mrp10000
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2016 8:37 am
Delivery Date: 25 Feb 2017
Leaf Number: 317699
Location: Albemarle, NC

one year in....

Sat Feb 03, 2018 7:14 pm

One year in (almost) on my new LEAF. I've driven around 13,000 miles, about 3000 or so from free charging. In that time, We've bought a Bolt, became an all EV car household, but wound up with a 150,000 mile Corolla as backup and are waiting on a Model 3. Not quite the normal EV journey as we just bought because it was the right time and EV driving is becoming quite practical for us.

As to what I've learned....

1) I began my journey by dumping my Chevy Volt (should never have bought as a car in general, but it was my gateway car to EV cars, so that's a positive). I like my LEAF so much more!

2) I got Leaf Spy last April, and began at around 93% SOH, but my last reading in November said 86% SOH. I can confidently drive 60+ miles in NC piedmont winter weather, but I'm wondering if my SOH will increase this spring with warmer temps. There were days last summer I could have gone 90+ miles if I had wanted, based on how I was driving at the time (not going by GOM, but doing actual math based on battery percentage). I know there are some fluctuations in Leaf Spy readings, and I'll find out just how much this spring.

3) EV driving can fulfill almost all of anyone's needs....Public charging is growing steadily, and while I've never paid to charge away from home, would willingly do so when needed, especially since I'm not paying for gas....

4) Other things people don't generally think about....

a) no oil changes....$$$$ instant savings
b) I always nickeled and dimed myself at gas stations (Monster Energy and Twix habit lol)....I don't really stop at convenience stores anymore since I "fill up" at home.
c) no worries about exhaust, spark plugs, other mechanical failures (I know we have different issues that can go wrong, but it just seems that we have less stuff to worry about, at least at the moment).
d) If I didn't have my Corolla backup, I could fully function EV only (we did for 6 months and made several long trips. Without going into all the details, it was easier to keep our Corolla for now, and will more than likely give it up when we get our Model 3).
e) The car drives well in snowy/icy conditions. We don't have much of this in the piedmont of NC, but I grew up in the NC mountains where I experienced my fair share of snowy/icy weather during my teen/college age years, and the car does very well during the times I have driven it during the icy/snowy times we may have in my area.
f) I cannot think of an ICE car that I would rather drive. I love the way my LEAF drives, handles, etc...my only complaint is range, but I can make it work.

I really do expect EVs to take off during the next several years...just wanted to give my 2 cents on what I'v experienced so far.

User avatar
RegGuheert
Posts: 6204
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:12 am
Delivery Date: 16 Mar 2012
Leaf Number: 5926
Location: Northern VA

Re: one year in....

Sat Feb 03, 2018 7:25 pm

Thanks for the detailed report and congratulations on becoming a 2-EV family!
mrp10000 wrote:...I'm wondering if my SOH will increase this spring with warmer temps.
Not likely. In the LEAF, reported SOH normally increases (slightly) with colder temperatures. But your driving range *will* increase as it warms up, regardless of what the car says about SOH.
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
10K miles: Apr 14, 2013, 20K miles (55.7Ah): Aug 7, 2014, 30K miles (52.0Ah): Dec 30, 2015, 40K miles (49.8Ah): Feb 8, 2017, 50K miles (47.2Ah): Dec 7, 2017.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

User avatar
IssacZachary
Forum Supporter
Posts: 804
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:57 am
Delivery Date: 15 Nov 2016
Leaf Number: 420789
Location: Gunnison, CO, USA

Re: one year in....

Sat Feb 03, 2018 7:59 pm

I also have owned my Leaf for a little over one year.

I love it, except the lack of charging infrastructure. I would drive it everywhere, even if I had to go from level 2 charging station to level 2 charging station. I was driving it about 140 miles in one day once a week, with about 65 miles between charging stations. But the bitter cold of winter put an end to that trip, which I now need to do twice a week. If there were another charging station half way between here and there I'd just keep driving my Leaf.

I bought my Leaf used and it cost me $12,000, but I also got a $3,000 tax credit from Colorado. Heated leather seats, heated steering wheel, 6.6kW charger, preheat capability, it was the most expensive I car I ever bought but was worth every penny! I only wished there were a place to use the CHAdeMO port on it around here or at least level 2 charging stations close enough I could drive it out of town any time of the year. Fuel costs went from some $300 per month to only about $15-20 per month in electricity.

Since it started getting to where I couldn't make my 140 mile trip in the Leaf (I even tried and failed one day when it was -15°F), I started using my 1985 Golf diesel again that I had been using before getting the Leaf. But sadly, after years of faithful service, the transmission went out. And with the car not worth $500, I didn't think that fixing the transmission was a good idea. So I've been trying to get my third and final car running, a 1972 VW Beetle, as a temporary solution.

