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IssacZachary
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Long trip LEAF (2011-2017 models) success stories.

Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:44 am

I had mentioned making this thread earlier, and in view of my 500 mile trip to and from Denver next week I guess I'll make this thread.

This is for all of you who have had or are planning to go an extra distance in your 2011-2017 LEAF to tell others how you did it or are planning to do it and what your general experience was. Generally the LEAF is considered a short distance or "limited range" vehicle. As such, most people are convinced that long trips in a LEAF are impractical or even impossible. Well here's your chance to prove that wrong.

This information will be helpful for other's who are thinking of doing road trips in their LEAFs. This may be because someone ends up or is planning on only owning a LEAF. Or maybe the ICEV broke down. Or perhaps they're doing it just for the fun of it.

If you know of long trip success stories in other Leafs, go ahead and post a link. Or add your own experience in this thread. I'll start here:

280-Mile Single Day Nissan Leaf Roadtrip.

1000-mile Nissan Leaf electric-car Road Trip in the Northeast: are we there yet?

1,500-Mile Nissan LEAF Zero-Emissions Road Trip: How We Charge On The Go

And here's my trip plan:
Any idea what it costs to charge at a CHAdeMO station at a Wal-Mart?

Well that's a start!
2013 SL 50,000 miles.
12 bars until 44,300 miles on June 2, 2017. :D
11 bars current. :)
The Nissan Leaf is the fourth best long distance car for highway driving. >>Best Long Distance Cars<<

projectmaximus
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2014 9:52 pm
Delivery Date: 14 Dec 2012
Leaf Number: 021169

Re: Long trip LEAF (2011-2017 models) success stories.

Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:44 pm

Thanks for getting this started!

I am here seeking advice or stories from folks making the run along the east coast of FL. I am trying to get down to Miami from Jax but plugshare comments raise concerns about many of the fast chargers along that route. I would be happy going through Orlando as well but it seems the linkage isn't any better.

Fwiw I've done two "road trips" with our 2012 Leaf. One when moving from DC down to Jax but that was cheating (Amtrak's auto train to Sanford and then a relatively short jaunt up to JAX with stops at Daytona and St Aug Nissans) Second road trip was from Jax to Tampa and back...it was relatively painless again as there were multiple options and backup stations, and every fast charger we did stop at was working.

Soooo, MIA to JAX. Any thoughts and comments are welcome, thanks!

Reddy
Posts: 1453
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:09 pm
Delivery Date: 18 Aug 2011
Leaf Number: 006828
Location: Pasco, WA

Re: Long trip LEAF (2011-2017 models) success stories.

Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:49 pm

From my signature, all the way back in 2012 when there were no DCQC's or even L2's between Pasco (SE) and Wenatchee (central) WA State. I did another trip from Pasco to Reedsport, OR the next summer which was much easier. Both trips required a significant 1st leg (85-120 mi) to reach the 1st DCQC station (against the wind and uphill). Both trips were about 800-900 mi RT.
http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?f=51&t=9946&hilit=+diagonal#p226115
Reddy
2011 SL; 9 bar, 45.80 AHr; 43,000 mi; rcv'd Aug 18, 2011
Long: http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.p ... al#p226115"
Cold: http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.p ... 60#p243033"

GRA
Posts: 7704
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:49 pm
Location: East side of San Francisco Bay

Re: Long trip LEAF (2011-2017 models) success stories.

Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:52 pm

There were many such posts in the early LEAF days, but people generally have had their adventure now and choose more practical options. Still, here's one of the earliest: http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=8879&p=198034&hilit=bc2bc#p198034

Paul Gipe's posted a number of trips in California. Here's one: http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=24063&p=496966#p496966
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

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IssacZachary
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Re: Long trip LEAF (2011-2017 models) success stories.

Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:16 pm

Great comments!
Personally I have this desire to make the Leaf my only vehicle, even though that sounds very impractical. Yet practicality is subject to opinion. If one person might drive an ICEV from coast to coast whereas many would think such a drive is impractical, why can't someone drive from coast to coast in an EV even if everyone else thinks it's impractical? :mrgreen:

projectmaximus wrote:Thanks for getting this started!

I am here seeking advice or stories from folks making the run along the east coast of FL. I am trying to get down to Miami from Jax but plugshare comments raise concerns about many of the fast chargers along that route. I would be happy going through Orlando as well but it seems the linkage isn't any better.

Fwiw I've done two "road trips" with our 2012 Leaf. One when moving from DC down to Jax but that was cheating (Amtrak's auto train to Sanford and then a relatively short jaunt up to JAX with stops at Daytona and St Aug Nissans) Second road trip was from Jax to Tampa and back...it was relatively painless again as there were multiple options and backup stations, and every fast charger we did stop at was working.

Soooo, MIA to JAX. Any thoughts and comments are welcome, thanks!


In doing a bit of lookin on PlugShare I set the chargers out farther than just 6 miles off course. Also I set the PlugShare rating to 9 and up. I got a couple sections where you'd only have J1772 chargers. So you're looking at a 5 hour drive or more plus 6 or more charging stops. If those are all 30 minutes that comes to 8 hours. But if you add a couple 3 hour charges you'd still make it in 14 hours. That's just a rough assumption. But anyhow, if you do it I suggest hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. If those couple CHAdeMO stations don't work then be prepared to spend the time at a level 2 station. In other words leave early.

On my trip to Denver I plan on spending the night half way in between and charging over level 1. If you have a friend somewhere in the middle maybe you could spend the night at his place and do the same. That way you get two shorter routes.
2013 SL 50,000 miles.
12 bars until 44,300 miles on June 2, 2017. :D
11 bars current. :)
The Nissan Leaf is the fourth best long distance car for highway driving. >>Best Long Distance Cars<<

powersurge
Posts: 797
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:24 am
Delivery Date: 06 Dec 2014
Location: Long Island, NY

Re: Long trip LEAF (2011-2017 models) success stories.

Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:07 am

This Spring and Summer, I have experimented with long distance driving up the Hudson River Valley from New York City.. I have made numerous trips (each about 250 miles round trip), using different strategies.. Some strategies worked better than others.. I hope that the following descriptions are helpful.

Starting from Long Island, NY. Using the chargepoint or plugshare system, I decided to slowly leave the safety of my range distance and explore as many chargepoint "stations" as possible to see if I could rely on them to power me so that I could get back home. With a full charge, I drove from Long Island to the Bronx and Westchester, and almost up to Albany, and visited as many stations as possible on the chargepoint map...

Strategy (1) - USING CHARGEPOINT STATIONS - In my limited experience, chargepoint stations had a more than 50% failure rate. I found working chargepoint stations that were inaccessible for many reasons, like - (1) Charger was in a gated community where you needed a key to get in, (2) Charger was on a VA hospital (federal land) and guarded by a gun-toting Federal officer that was ready to plug me if I trespassed, (3) Charger was "free", but located in a "paid" parking lot and you had to pay $10 to get in, 4) Charger was located in a parking lot of a Zoo, and you could only use them after you "paid" admission to the Zoo, (5) Charger was part of a "pay for service" network that I could not access, and finally (6) Charger was present, but I was ICED out and unusable. VERDICT - on Percent of success of chargepoint stations - FAIL... Although chargepoint stations are found on the website map, there really is no screening on how accessible they are to a long distance traveler. Success stories - I found a great chargepoint free station in a hospital parking lot supervised by a parking attendant, and found several great Chargepoint "paid" stations in the college at New Paltz, and only paid $0.67 to charge up!! PS - CHADEMO stations which are highly publicized on the New York Throughway on the "I LOVE NY" website are a rip-off, as they charge $8.00 to plug in!!

Strategy 2 - USING NISSAN, FORD, CHEVROLET, VW, AND BMW DEALERS AS FUELING STATIONS. This was the BEST, and most reliable way to travel. When planning a trip, make a map of all the car dealers addresses and phone numbers, AND CALL AHEAD. Visiting Car dealers, I unfortunately found THREE Nissan dealers that I visited that were OUT OF BUSINESS! When calling, Ask for the service department and ask if they have a "working, outdoor" charger in their parking lot. If they ask you why, do not explain, (because they may want to only service their customers). Just say, "I would like to charge there", say thank you, and hang up.... Tips for charging - 1) Plan your charging during business hours for several reasons. First, many dealerships turn off power to the chargers when they are closed. Secondly, they can move cars if you get ICED... Thirdly (and most important) while you are waiting to charge, you can innocently mingle with customers in the dealer waiting room, use their WIFI, drink their free coffee and bagels, watch TV, and use the restrooms... ***NOTE: Several Nissan dealers have a CHADEMO charger, and you can be on your way in as little as 40 minutes!!

Overall long distance tips - 1) call ahead, and find good, reliable places to stop.. With a reliable place to charge, you can push your car to its maximum range without worry, and save ALOT OF TIME in finding, and waiting in deserted places, with nothing to do. 2) Invest in a J1772 extension cord (20+ feet long) so that you will never be ICED, or not be able to reach the charger because the Car Dealer parks cars all around the charging station. 3) Without CHADEMO, charging Level 2 on a long trip is... TIME CONSUMING due to having to wait about 1 hour of charging for every 30 miles of driving... HOWEVER, it was the MOST FUN driving to distant places with my little leaf... AND IT WAS ALL FREE!! And you can catch up on watching movies on your Ipad while you wait... 4) ALWAYS ASK THE DEALER IF THEY HAVE CHADEMO CHARGERS!!

I hope write-up this helps long distance wannabees in the future!!

projectmaximus
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2014 9:52 pm
Delivery Date: 14 Dec 2012
Leaf Number: 021169

Re: Long trip LEAF (2011-2017 models) success stories.

Fri Jul 21, 2017 7:52 pm

IssacZachary wrote:Great comments!
Personally I have this desire to make the Leaf my only vehicle, even though that sounds very impractical. Yet practicality is subject to opinion. If one person might drive an ICEV from coast to coast whereas many would think such a drive is impractical, why can't someone drive from coast to coast in an EV even if everyone else thinks it's impractical? :mrgreen:

In doing a bit of lookin on PlugShare I set the chargers out farther than just 6 miles off course. Also I set the PlugShare rating to 9 and up. I got a couple sections where you'd only have J1772 chargers. So you're looking at a 5 hour drive or more plus 6 or more charging stops. If those are all 30 minutes that comes to 8 hours. But if you add a couple 3 hour charges you'd still make it in 14 hours. That's just a rough assumption. But anyhow, if you do it I suggest hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. If those couple CHAdeMO stations don't work then be prepared to spend the time at a level 2 station. In other words leave early.

On my trip to Denver I plan on spending the night half way in between and charging over level 1. If you have a friend somewhere in the middle maybe you could spend the night at his place and do the same. That way you get two shorter routes.


Haha re: practicality, my first Leaf road trip was practical as it was a move from DC to JAX. The second road trip was for fun although imo it was pretty practical lol. This next one from JAX-MIA is practical cause it's another move!!

Yeah I think I just might do that. Stop overnight on the way (probably Port St Lucie area) and just be prepared to use level 2s a few times.

Thanks!!

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IssacZachary
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Re: Long trip LEAF (2011-2017 models) success stories.

Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:47 am

General How-To plan for a long trip

First figure out how far you can go on a charge. This is a combination of battery health and driving conditions. The easiest way to monitor your battery health is by means of the battery capacity bars just right of the battery state-of-charge meter. But if you want a better idea you can get Leaf Spy and an appropriate OBD2 to bluetooth/Wi-Fi reader.

Driving conditions will really change how far you can go. Things such as speed, altitude change, weather and heater/AC use have a direct effect on range. A great tool for calculating this out are >>TONY WILLIAM'S RANGE CHARTS<<. Google Maps with the Bike selection will tell you changes in altitude. If you aren't good with math you can use >>EV TRIP PLANNER<< With EV Trip Planner the only thing you'll have to figure out is how to compare the kWh's mentioned there with your kWh's available in your car.

