Eco-Road Trip Day 2—Heating Up

Ten bars on the temperature guage---working those batteries...

Up to the red on the temperature gauge—working those batteries by the end of the day…

Aaah, writing from the tent in a campground outside of Lewistown, PA. Day two is behind us, many stops and another 300 miles down the road. The Leaf is just outside, charging up with the Level-1 cord. I’m writing on my laptop via a wi-fi hotspot on my smart phone, which is related to the only frustrating aspect of the whole day—trying to get a Greenlots charger to turn on at noon with a combination of the smart-phone hot-spot, the phone, and the Greenlots app loaded onto an Apple I-pod (I eventually called and they turned it on remotely). A bit of excitement before that—we were going to skirt around the top of NYC, but missed an exit and ended up in the Bronx. Fortunately, the car had a nearly-full battery, and we managed, with some luck, to find the George Washington Bridge in the rush-hour traffic and get across to the chargers in New Jersey. On the good side, the kids got a nice view of the skyline from the bridge.

The main news of the day, though, is that we got up to the limit with regard to how hot we could get the batteries. If I had to generalize, I think that one full fill-up with a fast-charger bumps the temperature gauge up one bar. So, we started with six bars this morning, and the batteries got warmer all day, each time we charged. By 3 or 4 this afternoon, after charging in Lancaster, the temperature gauge was at the very top of its normal range; ten bars. So, in Harrisburg we parked it for an hour and went and ate supper, and it cooled off to nine bars, which let us charge one more time to do the last leg to the campground. I could charge into the red zone if I had to, but it would be hard on the battery pack, so I’ll avoid that. Not too big of a deal overall, but I think Nissan might need to add some active cooling to the Leaf battery system as fast-chargers become more common. Not too many people are travelling with their Leafs right now, but that will change.

Last charge of the day, after a cool-down.

Last charge of the day, after a one-hour cool-down.

While stopped today I made up some adapters to use at the campgrounds, but I didn’t need one of them tonight, this “30-amp” site does indeed have the “TT” 110v plug, but it also has a regular 110v outlet, so I was able to plug in without an adapter. I’ll try it out in the morning, though, just to see if it works, and when I get a chance I’ll try out the 220v one.

Finishing up the 220v adapter. Note the NEMA 14-50 plug, and the NEMA 6-50 receptacle, which our Level-2 charger will plug into.

Finishing up the 220v adapter. Note the NEMA 14-50 plug, and the NEMA 6-50 receptacle, which our Level-2 charger will plug into.

So, off to bed; we’ll see what tomorrow brings.