Realistic range for driving in CO?

MattG

Active Member
First Name
Matt
Joined
Apr 23, 2020
Messages
43
Reaction score
40
Location
Colorado
First Name
Matt
Vehicles
Mazda CX-5, Subaru Crosstrek, Lotus Elise, Jeep Wrangler LJ
Country flag
I’m trying to convince my wife we should go through with buying a Mach-E (deposit already placed). AWD extended range. The big uncertainty is range in real world Colorado driving. We frequently drive between Woodland Park and Ridgway....a distance of about 240 miles. The route goes over Monarch pass, as well as a few smaller ones. Speed limit for maybe half of this is 65mph. I’m trying to figure out if we’ll be able to do this without stopping to charge. Winter driving will of course complicate this even more (though will reduced speeds offset increased heater use?).

Has anyone found real world range information for other EVs here in CO? The charging infrastructure along this route isn’t great for the non-Tesla crowd. Just wondering how far a theoretical 300 mile range will actually take me in the mountains...
 

hybrid2bev

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2019
Messages
718
Reaction score
1,261
Location
USA
Vehicles
2017 C-Max Hybrid
Country flag
Did you try A Better Route Planner? It says it's possible with the temp set to 40 degrees F.

I have an AWD Extended range reserved too. Estimate is 270 miles of range, but that will change based on the driver and conditions.

https://new.abetterrouteplanner.com

1589997661992.png
 
OP
MattG

MattG

Active Member
First Name
Matt
Joined
Apr 23, 2020
Messages
43
Reaction score
40
Location
Colorado
First Name
Matt
Vehicles
Mazda CX-5, Subaru Crosstrek, Lotus Elise, Jeep Wrangler LJ
Country flag
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Yeah, I tried that app, but it shows a stop to charge. :(

I’m also really unsure how accurate apps like that are...how well do they account for elevation change?
 

hybrid2bev

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2019
Messages
718
Reaction score
1,261
Location
USA
Vehicles
2017 C-Max Hybrid
Country flag
Yeah, I tried that app, but it shows a stop to charge. :(

I’m also really unsure how accurate apps like that are...how well do they account for elevation change?
It's supposed to be pretty good for distance estimates. If you click on the blue line route it shows the elevation changes. You might be able to make it there without charging if you go slow, but you will probably not have any range to spare and no margin for error.
 

JamieGeek

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2019
Messages
608
Reaction score
568
Location
Southeastern Michigan
Website
spareelectrons.wordpress.com
Vehicles
Bolt EV, Thor Axis, former C-Max Energi, former Focus Electric
Country flag
The problem with slowing down in winter is that slowing down reduces your power required to move the car but doesn't reduce the amount used to heat the car and thus you may end up using more depending on how fast you go. (As an example the Focus Electric's heater could easily use more electricity than it took to move the car, thus in winter it was almost better to take the freeway to minimize the time the heater was on vs taking back roads which take more time for the same destination.)

I'm sure there is a sweet spot in there, but we won't know what it is for the Mach-E until its in people's hands.

The route planners tend to be pretty good. For the few "long distance" trips I've made I've simply had one or two backup plans in the event that the planner didn't get it right (e.g. add a charge a bit earlier than what it says just to be safe).

Keep in mind that when driving an EV you can have a pretty large impact on range just on what settings you have in the car. Can't make it? Turn off the heater and boom 15 miles more range on the guess-o-meter (yup they do this: The Bolt does it, the Focus Electric did it--simply by turning off the heater the indicated range jumps, turning the heater back on and it drops back down--instantly).
 

dbsb3233

Well-Known Member
First Name
Tim
Joined
Dec 30, 2019
Messages
1,978
Reaction score
1,451
Location
Colorado, USA
First Name
Tim
Vehicles
2013 Ford Escape
Occupation
Retired
Country flag
Here's a video where the TFLcar guys drive a Kia Niro EV from Boulder up to Loveland Pass and back. It's not the Mach-e of course, but it's worth watching to get some insights into EV mountain driving in the weather here.

 

dbsb3233

Well-Known Member
First Name
Tim
Joined
Dec 30, 2019
Messages
1,978
Reaction score
1,451
Location
Colorado, USA
First Name
Tim
Vehicles
2013 Ford Escape
Occupation
Retired
Country flag
Just wondering how far a theoretical 300 mile range will actually take me in the mountains...
Remember that the AWD has a 270 mile range, not 300. That's awfully tight, especially in an area where heat is often needed.

The good news is that your average speed is only about 54 (using Google Maps route of 243 miles taking 4.5 hours). So you probably won't see a big "high speed" hit. Using the aggressive regen mode through the ups and downs should help. Ridgeway is 1500' lower than Woodland Park, so you have a better chance of making it that direction in one shot.

But unless Ford comes out with improved range numbers, I'd be very skeptical of making it without a boost along the way. And since it looks like there's no (non-Telsa) L3 chargers along the route, you're looking at an hour or two extra. 7kW Chargepoints (or SemaConnect 6.2kW) are only gonna add 20-25 miles per hour. Gunnison. Montrose, Buena Vista, and a few other towns have those. And of course you have to consider whether your destination has an L2 charger to give you a 100% overnight charge (~12 hours) before attempting to head back home.
 

