Friday, December 4, 2015

A busy day ahead

It all started off easy enough…  I was invited to a party at my younger sister’s place on the east side of town.  Then, my mom called and told me that my older sister would be arriving the same afternoon and asked if I could give her a ride to mom’s place on the west side of town.  Then my older sister called and wanted to join me at our sister’s party before heading to mom’s.  With a reliable 60+ mile range, I was starting to worry about whether I could drive that far.  I tried estimating energy use in my head by counting the charge-level ticks it usually takes me to drive each stretch and came up with too many unknowns (and not enough ticks leftover for comfort).  So, I let the real engineer inside me solve the problem.  That, and a little help from Google Maps.

So, I needed to bring supplies (ie: wine) to the party on the east-side, wait for a phone call for a trip to the airport (and back), then a trip from my sister’s party to my mom’s house, and finally home.  I broke the trip into segments and measured each using the Google Maps directions feature:  (1) my house to my sister’s party: 4.7 miles city/5.6 miles freeway; (2) my sister’s place to the airport: 8 miles mixed/10 miles freeway (each-way); (3) my sister’s place to my mom’s place: 18 miles freeway; and (4) my mom’s place to my place 13 miles.  If I saved time and stayed on the freeway, I would drive just under 57 miles, which is too close to the 60+ miles that tends to limit my car on the freeway.  So, I favored city routes where it made sense, cutting the trip to just over 52 miles, and extending the range by three miles or so along the way (by driving a little slower). 

How did it turn out?  The extra city driving added about five minutes to each leg through town, which was easily managed and really did not impact my plans at all.  After driving the 52 miles, I needed to make two more errands near home, bringing the total trip to 55.7 miles according to the trip odometer.  So the car made it, but how much charge was left?  Driving home from the last errand, the gauge ticked down just a few hundred feet from home, leaving three bars (out of sixteen) on the charge gauge.  Typically, this is enough to drive another 11 miles on the freeway or up to 14 miles around town (the range gauge suggested 15 miles remaining).  So, all told, I could have safely driven 68 to 70 miles this day.  Fortunately I didn’t need to run the A/C on the car, or the results would have been different.

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