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How to improve Winter MPG's

winter mpgs

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70 replies to this topic

#41 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 11:03 AM

Forget about my definition, its the car's definition.  Extreme weather is what the car thinks not me.  Sometimes 31F is OK other times its not.  Depends if the car is already warm or if the car is ice cold.  In mean if you've been driving on the engine, and the coolant is already warm, and you continue on EV power, the ICE might not come on in auto mode.  However, if the car is stone cold, and you turn on heat wanting to warm the 1C coolant up to 65C then the ICE could very well start.

 

At the end of the day use EV now if you're trying to use heat in the winter without the ICE, or don't use the heat and waste the battery, just tough it up and drive with your coat on.  Whatever works for you.  And if that doesn't work start the engine and drive with the heat and burn some gas.

 

-=>Raja.


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#42 OFFLINE   Levi Smith

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 11:12 AM

Forget about my definition, its the car's definition.  Extreme weather is what the car thinks not me.  Sometimes 31F is OK other times its not.  Depends if the car is already warm or if the car is ice cold.  In mean if you've been driving on the engine, and the coolant is already warm, and you continue on EV power, the ICE might not come on in auto mode.  However, if the car is stone cold, and you turn on heat wanting to warm the 1C coolant up to 65C then the ICE could very well start.

 

At the end of the day use EV now if you're trying to use heat in the winter without the ICE, or don't use the heat and waste the battery, just tough it up and drive with your coat on.  Whatever works for you.  And if that doesn't work start the engine and drive with the heat and burn some gas.

 

-=>Raja.

 

Well, yeah if you've already been driving on ICE then you're not in EV mode and yeah, even if you switch into EV mode at that point, if the water temp is already nice and high then sure it wouldn't need to fire up the ICE to heat anything since it already has heat(at least for a minute depending on how cold/how fast you're driving, etc)

 

Yes, I'm talking about when you are taking a trip short enough that you can and desire to never fire the ICE up at all for that duration.  Sure, use EV mode and be very careful when your window starts fogging up.

 

Sure, you can go the cold route and just freeze, but I've generally decided I'd rather enjoy the comforts the car offers than suffering more.  And it's not like "just drive without heat", it's "Drive without heat AND open up a couple windows so that you've got that frozen air blowing through the car as well."  Otherwise it's a safety issue because the windows fog up.  Just not that enjoyable when it's like 10F outside.  And then you've got gloves on which make it annoying at best when trying to use the touch screen, etc...



#43 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 11:32 AM

If the ICE is already hot then heat runs off residual heat from the ice, but soon enough the battery starts adding power to maintain the radiator heat that you're robbing via the vent.  That power is less than initial power (5KW+) to warm a stone cold car up, and would generally not need the ice to maintain what was warm originally.  In that case you might get away with Auto.

 

On a stone cold car, you will need EV now to improve your chances of the ICE not starting, but at 10F the ICE is going to start even in EV now.

 

You don't need to open all the windows or open them much, just a crack on both left and right side windows to prevent fogging.  That's not always true though, sometimes its so dry outside you don't even need to open the windows, they don't fog.  Recently last week I didn't need to open the windows to continue home without heat.  Depends on the weather.  When its cold and damn, its the worst usually.

 

Personally I don't mind the cold weather, I dress for it and I don't freeze in general.  Sure there are limits when its 10F or below its going to be cold for sure, but when its like 30 you really don't need the heat its not THAT bad, but then again some people are always cold.  I spend alot of time outdoors even in the winter so its not a problem for me, I like the cold it, it makes me feel alive.

 

By the way when you run the ICE to use it to make heat for the car generally speaking your gas mileage will suffer more, due to the fact that its cold, the ICE is not getting warm all the way from you taking heat from the car all the time, and running in inefficient mode just to keep the coolant warm for you even stopped at lights.  It really doesn't matter for creature comforts, but just something to note.

 

-=>Raja.



#44 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 11:37 AM

If you really want to improve your chances use a block heater or oil pan heater and Grill Covers to help keep the ICE from cooling off. :smile2:

 

Paul


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#45 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 06:52 AM

I thought I would mention for those who don't want to make or can't make Grill Covers I have 3 sets left, you can PM me for more info. It's getting cold and snow out there. smile.png

 

Paul



#46 OFFLINE   cwstnsko

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 08:37 AM

I live in Ontario and bought my 2017 in Ontario and it came with a Block heater kit and it took me about 30 seconds to plug it in.... no bother at all.

 

Wonder what bill of goods your dealer was selling you?

