Wednesday, December 28, 2016

LA to SF: Route Options

Assuming I actually get my car before 12/31 I am planning on a small road trip up to SF and back to try out the fast charging network and see how much of a road trip car the Bolt can actually be. The main issue with this is that no one, besides a few reporters, has any real road trip experience in the Bolt. Highway efficiency is rated at ~217 miles by the EPA but that is based only on a 10 mile loop at an average of ~50mph, how will it perform at 70,75,80mph?

One data point to consider is that Car and Driver was able to drive the bolt 190 miles at 75mph with the cabin temperature set to 72F. This gives a decent indication that the bolt should be capable of around 315 Wh/mi on the freeway. Of course they did not record things like headwind, which increases energy consumption, or external temperature, which give an indication of how hard the car needs to work to keep you comfortable.

For a starter I have done the follow calculations based on speed and drag to determine the hypothetical range I can go factoring in increased wind resistance for faster speeds...

Battery Capacity:
Initial Charge %:
Available Power:
Highway Range (50MPH):
Highway Range (40MPH):
Highway Range (60MPH):
Highway Range (65MPH):
Highway Range (70MPH):
Highway Range (75MPH):
Highway Range (80MPH):

The 80% charge is based on the fact that I do not have a home L2 charger right now so I will use the L2/CCS charger next to my apartment to give me initial charge. I might try to push this is 90% or 100% depending on how much time I want to spend charging initially.

My Planned Route
I plan to take CA-99 up to SF and use the evGO charge network as I go. Unfortunately most of the ChargePoint stations are 24kW so I do not intend on using those.

First Leg
In my previous post I decided I would like to stop at my first charger after 140 miles of driving which, assuming I am driving 70mph, I should make with around 30 miles to spare (~16% SOC). Depending on the actual conditions I can speed up or slow down as needed to make this and ideally I would arrive with around 10% SOC. Worst case I can always stop at the charger in Bakersfield (110 miles from start) if I start to panic I will not make it.

I plan to charge back up to 80% at this stop (assume ~160ish miles of range), and head for the next stop.

Second Leg
The second planned charging stop is another 140 mile segment to the charger in the Applegate Plaza in Atwater. I chose this stop since the next available is another 28 miles away in Ceres which is 168 miles from my previous stop. Depending on the real world range I am seeing I might choose to push it to this stop or not freak myself out and just charge as planned.

I would charge again to around 80% since I need to go by SFO and then over to Oakland which should be around 160 miles total. If needed there are a few more charge locations along the route as well for a quick top off.

This is all dependent on actually getting my Bolt in time. If it does not come then I guess the trip is off!

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