Turkey day drive

Our destination for Thanksgiving this year was family located across town about 41 miles away. I had some internal debate about which car should we take: the ICE Focus or the Focus Electric? Some of the things weighing in on the determination:

  • The temperature out was only 25F or so. At this temp the Focus Electric’s range is significantly impacted (even with the battery temperature management system)
  • The prior day the Focus Electric spent the entire day at the dealership getting the recall fixed.
  • The nearest Chargepoint station to our destination was about 1.5 miles away (ok to walk, but not pleasant at 25F out)

To help out with the determination, at least with regards to the recall, I took the car for a little (~15 miles or so) drive after picking it up from the dealer. This short of a drive wouldn’t really guarantee that there are no issues but it would point out anything that the dealer may have messed up. Fortunately for me the car drove and behaved no differently than it has in the past (the dealer indicated that about four modules were reprogrammed as part of the recall).

Nevertheless, as you can tell by this being a blog entry, we decided to take the Focus Electric. Upon our arrival the car was showing about 15 miles of range remaining (the trip meter indicated a burn rate of about 300 Wh/mile). We unloaded the car and I drove it over to the local Chargepoint station (a family member graciously volunteered to pick me up–saving me a brisk walk).
The car savoring those yummy Turkey Electrons
The trip there really posed no issues as the car was preconditioned and nice and toasty off of wall power before we left. The trip home proved to be a bit more interesting.
At the Chargepoint station I let the car charge itself up to about 96% battery (it was showing around 60 miles of range). This time there was no preconditioning and it was evening with the temperatures dropping further. I setup the navigation so that the car would tell me if we would make it or not–at no point during our journey did any of the navigation indications show that we couldn’t make it. We did get a “low battery” indication when exiting the freeway at the destination (which did provide some surprise/humor as we’re not used to getting “low battery” in a car–well first time anyway! LOL). In the end we made it with 13% battery remaining and about 8 miles of indicated range. Having said all that; not once during the trip, etc. did I ever experience any feeling that could even remotely be considered as “range anxiety”–I always knew that the car could make the trip.

Here is the trip in numbers:
Trip meter for the drive

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