 

Lots of variables involved, 2017 is 2 years newer car, it could be that Ford changed the zones that get the block heater by default, it could be that the dealers learned that installing a block heater after the fact required removing the engine, so they started ordering block heaters as an option.  It could be as simple as one dealer's ordering practices vs the other. 

 

It also sounds like Ford possibly changed the design/location of the block heater for the newer years.  I wonder if the 2017 design could be installed on a 2015 in 30 seconds, or does the new design require that they installed something at the factory to support it?  It would be awesome if there was a better answer than the one I got from my dealer.

 

I know the build sheet for the Winnipeg car I had planned to lease had a block heater.  I know the build sheet for the car they brought in from Toronto did not show a block heater. and the dealers description of the complexity involved in installing one agrees with other here who have attempted the install on 2013-2015 models.

 

If I had a block heater, I would plug it in when temps dropped below -10C (I can make my commute on 100% EV down to that temperature.)  With only 6 months left on my lease, and no plans to keep the car after the lease is up, I'll manage through one more winter without a block heater.



#47 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 08:49 AM

Lots of variables involved, 2017 is 2 years newer car, it could be that Ford changed the zones that get the block heater by default, it could be that the dealers learned that installing a block heater after the fact required removing the engine, so they started ordering block heaters as an option.  It could be as simple as one dealer's ordering practices vs the other. 

 

It also sounds like Ford possibly changed the design/location of the block heater for the newer years.  I wonder if the 2017 design could be installed on a 2015 in 30 seconds, or does the new design require that they installed something at the factory to support it?  It would be awesome if there was a better answer than the one I got from my dealer.

 

I know the build sheet for the Winnipeg car I had planned to lease had a block heater.  I know the build sheet for the car they brought in from Toronto did not show a block heater. and the dealers description of the complexity involved in installing one agrees with other here who have attempted the install on 2013-2015 models.

 

If I had a block heater, I would plug it in when temps dropped below -10C (I can make my commute on 100% EV down to that temperature.)  With only 6 months left on my lease, and no plans to keep the car after the lease is up, I'll manage through one more winter without a block heater.

I would suggest you look at Post #1, oil pan heaters aren't too expensive on eBay and easy to install and Grill Covers are helpful and easy to install also. :smile2:

 

Paul



#48 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 08:50 AM

You guys realize that plugging in a block heater to improve gas mileage is counter intuitive right?  You got rob peter to pay paul, meaning you're going to spend money on electricity to get better gas mileage and then the result is a net loss.

 

Block heaters are good in real cold climates so the engines don't freeze, and to improve its life from starting really cold with gelled oil.  That's the reason for them like in Alaska or the northern states.  Having one here in Boston for example and plugging it in so that I could start with a warmer engine to reduce warmup fuel usage is pointless.  Paul, you're down in Georgia, did you ever consider electric usage if using a block heater?

 

Just a thought...

 

-=>Raja.



#49 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 11:38 AM

You guys realize that plugging in a block heater to improve gas mileage is counter intuitive right?  You got rob peter to pay paul, meaning you're going to spend money on electricity to get better gas mileage and then the result is a net loss.

 

Block heaters are good in real cold climates so the engines don't freeze, and to improve its life from starting really cold with gelled oil.  That's the reason for them like in Alaska or the northern states.  Having one here in Boston for example and plugging it in so that I could start with a warmer engine to reduce warmup fuel usage is pointless.  Paul, you're down in Georgia, did you ever consider electric usage if using a block heater?

 

Just a thought...

 

-=>Raja.

We have been this way before. If electricity isn't cheaper than gas, what's the point of having a plugin. :headscratch:  In previous discussion  if the ICE is to cold it's going to start no matter the charge level of the HVB. By warming up the ICE some this won't happen. With Grill Covers on will also hold heat in the ICE longer. :smile2:  If you are going to use the ICE anytime of the the year it is a good idea to use block/ oil pan heaters to speed up the harm up time of the ICE.  The quicker you getup to  ICE operating temp (202-212*F) the more efficient the ICE is, the better the MPG's. :smile2:  Also the CVT is more efficient the higher the temperature to maybe 190*F.  Members with block/ oil pan heaters should observe differences between having them on an off.  On my Hybrid it makes about 5 mpg difference on 7 mi. trip with 35-40*F rise over OT. 

 

Paul  



#50 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 01:10 PM

Let me do some math.  So a gallon of gas cost $2.35 in Newnan, GA.  

 

Without heating up the engine, you net let's say 45mpg while its warming up.

With heating the engine, let's say you net 50mpg.  

 

How long is this warmup, lets say 5 miles going down the road.

 

So 5 miles / 45mpg you need to burn 0.1111 gallons of gas.

And, 5 miles at 50mpg, you need to burn 0.1 gallons of gas.

