Wichita, Kansas to Overland Park, Kansas (Kansas City)
Total Miles: 189
Progress Maps: Close Detail | USA View
After a weekend break from my travels in Wichita, I was ready to begin the final leg of my cross country journey. I've traveled 2,076 miles since I began my EV1 CHARGE ACROSS AMERICA in Los Angeles on May 12. The trip has gone without a hitch, right on schedule. My EV1 has performed flawlessly, as I knew it would. The driving range has so far exceeded my expectations.
Today I traveled northeast on Interstate 35. Between Wichita and Emporia, Kansas, I-35 is the Kansas Turnpike. As a child, I remember the speed limit on the turnpike being 80 miles per hour. In order to maximize the driving range in my GM electric car, I'm traveling between 55-65 miles per hour. I'll slow down to around 50 mph on steeper hills to avoid wasting energy. The EV1 has plenty of power to climb the tallest hills, but with any form of transportation when you fight gravity you use more energy. Kansas is widely considered to be "flat as a pancake," and indeed much of it is. But the eastern and northeastern part of the state has numerous gently rolling hills, especially in the Flint Hills to the north. I originally hoped to drive from Wichita directly to Emporia, but 82 miles is stretching the EV1's range, especially in hilly terrain. I needed a midway stop, and thanks to Tricia Wenz at KG&E and Mark Schreiber, a 220 volt outlet was provided at the Matfield Green service area on the Kansas Turnpike 51 miles north of Wichita. After a 50 minute "top-off, " I continued onto Emporia.
After an hour and 15 minutes on the 220 volt charger in Emporia at Fire Station #2, I departed for Ottawa, 62 miles to the northeast. A slight mixup in driving directions delayed my arrival at Ottawa's Fire Station and I arrived quite low on charge - only 2% remained. After an hour and 45 minutes of admiring the department's restored fire engine and hearing fascinating stories about the challenges that firemen face, I was off to the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park, Kansas.
A pleasant surprise in Overland Park was an appearance by Bill Moore, editor and webmaster of EV World, an online magazine and resource for present and future electric transportation enthusiasts. A visit to http://evworld.com is highly recommended. Bill made a three hour drive down from Omaha to meet me. We enjoyed a great barbecue dinner along with Kansas City EV enthusiast Jeff Simpson before settling down to do an in-depth interview about my trip and impressions about the EV1 and electric transportation.
Tomorrow, I'll pass through Kansas City and on through the many, many rolling hills of Missouri to the college town of Columbia. The optimistic advice about the terrain of western Missouri I received in back in California while researching my route would provide me an unexpected close call.
|Town or City||Wichita, KS||Matfield Green rest stop||Emporia, KS||Ottawa, KS||Overland Park, KS (Kansas City)|
|Driving Notes||-||Fairly flat, numerous rolling hills||-||I found this location thanks to Emporia Fire Dept.||-|
|Grades Encountered||-||-||Some hills||Minor hills||Minor hills|
|Charge Start Time||Overnight||10:45 AM||12:30 PM||3:30 PM||6:35 PM|
|Charge End Time||-||11:35 AM||1:45 PM||5:15 PM||10:00 PM|
|Charge Duration||0h 50m||1h 15m||1h 45m||3h 25m|
|Charging Facility||-||Matfield Green||Emporia Fire Station #2||Ottawa Fire Dept.||City Hall-Overland Park|
|Contact Name||-||Tricia Wenz (Western Resources||Lieutenant Bill Renfro||-||Joe Reed (City), Alex Hapka, Pam Levetzow (KCP&L)|
|11 (full)||4 start/10 finish||3 start/9 finish||1 start/9 finish||3 start/11 finish|
|Charge Start (%)||29||20||2|
|Charge Stop (%)||100||63||78||76||100|
|Ambient Temp (°F)
|Approx. Miles to Next Charging Stop
and Known Grades
|51 miles- some rolling hills||Some rolling hills||61 miles - minor hills||44 miles, minor hills||-|
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