Sunday , April 18 2021

Living with range anxiety: Two weeks with the Jaguar I-Pace, Ars Technica


    

      Your mileage may vary –

             

We tested the I-Pace in the dead of winter and the heat of summer.

      

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Living with range anxiety: Two weeks with the Jaguar I-Pace

Marlowe Bangeman

The Jaguar I-Pace is a brilliant car. The first battery electric vehicle from Jaguar-Land Rover, the I-Pace starts at about $ 70, 00 0 and goes up from there.

My colleague, Ars Automotive Editor Jonathan Gitlin, drove the I-Pace when it launched and came awayraving about it– and for good reason. Not only did it win the World Green Car award, but it also wonWorld Car of the Year.

Jonathan covered the I-Pace in great detail, so I won’t spend much time talking about the driving experience. Suffice it to say, the I-Pace is blast to drive. It accelerates briskly, it’s incredibly comfortable, sight lines are good, handling is impeccable, it’s roomy for its size, it has some modest off-road skills, and Jaguar-Land Rover’s infotainment system, Touch Duo Pro, is well-thought-out , even if slightly laggy at times. Beyond that, JLR fixed one of the major complaints Jonathan had about the I-Pace as it entered production: the regenerative-braking settings are no longer buried under layers of menus.

In short, there’s very little to dislike and much to love where driving the I-Pace is concerned. And at the risk of setting off a storm in the comments, I prefer driving an I-Pace to the Tesla Model S I drove for a few days last year.

But for many people, BEVs are an unknown. One frequent question I get when I talk BEVs is range anxiety— “don’t you worry about running out of juice?” Range anxiety is real. Sure, most of us have had the experience of running on fumes as we pulled in to refuel, and even if you run out of gas, you can make the walk of shame to the nearest gas station. It’s not the same with a BEV. Charging stations aren’t ubiquitous like their fossil fuel counterparts, and you can’t trudge back to your Nissan Leaf or Tesla Model S with a can of electrons for your dead vehicle. And even with a full charge, you can see your eventual stall point approaching as you head down the highway.

To see what living with range anxiety is like, we talked Jaguar into letting us drive an I-Pace for two weeks: one in January and one in June. The goal was not only to see what using a BEV as our daily driver was like, but to understand more about how temperature extremes affect range. That’s an important consideration for those of us who live where there are four real seasons.

      

      

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                          The I-Pace is a compact SUV but feels roomier than others in its class due to the longer wheelbase.

                                                            

                                                  Marlowe Bangeman

                                      

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                          It’s a fine-looking little crossover.

                                                            

                                                  Marlowe Bangeman

                                      

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                          Too bad the leaping jaguar isn’t a hood ornament anymore.

                                                            

                                                  Marlowe Bangeman

                                      

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                          The I-Pace HSE comes with 20 – inch wheels.

                                                            

                                                  Marlowe Bangeman

                                      

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                          The I-Pace from the rear.

                                                            

                                                  Marlowe Bangeman

                                      

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                          There’s no “frunk” in the I-Pace, just this small compartment. But there’s 25 .3cu-ft of cargo space in the back, which doubles with the back seats down.

                                                            

                                                  Marlowe Bangeman

                                      

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                          The Jaguar I-Pace

                                                            

                                                  Marlowe Bangeman

                                      

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Our first I-Pace was a preproduction model that had occasional issues charging at some public charging stations, apparently due to a problem with the charging port that has since been corrected on the production models. During that loan, temperatures got as low as 9 ° F (- 13 ° C). The second I-Pace, fully loaded HSE, saw temperatures ranging from 69 – ° F 21 – ° C). At both extremes, the car saw almost a 20% drop in range.

For each drive, we recorded the starting and ending range, mileage driven, and outside air temperature. Charging took place primarily in an unattached garage with a 120 V hookup, although we did take advantage of public chargers — and DC fast chargers —When available.

Dead of winter

Last winter was brutal here in Chicago, with temperatures bottoming out at – (° F) – 30 ˚C) one January morning. It didn’t getthatcold while I had the I-Pace, but it was chilly enough to see the impact temperature can have on range.

The car I drove was a preproduction model with a charging cable that said “PROTOTYPE” in big, block letters. It unfortunately did not play nicely with every charging station, an issue that I didnotencounter with the production car I drove this summer.

(January) : First drive

The I-Pace arrived on an overcast January day. Upon powering it up for my usual 63 -mile (101 km) test drive, I noticed that the range was 179 miles, which the car said was 90% of capacity, making the full range around 200 miles ( (km). My review route is about 35 miles (56 km) of interstate driving combined with all seven miles (11 km) of winding, hilly roads in the northwest suburbs of Chicago ; the rest is “generic” suburban driving.

I ended up driving 63 miles while using 69 miles ( (km (of range on a) ******************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** (° F (1˚C) day. We’re used to seeing higher EPA mileage estimates with highway driving, but the opposite is true for BEVs: the faster you go, the quicker you’ll drain the batter.