 

The difference is 0.01111 gallons of gas.  Multiply that by $2.35 per gallon and the savings are what, 2.6 cents.   

 

Now, let's plug in the block heater into the engine.  For it to do good, you need to have it plugged in for 2 to 3 hours.  I know this from a friend that uses it.  Anything over 3 hours is a waste and anything under 2 hours is not enough.

 

So how much is electricity for two hours on a block heater?  Most things of this nature will consume around 1300 watt, to be able to be plugged into a 15a circuit.

 

That's going to eat up about 2.6 kwh in 2 hours.

 

So now we saved 2.6 cents in gas, and burned 2.6 kwh.  Is electricity cost 1 cent per kwh to break even??

 

And we were generous with 5mpg difference, those are Paul's numbers...

 

Let me scratch my head some more... :fool:

 

-=>Raja.


Edited by rbort, 20 November 2017 - 01:12 PM.


#51 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 01:15 PM

 

 

if the ICE is to cold it's going to start no matter the charge level of the HVB. By warming up the ICE some this won't happen

 

Also Paul, don't be fooled by that statement, that means nothing.  You're not going to warm up the engine with block heaters and drive off on EV power without starting the engine right away and pretend its not going to start.  First off it will only start in extreme weather, below 0F does not start above 0F.  Mine did it once 20 minutes into the trim when the temp was -10F to -7F range.  You think if I used a block heater there would be any warmth left at -10F 20 minutes later, no way Jose!

 

-=>Raja.



#52 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 02:57 PM

Raja, You have been miss informed, I use two oil pan heaters for a total of 375 watts/hr.( factory heater is 450 watts/hr) so at two hours I've use 750 watts, I don't know where you got 1300 watts/hr. I agree with you going more than 3 hrs. is a waste, but you are confused with the heating process, At the beginning you get the biggest change in temperature. As temperature rises the change in temperature slows down because more heat is dissipated to air surrounding the ICE until at three hrs you are losing as much heat as you are putting in it.  If I didn't know better it seems you are trying to convince me that gas is cheaper than electricity. :headscratch: Why would you want a plugin if that was true. 

 

 

Also Paul, don't be fooled by that statement, that means nothing.  You're not going to warm up the engine with block heaters and drive off on EV power without starting the engine right away and pretend its not going to start.  First off it will only start in extreme weather, below 0F does not start above 0F.  Mine did it once 20 minutes into the trim when the temp was -10F to -7F range.  You think if I used a block heater there would be any warmth left at -10F 20 minutes later, no way Jose!

 

-=>Raja.

You might if you used Grill Covers , I was in the Colorado plains during the Winter at night with minus  single digits going uphill and my WT temp got up to 230*F with heater running, needless to say Grill Covers work. :smile2:  BTW heat from the Trans dissipates into the ICE, so Grill Covers could save some of that heat too.

 

Paul 



#53 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 03:56 PM

Ok, lets do this again.  So your oil pan heater is 375 watt.  Run that for two hours and that's 3/4 of a kwh.  Electric cost around here is close to 20 cents per kwh, so that's about 15 cents per 2 hours.  I don't know for sure since I have panels but that's about where it is, and its more expensive in the winter than summer anyways.

 

In GA what is the electric cost for you per kwh, have you looked?  I'd bet its at least 12 cents per kwh.  So 3/4 of a kwh is 9 cents to heat the engine for 2 hours, but your gas savings are still 2.6 cents.  Hello?  And not only that, when the 2 hours are over you have to leave right away, otherwise you're wasting more money leaving it plugged in waiting for you to depart.

 

My car has grill covers all the way from top to bottom and they are closed in the winter time when you power up the car.  I looked at that already.  I don't really want to add plexiglass on top of that in front or cellophane tape to cover things up.  For me I'm not too worried about the last mpg.  I'm already netting 75mpg anyways since birth, now at 10k miles here is my trip meter:

 

To fill in the blanks, here are the numbers:

 

10033.4     Total

6583.4   EV Miles

65.61485 EV to ICE ratio

75 MPG

648  KWH used

402:52:58 Hours driven

 

-=>Raja.

Attached Files


Edited by rbort, 20 November 2017 - 04:00 PM.


