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Flat route to maximize efficency

5133 Views 6 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  deeks
Maybe put his under the gamification of driving. What are your thoughts choosing a route based on elevation change and slope? I watched a Top Gear episode a few years ago where they debated what was best for fuel efficiency - flat or 'what goes up must come down'. I found a website,, that maps a trip and has elevation and slope but you have to do some calcs to get totals.

My guess is that it is a wash due to commutative law [minus system efficiencies] but wonder if anyone played around with this as part of driving strategies. I have a trip in a few weeks over the continental divide and choosing a route.

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Departing from a flat route, or uniform grade from start to finish, can substantially cut electric range.

Lifting 1 pound 1 foot takes 0.737 watt-seconds. Lifting 4000 pounds 1000 feet takes 2,948,000 watt-seconds or 0.819 kw-hrs.

Since losses drawing from the battery and then putting energy back into the battery via regen could be 25% or more even low rolling hills can add up to significant loss of range.

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