Mileage range - how far in a Fluence? - Renault Z.E. Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-05-2013, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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Mileage range - how far in a Fluence?

122 miles.

Should we start a 'how far can you get' thread?

In my hypermiling days (90 mpg from my Octavia SXi TDi), I found that sticking to 52 mph was optimum on UK motorways - any slower and trucks catch you up too quick for them to react smoothly and prepare their overtake in good time. Any faster, and they don't get a clean 'over-take' on you. Very few trucks seem to have a problem with you sticking to 52. (Maybe one in 500 flash you indignantly at your low speed - even though you catch up with an occasional slower truck yourself at that speed).

I've just done a 122 mile run down the M1 at 52 mph. ~50 miles each way on the motorway itself, and the rest as 'urban'. A/C off going, and 'ECO' at 22C on, on the way back (external temp indicated 25-28C).

Arrived at the destination with more than half a battery left. Gauge read 5.7 miles/kWh coming off the motorway (dropped a little bit in the last few miles - don't recall the exact figure), indicated 10kWh used. Coming back read 5.6 miles/kWh overall, by end of the return journey (with AC on). 121.9 miles total, 22 kWh indicated as used.

I did take on a little charge during the journey, just to feel comfortable, but I would have been confident getting back even if I didn't, given I arrived with +half. I took on an indicated 2/8ths there, and have more than 2/8ths indicated left now.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-05-2013, 12:59 PM
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RE: Mileage range - how far in a Fluence?

50 mph does seem to be that magic sweet spot for mpg's. I know in the Prius that if I stay steady on the motorway at 50 I'll get 80/90 or more mpg on the flat - which most motorways generally are.

Good to see people getting these high miles per charge.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-05-2013, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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RE: Mileage range - how far in a Fluence?

For EVs, the slower the better, for range. Simple as. But I think once below 50, you are entering a 'not in the real world' type scenario. I could try 45 but that would both make the journey become seemingly almost endless, and seems hazardous for fast traffic behind. Mid-ish 50's is what your cross-country average speed is, even if you were to aim for 70. Traffic often becomes the limiting factor. So low 50s seems acceptable to me.

This particular route I have done several times before. If I aim for 70mph, it takes around 1hr 5 mins. Aiming for 52mph it took ~1hr 15 mins, and I got held up in a few miles of a traffic jam. Go figure!!....
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-05-2013, 02:01 PM
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RE: Mileage range - how far in a Fluence?

Looks like I shall have to try harder. Best so far has been 107, I guess minor roads with their corners, junctions etc. take their toll. Perhaps I should try the M40 up to Coventry (where a Leaf owner has a friendly charger waiting for me)?

Before comeone complains I drive with the window open, figures over the past 10 charges show no noticeable difference, whether open (comfortable) or shut (fried). Might make more of a difference if I put my foot down.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-05-2013, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
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RE: Mileage range - how far in a Fluence?

Until you actually hear buffeting, then it generally means you're not going fast enough for it to make a significant aerodynamic difference. Some cars suffer worse than others having their windows down. Fluence is so aerodynamic that it likely means the windows are in a bit of an aerodynamic pressure null and so you can probably go faster, even, that other cars before you start sapping fuel consumption.

Do try the 'ECO' though - I've monitored the system's power consumption and it does seem to work very well. It takes a little longer to get the cabin to temperature than the 'auto' mode (obviously, open the windows to accelerate cooling to start with) but once it gets going I find it works well and efficiently.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
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RE: Mileage range - how far in a Fluence?

So, I did my regular commute with the heating on this morning.

Oh boy!

So I usually use 2/8ths of the SOC meter each way, typically a little less if I stick to below 55. Very nice, and at 3p/mile equivalent, that's the cost-equivalent of some 200 mpg.

Today I was heading to 60~65mph so I'd expect 2 sectors used up for each of the 22.5 mile one-way journeys. ~11kWh total (4 sectors).

So I happily dosed the battery up last night to half way between 5th and 6th sectors, this being plenty on a normal day.

Well, it was hardly freezing today! 10 C outside and 21 C set inside. I arrived having used 3 sectors up, and facing a return trip with only 2.5 sectors remaining!! Suffice to say, I did not use the heating on the return leg! Fortunately, it was warm enough without.

But that was a surprise. OK, I know it can use as much as 6 kW into the heater, but it was in ECO and was not using that much. All the same, after ~40 mins drive it had used up an additional ~2.5kWh of juice, so presumably the heating had averaged a little over 3 kW heating.

