My First Range Test in my 2023 California Rte. 1: Bay Area to 7000'

drjimtaylor

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I bought my 2023 CR1 about three weeks ago. I had been driving a 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV, but have been wanting a full EV ever since. After hours of research on what I wanted to buy and with great incentives from Ford, I pulled the trigger on the CR1 and haven’t looked back.

I’m not a guy who does long road trips, so I wasn’t worried about public charging availability, cost, or time. The longest drive I take with any regularity is up and back from my primary home in Mill Valley, CA (just across the Golden Gate Bridge) to my “happy place,” that is, my cabin in the Sierra Nevada mountains 178 miles (under 3 hours without traffic) near Lake Tahoe.

I bought the CR1 for the extra range of 312 miles it provided over the Premium (not to mention the $$ savings). It seemed like plenty of range to get me to my cabin “range anxiety free.” There were a couple of wrinkles to this saga though. First, it gets darned cold at my cabin (see photos). Not New England cold (which I grew up in), but cold enough, meaning 10s to 40s typically. Second, my cabin resides at 7000’ elevation, so some serious climbing on the way from Mill Valley.

I’ve been jonesing to make the drive since I bought my CR1, but I haven’t had the opportunity until today. I was definitely feeling some range anxiety the entire drive as I watched the range and battery tick down. Though admittedly, I experienced range anxiety with my ICE/PHEVs in the past because I don’t like to stop for gas and so push each tank to the limit on long drives.

As noted, the drive door to door is 178 miles, almost 90% of it on I-80 across the Central Valley through Sacramento, 115 miles of the drive is flat to slightly rolling. The remainder of the drive, about 63 miles, climbs steadily through Auburn and the foothills before hitting Donner Summit where my cabin is (a few miles from Sugar Bowl ski area). There are plenty of public chargers along the way, with the last being about 32 miles from my cabin.

Given the reported range, it seemed like a sure thing for making it the distance without a stop and a charge. But I had read up on the demands of cold and climbing, so I wasn’t counting my chickens before they hatched. I also heeded the recommendations on how to maximize range, for example, keeping the heater lower and using the seat and steering-wheel heaters to stay warm.

I charged my “pony” up to 100% last night, which indicated a range of 267 miles (a far cry from 312, though I realize that EPA overestimates ICE and BEV mileage). I also set my departure time for 6am on Monday so the battery would be preconditioned. It was a very chilly morning (by Mill Valley standards) when I left, with temperatures staying in the high 30s and low 40s most of the drive, then cooling off a bit as I climbed out of the flat lands.

I set my ACC/BC at 65 mph (I usually drive this route going 75-80mph) and drove mostly hands free (worked great with a few nervous moments; I think it will take some time learning to trust BC) until I started climbing. At the end of the flat section of the drive, I was averaging 2.5/kWh (which was a bit of a shock; I had assumed close to 3.0/kWh in these coldish conditions), but, by the end of the trip, I was at 2.1 (see image). On the plus side, I seemed to have handled the battery demands pretty well with 93% of the energy going to driving. Also, my acceleration and deceleration were almost maximized, but I don’t quite understand how I only got 77% for speed, given that I was 65mph consistently (should I be driving 55? Not gonna happen!).

The final leg of the journey begins at Auburn with about 55 miles to go. I was at 41% battery which seemed like plenty, but I had seen the gap between GOM range and miles remaining narrow steadily as I climbed, so I wasn’t 100% confident. I arrived at my cabin with 6 miles and 4% left over. There are no public charging stations on Donner Summit, but it is literally all downhill to Truckee, where there are plenty, so I figured I could have made it if necessary.

I have an L2 charger running from my dryer’s outlet with a splitter just off my garage, so I should be fully charged by tomorrow. I’m looking forward to the drive back down and seeing how far I can go with milder weather and 7000’ of descent.

I do this drive up to 2x/month and I assumed, when I bought the car, that my CR1 would have range to spare, even in winter. I really HATE stopping along the way to charge for such a short drive. On the hopeful side, it is usually much warmer on the drive before hitting the long climb into the mountains.

