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Aug 24, 2021
So I got brave and drove one of the 2014 imeves to the other side of the mountain to go on my weekly hike. I have been driving my son's old gas car to the mountains, because I have been too chicken to take the imeves, since the batteries haven't been monitored like they used too. It's about 55 miles round trip. But it generally takes 3/4 to near everything to just to get up the mountain. It's about a 2,500 gain in sea level. And then, with it being down hill on the way back and with hypermiling, somehow magically one can get back home only using a few bars. But, give or take the wind and how much semi tailgating one can do, the trip can be done easily or a little on edge. I had two successful times and then the last one, i got the flashing charge sign. I had about 5 miles left to go and only 2 bars.

I had looked up a charging place and decided that it was a good time to try it. So several questions I have now.
The Go Station had two charging attachments. One is the CCS/SAE (the top part looks like my charger at home but the bottom has an extra two hole thing that is in the way) so I assumed I couldnt use it. The other was the CHAdeMO (which I used). Luckily there were two charging stations, because the first charger didnt work, I tried not to panic and tried the second one, and it did. WHoohooo.
My car said it was 20% charged when I plugged it in. So I am thinking that I could have made it home easily. But I not sure that everything is accurate. Did I really have 20%, then why was it flashing etc. ?

How many flat driving miles (roughly) does one have after the charging light starts to flash? And then how many miles on turtle mode?

My other imeve doesnt have a fast charging port so I guess the CCS/SAE wouldnt work. There is another station near there that has a J1772 , in which a Leaf, a Prius and Golf charged there, so I assuming this is like the charger I have at home. But the web site says it needs an RFID card. So, the dumb question is, I found my husband's old RFID card. Will it work? Is it specific to the car and do you attach a credit card or is it just an authorization card to get you started? Do I have to get another one? How does one get one?

More questions about external charging. The one car has a Juice Box in the trunk. It has been sitting around for couple years, not charged. I charged it for a few hours, then tried charging the car. No increase in bars. So maybe it is just no good, or does it require something else to allow the car to take the charge? Just curious if I can revive it. It would be that little extra saving grace that I would like, to never have to see a charging station outside my home.

My other car doesnt have a Juice Box and doesnt have a fast charging port. So would anyone recommend a new Juice Box or something new to buy that would give me a couple bars in an emergency?

Ok, thats it for now. I appreciate any input you can provide. I just love these cars and I am not ready to give up on them yet. Not to sound pathetic, but these cars and my cat is all I have. lol
Hi BrennZenn,

Congrats on your trip!
My favorite camping place is about 3000' elevation up, and about 100 miles round trip.
I could stop about half-way there and again half-way back and charge at
a L2 station for a couple hours each time and make the trip but haven't tried that yet.

The standard J1772 at a 240V L2 station, will put a bit more than three bars an hour in to your Imieve.
If I only have five miles to go and still have two bars I know I can easily make it home.
The early flashing is just to make sure you are aware early enough to (hopefully)avoid any surprises.
Figure on about 4 miles per bar. 5 miles if you drive slow and it isn't winter.
Turtle is a bit of a gamble. I've only seen it once, about 2 miles from home, and it made it.

Two bars is about 2000 watt/hours. You can buy a Lithium Ion battery pack / inverter that size for a whole lot of money.
Here's a 1000WH unit for $1000:
I bet your JuiceBox is tiny compared to these things.

Thanks and good health, Weogo
BrenZenn, your trip sounds like the one your late husband used to describe to us going up into the Sandia mountains. We had lots of spirited but friendly technical discussions regarding hypermiling. Here are a couple of terrific graphs of your trip that he produced to support his arguments -

To address your specific questions -

1) Last two bars blinking - Weogo nicely answered your questions on that one. On longer trips I enable my GPS or Google Maps and enter my destination so I have an exact Distance to Go (DTG) that I can bounce off the i-MiEVs Range Remaining (RR) number. When the two numbers get close I really slow down and start hypermiling, as I never want to see DTG greater than RR. Now, when you start your downhill drive from the mountains, I bet that DTG is MUCH greater than RR, so your entire trip back home is focused on converging and reversing those numbers!

2) How far can the car go on turtle? We don't know. When the cars were brand new some car reviewers drove the car until it stopped and found it could go about seven miles. Nowadays, I wouldn't be surprised if it stops very soon after displaying turtle as the reserve battery capacity has been eaten away by time and mileage.

3) If you found your husband's RFID card, it should still work. You might go online and login with the station/card provider and check the account status, as there may already be some money preloaded into it. If you don't have the password you should be able to get a new one if you use your husband's email address and the site's "forgot password?" link. The card is not car-specific and you can use it with either of your two i-MiEVs. Yes, it is linked to a credit card, so that's also something you might need to change if you get into the account. If you still have problems accessing, you might call up customer service and explain your situation and they should be able to help you unscramble this. I prefer having a number of RFID cards / accounts for charging stations that I might use, so you might look around to see what other charging station providers there are in your area. I would not get Electrify America as they are discontinuing CHAdeMO support and the ones I visited did not have J1772 support.

4) Juice Box - um, unless I'm mistaken, that is nothing more than than an EVSE and DOES NOT contain an internal battery and needs to be plugged into the wall in order for it to work. This brand was made by eMotorWerks (yes, go ahead and click on this link) and they have now been bought out by Enel-X. Nice unit, and I own an older one. Perhaps if you describe your Juice Box we can make sure that it is not something that's akin to carrying a spare can of gas.

In the early days we were always scheming trying to come up with an emergency range extender for our cars and concluded that, although technically feasible, it simply was not worth the money. The 1kW unit Weogo identified might give you 3-4 miles and your EVSE would need to be set to 8A maximum. Better to plan ahead and know where your charging stations are (e.g., using With over 250,000 EV miles between us and many long weird trips, my wife and I have never seen turtle - yes, I'm bragging, but I expect that a bolt of lightning will strike us one of these days... :)

Take care and good luck and feel free to ask us questions.

Yeah, 5 miles to go with 2 bars flashing is no problem at all, and as others have said, even if you ran it down to zero with a mile or two to go, you would make it home

We used to worry around here about such scenarios 8 or 9 years ago, but it's of absolutely no concern anymore. Once you've been there a time or two, hitting zero just before getting home is no big deal anymore :lol: