LeafHopper
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat May 08, 2010 10:38 am
Delivery Date: 26 Jun 2015
Location: Phoenix, Arizona

Arizona and other hot climates

Tue Jun 15, 2010 8:43 am

I have some real concerns about using the Leaf in a hot climate. I live in Phoenix. In Nissan's design discussions, they mentioned that active cooling was not needed except in Abu Dhabi. The climate in Phoenix is not that different from Abu Dhabi. Not having active cooling will impact battery life. How much impact is a question that we need an answer to.

As reported in other forum topics, the air conditioning has a tremendous impact on the range of the Leaf. They seem to think that 95F is a hot day. What happens to the range at 115. In Phoenix we average 18 days above 110F. Do we leave the car at home on those days? More answers are needed. Some research on electric cars in general (not specific to the Leaf) has shown that an electric air-conditioner will use 38% of the electrical charge. They point out that many design factors such as window tints can affect this.

Range is also greatly affected by the kind of traffic you are in. In Phoenix, this varies from day to day. Sometimes wonderful, but sometimes terrible. We never know what we will encounter.

We also do not know what the impact of passenger weight will be on the range.

In my case, my wife wants to commute with her car pool a round distance of about 47 miles. These range limitations are a real concern for Phoenix and even Tucson drivers. I am keeping an open mind and I hope Nissan provides us with enough answers.

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Azrich
Posts: 533
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2010 11:27 pm
Delivery Date: 26 Jun 2015
Leaf Number: 000604
Location: Tucson, AZ

Re: Arizona and other hot climates

Tue Jun 15, 2010 8:50 am

LeafHopper, you and I were thinking and writing about the same thing, at the same time. I posted mine under other topic. Here it is:
I'm disappointed in the 47 miles range (55 mph with 95 degrees) because this will make driving the 100 miles from Tucson to Phoenix almost impossible. It is interstate driving the whole way - 75 mph - which will bring down the range more. I'm afraid there won't be enough fast charging stations to do this. It would mean stopping twice for fast charges, fast charge while in Phoenix, and then twice coming back home. Also, we have about 4 months of the year when 95 degrees is a "cool" day.

Plus, my commute is 46 miles, roundtrip, with no possibility of getting a charger at work - an AZ public school with no money. Sure, I might not need AC in the morning, most of the time, but there are days in August and September when it is already 85 - 88 degrees during my morning drive. I had a convertible for a while and found it too hot many days to have the top down in the mornings.

I'm feeling a bit betrayed. At the beginning Nissan said "100 mile range", but now we find that is not so. My certainty of ordering a LEAF has just moved down a few notches. Maybe the Tucson - Phoenix area is not suited for this vehicle. Air conditioning is a necessity here on many days. I'll need more data.

Ouch! This hurts!


I'm a bit upset with Nissan today.
Nissan LEAF - Blue Ocean SL-E
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Gavin
Posts: 471
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 2:51 pm
Delivery Date: 26 Jun 2015
Location: Albuquerque, NM

Re: Arizona and other hot climates

Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:00 am

Yep...I'm very very surprised that Phoenix and Tucson were start up cities...

I'm sure we will learn more official stuff from Nissan soon...And I will be surprised if the LEAF doesn't do well in that climate seeing how Nissan geared toward that area...perhaps they know more than us...or they just misjudged.

Albuquerque/Santa Fe would have likely been a much better start up hub than Phoenix/Tucson...Not as many people to sell to, but better climate for an EV and also a bit closer together...at 60 miles apart the LEAF should make that commute fine...maybe one fast charge station inbetween for security.

Gavin

LeafHopper
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat May 08, 2010 10:38 am
Delivery Date: 26 Jun 2015
Location: Phoenix, Arizona

Re: Arizona and other hot climates

Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:25 am

AZRich, I was also surprised to see your entry. I am also looking at the long term durability of the battery. We both know that AZ is hell on lead-acid batteries. The lack of active cooling could have a dramatic impact on the battery life. If I am worried about the range today, what will it look like in future years. Nissan made an early statement that hot weather climates can degrade the battery an additional 10%. But since these tests were preliminary and using a test mule for a much shorter time. I am not confident that their accelerated aging tests can measure the true degradation with time. After all, this is more than a loss due to driving time. It is related to time and temperature in the garage too.