Next you have to figure out where the charging stations are at. >>PLUGSHARE<< is a great resource for finding those stations. Don't forget to check out the comments, some stations are problematic. PlugShare also shows where regular 120V and RV type 240V outlets are, which is great if you have a portable EVSE that can handle those. Don't forget to check with friends and family. Even spending the night using a 120V outlet can be a great help. It also allows you to spend time with people you may have been neglecting, so order a pizza and have fun!

Now you have to connect the dots and see if you can make it from station to station. Plan out each leg. Charging to 100% can waste time since the last few percent are the slowest, so if you can make it between charging stations using only 80%, then do so. And don't forget to give yourself a margin of error. I set 20% as my margin. If I can't make it and end up with 20% I chose another route or don't do it. Some feel confortable with 10%.

Another factor to calculate is time. What kind of charging is available. You could drive 60 miles or more each day and then charge all night off of 120V at a hotel. Level 2, aka J1772, will take a few hours. CHAdeMO is usually under 30 minutes for an 80% charge. What you don't want to do is exhaust yourself charging and driving during the night, unless you can get enough sleep for a three hour Level 2 charge. I personally like to charge off of 120V all night and get my beauty sleep. :lol:

What if you can't make it on a particular leg? Maybe you could try a an alternative route. Or try seeing if you can drive slower and then recalculate. On some stretches you can get there going 35mph on the shoulder with your flashers on. This might be ok every once in a while, but if you have to do it regularly you might consider a different vehicle or get your degraded battery replaced. And what if you still can't make it? Then your only choices may be to carry a generator, build some sort of range extender, get towed or give up going in your Leaf.

Well, best wishes on your next adventure!
2013 SL 50,000 miles.
12 bars until 44,300 miles on June 2, 2017. :D
11 bars current. :)
The Nissan Leaf is the fourth best long distance car for highway driving. >>Best Long Distance Cars<<

webeleafowners
Posts: 399
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2015 5:37 pm
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Location: Okanagan Valley British Columbia

Re: Long trip LEAF (2011-2017 models) success stories.

Sat Jul 22, 2017 7:32 am

I don't if you would call what we do a tip or trick for longer range travel. We just set the cruise to whatever the speed limit is. But I think this is the key. Here in BC the speed limits are low. 80 90 or occasionally 100 km/h. At these speeds a trip in these parts almost always guarantees range of greater than 200 km even with the AC set at 24. Our GOM always under estimates our range. When we start with the AC on we usually see 194 or so on the GOM. But buy the time we are half way through the battery we usually have 105 or more left on the GOM. This is on a fairly routine run between Vernon and Revelstoke. We have good DCFC coverage in this area so it's not much of a concern anyway. But for us it just comes down to speed. A good portion of that trip is 80 km/h with the rest ar 90 and 100. Overall our range is higher than what we expected when we bought the car and definetly higher than the EPA rating.
2015 Smart Electric Drive convertible.
2016 Nissan Leaf SV 30KWh
EV only Family...well except for the big diesel motorhome. :shock:

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IssacZachary
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Re: Long trip LEAF (2011-2017 models) success stories.

Sat Jul 22, 2017 11:43 am

webeleafowners wrote:I don't if you would call what we do a tip or trick for longer range travel. We just set the cruise to whatever the speed limit is. But I think this is the key. Here in BC the speed limits are low. 80 90 or occasionally 100 km/h. At these speeds a trip in these parts almost always guarantees range of greater than 200 km even with the AC set at 24. Our GOM always under estimates our range. When we start with the AC on we usually see 194 or so on the GOM. But buy the time we are half way through the battery we usually have 105 or more left on the GOM. This is on a fairly routine run between Vernon and Revelstoke. We have good DCFC coverage in this area so it's not much of a concern anyway. But for us it just comes down to speed. A good portion of that trip is 80 km/h with the rest ar 90 and 100. Overall our range is higher than what we expected when we bought the car and definetly higher than the EPA rating.

In other words, don't rely on the GOM. It can indicate much more or much less than your actual range.
2013 SL 50,000 miles.
12 bars until 44,300 miles on June 2, 2017. :D
11 bars current. :)
The Nissan Leaf is the fourth best long distance car for highway driving. >>Best Long Distance Cars<<

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