Update late 2018:
When researching and deciding to buy the Model 3, I also came across a website new to me, called “A Better Route Planner“. This discovery has basically replaced the trip planning spreadsheet I developed for myself. It does everything my sheet did, but it is way quicker! Give it a go for yourself 🙂
I’ve decided to post my trip planner spreadsheet file on the blog, and provide a brief description of how to use it. (updated June 2016)
First though, a disclaimer: I am providing this tool in good faith, with data and formulas that I believe to be fit for purpose, which is to provide an ESTIMATE of the amount of energy a Nissan Leaf may use on a given trip. I cannot guarantee that the planner will work for you. In other words, use at your own risk.
With that out of the way, let’s move onto the trip planner. Download the Electric Car Trip Planner Rev3 spreadsheet (right-click and “Save As”) and have a look to familiarize yourself. I’ve also uploaded Rev4 with a few updates in the calculations (minor), and it also includes a number of trips I’ve planned for the Kootenays, the Okanagan, and going to Vancouver. Electric-Car-Trip-Planner-Rev4 (right-click and “Save As”).
[The spreadsheet includes most of the instructions on how to use it, but I intend to post a short video showing how I use it in the next month or two as time allows.]
As an aside, you might ask yourself, if this spreadsheet is so relatively simple and all of the data freely available online, why doesn’t the car sort this stuff out for me?! Good question! Tesla has made an attempt with their trip planning software built into the Model S and X, but it still relies only on Superchargers and ignores the public network.
Apparently Nissan has added a route planning function to their app, Nissan Connect. I have not used it, so can’t speak to whether it is reliable or not.
In reality, I think that once the charging network has filled in and matured, coupled with increases in range for almost all EVs, trip planning will then occur much like it does today for gasoline cars. When you run down to 100 km range remaining, you’ll start thinking about where to charge. The other 400 km of your charge, you won’t worry about it!