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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Attached you will find the elevation profile of the trip that I took from Cathedral City, CA (elevation about 315') to Reno, NV (elevation about 4550') on April 15, 2012. You can make one of these for any starting point and destination that can be mapped using Google Maps. Follow the instructions below to duplicate the one that I made for my trip.

Text Line Green Blue Plot


  1. Go to "http://maps.google.com/".
  2. Click on the grey "Get Directions" button.
  3. Type "Reno, NV 89509" in "A".
  4. Type "Cathedral City, CA 92234" in "B".
  5. Click on the blue "Get Directions" button.
  6. Towards the top left of the screen locate and click on the button that looks like a "chain link". It has a tool tip that says "Link".
  7. Make sure the "Short URL" box is NOT checked.
  8. Right click your mouse and select "Copy" on the blue line that starts with "http://maps.google.com/...".
  9. Go to "http://www.gpsvisualizer.com/elevation".
  10. Select "U.S." in "Units Box" under the "Draw Elevation Profile" button.
  11. Place cursor in the "Or provide a URL:" box, right click your mouse and select "Paste". If the results does not start with "http://maps.google.com/..." you have made a mistake!
  12. Click on the "Draw Elevation Profile" button.
  13. My computer takes about 8 seconds to show the resultant PNG. Yours may take more or less.
 

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I tried a few of these with my normal commute. I never realized the elevation changes in my mostly flat area - almost a 300 foot variance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I tried a few of these with my normal commute. I never realized the elevation changes in my mostly flat area - almost a 300 foot variance.
I go to the golf course, five miles away, every morning (flat drive I thought) and I wanted to know why I was only using one or two battery miles going and seven or eight on the return trip. A plot of my end points showed the golf course 163 feet lower!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Good step by step. Thanks.

I mentioned it in a past thread as well.
Scott:

I did a search on "elevation profile" before posting and only found the thread "Why Would Hilly Terrain Affect Electric Range?". You beat me to it... I really thought I found an original... Oh, well.
 

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I had used this before but had forgotten it (and some may never have seen it). Thanks for the update!

Great step-by-step. No messing up with those directions!
 

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This seems pretty good for general accuracy. But I noticed that it doesn't really take into account road elevation changes. And is mainly terrain elevation. Which is cool. But there are several fairly large overpasses on my daily route that constitute a fairly noticable (50ish feet I'd guess) incline followed by a similar decline. But the elevation map shows it as flat.

Still cool, though. I hadn't seen this site before. It's mostly good seeing your overall A->B->A elevation change.
 

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Scott: I did a search on "elevation profile" before posting and only found the thread "Why Would Hilly Terrain Affect Electric Range?". You beat me to it... I really thought I found an original... Oh, well.
No worrries at all. Like I said you gave nice directions so you added to the knowledge base. Glad you thought of doing the search. It can be good to have occasional threads repeated for new folks or lurkers that missed it the first time. Heck I like looking at threads before my time hear for sure!
 

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This seems pretty good for general accuracy. But I noticed that it doesn't really take into account road elevation changes. And is mainly terrain elevation. Which is cool. But there are several fairly large overpasses on my daily route that constitute a fairly noticable (50ish feet I'd guess) incline followed by a similar decline. But the elevation map shows it as flat.
You might want to check out http://blog.programmableweb.com/2010/03/25/google-launches-maps-elevation-data-api/ . It looks like it doesn't have anywhere near the options gpselevation does, but it likely uses different elevation data (Google's), which may well be from the road.
 

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Wow, there's 37' of elevation changes! That's almost a mountain here in Florida.
 

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I missed it the first time, I don't know how but I did so thanks for posting it!

I'm going to try a couple different routes now because of this. I already drive two different routes for work. One for the trip in and a slightly different one for the drive home so I don't have to climb some hills going home. There was one stretch that I though I was going slightly downhill and as it turns out I was actually going gradually up hill !! The route I'm driving right now I go from 1425 feet at my highest point down to 495 feet at the lowest point. My home is at 1375 feet and my work is at 535 feet so there is some ups and downs I'd like to try to avoid. There is one route that is only 2 miles longer but the max elevation is only 1387 feet and it has a smoother down hill grade with less ups and downs. As well there is one long downhill that is steep enough and long enough that I think I will be able to make up the extra distance with Low regen and cruise control.

Hey I'm getting to go down roads I haven't been on in years! It's like going for sightseeing drives going into work!:rolleyes:
 

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I'm going to try a couple different routes now because of this.
That's one of the reasons I started playing with the OBDII data that the car sends. The idea was that I could record how much energy is used taking different routes, to determine which are more efficient. I've fallen way behind with that project, though.

Fortunately, the 2012s show the kWh used, which can give you a good idea of which routes are more efficient.
 

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Thanks for the link to gps visualizer. LOL, my entire commute has 13.1 feet of elevation change. did I mention I LOVE south florida.
 

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That's one of the reasons I started playing with the OBDII data that the car sends. The idea was that I could record how much energy is used taking different routes, to determine which are more efficient. I've fallen way behind with that project, though.

Fortunately, the 2012s show the kWh used, which can give you a good idea of which routes are more efficient.
It does show the kWh's used but it is a floating figure sort of like the mileage estimate. If you get alot of regen you can actually see the kWh's used go down. It would be nice to see a total kWh's used over a trip without the reduction of the number due to regen as well as this floating figure. Possibly on the MyVolt.ca/com efficiency page?
 

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John that's pretty cool but it seems to be fairly optimistic on Volts range. In eco mode it suggests on my commute the Volt will get 80 kilometers or 49.7 miles of range on EV even though I have three major elevation changes mixed with a bunch of smaller ones. Basically my commute has nothing that could be defined as flat for more than a couple of feet. But, pretty cool nevertheless and I'd love to realize the predicted range:)
 

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John that's pretty cool but it seems to be fairly optimistic on Volts range. In eco mode it suggests on my commute the Volt will get 80 kilometers or 49.7 miles of range on EV even though I have three major elevation changes mixed with a bunch of smaller ones. Basically my commute has nothing that could be defined as flat for more than a couple of feet. But, pretty cool nevertheless and I'd love to realize the predicted range:)
make sure you adjust the battery kWh to your model. The default is 16kWh which is wrong and should be a 10.4kWh for a 2012 model.
 
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