there are no recharging stations down here yet except for the Mitsu and Nissan dealaerships which sell electric cars

Now that I've seen the video where the car went another 6 or 8 miles past zero on the RR meter, any tiny bit of anxiety that may have remained is gone - We can plan well enough to get home with some positive number remaining and now it turns out that there's a bit of a 'reserve tank' hiding there to cover you for a small missed calculation

We have bought ZERO gasoline in the 2 1/2 months we've had our car - One ICE has not been driven at all (the Miata, it's just been too darned hot for top down motoring) and the other car was used only twice . . . . once to carry 5 people and the other time was to tow a trailer. How long the crappy ethanol laced gas in them will last is something else to begin thinking about, but luckily we live just 1/4 mile from a little country store that sells 100% gasoline and they're going to get lots more of my business in the future I can tell

When people ask me how far the car can go, I usually tell them 60 to 90 miles on a single charge, depending on how you drive and that seems to impress most people. I'm looking forward to pushing that 90 number a bit this fall after things cool off to where we don't need to use the A/C since we live in an area with plenty of back roads to get us where we need to go at a leisurely pace and the biggest elevation changes we have down here are freeway overpasses :D

Don
2012 iMiEV SE Premium, White
2012 iMiEV SE, White
2017 Chevy Volt Premier
2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT SWB wagon, 14,000 miles
1979 Honda CBX six into six

sandange
Posts: 894
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:21 am
Location: Quebec, Canada
Contact: Website

Re: Why I Don't Have Range Anxiety

Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:06 am

Funny thing I just posted about range and anxiety also

Longer trips are actually fun from a planning standpoint: if we can't make the round trip without recharging, we check to ensure we can charge at our destination (and have more than one place as backup) and pinpoint their location and availability using PlugShare or Recargo or ChargePoint. We also check along our route to see if there are any public charging stations (and EXACTLY where they are), and as a further backup we note what friends we might have along the route - just in case...


That's exactly the same way we feel about going on an extended trip - it's an adventure, not a panic attack, kind of like a Sunday drive
If we find the distance at the limits, it's fun mapping an alternative route using side roads for lower speeds and possible fewer Miles/Km
Puey Bluey 2014 Miev
103.768 miles, 167,000 km
Previous EVs
Blackie - 2012 ES Miev 2 years - 67,000 km / (41,630 miles)
Total Electric miles driven 145,400 miles (234,000 km)
http://thecordstead.blogspot.ca/

oakvilleblake
Posts: 45
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:36 pm

Re: Why I Don't Have Range Anxiety

Mon Jul 30, 2012 12:45 pm

I've read a lot of posts on this forum (very informative and entertaining) but I still don't have a good sense of what a worst-case-scenario (damp cold day requiring window heater defrost + running late so take the highway) might mean for my wife's 70km round trip commute to work in the i (with no possibility of plugging in at work)... I really don't want her to be stranded if a winter storm means a longer time (but same km) ride home at the end of the day or if she has to go straight from work to pick up our daughter at school and ferry her somewhere (e.g. jazz lesson)?

She's prepared to keep her coat on and use the heater sparingly, but obvious some window defogging is necessary from a basic security perspective.

Can anyone offer a reassurance or caution in this regard?

blake

MLucas
Posts: 833
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:52 am
Location: Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada

Re: Why I Don't Have Range Anxiety

Mon Jul 30, 2012 1:11 pm

Since I own the car and haven't driven it in winter I can't really tell you what winter will be like. But, I'm in a similiar boat - not much possibility to charge up at work. I'm working with the garage where I park to see if they'll let me plug in but I haven't heard back yet.

I drive 44 kilometers each way for a total of 88 kilometers. I just put my GPS in and starting to get better data. I'm averaging about 7.33 kilometers a bar. If you are running 70 kms a day, you'll be left with six bars at just the end of the commute giving you about 42 kms left after your wife's commute. That is pretty good for an average day of driving. Now for the winter you'll have to readjust. Yes, the heater is going to eat into your range, the cold weather will eat into your range, the slippery conditions will eat into your range.

