Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Back up the mountain to Ridge Winery

After driving up successfully once, I was comfortable to drive up the mountain to Ridge Winery again.  This time, without the range-anxiety gnawing away at my mind every mile I drove, I was able to drive more relaxed knowing well what to expect.  Sure enough, on the way up to Ridge Winery, I used up four bars (about 25%) of the charge, and coming back down I regenerated about a bar and a half.  If nothing else, watching the bars reappear makes the whole trip worth it.  (That, and the fantastic wine at the top of the mountain.  … and the views.) 

The only oddity that I noticed was that towards the bottom of the hill, the regenerative brakes would fade momentarily and I’d be using the friction brakes.  My guess is that this is due to overheating, but it happened only once.  The other thing I noticed is that you have to get the car going about 25 MPH (or so) downhill before trying to use the regenerative brakes.  If you don’t get going this fast, the car will try to maintain the slower speed and you won’t generate as much electricity.  At the faster speed, more electricity is generated while you coast downhill.  It would seem that when going downhill at about 35 MPH, the car generates nearly the maximum electricity to keep the car from going any faster, but this speed is often too fast for many of the tight curves on this road.  So, it is better to maintain a somewhat slower pace.
1,800 feet up at Ridge Winery in Cupertino

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