Well, that was barely what I would call 'cold' outside!

I was thinking that if it were much colder and the heater were to hit the 6 kW for most of my 2 x 40 min drives then that would be an additional 8 kW for the heating. Now, I'll not really mind too much paying for the comfort of warmth when the car is already effectively doing the equivalent of 200 mpg in fuel costs. But I have to worry a little about the range - if I am using 11kW there and back, and cold weather reduces that by 15% further or so, then I am now looking at 21 kW for the round trip of 45 miles! If Renault only guarantee the battery to 75% of its 22kWh rated capacity - 16.5kWh - then I will only be able to cover 35 miles with the heating on full at the 75% level of battery health!!!

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 03:05 PM
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RE: Mileage range - how far in a Fluence?

What does it work out to in miles per full charge? I know from the Leaf forum that they only get about 60 miles to a full charge in -5c winter with gentle heat.

That was why I didn't get one when I could afford it as my commute was 60 miles on the dot and even with careful driving, the zero buffer was not conducive to a stress free life.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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RE: Mileage range - how far in a Fluence?

Well, based on today's 3 sectors for 22.5 miles, that translates to 60 miles, and it really wasn't that cold.

Looks like the Fluence goes further with no heating than the Leaf. But it is a bigger car so maybe it needs to use more juice than the Leaf for heating. I don't understand why they did not include heated seats and steering wheel. That really helps keep a driver warm, without the thermal expense of heating.

In a way, this exposes the reality of 'fuel efficiency' - an ICE is already very efficient in winter, because the so-called 'waste heat' actually goes to a very important function - keeping the driver alive!!!! It's just not so efficient when it gets warmer, because that heat then needs to be thrown away. I always used to take our 2.5 litre petrol Subaru estate in the winter because it would warm up in an instant and provide superb heating. Yes, it only did 30 mpg (if that) compared with 60 for the diesel, but it was money I didn't mind spending.

Funnily enough - much is spoken about 'range extenders' for EVs, but in reality the most cost effective range extender would be a diesel heater!! All the diesel's calorific content would be converted into what it is being burned for [which is heating] and in doing so is 100% efficient conversion whilst the battery does what it does best which is power for the traction motors! There's no need to try to generate electricity when it is cold with burning fuel - just generate some heat with it instead!!!!
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 06:23 PM
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RE: Mileage range - how far in a Fluence?

Or you could just pre heat the car before you set off?


One of the reasons I left the Leaf forum is that I questioned the reality of expecting Joe Public to turn off the heating in winter and put blankets over their laps just to be able to cover 60 miles in the cold. (yes, many of the forum members were hardcore enough to turn the heat off in -5c!). I guess there are some die hards out there who are prepared to do anything just to drive EV. Unfortunately, 99.9% of the population aren't.

EV's (or any eco idea) must not be about inconvenience to be taken up. The hybrid car is a great example. It enables a petrol automatic car to get better fuel economy with lower emissions than a small manual diesel. EV's must be the same. If I were to tell my gf that to help clean the local air and save money on petrol that she should change to an electric car, but "oh, you can't go too far in winter, oh and you're best turning the heat off", she'd go crazy.

And I don't get the idea of cleaning the air only to have a smelly diesel heater up front. I had one on a Mercedes Viano as an option and whilst it allowed for fast warm up of the heater, it STANK! It also made a right racket if I remember.

We don't need bolt on heaters that you have to remember to fill. If I was going to go to the petrol station I may as well just fill up a traditional car. We need electric vehicles with a realistic 200 mile range, where sacrificing 25% of that to keep warm in winter wouldn't be an issue. Renault and Nissan are sticking to the 125 mile max range (85 in reality or 60 in winter), whereas Tesla have a 300 mile range or 200 in winter. Even assuming 180 miles in winter with the heat, it's still covering most journeys. 60 miles in winter won't.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-11-2013, 12:19 PM
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RE: Mileage range - how far in a Fluence?

Quote:
Originally Posted by donald
but in reality the most cost effective range extender would be a diesel heater!!
A diesel heater is an option on Kangoo Z.E. I doubt a Kangoo will make our daily commute in winter using the electric heater. Vans don't have any insulation in the cargo area. I've yet to see a used Kangoo Z.E. with the auxiliary heater.


Resistance heaters give about 1kw of heat for 1kw of electric power. A heat pump gives about 3kw of heat for 1kW of electric power. Zoe is the only Renault Z.E. with a heat pump.

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