Cars, Charging, Congestion, Construction, ugh

For this construction season, er I mean summer, the local department of transportation has decided to completely rebuild the highway that is a main part of my commute. Before starting they even provided 3 options to travelers who frequent the freeway: Do it in one season closing one direction for 3 months, followed by the other; do it in two seasons with barriers and moving traffic to the other side; and do it in two seasons keeping traffic on each side.

Needless to say the “complete it in one season with complete closures” method won out (it was also the least expensive option, and I have to note that I had voted for it).

I knew it was going to be a bear but wow. There have been days where my commute home has been a nightmare (the first direction to close was my work to home commute, in July that will reopen nice and fresh and new and the opposite direction will close). The closed freeway was home to 100,000 cars a day–they all have to go somewhere. Sometimes its just felt that all 100,000 cars were taking the same roads as me.

Nonetheless you’re asking: “Why are you complaining about your commute when you did vote for that option?” and more pertinently: “How does this even relate to your blog on driving an EV/PHEV around?” Well #1 traffic is just bad, and in general I don’t mind taking the back roads–just wish everyone else would find different roads than me! LOL #2 EV/PHEV’s just love congestion.

“How so?” you may ask (or not, but this is why I’m posting so I’ll continue): Congestion means you are driving slower and thus using a lot less electricity to move around. Case in point: The C-Max Energi is rated for about 20 miles on battery alone according to the EPA. Since leasing mine I have been getting about that. Thanks to my new, slower, commute the C-Max battery distance climbed all the way up to 30 miles yesterday! That value constitutes about 95% of my round trip commute. According to the trip meter from yesterday’s commute I only burned gas for 5 miles.

I had hoped I could coax 30+ miles out of the C-Max when I had leased it but wasn’t so sure. After all 30 miles is 50% greater range on the battery than the rated range. In the FFE I had never seen 50% extra range (50% extra range in the FFE would mean 105 miles). Thus it is unrealistic to think I’d get the 50% from the C-max. In away my bad commute points that out: In order to get the 30 mile range I have to be rolling along at a snails pace–in some cases going no faster than idle.

In the end; it is possible to get 50% extra range, just not practical. As for myself; I’ll enjoy the extra range I’m getting until July when the freeway opens up again. Until that time I’ll just have to watch the blood pressure LOL.


Cars, Charging, Congestion, Construction, ugh

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