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115 Mile Road Trip in a 90-Mile-Range Nissan LEAF

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The opening of a brand new ChargePoint DC Quick Charger (PlugShare link) in Walker, Michigan just on the eastern outskirts of Grand Rapids lent itself for a road trip test.

On the previous day, I had taken a family member to the Grand Rapids (GRR) airport from Muskegon, which is a 50-some mile trip one way and thus over 100 miles round trip.  In my 240+ mile range Tesla, that's not even breaking a sweat, but in the Nissan LEAF I would have to charge.

Rather than do a write up, I thought I would have some fun with this and record some video footage of the same trip in my LEAF, which I then edited together with some details into this 20-minute YouTube Video

The point is to show how a short-range EV like my 2016  LEAF (it's a 30 kWh but at 87% it's original capacity according to LEAF Spy, thus 90-ish miles of range) can behave on such a trip and whether charging infrastructure can now make this trip more practical. 

Since I'm also contemplating an upgrade of that LEAF,…

Plug In West Michigan Podcast - Episode 4 - Used EVs

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Part of WKTV Journal Grand Rapids, MI Community Programming Listen Here: Plug-In West Michigan Podcast ... or find it on your favorite podcast feed like iTunes or Spotify.

New!  WKTV now videotapes the recordings.  Here's the Facebook video link to this show.
Episode 4 Show Notes
Introduction
Host: Karl BlossBlog: www.muskegonevguy.comInstagram @muskegonevguyWest Michigan EV community:  www.facebook.com/groups/WestMichiganEV/Guest: Paul Pancella, Professor and Chair of Physics Department, Western Michigan University

Main Topic:  Used Electric Vehicles
Main points for buying a used EV:How will the car be used?What range do you need for daily driving?  Don’t forget about winter range loss and eventual battery degradation.Do you expect to take it on road trips?Bottom line: does it meet your driving needs?What charging ports and parameters should you look for?Size of the battery pack - translates into rangeOn-board charger - typically 3.3 - 6.6 KW; translates into miles of range per hour of …

Plug In West Michigan Podcast - Episode 3 - Tesla Model 3

Part of WKTV Journal Grand Rapids, MI Community Programming Listen Here: Plug-In West Michigan Podcast ... or find it on your favorite podcast feed like iTunes or Spotify.
Episode 3 Show Notes
Introduction
Host: Karl BlossBlog: www.muskegonevguy.comInstagram @muskegonevguyWest Michigan EV community:  www.facebook.com/groups/WestMichiganEV/Guest: Amy Smith

Main Topic:  Tesla Model 3
Tesla Model 3 Standard announcement:  https://www.tesla.com/blog/35000-tesla-model-3-available-nowTesla Model 3:  https://www.tesla.com/model3 Tesla Superchargers, Destination Chargers and Service Centers:  https://www.tesla.com/findus
EV News Snippets
Tesla Model Y:  https://www.tesla.com/modelyTesla Model Y - Electrek coverage: https://electrek.co/guides/tesla-model-y/Nissan LEAF ePlus - https://www.nissanusa.com/vehicles/electric-cars/leaf.htmlNissan LEAF ePlus - InsideEVs coverage:  https://insideevs.com/nissan-reveals-leaf-e-plus-ces/Solis Mobility EV Charging - https://www.solismobility.com/FastNed EV Chargin…

How To Power Your Home During A Power Outage With An Electric Vehicle

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"Numerous power outages expected, likely prolonged."
...reads the warning from the local Google Crisis Map warning for West Michigan as I compose this essay.  We still have power and internet at the moment, but it wasn't that way on February 7, 2019 when we lost power for nearly a full day.  The patchwork of power outages shown on the Consumers Energy Outage Map looked like a product of a quilting bee.

With just about everything in your home needing power to operate, even the controls and ignition of my gas furnace were affected.  I noticed that the house was getting a bit chilly in the 15°F outdoor temperatures.  While our comfort and access to a hot shower was a concern to me, ironically it was the 40 lbs of Michigan blueberries in my freezer being in jeopardy of thawing out that first popped into my head.

Note: if you prefer a quick video overview, I recorded this YouTube video.
Electric Vehicles to the Rescue The concept of Vehicle-to-Grid or V2G has long been promote…

Plug In West Michigan Podcast - Episode 2 - Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles

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Part of WKTV Journal Grand Rapids, MI Community Programming Listen Here: Plug-In West Michigan Podcast ... or find it on your favorite podcast feed like iTunes or Spotify.
Episode 2 Show Notes
Introduction
Host: Karl BlossBlog: www.muskegonevguy.comInstagram @muskegonevguyWest Michigan EV community:  www.facebook.com/groups/WestMichiganEV/Guest: Josh Bourdon

Main Topic:  Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles
US Department of Energy:  How Do Plug-In Hybrid Electric Cars Work?US Department of Energy:  How Do Hybrid Electric Cars Work?Inside EVs:  EV Purists Take Note: A Ton Of Plug-in Hybrids Are Coming2019 Chevrolet Volt:  https://www.chevrolet.com/electric/volt-plug-in-hybridLooking for a Volt: Cars.com search for used Chevrolet Volts 75 miles from WKTV (Note: there are many more places to search for used cars)
EV News Snippets
Audi Super Bowl commercial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xrgq2CIag6MBudweiser Super Bowl commercial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrKBdY2x7_URivian R1T pickup truck: https:/…

Electric Vehicle Home Charging - Charging to 80%

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EV Home Charging - Charging to 80% Maximum State of Charge If you have been around the EV community long enough, you have probably heard the advice to keep you battery's state-of-charge (SOC) below a certain level if you don't need the range for a road trip.  The number quoted is often 80%.

Keeping the SOC of a lithium-ion battery above a certain point for long periods of time, particularly in the heat, has been shown to accelerate early degradation of the battery capacity.  There are scholarly articles to dive into the details such as this one from BatteryUniversity.com.  
I encountered the two-dimensional temperature - SOC plot on David Laur's David Laur's blog that focuses on life with a Nissan LEAF.  The purpose is to communicate the best combination of temperature and SOC to maximize battery longevity in the LEAF's passively-cooled battery pack.  In Dave's words:  "Now, we all know Nissan put the fear of God into us when charging to 100% and letting …

Plug In West Michigan Podcast - Episode 1 - Myths

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Part of WKTV Journal Grand Rapids, MI Community Programming Listen Here: Episode 1 - EV Myths
Episode 1 Show Notes
IntroductionHost: Karl BlossBlog: www.muskegonevguy.comInstagram @muskegonevguyWest Michigan EV community:  www.facebook.com/groups/WestMichiganEV/Guest: Tyler Burke 
Main Topic:  Electric Vehicle MythsLinks and ReferencesAARP magazine: Electric Cars: Chevy Bolt EV vs. Tesla Model 3Finding charging stations:PlugShare site:  www.plugshare.com/PlugShare appiOS appAndroid appCharging networks:EVGoChargePointElectrify AmericaElectric Vehicle torque and accelerationYouTube: Electric Vehicle Torque at 0 RPM ExplainedYouTube: Tesla Ludicrous Model S launch reactionsElectric Vehicle tax credit:Energy.gov referenceUS News & World Report articleElectric Vehicle operation cost