Tuesday, May 19, 2015

4 miles remaining and loving it

Starting with 30 miles remaining indicated on SparkEV and 24 miles to DCFC destination indicated on GPS, I decided to take a gamble and drive there instead of charging in the middle. After all, 6 miles margin should be enough, right. Besides, there has to be traffic along the way, so the margin will get better, right? Right? RIGHT?

There's an old Korean saying, "even dog shit is impossible to find if one wants to use it for medicine". It's proven again in this case. How could the freeway speed be 60mph+ in Orange County at 4:30 PM on weekday? That's how it was for most of the way. Since the miles remaining margin didn't change much, I kept up with the traffic. If I run out of juice, I could stop at abundant L2 along the way, so I wasn't worried.

Well, maybe a little bit worried. There were some times when the margin was 2 miles on long up hills, but it quickly made up to 4 or 5 miles when the road became flat again and up to 8 miles on longer down hills and traffic speed of 30 mph.

At 15 miles remaining, it asked to turn off the radio. I also turned off the fan and cracked open the windows. Dogs liked the wind better, anyway. Some time less than 10 miles remaining, it reported power is reduced. Acceleration had slowed, but I was able to reach 65 mph without problem.

As I pulled into DCFC charger, 4 miles remaining was indicated. Cutting it close? Definitely! I had confidence in SparkEV engineers to design correctly, especially since I was driving from/to rougly similar elevation. It was an exhilarating drive nonetheless. Below is the photo of the display at the charger. Don't try this home, kids (that means you, grandpa with weak heart).

Since my 4 mile remaining escapade, I went even further, almost all the way down to 0. When it has 1 mile remaining, it shows as "low" rather than a number. Power was also noticeably reduced, although I didn't push to find out how low limited it was; I didn't want to get stranded 2 blocks away from the charger. Below two photos show the display from 2 miles remaining to "low" after 1 mile was driven.

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