Any advice on ways to increase my range?

Thanks for listening and to the “wily veterans” of this forum for sharing their wisdom and experience.

Some questions:
  • Is there any way to see real-time energy usage?
  • Is the GOM range or battery % remaining a better gauge of what’s left in the “tank” (at the end they were almost identical)?
  • Does the new battery need some “break in” miles to maximize its range?
  • Will my range increase as my CR1 learns my driving style (i.e., will I ever get 312 on the GOM)?
  • Has anyone ever driven to “empty,” I wonder, like an ICE, how much Ford “leaves in the tank” once you hit 0%?
  • Will adding two daughters and their luggage (~270 lbs. total) significantly hurt the above #s?
Ford Mustang Mach-E My First Range Test in my 2023 California Rte. 1: Bay Area to 7000' Mach-e 1
Ford Mustang Mach-E My First Range Test in my 2023 California Rte. 1: Bay Area to 7000' Mach-e 2
Ford Mustang Mach-E My First Range Test in my 2023 California Rte. 1: Bay Area to 7000' HH 1

Ford Mustang Mach-E My First Range Test in my 2023 California Rte. 1: Bay Area to 7000' HH 2


HH 2.jpg
 

Phil-Springs

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"I arrived at my cabin with 6 miles and 4% left over."

You're living too dangerously for my taste. An accident that leaves you sitting in traffic, and you're screwed.

I think you need to charge somewhere along the way as a precaution.
-check tire inflation
-lower or turn off the heat , try and rely seat warmer
-drive even slower
I bought my 2023 CR1 about three weeks ago. I had been driving a 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV, but have been wanting a full EV ever since. After hours of research on what I wanted to buy and with great incentives from Ford, I pulled the trigger on the CR1 and haven’t looked back.

I’m not a guy who does long road trips, so I wasn’t worried about public charging availability, cost, or time. The longest drive I take with any regularity is up and back from my primary home in Mill Valley, CA (just across the Golden Gate Bridge) to my “happy place,” that is, my cabin in the Sierra Nevada mountains 178 miles (under 3 hours without traffic) near Lake Tahoe.

I bought the CR1 for the extra range of 312 miles it provided over the Premium (not to mention the $$ savings). It seemed like plenty of range to get me to my cabin “range anxiety free.” There were a couple of wrinkles to this saga though. First, it gets darned cold at my cabin (see photos). Not New England cold (which I grew up in), but cold enough, meaning 10s to 40s typically. Second, my cabin resides at 7000’ elevation, so some serious climbing on the way from Mill Valley.

I’ve been jonesing to make the drive since I bought my CR1, but I haven’t had the opportunity until today. I was definitely feeling some range anxiety the entire drive as I watched the range and battery tick down. Though admittedly, I experienced range anxiety with my ICE/PHEVs in the past because I don’t like to stop for gas and so push each tank to the limit on long drives.

As noted, the drive door to door is 178 miles, almost 90% of it on I-80 across the Central Valley through Sacramento, 115 miles of the drive is flat to slightly rolling. The remainder of the drive, about 63 miles, climbs steadily through Auburn and the foothills before hitting Donner Summit where my cabin is (a few miles from Sugar Bowl ski area). There are plenty of public chargers along the way, with the last being about 32 miles from my cabin.

Given the reported range, it seemed like a sure thing for making it the distance without a stop and a charge. But I had read up on the demands of cold and climbing, so I wasn’t counting my chickens before they hatched. I also heeded the recommendations on how to maximize range, for example, keeping the heater lower and using the seat and steering-wheel heaters to stay warm.

I charged my “pony” up to 100% last night, which indicated a range of 267 miles (a far cry from 312, though I realize that EPA overestimates ICE and BEV mileage). I also set my departure time for 6am on Monday so the battery would be preconditioned. It was a very chilly morning (by Mill Valley standards) when I left, with temperatures staying in the high 30s and low 40s most of the drive, then cooling off a bit as I climbed out of the flat lands.