Paulalex01

Well-Known Member
First Name
Paul
Joined
May 13, 2020
Messages
95
Reaction score
61
Location
Sanford, NC
First Name
Paul
Vehicles
1999 F-150, 2019 Miata, 2009 Element
Occupation
Retired - Electrical Engineer
Country flag
I’m trying to convince my wife we should go through with buying a Mach-E (deposit already placed). AWD extended range. The big uncertainty is range in real world Colorado driving. We frequently drive between Woodland Park and Ridgway....a distance of about 240 miles. The route goes over Monarch pass, as well as a few smaller ones. Speed limit for maybe half of this is 65mph. I’m trying to figure out if we’ll be able to do this without stopping to charge. Winter driving will of course complicate this even more (though will reduced speeds offset increased heater use?).

Has anyone found real world range information for other EVs here in CO? The charging infrastructure along this route isn’t great for the non-Tesla crowd. Just wondering how far a theoretical 300 mile range will actually take me in the mountains...
Another thing to consider is how much of your trip is uphill vs. down. Uphill requires extra power while downhill charges the batteries through regeneration. If they're equal-distant, it's a wash. If uphill is further, less miles per charge. But in CO, you can pretty much coast from the continental divide all the way to Denver. So, good luck.:)
 

zhackwyatt

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2019
Messages
389
Reaction score
474
Location
Arizona
Vehicles
'13 C-Max
Country flag
Another thing to consider is how much of your trip is uphill vs. down. Uphill requires extra power while downhill charges the batteries through regeneration. If they're equal-distant, it's a wash. If uphill is further, less miles per charge. But in CO, you can pretty much coast from the continental divide all the way to Denver. So, good luck.:)
Well the round-trip will account for that... unless we are talking about driving uphill, both ways, in the snow...
 
OP
MattG

MattG

Active Member
First Name
Matt
Joined
Apr 23, 2020
Messages
43
Reaction score
40
Location
Colorado
First Name
Matt
Vehicles
Mazda CX-5, Subaru Crosstrek, Lotus Elise, Jeep Wrangler LJ
Country flag
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
So it looks like I should definitely plan on needing to charge, then. There’s *a* 50kW charger in BV, though this seems kinda having all my eggs in one basket (more slower charger options though). Hopefully the infrastructure will continue to improve before launch.

Charging at the endpoints of these drives won’t be an issue...I’ll install L2 chargers.
 

dbsb3233

Well-Known Member
First Name
Tim
Joined
Dec 30, 2019
Messages
1,978
Reaction score
1,451
Location
Colorado, USA
First Name
Tim
Vehicles
2013 Ford Escape
Occupation
Retired
Country flag
There’s *a* 50kW charger in BV
I hadn't noticed that before, but yeah, I see that on Google Maps now.

And who knows, maybe Tesla will feel the heat in a few years and open up their chargers.
 

JamieGeek

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2019
Messages
608
Reaction score
568
Location
Southeastern Michigan
Website
spareelectrons.wordpress.com
Vehicles
Bolt EV, Thor Axis, former C-Max Energi, former Focus Electric
Country flag
Yeah plugshare has that 50kW charger as well:
Annotation 2020-05-20 183828.jpg

In addition to a bunch of Level-2's. Especially close to Ridgeway.

Those give you some backup: If you're approaching Ridgeway and find you're 30 or so miles short an hour or more on a Level-2 might get you the kick needed to get there.

I would suspect going the other way is more downhill given that Colorado Springs is down out of the mountains. That may make it easier.

Hey look at that Plugshare says 4 hours and 28 minutes (without adding charge time) and the above route in a Better Route Planner is showing 4:45 with a 24 minute charge there (seems like ABRP also has that Level 3).

But Plugshare also mentions this:
Annotation 2020-05-20 184352.jpg

LOL! I guess when there is no competition....
 

dbsb3233

Well-Known Member
First Name
Tim
Joined
Dec 30, 2019
Messages
1,978
Reaction score
1,451
Location
Colorado, USA
First Name
Tim
Vehicles
2013 Ford Escape
Occupation
Retired
Country flag
I would suspect going the other way is more downhill given that Colorado Springs is down out of the mountains.
It's actually the reverse. Woodland Park is higher (8465') than Ridgeway (6985').

It's deceiving, because Ridgeway is near Teluride (8750'), and Woodland Park is near Colo Springs (6035'). But Ridgeway is in a valley between ranges, while Woodland Park well up in the mountains. It's a steady uphill climb the 20 miles from CS to WP.
 
OP
MattG

MattG

Active Member
First Name
Matt
Joined
Apr 23, 2020
Messages
43
Reaction score
40
Location
Colorado
First Name
Matt
Vehicles
Mazda CX-5, Subaru Crosstrek, Lotus Elise, Jeep Wrangler LJ
Country flag
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
And who knows, maybe Tesla will feel the heat in a few years and open up their chargers.
Doubt it! There IS a really nice supercharger station in Pagosa Springs though...that alone makes me consider a Model Y instead...but I think the charging infrastructure will improve quickly in the next year or two. A fast charger in Gunnison would be ideal for this trip!
 



 








Top