#54 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 08:30 AM

Here is my math, I pay 2.80/g for Premium and my electric cost is 12 cents/KW and it's 7 mi. to work. So for two hrs I spend 9 cents for plugging in the heaters. Now assuming the 45mpg vs 50mpg scenario it cost .435 vs .392 =.043 vs .09 for electricity.  My strategy is to get the best MPG's, not save the most money after all I'm using Premium. :smile2:  It is possible that I'm gaining 10 mpg at which point it would be a wash.  To find out exactly would require keeping track  of charge time, SOC, OT, WT, wind conditions and whether  I had my bike on the back or not. Needless to say this would hurt my average MPG and I'm not going to do that. :smile2: 

 

Paul  



#55 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 08:39 AM

Wait a minute, you're using Premium all the time??  Your operating costs are higher with that, you're paying 45 cents more per gallon, why would you do that?  So all your MPG numbers are inflated because of premium vs regular?  How much more do you get with premium vs regular?  Inquiring minds want to know.  As an FYI, I use regular all the time - you know that car was not designed for premium fuels.

 

As far as using the heater to get your MPG numbers up and not worried about cost, you sound like the old Gary from Florida.  He had an Energi and he would not start the engine to keep his MPG numbers high.  He got it as high as 438 mpg (maybe even more but I recall this number specifically) and then he went to the dealer and asked the dealer to remove the dealer gas (he was so proud of still being on the dealer gas for a year) and put it in containers for him so he could put it in his Ford Explorer SUV and burn it there to take a trip to Disney.  I wish I was a fly on the wall to see the looks on their faces...

 

Anyway, I said to Gary why don't you just drive the Cmax to Disney, it gets alot better MPG numbers than the Explorer to burn out the old dealer gas, but he wouldn't have it as it would drop his "high score" lifetime MPG as he's driving on battery all the time with just 3 gallons burned in a year's time.

 

-=>Raja.


Edited by rbort, 21 November 2017 - 09:26 AM.


#56 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 12:44 PM

Attached File  LT49.3mpg.jpg.JPG   98.13KB   0 downloads 51.3% EV miles without a plug. :smile2:

Wait a minute, you're using Premium all the time?? Yes I do, I usually gain 1 to 2 mpg depending on the octane. Your operating costs are higher with that, you're paying 45 cents more per gallon, why would you do that? To get better MPG's. :smile2:   So all your MPG numbers are inflated because of premium vs regular? Not inflated, just better. :smile2:  How much more do you get with premium vs regular? With ethanol free premium 3 mpg.  Inquiring minds want to know.  As an FYI, I use regular all the time - you know that car was not designed for premium fuels. The car is designed for a minimum of 86 octane, not a maximum octane.  I have proved this with my ScanGaugeII, you can see the difference in spark advance between regular and premium.  The farther you advance the ignition the better your MPG's are until you reach detonation.  

 

As far as using the heater to get your MPG numbers up and not worried about cost, you sound like the old Gary from Florida.  Interesting you are making a big deal out of me spending maybe $10 extra a year to improve my MPG's.  MADMAX is my hobby and I'm having fun with it. :smile2:  I have been also very successful with 4 tanks over 900 miles and one being 931.8 miles and I could of gone 30 miles more. :smile2:  I also drive alot with 173k mi. on the car. He had an Energi and he would not start the engine to keep his MPG numbers high.  He got it as high as 438 mpg (maybe even more but I recall this number specifically) and then he went to the dealer and asked the dealer to remove the dealer gas (he was so proud of still being on the dealer gas for a year) and put it in containers for him so he could put it in his Ford Explorer SUV and burn it there to take a trip to Disney.  I wish I was a fly on the wall to see the looks on their faces...

 

Anyway, I said to Gary why don't you just drive the Cmax to Disney, it gets alot better MPG numbers than the Explorer to burn out the old dealer gas, but he wouldn't have it as it would drop his "high score" lifetime MPG as he's driving on battery all the time with just 3 gallons burned in a year's time.  I admire Gary for being dedicated getting the best MPG's that he can. :smile2: It's not the easy road for sure.

 

-=>Raja.

 

 

Paul :smile2:


Edited by ptjones, 21 November 2017 - 12:45 PM.


#57 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 03:20 PM

Its $6 bucks more with every fill up, actually $6.30 if you fill 14 gallons according to your local current prices.

So you drive alot, 172756 miles in 4 years time, so 43189 miles per year average.

At 900 miles per tank assuming the best and we know its not always that good year round, that's 48 tanks per year.

48 tanks x 6.30 is $302 per year.

Not sure where you got an extra $10 a year to drive premium vs regular?

Actually your lifttime is 49.3 mpg. So let's use the car's values:

172756 / 49.3 = 3504 gallons of fuel burned.

Divide by 4 for the average, its 876 gallons burned per year.

Additional cost per year for premium fuel is $394 extra. This calculation is more accurate than assuming you get 900 miles per tank. The real average is 690 miles per tank from your lifetime stats.

Sorry but I love number crunching!!

-=>Raja.

