Just driven to the shops. Okay, that has to be the most banal blog post ever. The car is a Nissan Leaf, the weather is very cold, the route I take (I live in the Cotswolds) is very hilly. The shop is 7.4 miles away, so return trip is just under 15 miles. When I got in the car, the range indicator said 83 miles, The battery was full, ion a warm sunny day it would estimate over 100 miles.
(While I remember, as the car charged overnight on off peak tarrif, that 15 mile trip cost just over 15p)
When I got home it said 69 miles. I was doing rather immature tweeting that I was suffering gut wrenching range anxiety, the point is, in very cold weather, the cars range is reduced. Today we are hovering at around -5c.
I used the heater, the lights and the radio on the trip all of which have an impact on the overall range. This can be offset by pre-heating the car when it's still plugged in, which I also did.
I have discussed this issue with a couple of academics, both involved in fuel efficient internal combustion engine development, both petrol (gas) and diesel. I asked about a short (under 30 mile) trip in sub zero weather and how that impacted fuel efficiency in modern cars. One said 'catastrophically,' the other said 'dramatically.' Of course we don't notice that because the overall range of the car is greater, the re-fuelling is rapid and we're 'used to it. However the myth of the 60+mpg diesel is just that. On a short trip in cold weather, halve it for the first 20 miles until it's fully warmed up. Very inefficient, producing large amounts of SOX and NOX, the particulate filters (which cost a bomb and sap power from the engine) don't work until they're warm, but we're used to it.
We're not used to electric cars which can be pre-heated while plugged in, have a range reduction of around 15% in very cold weather and take a long time to charge, unless you use a fast charger, of which 600 are being installed this year.
The thing is, I'm getting used to driving an electric car and to be honest, it's quite good.