To­day I drove the new I-Pace 290.3 most­ly high­way kilo­me­ter­s. In the best on­line I-Pace com­mu­ni­ty, the top top­ic, with 1,115 posts as I write, is I-Pace range. Be­cause when you come to elec­tric cars, range anx­i­ety is a thing. Today’s road-trip re­port will cov­er the gen­er­al high­way ex­pe­ri­ence but, since it’s the hot top­ic, will ze­ro in on range. Spoil­er: You can al­most al­ways go 300km with­out try­ing too hard.

Here’s the trip.

290.3 km of travel

It was a three-leg trip, from Seattle’s down­town to one of its west­ern neigh­bor­hood­s, then to SeaTac air­port, then home to Van­cou­ver; on­ly the last (longest) leg is il­lus­trat­ed. This pic­ture is from the JLR “Incontrol” ap­p, which runs on your mo­bile and is al­so a Web site.

What it feels like · The I-Pace is a dream on the big high­way. To be fair, this is large­ly due to it be­ing a well-built mod­ern car with mod­ern fea­tures.

  1. I think I al­ready men­tioned the seats are fab­u­lous, but it’s worth say­ing again: re­al­ly great.

  2. The weath­er was lousy, be­tween 5°C and 8°C pret­ty well the whole way, al­ter­nat­ing be­tween driz­zle and lash­ing rain. The cli­mate con­trol is ac­tu­al­ly not as van­ish­ing­ly per­fect as our old 2003 Audi’s, as in some­times you no­tice the fans are blow­ing a lit­tle hard­er than you’d like on your tor­so or thigh­s; easy to cor­rect though.

  3. The au­to­mat­ic set­ting on the wipers did the job, shift­ing from extra-slow in­ter­mit­tent in the driz­zle to bangin’ ’em hard in a tractor-trailer’s wake in a down­pour.

  4. The assisted-cruise-control is a treat. You set a max­i­mum cruis­ing speed and when there’s some­one in front of you (i.e. al­most all the time) it fol­lows them au­to­mat­i­cal­ly; the de­fault fol­low dis­tance gives you ex­act­ly the two-second gap rec­om­mend­ed in safe­ty tip­s.

    By the way, I am not re­mote­ly in­ter­est­ed in any “self-driving” ca­pa­bil­i­ty that falls short of “Tim can open up his lap­top and do a code review.” Se­ri­ous­ly, what’s the point?

    But I think the assisted-cruise makes the high­ways glob­al­ly safer at a lev­el re­lat­ed to the num­ber of peo­ple us­ing it.

    I read at least one re­view­er who said the Jag’s assisted-cruise im­ple­men­ta­tion wasn’t up there with the best. I can be­lieve it; when a slow­poke pulls out in front of you, the Jag de­ploys the heavy re­gen and it can be kind of shock­ing. And when you get out from be­hind some­one who’s go­ing a whole lot slow­er than you’ve set the cruise, the Jag de­cides it’s on a drag-strip.

  5. On the sub­ject of raw pow­er: I drove con­ser­va­tive­ly, as­sum­ing that this lurid-blue light­ning bolt would be a cop mag­net. But there were a few oc­ca­sions when I boot­ed it, for ex­am­ple when asshats tried to dart in­to my two-second gap, and on one oc­ca­sion when I re­al­ized that I was about to be se­ri­ous­ly in the way of three cars try­ing to merge from an on-ramp I hadn’t no­ticed, and there was no room to move over. Wel­l, tee-hee-hee, there are very few cars in the world that can rocket-launch for­ward from a start­ing speed well over 100k­m/h the way this does.

  6. The car’s whisper-quiet around town (so nice) but when you’re do­ing 70+mph on rough as­phalt in a driv­ing rain­stor­m, it’s not dra­mat­i­cal­ly qui­eter than a de­cent mod­ern fos­sil car; the tires and all the air and wa­ter hit­ting the car can get in the way if you’re play­ing soft mu­sic.

Bot­tom line: I’ve driv­en this route too many times, in a va­ri­ety of au­to­mo­biles, my own and rent­ed. The I-Pace got me home feel­ing a re­al­ly a lot less stressed and wast­ed than any­thing else I’ve done the trip in.

