This started off being an analysis of mileage after the addition of roof bars, and then addition of the roof rack, however I thought I would provide some context with my current mileage prior to getting into that. I purchased my EV back in March, and while we had some cold days and heavy snowfalls through April, they weren’t quite to the degree that we get from December to February in WNY. With temps that hovered around 30, I saw my mileage stick to the 3.3-3.5 mi/kWh in the early days of having my car. Through the summer my daily commute saw mileage that was typically between 3.8-4.2 mi/kWh, and on days with no real wind I had even seen the tripmeter top 5 mi/kWh, taking the car beyond its EPA rated range of 275 miles at 100% battery.
I began to notice this drop when temps dipped below 45 degrees, however I haven’t seen much additional loss, even as temps have teetered on the zero-degree mark on and off – this means that on average I’m seeing a 13.16% drop in my mileage from Fall to Winter months, which while significant, isn’t enough to affect my day-to-day driving. In a road trip scenario, this could be something to consider, however you’d just have to adjust your route planned to accommodate the lesser range, which I estimate to be about 212 miles at 100% battery.
After having installed the crossbars, I made some runs around the county to test some radio equipment, as well as see if I noticed any impact to my overall mileage with the added wind load, however with the aerodynamic bar design, in driving about 60 miles of mixed terrain I saw no change to my average mileage. When I arrived home from this testing, I was contemplating a new move for the rover setup, so I decided to put the full roof rack on that I had purchased when I ordered the original, incorrect roof bars over the summer.With it being a 64” rack, and despite the aero design, I figured this would deserve some testing as well.
On my drive to work alone the first day, I noticed I was only averaging about 2.7 mi/kWh – an 18.2% drop from the 3.3 mi/kWh that I’ve been getting through the winter to date. The way home was 2.5 mi/kWh, meaning that my average range with the rack in the winter is only about 166.4 miles at 100% charge. After a few more days of testing, I’ve seen my mileage hover around 3.0 mi/kWh – which while it’s still a drop, is not quite as significant as previously thought. This holds the vehicle at a 192-mile range at 100% battery, a 31% reduction over the 275 it’s rated at. The additional rack makes me a bit of an electric windsock unfortunately, so while it’s nice to have the space, and I think improves the look of the car, it’s something that should probably be removed for day to day… especially in the winter.
Though the Morning of 1/5 I did hit 3.2 mi/kWh on the way into work in the morning, meaning my mileage reduction was virtually nothing with some stronger winds too, so really who knows.
Oh… and just for fun, how about this cool light?