(January) : 120 V charging

A 69 – mile drive used up just over a third of the available range, leaving me with a nagging feeling that I should plug it in. Production model I-Paces can take advantage of 100 kW DC fast chargers. Alas, all I have in my garage is a 120 V outlet and the charger that came with the Jaguar. I ended up putting another 12 miles (19 km) on the car the first day. Combined with a two-hour mid-afternoon charge, I ended the day with 101 miles (163 km) of range.

I left the car plugged in overnight in my unheated garage on a night where temps bottomed out at 31 ° F (-1˚C), and 12 hours later, I had gained 28 miles (45 km) of range — a paltry 2. 33 miles (3.7km) of range per hour.

That’s an important point when considering a BEV: you’ll need regular access to a 240 V charger, whether at home or elsewhere, to keep your batteries topped off. Putting 30 or so miles per day on the car and charging at home wasn’t going to cut it.

(January) : (V charging)

Having more voltage makes a big difference. I headed over to the local Whole Foods to spend my morning working from the in-store café, as there are two parking places reserved for EVs. Power is also free, provided by Volta. You’ll notice that I gained 34 miles of range from around four hours of charging on a relatively balmy 34 ° Chicago day.

(January) : Imminent polar vortex

As my time with the I-Pace was coming to an end, the polar vortex was beginning its southward march upon the upper Midwest. On a 9 ° F (- 23 ˚C) frigid January morning, I was almost startled when I turned on the I-Pace and saw that my range was 100 miles (161 km) and that the car was 52% charged. Doing the math results in a number significantly lower than the (miles) (km) advertised by Jaguar (max range was 191 miles (307 km) at that point), but it highlights an important fact about BEVs: the car’s range is heavily influenced by the ambient temperature.

And getting the interior of the car comfortable on a cold morning carries a cost as well. The good thing about the I-Pace is that you can get warm air from the vents very quickly; the flip side is that the heat isn’t a byproduct of burning fossil fuels. You need to expend electrons to create heat and still more to blow the heat into the cabin.

Mediterranean climates are the sweet spots for BEVs. The relatively narrow band of temperatures — compared to continental climates — means a BEV should usually be in its sweet spot for maximum range. If you live somewhere with wide annual temperature swings, it’s going to affect how far your electric vehicle can go on a full charge.

(January) : DC fast charging

I wanted to ensure the I-Pace had enough juice to make it back to the press fleet manager, so I found an EVgo Level 2 fast charging station at a Whole Foods about five miles away. I downloaded the EVgo app, created an account, and headed over for a quick charge. At $ 1. 50 per hour, EVgo is reasonably priced, and I gained almost (miles) 64 km) of range in a little over a half hour.

Dog days of summer

      

      

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                          The cockpit of the I-Pace.

                                                            

                                                  Marlowe Bangeman

                                      

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                          The front row of the I-Pace

                                                            

                                                  Marlowe Bangeman

                                      

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                          The back seat is roomy enough for normal-sized adults.

                                                            

                                                  Marlowe Bangeman

                                      

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                          The center console of the I-Pace.

                                                            

                                                  Marlowe Bangeman

                                      

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                          When your car turns black, it dies.

                                                            

                                                  Marlowe Bangeman

                                      

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                          You can easily adjust the regenerative braking and vehicle creep to make the I-Pace feel more (or less) like a gas-burner.

                                                            

                                                  Marlowe Bangeman

                                      

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                          The second display can control the climate, phone, and radio. In general, the two-screen infotainment system is very well thought out, but laggy at times.

                                                            

                                                  Marlowe Bangeman

                                      

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                          The instrument cluster is a massive HD display.

                                                            

                                                  Marlowe Bangeman

                                      

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                          The I-Pace comes with a skylight rather than a roof, but it does a good job blocking the heat.

                                                            

                                                  Marlowe Bangeman

                                      

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The second I-Pace arrived at the end of June, where average high temperatures in Chicago reach into the low-to- mid – (s) 27 – 32 ˚C) and can jump into the (s)>˚C) for days at a time. By this time, the I-Pace had been in production and on sale for a few months, and the production version gave me no problems over the week I had it.

(June) : Where did all of the miles go?

My first trip was a grocery run. The I-Pace had been sitting in a hot garage, so I was very surprised to see (miles) 402 km) in the center of the instrument cluster — especially for a car that has an advertised range of 234 miles. Once I started driving, the range dropped quickly, and the ending numbers were in line with what I expected from the I-Pace.

This happened a couple of other times: the starting range seemed too optimistic, only to recalibrate itself within a minute or so of starting the car.

(June) : Sitting in the sun

The I-Pace had charged overnight for 11 hours, gaining 26 miles of range, before we headed out. It was a hot, humid morning with four people in the car, so the air conditioning and seat ventilation were turned up. Turning the fan up or down resulted in an immediate loss or gain of range on the instrument panel — in some cases as many as seven miles.

