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CitiGo part 5-B: 28 hours to drive 1200 km

Still hard to believe that we ended up driving just over 28 hours to get to our goal. (The return journey was "only" 25 hours). I can’t believe how well both wife and kids took it. And I should correct myself: more than half of those 28 hours were spent charging the car (and thus plenty of time to sleep).

I had armed myself with a thermos with coffee, but it turned out not to be necessary. We typically drove 45 minutes to 1:30 hours at a time, then charged for about the same intervals. The first CCS charging stops went as expected. But then the charging rates started to decline. A lot. Before you condemn me by saying it’s not a long distance car - Sure, I didn’t expect it to be. But we went to prove that if we really wanted to, we could do the trip. And being so excited about this car, we enjoyed it a lot.

On the return journey, I took plenty of notes of where we charged, how the rates were, at various state-of-charge levels. Only later did I think of getting an ODB2 dongle and apps to go with it. I really regret not getting one from the beginning, or at least before this trip. With updated knowledge, we had hoped we could do the return journey in less than 24 hours. But as we hit the Kassel Hills towards the last part of the journey, it was afternoon and a heat wave of 35 degrees C. Hot weather, long trip with alternating highway and DC charging, with the added hills, meant the charging levels were becoming painfully slow. We tried our best to arrive with minimal charge, to optimise how fast the battery could absorb energy. But we were clearly asking the car of something it wasn’t made for. I am not blaming the car, only concluding that we were now at the edge of what this car could do. 8kW at 56% State-of Charge was a tell tale. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the ODB2 dongle at this time, so I don’t know what the battery temperature was. It must have been over 40 C …

(No problem for the kids to sleep in the CitiGo e iV ...)

(No problem for the wife to sleep, either!)

I realise and accept this car doesn’t have any battery cooling at all. All it does is limiting charging rate, according to parameters like battery temperature and state-of-charge. I was looking at cross section graphics of the battery pack, and thought that at least the moving air would help cool off the battery a bit. But because of the well insulated battery, the moving air doesn't cool the battery noticeably.

Next: CitiGo part 5-C: Highway, CCS, mountains and summer

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