Thursday, July 6, 2017

Road Trip - Kiev-Odessa-Zatoka in the Ukraine (2/2)

Oleksandr KRAVTSOV, Electrocars Auto Center:

 - I think that this car was made right with the focus on the maximum range with a small battery. As we can see, the 28 kWh battery is only 20% higher than that in Nissan LEAF. And it gets us 250 km easily. Obviously, it’s not  “an acceleration car” like Tesla or BMW. I tried to test it in different modes. "Sport" is more or less resembling a similar mode in LEAF. But what’s important, the IONIQ gives the opportunity to get the maximum range and efficiency using the battery charge.

Way back to Kyiv

Several hours by the seacoast passed quickly, we had to return back to Kiev. Frankly speaking, it's harder to leave the sea than to drive there.

We departed from  Zatoka at around 5:30 p.m.

 We got a little twisted and drove to Odessa, so it was less charge to reach the  section to Kryve Ozero than we had on the way from there. We still had to test several "chips".

We made a couple of maneuvers with turned on cruise control. When we were driving behind the truck, IONIQ slowed down itself, then, while we were changing lanes, it (The cruise control) didn’t see obstacles anymore so it allowed to accelerate.

 - I'm riding with adaptive cruise control for the first time. I did not expect it to be a really cool thing. As soon as the truck began to change lanes from the right to the left, cruise control  responded immediately - it is faster than the driver. It’s very useful thing, this is a safety issue. Depending on how quickly the obstacle appears, braking can be less or more intense.

 The "wow effect" of the technologies was not completed. Andryi detected the function of observing the band, and immediately turned it  on.

- As soon as I start to change the lane - cruise control gives me a beep. Not only that - what a miracle! - the computer turns the steering wheel itself, it "drives" back to the starting position.. This is probably done in case the driver falls asleep - the sound wakes him up and indicates “Back, get back to the position”!

Also we tested the “sport mode” - according to the driver’s impressions, the car became a bit sharper. But the difference between modes is more tangible than in the Nissan LEAF.

By the way, we accelerated  IONIQ to the maximum speed - the manufacturer marked it as 165 km/h - we also succeeded. According to the driver's experience, at high speeds the driving behavior of the car is noticeably reduced. But Ioniq is not a racing model at all. In addition, in sports mode, we rushed less than 10 km, and it costed us 30 km supplied range.

The charge was rapidly decreasing. It was not easy for us to get numerous ups and downs on the road.

- When we drive an ordinary car, we do not notice ups and downs on the road usually. And in the electric car, it influences the charge consumption. Once you look at the bottom of the range it was 213 km, and now it's only 203 km. In total, we drove directly 7 km of that 10 km and we’ve spent 3 km on driving up the road.

Recovery is working descents (This function returns the energy produced during braking, into the battery, and at the expense of it lengthens the range), adding to electric car a kilometer or two on each slope. But still, the recovery does not compensate for the consumption of the electric motor on the rise.

- I tried to set 100 km / h  speed for cruise control. The sensor shows 4 divisions in eco mode - on the flat road section, without ups & downs (This means an increased comsumption of the charge, which is inefficient). I reduced speed to 95 km/h - There are 3 points on the monitor now (average cost). This is probably the optimal speed for now. The difference with the "hundred" is only 5 km/ - and the comsumption savings are substantial.

 After those maneuvers we had to slow down. At some point, the battery charge showed 92 km range, and there were  still 93 km left to reach Kryve Ozer and the much needed fast-charger -we did not have a closer alternative - so we had to slow down up  to 60 km/h or even lower. We were overtaken by trucks! It was sad, hot and “painful” for a long time, but the hope was shining at the end of the "tunnel".

 While dragging, we were looking at and testing the steering buttons on the steering wheel: the left one controls music and hands-free; the right one -  cruise control and a trip computer, which measures the distance, tire pressure, time on the road.

 Finally we were lucky with the fast-charger at Kryve Ozero. As it was with all the charges in this trip, the charging point was free. So far, Ukrainians rarely drive electric cars along the route - That is not surprising, because of the lack of fast-charging infrastructure so far. But, we believe, that 3-4 similar speed charging stations on this route will change the situation & the trip will be much simpler.

 We also tested one more intelligent function: BSD mode. That made the car to notice the object in the "blind zone" and gives a signal: flashing the corresponding marks on the side mirrors , and if the object appears too fast, we hear a warning sound.

Of course,  we  had to stop two more times for charging to reach the final destination - Kiev. There were two long and ineffective, but such necessary rechargings at the OKKO (Ladyzhinka) and Klo ("Chabany") gas stations.

 Our wayback trip took us 12 hours, almost like the train #146sh from Bugaz to Kiev. In a couple of days we drove 1.064 km. BUT we paid only 350 UAH (11 EUR) for recharging in general.

Final Note: I will leave a suggestion to our Ukranian readers, after this road trip from Kiev to Odessa and the seaside, why not doing another from Kiev to Lviv and the Polish border? Just a thought... ;-)


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