I set my ACC/BC at 65 mph (I usually drive this route going 75-80mph) and drove mostly hands free (worked great with a few nervous moments; I think it will take some time learning to trust BC) until I started climbing. At the end of the flat section of the drive, I was averaging 2.5/kWh (which was a bit of a shock; I had assumed close to 3.0/kWh in these coldish conditions), but, by the end of the trip, I was at 2.1 (see image). On the plus side, I seemed to have handled the battery demands pretty well with 93% of the energy going to driving. Also, my acceleration and deceleration were almost maximized, but I don’t quite understand how I only got 77% for speed, given that I was 65mph consistently (should I be driving 55? Not gonna happen!).

The final leg of the journey begins at Auburn with about 55 miles to go. I was at 41% battery which seemed like plenty, but I had seen the gap between GOM range and miles remaining narrow steadily as I climbed, so I wasn’t 100% confident. I arrived at my cabin with 6 miles and 4% left over. There are no public charging stations on Donner Summit, but it is literally all downhill to Truckee, where there are plenty, so I figured I could have made it if necessary.

I have an L2 charger running from my dryer’s outlet with a splitter just off my garage, so I should be fully charged by tomorrow. I’m looking forward to the drive back down and seeing how far I can go with milder weather and 7000’ of descent.

I do this drive up to 2x/month and I assumed, when I bought the car, that my CR1 would have range to spare, even in winter. I really HATE stopping along the way to charge for such a short drive. On the hopeful side, it is usually much warmer on the drive before hitting the long climb into the mountains.

Any advice on ways to increase my range?

Thanks for listening and to the “wily veterans” of this forum for sharing their wisdom and experience.

Some questions:
  • Is there any way to see real-time energy usage?
  • Is the GOM range or battery % remaining a better gauge of what’s left in the “tank” (at the end they were almost identical)?
  • Does the new battery need some “break in” miles to maximize its range?
  • Will my range increase as my CR1 learns my driving style (i.e., will I ever get 312 on the GOM)?
  • Has anyone ever driven to “empty,” I wonder, like an ICE, how much Ford “leaves in the tank” once you hit 0%?
  • Will adding two daughters and their luggage (~270 lbs. total) significantly hurt the above #s?
Ford Mustang Mach-E My First Range Test in my 2023 California Rte. 1: Bay Area to 7000' HH 2
Ford Mustang Mach-E My First Range Test in my 2023 California Rte. 1: Bay Area to 7000' HH 2
Ford Mustang Mach-E My First Range Test in my 2023 California Rte. 1: Bay Area to 7000' HH 2

Ford Mustang Mach-E My First Range Test in my 2023 California Rte. 1: Bay Area to 7000' HH 2


Ford Mustang Mach-E My First Range Test in my 2023 California Rte. 1: Bay Area to 7000' HH 2
-check tire inflation
-turn the heat off
-drive even slower

I think Ford nav does a good job of adjusting for temperature and speed , but is way off for elevation change. I adjust its estimate by 3% per 1000 feet.

Good news is that you now have a good data point in conditions that are nearer to lowest efficiency. Added weight and even colder temps probably will end of forcing you to charge some on the way.
 

alexgorod

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4% is definitely too low and risky. Additional 270 lbs or/and strong wind and it will go below zero. You might be able to crawl a couple of miles after that, but you will get some gray hair from that experience ;)

2.5 m/kwh for 65 mph seems a little low, this is what I have in awd premium at 70. Maybe it wasn't really flat?

GOM can get better by learning your driving style, but it won't change your actual consumption and range. Lowering your speed is the only way I can think...

If there are good fast chargers on your way, stop there for a quick charge, even 10 minutes will give you some peace of mind and maybe a chance to drive a little faster.
 
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drjimtaylor

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"I arrived at my cabin with 6 miles and 4% left over."

You're living too dangerously for my taste. An accident that leaves you sitting in traffic, and you're screwed.

I think you need to charge somewhere along the way as a precaution.
Believe me, I won't be doing that again!
 
