1,500 Mile Road Trip Completed

After just over 1,500 miles driving from the Canadian border to California and back in a 100% electric Nissan LEAF, we have arrived safely back home.

Our actual route (some portions hidden for privacy).
Our actual route (some portions hidden for privacy). Click to enlarge.

We ended up coming home a day early because Trish came down with a stomach virus on Tuesday. We kept thinking it would go away, but it did not after a couple days, so we decided to shoot for home.

This change in our plan resulted in a single day drive on Thursday of 275 miles, which is much longer than we planned to go on any day for this trip. Because Trish wasn’t feeling well and we had to stop anyway, we used each quick charger long the way, even if we didn’t really need to. For the most part we would arrive with about 40% charge and put it up to around 80%, then continue. We successfully completed a total of seven quick charges that day without any negative impact to the car. Battery health was at 100.25% when we reached home the following afternoon. I may write more about this particular leg of the trip in a separate blog post, as the details may be of interest to some of our readers.

For our entire trip, we used 30 different charging stations and a few campground RV outlets while we camped, for a total of 48 charging sessions (most of which were fairly short). We kept our battery charged up: our lowest battery level was 29%. This is a testament to the high number of available charging stations in Oregon and also my personal level of comfort.

In total we used 325.7 kWh of energy for this voyage, and went 1,508 miles. The cost of our charging was $25.71. This comes from $19.99 for a monthly subscription to the West Coast Electric Highway (which we pay every month anyway), plus $0.89 for a short Level 2 charge we did while shopping, and $4.83 for a quick charge at a Blink Network charger. So our cost per mile for fuel was 1.7 cents. If we had taken a typical gas car which got 30 mpg, assuming gas prices of $4.00/gallon, it would have cost us about $200, or 13 cents per mile.

By the way, while we were gone, our solar array at home produced 756 kWh, more than twice the power we actually used on our trip.

We visited a number of towns and cities we’d never visited before. Every place we visited is a place that we would not have visited (and spent money at) if there were not charging stations to get there, as both of our cars are electric. I will be writing another blog post later detailing how much money we spent in each of these cities and towns. I hope that this will help officials in those areas can get an idea of how much money would not have come to their municipality if they didn’t have electric vehicle charging stations, and help officials in other areas justify the costs of putting charging stations in their communities.

I will also be posting later about how the tracking at ZEroadtrip.com worked and how you might be able to use this functionality to track your own trips in the future.

Then we’ll start thinking about our next trip!

10 thoughts to “1,500 Mile Road Trip Completed”

  1. Thanks for sharing your 1500 mile EV trip. Nice to hear you’re back home safe and sound. Wow, 275 miles in one day with 7 QC’s. Would like to hear more details about how that charge fest went. I gather that if I’m to QC, it would be best to charge when SOC is higher, rather than wait till it’s below 20%. So if I’m at say 50%, and I have the opportunity to QC, just go ahead and charge to get it to 80%. Rather than run it to below 20% and then hit the QC to get it back to 80%

    1. Charles, this is the measure of battery health labeled “Hx” by those who have reverse engineered the data from the OBD-II port and displayed in apps such as Leaf Spy Pro.

  2. Interesting to hear that there are enough charging stations to make this kind of trip in a Leaf. I’m so glad that you and Trish blazed the trail so that I can have the courage to attempt a trip like this. Looking forward to hearing more about the trip.

  3. Using less than half of the power generated at home while on your trip is a great line to segway into how efficient EVs are. Also makes it too bad our grid was not more connected. Imagine a day where you could bank your excess solar power and collect it seamlessly from any power outlet… or is that too much Koolaide for one day?

  4. Congratulations Tyrel & Trish! You are living proof that driving electric saves money, is fun, and is possible even for long road trips. So glad to see the West Coast Electric Highway put to the maximum use. Thanks for being such an inspiration to future EV drivers. Happy #NDEW2014

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