I've looked around a lot to get a clear answer on how well the i MiEV does in the winter time. I've gotten all kinds of answers from piss poor to pretty darn good. I know I'm going to have to find another source of heat as the heater drastically reduces range, fortunately I'm a long distance motorcycle rider and I have my heated jacket liner. I'm good there. But, the cold weather and the slippery conditions are still going to affect my range - I just don't know how much.

This is really hard to predict because everyone's driving style and the route they drive is very different. I have to climb the Niagara Escarpment everyday which pinches my range a bit. In Oakville, its pretty darn flat you may not have to contend with something like this, your range may be better than mine. If you get a lot of stop and go, which I don't - you'll have better opportunity for regen braking, again extending your range.

You are going to have to think if your wife really wants to put up with this or is another vehicle going to work better. These are still the early days of mass vehicle electrification, its going to be a few years off to where we can go long distances with all the amentities that an ICE car has.

There are other options. If the garage doesn't let me plug in, then I'm thinking of putting a posting up in the neighborhood near my office and see if someone wants to make a few bucks by letting me charge during the day while they are away.

Like Dylan...I went electric.

  • Purchased: June 29th, 2012
  • Mileage on June 29th, 2013 - 25,431 km / 15,802 miles
  • Mileage on June 29th, 2014 - 51,286 km / 32,616 miles

List of Oil Spills: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_oil_spills

iMiEVNZ7
Posts: 122
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:45 pm

Re: Why I Don't Have Range Anxiety

Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:38 pm

Hi Oakville,
The Best way to know for sure would be to ask the dealer to allow a weekend lend of the car. Our let us use the car over two times for a total of 8 days usage.

When you get the car on loan, regardless of the weather, hop in the car and plan a route that keeps you near home so you can pull out of the testing at any point and make it home on 10 km range, plus you have the with heater, aircon and seat heater off, another 7 km on the turtle, which lets you drive at about 70 Km / Hr, I know, I did it ! Yes the Headlights and radio still go when on Turtle mode.

So Route Planed, say around several blocks at slow speeds or a known easy route with highway speeds, do the following:

Wear clothes that will allow you to not be too hot.

Turn on the Heated Seats, Turn on the Aircon for demisting on Max to get worst range, in practice we find Medium to be heaps, Turn on Heater to Max to get the Heater to work at full power, open the windows as needed to keep the car at a reasonable and comfortable temperture, turn on lights, radio, and GPS, Have four people on board or take only as many as you would expect to be in the car normally.


Now drive, as hard as you like, within the legal limits of course, watch out for people who may not hear you driving slowly if in a low speed area too.

With every thing on, At 117 Km / Hr or 70 Mph, you should get 50 Kms Range, driving hard.

So what if you are say stuck in traffic, heater and everything on, not moving, then the battery will last about 1.75 hours.


So say you left everything on max, went 10 km at 117 Km / hour sat in traffic not moving for 30 minutes, then late for work travelled at 70 Mph, you would have :

16 Kw to start with, less 10 km @ 117 KM / Hr using Approx 180 watts x 10 or 1.8 Kw for the motor, and during the 10 Kms, 180 watts per min x 5.1 min for the Heater and aircon, say 250 per min for everything not counting the motor, so 1,275 watts for the 10 km or 5.1 min trip. 1. 8 Kw and 1.275 Kw = 3.075 Kw .

Then sitting in Traffic for 30 minutes, no motor power used, but heater and aircon and heated seats and lights etc, on for 30 minutes. : 250 x 30 =7, 500 watts or 7.5 Kw

So far we started with 16 Kw, used 3.075 Kw so had about 13 Kw left, then used 7.5 Kw so had about 5.5 Kw left.

At 100 Km / hour for 10 minutes and then stuck in traffic for 30 minutes we have used a total of 10.575 Kw, and travelled 17 km out of a trip expected to be 70 Km round trip.

This gives a round trip left to go distance of 53 Km. To travel 53 Km at around 117 Km / Hr takes about 28 minutes.

