I have become accustomed to driving the LEAF over the last 6 months and rarely concern myself with the range of the vehicle anymore. Range anxiety is something a new EV owner experiences until they become confident of how far the car can go on a single charge and where the public charging places are located.
However I experienced range anxiety by proxy (aka RAP) yesterday. Karen my wife took a trip to Portland TN. A 50 mile round trip, even at highway speeds with heat and cold temperatures, no sweat.
Early afternoon Karen called to say she was about an hour from coming home from the shopping mall. She’d taken a few detours and added 15 miles to the journey. I checked the cars available charge via Nissan’s CarWings website, there was enough charge to get home, no sweat.
Three hours later she’s not home. I check the LEAF’s available charge. Zero, nada, nothing. It’s empty!! I call her cell to check she’s OK. No answer!! Having gone shopping with my granddaughter it was quite possible my granddaughter had run the iPhone flat playing games and watching TV shows. I texted as well. No response. I waited another 15 minutes and called again. No answer.
Worst case scenarios started to go through my mind. 2 hours late home, cell phone dead, car dead, stranded, getting late (it’ll be dark in an hour), temperature in the 30′s and falling fast, no way to call for help.
Now concerned and experiencing range anxiety even though I wasn’t even driving the car, I took a ride to the shopping mall in the Altima. No stranded vehicles on the way. She wasn’t at Panera Bread anymore, but that was 3 hours ago. I call my daughter and she clues me in where Karen may be. I parked elsewhere and here comes the LEAF. Karen gets out and starts walking to a store. I catch up with her as she calls me on her cell. “I was just calling” she says “the car says low charge and has 5 miles left, is that enough to get home?” She wasn’t a bit concerned, just curious.
It turns out that my granddaughter had turned the cell phone ringer off while playing with the iPhone and Karen never heard my calls or texts.
The mall is 5.1 miles from home according to Google Maps, maybe cutting it a little close for comfort. All turned out well, I parked the LEAF at McDonalds for a quick 30 minute charge and a drank a coffee while watching the Vols play Uconn. They were winning and won. All’s well that ends well.