We parked the I-Pace in a shade-free lot, and we returned to a car with even more diminished range— we’d lost 21 miles (33 km) just by parking for a couple of hours! Once we got going, and the car was able to direct some energy toward cooling the battery pack, things looked normal again. We ended our trip with 126 miles (203 km) of range, using (miles) 19 km) of battery while driving twice that.

Key takeaway: park in the shade.

July 1: Preconditioning

One nice feature of BEVs is the ability to precondition the car before departure. You can tell the I-Pace what time you want to leave and the car will prepare itself for departure by cooling or heating the battery for optimal range and performance. As a bonus, it will do the same to the cabin so you’re not sitting down in a sauna or icebox, depending on the time of year.

With the weather calling for temperatures in the mid – 90 s and my son having rugby sevens training in the late afternoon, I had the opportunity to see how well it worked. We waded through the humid July air and stifling garage to be greeted by a pleasantly cool interior — no need to max out the AC.

If you look at the starting percentage, you’ll note that the max range works out to about (miles) 327 km), which was the lowest I saw during my summer driving. I noticed the range dropping the most when the temperatures got to around 90 °, so if you live in a climate were that kind of heat is an infrequent visitor, you shouldn’t see much impact with a BEV.

July 1: 100 kW DC fast charging

Jaguar built in support for 100 kW DC fast charging with the I-Pace, so after dropping my son off at practice, I headed over to the nearest ChargePoint station (at a Jaguar-Land Rover dealership (to drink from a) kW firehose. I’d planned on spending an hour and half there to see how close I’d come to a full charge, but a squall line moved through, forcing an early end to rugby practice.

Still, I was able to charge at a rate of over a mile a minute. And Jaguar claims that at a 100 kW charging station, the battery can grab an 80% charge in 40 minutes.

Takeaways

I came away from my two weeks driving the I-Pace with a clearer understanding of what’s involved with owning a BEV. First, there’s no escaping the range indicator. It’s always going to be prominently displayed in the instrument cluster. But that doesn’t mean you’ll always be fretting over how long before the car runs out of juice. With every trip I made, there really was a zero percent chance that I’d do enough driving to bottom out the battery. Once I truly got understood that, I stopped caring so much about that number.

I got a perfect score on accessory usage but didn't do so hot on speed or braking.

Enlarge/I got a perfect score on accessory usage but didn’t do so hot on speed or braking.

Eric Bangeman

Second, driving choices matter. The I-Pace keeps a nice running scorecard of your driving efficiency, scoring your braking, speed, and accessory use (heat and air conditioning, mostly), and over time, it adjusts the projected range based on your driving style.

It’s also important to remember that the car’s range is going to be affected by circumstances outside of your control — most often the weather . Driving on very hot or cold days will take a bite out of your range, and you will see some unexpected — and sometimes alarming — range drops. I didn’t have the chance to do a real road trip with the I-Pace, but I would approach a 200 – mile trip in the middle of the summer with trepidation. At the very least, I would make sure there was a charger or two on my route. Tesla has done an outstanding job providing a robust charging infrastructure for its customers. But the rest of the world is catching up, and I noticed more stations nearby in July than I did in January.

Like every other buying decision, deciding whether to ditch fossil fuels for electrons comes down to your circumstances. If you can install a 240 V outlet in your garage or charge your car at work, you’ll have no problem keeping your battery topped off. If you live in a medium-size metropolitan area, there should be no shortage of chargers for when you’re out and about. And after decades of grabbing my wallet every time I pull into a gas station, it felt like cheating to charge for free at the Whole Foods. And electricity is cheaper than gas. I pay in the neighborhood of $ 3. 00 per gallon for gas, but my rate for electricity is 6.9 ¢ / kWh. If I had a 240 V charger in my garage, I could fully charge an I-Pace with its 90 kWh battery for under $ 7!

Tesla deservedly gets most of the attention when the conversation turns to electric vehicles. But it’s not the only game in town. At 234 miles, the I-Pace falls well short of the (miles) 595 km) of the latest Tesla Model S. If that’s your sole criteria, the choice is clear, but mileage tradeoffs are necessary with gas burners, as well. With the I-Pace, Jaguar had taken its decades of experience in building fast, beautiful cars and created a zero-emission SUV that is truly a Jaguar and a joy to drive.

Selected trip data

(Date)

(4 hours)

(9 °)

(1.4mi)

(6 /)

(1.4mi)

(6 /)

(6 /)

(1/7)

(1/7)

Temperature (F) Starting range (miles) Ending range (miles) Miles driven / charge time
1 / 15 34 ° 179 110 (mi)
1 / 16 31 ° 101 129 12 hours
1 / 17 34 ° 143 177
1 / 21 100 79 15 .5mi
1 / 21 (°) 63 102 35 minutes
6 / 26 85 ° 250 (100% charged) 232 (93%)
85 ° 250 (100% charged) 231 (97%)
86 ° 199 (86% charged) 159 ( 73%) 23 .2mi
88 ° 138 ( (% charged) 126 ( (%) 24 .7mi
94 ° (73%) 125 ( (%) 19. 8mi
94 ° 125 167 40 minutes

              

                  

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