Now, about range · The wis­est thing I’ve seen on the sub­ject is on the ipace­fo­rum­s.­ site in a post by DougTheMac. It’s worth read­ing in ful­l, but here are a cou­ple of ex­cerpt­s. This point, on how to think about range, is cru­cial:

I think there’s a big dif­fer­ence be­tween the re­quired be­haviour on a longer-than-usual trip and a very-long-trip. The dif­fer­ence is be­cause on a road trip, you are re­luc­tant to let the SoC get be­low maybe 20% in case the charg­er you are re­ly­ing on isn’t avail­able and you have to di­vert. Al­so, on a road trip, you prob­a­bly on­ly want to recharge up to 80% be­cause the last 20% is very slow. So, the dis­tance be­tween recharg­ing stops on a very long trip is per­haps 60% of the ac­tu­al achiev­able range.

But if you start from home with a full charge and pre-conditioned, and your des­ti­na­tion at the end of the day is ei­ther home again or a des­ti­na­tion with 100% cer­tain­ty of an overnight charge, then you can use 95%+ of the bat­tery ca­pac­i­ty with rea­son­able con­fi­dence.

Ex­plana­to­ry note on “conditioning”. You can tell the car what time you plan to de­part, and on sched­ule it’ll get the cab­in all pre-heated for you, and if it’s plugged in, al­so boost the bat­tery to the cor­rect op­er­at­ing tem­per­a­ture. This is said to in­crease range, but I have no idea how much.

Here are his con­clu­sions (for those of us in metric-land, his break­points of 100M, 150M, and 190M are around, re­spec­tive­ly, 160k­m, 240k­m, and 300k­m):

  • Trip dis­tance <100M: Charge to 80% (! q.v.), pre-condition, drive to have fun.

  • Trip dis­tance <150M: Charge to 100%, pre-condition, drive to have fun.

  • Trip dis­tance <190M: Charge to 100%, pre-condition, drive a bit more gen­tly, mon­i­tor, but ex­pect to get to des­ti­na­tion with­out a charge en route, al­beit per­haps down to <5% on ar­rival.

  • Trip dis­tance 190-310M: Plan for a sin­gle en-route charge, ide­al­ly from c20% SoC (to give the safe­ty mar­gin re­quired in case the planned charg­er is un­avail­able) but on­ly up to the SoC re­quired to get to the fi­nal des­ti­na­tion with a min­i­mal SoC (5%?). A sin­gle 20%-80% charge should add 120M (80%-20%=60%x200M), hence 190+120=310M with 5% on ar­rival at the “safe” des­ti­na­tion. But if you on­ly need an ex­tra 50M, you on­ly put in the re­quired amount to just get you to your safe des­ti­na­tion.

Like I said at the top: You can go 300k­m, as­sum­ing you’re sure of hav­ing a place to charge when you get there. The road to Seat­tle is 230km with lots of hill­s, and there are long stretch­es where the speed lim­it is 70mph and ev­ery­one cruis­es at 80. So while a chilly day like to­day isn’t the North Amer­i­can worst case  —  that would be some­thing like Canada’s Rogers Pass in mid­win­ter  —  it’s worse than av­er­age.

I used the car’s “comfort mode” both ways; it’s got an “eco mode” which could prob­a­bly have done bet­ter. On the trip down I still had 90km of ad­ver­tised range when I pulled up to a charg­er in the base­ment of an Ama­zon build­ing, which sug­gests a to­tal of 320k­m. To­day I went 290.3km at an av­er­age speed of 87k­m/h and had 8% charge when I got home. The car said it had 26km of range left; do the math.

Recharge · After I un­load­ed, I head­ed over to the handy neigh­bor­hood fast-charger, where by “fast” I mean 50kW. This is about as close to a “full charge” as the Jag is ev­er like­ly to get: 78.174 kWh in 2 hours.

Con­clu­sion · Modern battery-electric cars are just fine for medium-long road trip­s.


Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: Scott S (Jan 23 2019, at 10:52)

Re: Self driving that is less than completely autonomous.

We got a Model X just over a year ago.

Even with the limitations auto-pilot is a huge boon for local freeway commuting. Letting the car mostly take care of not hitting anything really frees you up. Your posture can relax, you can much more safely deal with the kids in the back seat. Stop and go traffic across the Lions Gate is a chance to explore some music and chill instead of feeling stressed by traffic. A year later my wife still regularly comments on how much auto-pilot has improved her commuting.

I'm less sure of the benefits on a longer drive like to Seattle where falling asleep becomes a factor, but for shorter trips it is a VERY noticeable improvement. I highly doubt we'd ever buy a less capable vehicle again.


From: DougTheMac (Jan 28 2019, at 13:56)

Very flattered by your comments about my post on re trip length and charging strategy!

And thanks for your intelligently and entertainingly written blog. I have bookmarked it.

I hope you keep enjoying your iPace - another month until I get mine...


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January 22, 2019
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