Edited by rbort, 21 November 2017 - 04:15 PM.


#58 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 09:01 AM

Its $6 bucks more with every fill up, actually $6.30 if you fill 14 gallons according to your local current prices.
So average fillup is 13 gallons which works out to $5.98 at current pricing. Usually it's 35 to 40 cents where I fillup, not 46 cents.  
So you drive alot, 172756 miles in 4 years time, so 43189 miles per year average.
Actually I have had MADMAX for 5yrs 1 month which works out to 34kmi./yr. average.
At 900 miles per tank assuming the best and we know its not always that good year round, that's 48 tanks per year.
I have 282 tanks so 55.5 tanks/yr and 613 miles/tank average for 5 yrs.
48 tanks x 6.30 is $302 per year.
 

A more accurate way to figure this out would be to compare total miles/ mpg= total gal.   173,000mi./ fuelly average 48.3 mpg= 3582 gal x $2.92 average price on my Fuelly Dash =$10459. Now the Fuelly average for 2013 CMAX Hybrid SEL is 38.5 mpg so 173000 mi./ 38.5 mpg = 4493.5 gal. x $2.52 = $11324 so subtract $10459 from $10874 = so I have saved  $864  over if I hadn't done anything. :smile2:  This number will keep going up, because I have been averaging 53mpg for quite awhile.

 

Not sure where you got an extra $10 a year to drive premium vs regular?
That was the cost of heating my oil pan heater per year.
Actually your lifttime is 49.3 mpg. So let's use the car's values: Life Time is off as compared to Fuelly which computes actual gallons and mileage.

172756 / 49.3 = 3504 gallons of fuel burned.

Divide by 4 for the average, its 876 gallons burned per year.

Additional cost per year for premium fuel is $394 extra. This calculation is more accurate than assuming you get 900 miles per tank. The real average is 690 miles per tank from your lifetime stats.

Sorry but I love number crunching!!

-=>Raja.

I try to keep things accurate as reasonably possible.  EPA MPG #37/40/42, Fuelly 2013 CMAX average 38.5mpg and My Fuelly Life Time average 48.3 and for this year 53 mpg. :smile2:  So currently I'm getting 14.5 mpg more than 2013 CMAX Fuelly average and 15mpg/40%  better than EPA with 79% Hwy. :smile2:  

 

Paul


Edited by ptjones, 22 November 2017 - 10:38 AM.


#59 OFFLINE   rbort

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  • My C-MAX:2017
  • Current Vehicle:Cmax Energi Titanium with Moonroof

Posted 22 November 2017 - 09:36 AM

No no you can't use 38.5 mpg that doesn't work, even someone like me can drive 500 miles to VA non stop and get 48mpg without fancy stuff.  You drive city roads all the time and keep the speeds down to get 900 miles per tank, that's not going to happen if you get on the highway and drive non-stop at 65mph.  Try it, I'm sure you have already, in that case you'll get something in the 600's range per tank.

 

38.5 is what Ford adjusted the MPG rating as people floor the car and drive terrible in relation to hypermilling and then they complain they are not getting the ratings.  Anyone who tries just a little bit to drive better will be well into the 40's mpg.

 

Your loss is $10459 - ($3582 x $2.52) = $1432 for using Premium fuel per year or about $7281 in 5 years 1 month's time.

 

You get bonus MPG numbers for bragging rights by paying this premium, you NEVER make out driving Premium vs regular in savings.

 

-=>Raja.


Edited by rbort, 22 November 2017 - 09:38 AM.


#60 OFFLINE   Levi Smith

Levi Smith

    Energi Member

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  • Region:U.S. Northeast
  • LocationUpstate NY
  • My C-MAX:2013
  • Current Vehicle:2013 C-Max Energi 303A W Panoramic Roof

Posted 22 November 2017 - 09:44 AM

I dunno there Raja, it all comes down to each person.  You're complaining about him using ethanol free gas(I see no benefit in premium, but the ethanol free part is definitely a mileage boost) and heaters to get a few more MPG, but you're a huge proponent of never having heat in your car. It all depends on where your comfort level of give and take is.  I'm liking this car a lot more now that I'm using heat more.  Yeah, the range/efficiency of the car really sucks while using heat, but I'm gonna end up on gas for my drive anyway.

 

Personally I find 38.5 is pretty much about in the ballpark of what "normal" driving of the car gets(if that).  Sure you can drive slower, stay on city streets, only take short trips that keep you in the battery range, etc...  But that's only reasonable if it fits your individual needs.  For me, I'm lucky if I can pull off that mileage on my return trip even if I try driving at 45MPH on 55MPH roads where everyone else is going closer to 65MPH...


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