A Heated Commute


I took the challenge by fellow pioneer Tom Moloughney (#250) to try and drive my 90 mile commute while using the heater (previously I made the drive comfortably, albeit on the cold side).

I’m happy to report that I completed the task yesterday:

– 85 miles total* (not my usual 90 mile commute, I had to go into NYC – enjoyed a heated garage during the day)

– Used the heat 5 times (2 on the way in, 3 on the way out) for approx. 6-8 minutes each time

– Heat was in the middle dial, fan was set at 2 (also middle dial)

– I made it home with 2% on the SOC meter (State of Charge)

– Battery temperature never got below 55°

– Ambient air temp was between 24° – 38°

In the summer and spring I was regularly making 90 miles, showing 8-15% SOC at the end of the day. So the results here show that heater use does have a significant tax on the batteries (~10% with fairly conservative use).

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4 responses to “A Heated Commute

  1. Well Done! However to REALLY make this test data reliable, I would like to see you drive the same route but with the windows open and without wearing socks or shoes. This should completely put to rest any odd chance of a an abnormal record. Please post once the task is complete.

  2. If your battery was up in the 70 degree F area, I bet your state of charge would have read closer to 10%. It is not particularly efficient to heat the cabin all the time while it is parked but that will get the batteries up there if you are charging too so that the fan runs. And it makes for much less heat needed while driving.

    But like Tom says, not everyone has access to power at work.

    • I agree Jim – warm batteries are the key to range, that’s pretty clear by each of our experiences. I have been pre-heating the cabin in the morning’s now, though only for about 10 min., and so it hasn’t really warmed the batteries up. This week my morning battery temp has been in the mid-upper 50’s, but tonight I’m going to use a space-heater to heat the cabin while i charge, and see if the temp can hold till the morning.

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