28 Minutes say 30 minutes, x 250 watts for heating and aircon etc, not motor, = 7.5 Kw plus 53 Km x 180 watts per km = 9, 540 watts. total for 70 km trip plus 30 mins stuck in traffic, 10.575 Kw + 7.5 Kw + 9.540 Kw = 27.615 Kw

Now we can see that this is not a practical trip at that speed with everything on as the battery only has 16 Kw available and the usage would be 27. 7 Kw or so.

In practice, if you had the Heater on for that long on Max, it would get really hot in the car.

If say the trip was no delays, at 117 Km/ Hr everything on for the moving part of the trip only, then the usage would be 27. 7 Kw - 7.5 Kw = 20.2 Kw which is also not achievable.

Looking at it another way, the travel with no aircon or heating or heated seats uses abut 12. 7 Kw for the 70 km trip.

That leaves about 3.3 Kw spare.

If you put the heater on max, no aircon or heated seats, it would use about 5.5 Kw per hour, or about 92 Watts per minute.

The 70 km trip would take about 37 minutes. During that time the heater would use about 92 x 37 = 3.4 Kw. Would work.

If you turned off the heater say a few minutes before arriving at work and a few minutes before getting home, you would have plenty of range.

Or perhaps better, if you used the heater on Medium, then you would have heaps of range.

We had the car going for 50 Km with the heater on Medium, at about 90 Km / Hour and for about 45 minutes and used about 12 Kw.

So in conclusion, the 70 Km trip, at 70 Mph and everything on max, no, not doable.

The 70 Km Trip with Heater on medium all the way and a bit of aircon for a few minutes to defog the screen at the start of both trips, and then at 70 Mph, yes can do.

If stuck in traffic though, one would have to turn the heater to low, or on the highway, go slower, say 100 Km / hr.

It is a tough one, I favour adding an inverter, a couple of Gel batteries and a 110 V 0r 240 volt fan heater, that way the imiev main battery would not be used for heating and the range would be about 100 Km.

Don
Site Moderator
Posts: 2774
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 3:55 pm
Location: Biloxi MS

Re: Why I Don't Have Range Anxiety

Mon Jul 30, 2012 5:10 pm

oakvilleblake wrote: . . . . I still don't have a good sense of what a worst-case-scenario (damp cold day requiring window heater defrost + running late so take the highway) might mean for my wife's 70km round trip commute to work in the i (with no possibility of plugging in at work)...
I'm not sure you're ever going to get the type of answer you're looking for. Driving the car is a learning experience and as you gain familiarity with it, you slowly learn *how* to drive it and as you learn, all sorts of 'answers' will reveal themselves

'Worst case scenario' means doing several things you wouldn't ordinarily do if you wanted to make sure you could go the distance - Driving above 100 kmh's, blasting the heater (or A/C) on MAX, lots of jack-rabbit starts, speeding right up to stop signs and then slamming on the brakes, etc, etc

I've said here several times that you can almost make the range anything you want/need it to be (within reason) once you get a good feel for the car, and she'll have that after driving it a couple thousand km's or so - You drive it differently when you're wanting to get the maximum range out of it than you do when running everyday chores and the like - I LOVE stomping the pedal to the metal sometimes ('leadfooting' it) but I would never do that if I was making a longer trip where there was any possibility I might need the extra range at the end of my trip - Same for high speed driving and maxxing out the climate controls. I don't usually use the freeway much, but I've done it several times (with and without the A/C) so I know what it 'costs' me and whether or not it's a good idea based on how far I need to go and what the RR meter says at the current time

I have little doubt that 100 miles (160 km's) is doable with our car, but with our daily use of the A/C (it's 90+ degrees here every afternoon) it's not very likely to actually happen until fall. Still, my RR gauge says 80 to 85 miles most everytime I take it off the charger, meaning that if I'm as careful as I usually am, I could go that far even running the A/C as I usually do. You get a daily 'check' of this when you put the car on the charger - The RR gauge has it's number and then you add the total miles you've driven since you last fully charged it and you can see how far you're actually capable of going per 'tank' - If you drive it like a maniac, those numbers will be smaller (maybe much smaller) so you learn what you can do and what's not a good idea