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drjimtaylor

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-check tire inflation
-lower or turn off the heat , try and rely seat warmer
-drive even slower

-check tire inflation
-turn the heat off
-drive even slower

I think Ford nav does a good job of adjusting for temperature and speed , but is way off for elevation change. I adjust its estimate by 3% per 1000 feet.

Good news is that you now have a good data point in conditions that are nearer to lowest efficiency. Added weight and even colder temps probably will end of forcing you to charge some on the way.
That's why I took the risk; to get a clear sense of what is reasonable. Disappointing though, given the 312 purported range.
 


Phil-Springs

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That's why I took the risk; to get a clear sense of what is reasonable. Disappointing though, given the 312 purported range.
I’ll guess on your way back you’ll get home with 20% battery. 7000 ft is a big elevation change. My observed CR1 range without elevation changes are more like 220 when cold and 340 when warm. Yep big range. Turning the heat off really does have a decent impact.
 

bruceski88

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4% is definitely too low and risky. Additional 270 lbs or/and strong wind and it will go below zero. You might be able to crawl a couple of miles after that, but you will get some gray hair from that experience ;)

2.5 m/kwh for 65 mph seems a little low, this is what I have in awd premium at 70. Maybe it wasn't really flat?

GOM can get better by learning your driving style, but it won't change your actual consumption and range. Lowering your speed is the only way I can think...

If there are good fast chargers on your way, stop there for a quick charge, even 10 minutes will give you some peace of mind and maybe a chance to drive a little faster.
Headwinds could be it If you are not at 50% at Auburn, charge for 10 min.
 
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drjimtaylor

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I’ll guess on your way back you’ll get home with 20% battery. 7000 ft is a big elevation change. My observed CR1 range without elevation changes are more like 220 when cold and 340 when warm. Yep big range. Turning the heat off really does have a decent impact.
Really helpful, Phil. So my #s seem like a reasonable extension of yours. I'll try turning the heat off next time, though, as shown in my My Trip photo, the heat wasn't using much energy. How many miles does 6% going to heat translate into? Can't wait to experience "when warm" range...
 

AliRafiee

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How did you drive 174 miles in 34F and not lose anything to external temperature? And only 1% on accessories. Highly suspect.
 

leehinde

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I'm just south of Sacramento, in a CR1. I got 312-320 a handful of times over the summer. You'll never see that in the winter. I agree, a break, maybe in Auburn, would be a good idea. You said you don't like to take breaks, this might be a time to give them another shot. :)

The GOM will become accurate over time, but not always helpful. For me, I usually take short surface street trips, so my milage is really high. That's what the GOM is basing its estimate on. When I drive to Oakland to see the daughters, that's a different drive type and the GOM based on surface street driving doesn't prepare me. It does adapt as the trip progresses.

The daughters and luggage won't help range, but shouldn't kill it.
 

Phil-Springs

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Really helpful, Phil. So my #s seem like a reasonable extension of yours. I'll try turning the heat off next time, though, as shown in my My Trip photo, the heat wasn't using much energy. How many miles does 6% going to heat translate into? Can't wait to experience "when warm" range...
12 - 18 miles if no elevation change would be my guess . You can always just take the actual energy used and assume whatever efficiency you want. And the 340 also has mixed driving speeds, all highway speeds will drop it some. Looks like this trip will be on the edge for you when conditions aren’t good. The advice to monitor and pick up a quick charge on the way when needed is good.
 

21st Century Pony

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1. Install the GT Power Meter on your CR1 IPC via ForScan. It helps for dynamic visual planning on-the-fly.

2. For what it's worth, I've had my Premium AWD EX at 1 mile many, many times on the battery (range) meter. I'm still alive, somehow. 🤪

3. Elevation tracking is key for EVs, IMHO. ESPECIALLY in mountains like the central Sierras, the Wyoming Bighorns and the mid-Atlantic Apallachians. The Ford OEM NAV is better at this than 3d party apps.

We drove the San Fran - Sacramento - Truckee - Points East - eventually Virginia Route this Summer. Awesome central USA East - West route, in many ways.
Sponsored

 
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