This is the story of a 1200 mile journey taken in what’s basically the wrong car for the job. I decided to test the 2018 LEAF to the limits, in several different ways. Rapid charging repeatedly, going up one of the steepest interstate highway climbs in the US, some off-highway driving, and long journeys into places with no charging stations were just a few of the things I decided to take on. I thought that after more than a year with the car and almost 50,000 miles on the odometer I knew what the LEAF was made of, but it turned out that I still had more to learn.

This is basically a followup to a previous story I wrote about preparing for backcountry EV trips . That article shows the things I did to prepare. Now I’m going to share how it all worked out. Day One: Deep Into The Heart Of Arizona…or Not?

Armed with data from A Better Route Planner , I started the journey in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Las Cruces is a smaller city about 35 minutes north of El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. I started at one of my apartments with a 100% charge. I had previously picked up a full-size spare tire, a compact floorjack, and various other emergency supplies that the LEAF doesn’t come with from the factory. That added some weight and reduced range a bit.

I started the climb toward Arizona using U.S. Highway 70 instead of Interstate […]

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