Short of actually driving it where she needs to go on a cold winter day, I don't see how anyone can reassure you with the certainty you're looking for. Those of us with some experience can tell you not to worry about it, as your planned commute is easily within the theoritcal range (even on a really cold day) but that probably doesn't mean much to you

I'm pleasantly surprised at how far I can drive it with the A/C on - The EPA said it's nominal range was 62 miles, but I'm getting about 20 more than that, even running the A/C most of the time. I think once you get your car and use it for a time, you'll be pleasantly surprised too

Don
2012 iMiEV SE Premium, White
2012 iMiEV SE, White
2017 Chevy Volt Premier
2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT SWB wagon, 14,000 miles
1979 Honda CBX six into six

oakvilleblake
Posts: 45
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:36 pm

Re: Why I Don't Have Range Anxiety

Mon Jul 30, 2012 5:55 pm

Thank-you everyone. I appreciate the time and care you put into your responses. It's hugely helpful to me.

I draw a few conclusions from all of this:
• 70 km commute is definitely doable in all weather conditions even without a charge at work provided one starts with a full battery and drives sensibly (preheating from home, keep speed to maybe a bit less than the legal limit, using the heated seat and/or heated vest, keep cabin heat/ac only at what needed to make car safe and liveable). Sometimes this will leave us with plenty for evening errands even without an over-supper charge, other times perhaps not.
• there will be a few occasions when the combination of work commute, weather conditions, and after-work plans mean that we may exceed the car's useable range, even with reasonable precautions. This is where having the Mitsui headquarters just off the route my wife would take home allows for a 20min quick-charge when we know that more demands will be made on the car that particular evening. Having 5 friends in the area who've offered to loan us their ICE car in a pinch (or trade for a fully charged iMiev for the day) also comes in handy, with a bit of advance planning. Having 3 car rental places within a few blocks of our house is another handy back-up, albeit a more costly one (but note that renting 2 bicycles for 24hrs in Halifax last week cost more than Enterprise charges to rent a small car for a week!)
• it will become second nature to adjust driving to suit range required (as an owner of a Zero electric motorcycle I get this: I don't blast around in Sport mode if I'm doing a longer 100km ride, but if I'm out for a short blast I don't hold back)
• an EV entails a few compromises that are par for the course: one can't simply blast around all over the place without a thought. But the flip side is that sailing about silently and efficiently, and gaming the regen modes etc can be lots of fun and its own fulfillment. I'm particularly looking forward to being able to hop in for short trips (like taking the dog to the off-leash area or picking up an item downtown) where I would have made myself cycle even in bad weather for the sake of reducing pollution (especially knowing that ICE engines pollute the most on short trips when the catalytic converter doesn't have time to warm up)

thanks again everyone!

JoeS
Site Moderator
Posts: 3584
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:47 am
Location: Los Altos Hills, California

Re: Why I Don't Have Range Anxiety

Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:39 pm

Thanks to y'all for your comments. Yes, in talking with interested bystanders I do attempt to be as diplomatic as possible. :|

Just ran across this summary of a study (using data obtained from the Department of Transportation’s 2009 National Household Travel Survey) which shows that 95 percent of the 748,918 recorded single-trip journeys by car were under 30 miles, further support for the iMiEV's range:
http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1071688_95-of-all-trips-could-be-made-in-electric-cars-says-study

Still on-topic, at a recent talk, the Coda rep suggested instilling "range confidence" rather than referring to "range anxiety".
http://www.torquenews.com/1075/coda-calls-automakers-build-range-confidence-electric-cars
EVs: 2 Wht/Blu SE Prem., '13 Tesla MS85, 3 156v CorbinSparrows (2 Li-ion), 24v EcoScoot(LiFePO4)
EV Conv: 156v '86 Ram PU, 144v '65 Saab 96
Hybrids: 48v1kW bike
ICE: '88 Isuzu Trooper. Mothballed: '67 Saab (orig.owner), '76 MBZ L206D RHD RV

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