I planned to push the limits this week. I started my day at 100% charge in Jericho and drove to Burlington. While I worked out my car was plugged into the station at Church and Main. Unfortunately that is only a Level 1 plug (110 volt) and I don’t work out for that long. An hour and half later I drove down Pine street to start my work day. I was probably up around 85% by this time. No charging available at work. I then headed to Montpelier for a meeting and plugged in at National Life. Again only a Level one plug. After the meeting I planned to meet a friend in Williston and then drive back to Jericho. I wasn’t sure I would make it. I started down I-89 a little over 60% (I got 2.5 hours of charging in).
I decided to go slow (57 mph) and see if I could make it to Williston with enough to get back to Jericho. I knew there was no charging in Williston (there’s everything else there though). I had decided that if I was on the last two bars as I approached the Richmond exit I would detour home, grab the conventional vehicle and continue on my way. It was close but having never run out of gasoline I had no intention of running out of electrons. I’m sure I would have made it to Williston, although French Hill did loom large in my calculations. I was more concerned that I wouldn’t have enough to get up to Jericho. It’s not the distance so much as the speed and the grade. So I aborted at the exit, jumped in my Jetta which was…on empty.
This marks only the second time in a month now when I’ve needed more range. The first was a trip to Lebanon, NH. I used CarShare VT for that trip.
My take away was three fold: one, we need more Level two charging. If I had found that in Burlington, Montpelier or Williston I could have made it all electric. Second, if I had the 2013 model LEAF I would have an another 50 miles of range and could have made it all electric. And finally, having an ICE back-up car for those days when I’ll exceed the 2012 model year range is really critical.