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DeaneG
Posts: 1110
Joined: Tue May 04, 2010 9:20 pm
Delivery Date: 01 Apr 2011
Leaf Number: 594
Location: Cupertino, CA

Re: Arizona and other hot climates

Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:38 am

It's possible that the Leaf isn't a good year-round choice for many in very hot and very cold climates (Minnesota leafs?!). Internal combustion cars have had 100 years to sort this out. EVs may take a few years too.
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StrangerTides
Posts: 100
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:03 pm
Delivery Date: 06 Sep 2015
Location: Pittsford, NY

Re: Arizona and other hot climates

Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:36 am

On a related topic, is there data on whether driving with the windows open and no AC is more efficient? Not all Floridians would agree with me, but even in the summer, most days I'm happy to drive with "natural AC". I'm just wondering whether increased drag from having the windows down negates the gains from not running the AC.
Chris B

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garygid
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Leaf Number: 000855
Location: Laguna Hills, Orange Co, CA

Re: Arizona and other hot climates

Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:16 am

At low speeds, windows down would usually be better, but at high speeds ... ???
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Azrich
Posts: 533
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2010 11:27 pm
Delivery Date: 26 Jun 2015
Leaf Number: 000604
Location: Tucson, AZ

Re: Arizona and other hot climates

Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:25 am

I just sent an email to Marc Sobelman, the Arizona area manager for ECOtality and the EV Project, about these lastest findings. I also attached a copy of the slide from Nissan showing the mileage range of the four different driving scenarios. This data needs to be used when deciding where to place the fast chargers along the I-10 corridor between Tucson and Phoenix. I met Marc at the forum meeting they held in Tucson on May 25 and we have been emailing info. I hope they are aware of this new data or at least, now they are. If it is 105 degrees, I won't make it to Casa Grande where the first charger is planned. If 48 miles is all I can get along an interstate highway, I wouldn't want to stop for a 25 minute charging session every 40 minutes of driving or so.
Nissan LEAF - Blue Ocean SL-E
Reserved - April 20, 3:20 pm - Ordered - September 8, 2010 - Delivery: - March 22, 2011 - VIN: 604
EV Project Blink - installed March 17
5.8 kW PV system with 27 SunPower 215 W panels

StrangerTides
Posts: 100
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:03 pm
Delivery Date: 06 Sep 2015
Location: Pittsford, NY

Re: Arizona and other hot climates

Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:34 am

garygid wrote:At low speeds, windows down would usually be better, but at high speeds ... ???


Well, my commute probably averages 40 mph, which I hope is considered "low."

Meanwhile I did a search and found this article (http://www.greenhybrid.com/discuss/f22/ ... test-3160/) on the same subject using the Honda Civic Hybrid. Conclusion is that windows partially open is better at highway speeds. I guess you wouldn't want them all the way open anyway. Even at 40 I have to turn up the music to hear it over the wind noise - I suppose that might also impact the battery... ;)
Chris B

AndyH
Posts: 6384
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 3:43 pm
Location: San Antonio

Re: Arizona and other hot climates

Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:52 am

StrangerTides wrote:On a related topic, is there data on whether driving with the windows open and no AC is more efficient? Not all Floridians would agree with me, but even in the summer, most days I'm happy to drive with "natural AC". I'm just wondering whether increased drag from having the windows down negates the gains from not running the AC.


The problem with questions like this is that there's data on the streets that appears to prove all combinations are better than the other. For example - one age old question for pick-up owners is which has more drag - tailgate up or tailgate down? Different road tests show that each is better than the other. Companies that sell tonneau covers say a full bed cover increases efficiency 15%. Companies that sell open mesh tailgate replacements can 'prove' those are better.

One has to look at who sponsored the test to weed out an ulterior motive... Then we get to the important part - and the reason for lab tests. It's almost impossible to run a repeatable, reproducible test on the road with a human driver.

There are a number of different types and sizes of AC systems, so info from one car isn't going to be meaningful for another.

We'll have to road-test our own cars on the roads we drive to know for sure what's best for us.

Andy

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