So with the Leaf not making the trip in the winter and barely making it in the summer, and my old clunkers breaking down and not running I'm reluctantly putting the Leaf up for sale. I'm aiming high though, and won't sell it for much less than what I paid for it. If it sells I'm putting the money towards a Prius Prime. If it doesn't sell in the next several months I'll keep it for around town and get a 3 to 5 year old gasoline powered economy car for the long distance commute. I'll also put the Beetle up for sale as soon as I get it running.
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<<

mrp10000
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2016 8:37 am
Delivery Date: 25 Feb 2017
Leaf Number: 317699
Location: Albemarle, NC

Re: one year in....

Sat Feb 03, 2018 8:27 pm

RegGuheert wrote:Thanks for the detailed report and congratulations on becoming a 2-EV family!
mrp10000 wrote:...I'm wondering if my SOH will increase this spring with warmer temps.
Not likely. In the LEAF, reported SOH normally increases (slightly) with colder temperatures. But your driving range *will* increase as it warms up, regardless of what the car says about SOH.



and in the year since I've owned my LEAF, that is what I've feared (reported SOh normally increases slightly)...but as long as I can keep 60ish miles as a known range for my driving needs, I'm ok with 11 or even 10 bars of range. I fear that I'm pretty close to losing a bar based on what I'm currently observing. Currently, I'm driving 35 miles round trip daily, and don't see this changing any time soon. Given my current driving needs, I see the car meeting my needs well into the future.

User avatar
RegGuheert
Posts: 6204
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:12 am
Delivery Date: 16 Mar 2012
Leaf Number: 5926
Location: Northern VA

Re: one year in....

Sun Feb 04, 2018 12:28 am

mrp10000 wrote:Currently, I'm driving 35 miles round trip daily, and don't see this changing any time soon. Given my current driving needs, I see the car meeting my needs well into the future.
I agree.

Our MY2011 was a demo car which was six months old when we purchased it in March 2012. We will have had it for six years next month. It has 51,000 miles on the odometer and has lost three capacity bars, but my wife still commutes 50 miles each day, crossing the Blue Ridge Mountains in both directions in between. This winter she has parked the LEAF on days when it is below 20 degrees Fahrenheit or very windy. This is mostly because of the loss of regen in the LEAF, but it is partly because we bought new Ecopias in December, which lowered the efficiency slightly. On those colder days, she drives our 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid, which turns 16 years old in April. It has MUCH more regen than the LEAF in cold weather even though the batteries are 10 years older and have 70,000 more miles on them. We've had some pretty cold weather this winter, so she has taken the Honda 10 or 15 times so far.

That doesn't add much to her commuting costs since we have already used up our stored (net-metered) solar electricity this winter due to a hot summer last year, low solar production in 2017, and a cold winter. So taking the Honda uses about one gallon of gasoline and costs about $3.00 per commute for fuel versus the LEAF which uses about 15 kWh of electricity (including preheating) and costs about $1.50 per commute, so the 2003 Honda costs about $1.50 more for fuel for her commute.

Interestingly, tires for the Honda have been much less expensive. The Honda has about 75,000 miles on tires which cost about $300.00 in 2008 and it should easily get 30,000 MORE miles out of them, versus the LEAF which only got about 50,000 miles out its Ecopia tires which cost over $400.00 to replace. So tires on the Honda only cost about $0.14 per commute versus $0.40 per commute for the LEAF. That difference is mostly offset by the cost of oil changes, which run about $0.15 per commute.

Fuel and maintenance charges per commute:
2011 Nissan LEAF: $1.90/commute
2003 Honda Civic Hybrid: $3.29/commute

But it was also cheaper to purchase the Honda (about $20,000 after the tax rebate versus $29,000 for the LEAF after the rebate). If you include purchase price in the commute, then the results are completely different:

Purchase price per commute including taxes and without rebate:
2011 Nissan LEAF: $14.50/commute
2003 Honda Civic Hybrid: $5.00/commute

The difference above is largely due to the total number of miles I used for each: 200,000 miles for the Honda Civic Hybrid and 100,000 miles for the Nissan LEAF. While it is likely the Honda could last longer than 200,000 miles, it will be VERY old when it gets to that point, so I'm not sure. The LEAF likely will not get past 100,000 miles on the existing battery, and probably not even that.

But since the vehicles are already paid for, the LEAF gets the nod for the commute when it can be made to work. For most of the year we have already prepaid for the LEAF's fuel in the form of photovoltaics, so it normally only costs about an additional $0.40/commute each time it is used. At some point it might make sense to replace the battery in the LEAF to allow us to use all of the PV-provided electricity which we have already purchased instead of purchasing gasoline for the Honda. We haven't decided whether we actually will replace the battery or instead purchase a different EV. We'll cross that bridge when we get to it, which SHOULD be after summer 2019. For now, it is still working for her commute the vast majority of the time.

If her commute were only 35 miles, I think she would be able to use it into 2020 or beyond.
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
10K miles: Apr 14, 2013, 20K miles (55.7Ah): Aug 7, 2014, 30K miles (52.0Ah): Dec 30, 2015, 40K miles (49.8Ah): Feb 8, 2017, 50K miles (47.2Ah): Dec 7, 2017.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

DaveinOlyWA
Posts: 12965
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:43 pm
Delivery Date: 16 Feb 2018
Leaf Number: 314199
Location: Olympia, WA
Contact: Website

Re: one year in....

Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:56 am

RegGuheert wrote:Thanks for the detailed report and congratulations on becoming a 2-EV family!
mrp10000 wrote:...I'm wondering if my SOH will increase this spring with warmer temps.
Not likely. In the LEAF, reported SOH normally increases (slightly) with colder temperatures. But your driving range *will* increase as it warms up, regardless of what the car says about SOH.


Its possible but realize LEAF Spy readings only parrot what the Nissan instrumentation reports and the fluctuations you see don't always equate to greater usable range. If you garage your car, your range will only improve slightly (weather controlled) but if your LEAF sits outside, it will see a double whammy on range because the pack is colder.

The issue with Li batteries is their prefered operating range is rather quite narrow. They want to be in the 60-70º F range. As you can see; not a lot of wiggle room. Now you could start out in the mid 50's and the pack will warm itself up but much lower than that and I find the pack simply does not generate enough heat unless you are doing a 40-50 mile freeway drive.

My typical temp jump with pack starting in the low 50's (my ambient garage temp in Winter) on a one way mostly freeway 60-65 mph drive is generally under 10º.

The pack you have also makes a difference. The 24 kwh packs heat up quicker to around 80ish degrees than the 30 kwh packs did but cool off MUCH slower. My 30 kwh pack hit 100-120ºF every day in Summer but still managed to cool into the mid 70's overnight (ambient in Summer low to mid 60's) My 24 kwh pack would take as much as 48 hours to cool to the same temperature despite it rarely getting over 100ºF
2011 SL; 44,598 miles. 2013 S; 44,840 miles.2016 S30 deceased. 29,413 miles. 2018 S40; 5775 miles, 488 GIDs, 38 kwh 113.37 Ahr available, SOH 98.21, Hx 115.75
My Blog; http://daveinolywa.blogspot.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

mrp10000
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2016 8:37 am
Delivery Date: 25 Feb 2017
Leaf Number: 317699
Location: Albemarle, NC

Re: one year in....

Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:21 am

DaveinOlyWA wrote:
RegGuheert wrote:Thanks for the detailed report and congratulations on becoming a 2-EV family!
mrp10000 wrote:...I'm wondering if my SOH will increase this spring with warmer temps.
Not likely. In the LEAF, reported SOH normally increases (slightly) with colder temperatures. But your driving range *will* increase as it warms up, regardless of what the car says about SOH.


Its possible but realize LEAF Spy readings only parrot what the Nissan instrumentation reports and the fluctuations you see don't always equate to greater usable range. If you garage your car, your range will only improve slightly (weather controlled) but if your LEAF sits outside, it will see a double whammy on range because the pack is colder.

The issue with Li batteries is their prefered operating range is rather quite narrow. They want to be in the 60-70º F range. As you can see; not a lot of wiggle room. Now you could start out in the mid 50's and the pack will warm itself up but much lower than that and I find the pack simply does not generate enough heat unless you are doing a 40-50 mile freeway drive.

My typical temp jump with pack starting in the low 50's (my ambient garage temp in Winter) on a one way mostly freeway 60-65 mph drive is generally under 10º.

The pack you have also makes a difference. The 24 kwh packs heat up quicker to around 80ish degrees than the 30 kwh packs did but cool off MUCH slower. My 30 kwh pack hit 100-120ºF every day in Summer but still managed to cool into the mid 70's overnight (ambient in Summer low to mid 60's) My 24 kwh pack would take as much as 48 hours to cool to the same temperature despite it rarely getting over 100ºF


The wife's car gets the garage, and mine does sit outside. I try to put the car in the shade when I can in summer, but car sits outside in winter. I did notice on a couple of occasions this winter, that for whatever reason, the range seemed to jump a bit, and the days were not particularly warm when it happened either. I obsessed over Leaf Spy when I first got it, then quit when cold weather started because I just wanted to drive the car and enjoy it. I'll probably start regular readings again this sprint.

mrp10000
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2016 8:37 am
Delivery Date: 25 Feb 2017
Leaf Number: 317699
Location: Albemarle, NC

Re: one year in....

Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:22 am

RegGuheert wrote:
mrp10000 wrote:Currently, I'm driving 35 miles round trip daily, and don't see this changing any time soon. Given my current driving needs, I see the car meeting my needs well into the future.
I agree.

Our MY2011 was a demo car which was six months old when we purchased it in March 2012. We will have had it for six years next month. It has 51,000 miles on the odometer and has lost three capacity bars, but my wife still commutes 50 miles each day, crossing the Blue Ridge Mountains in both directions in between. This winter she has parked the LEAF on days when it is below 20 degrees Fahrenheit or very windy. This is mostly because of the loss of regen in the LEAF, but it is partly because we bought new Ecopias in December, which lowered the efficiency slightly. On those colder days, she drives our 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid, which turns 16 years old in April. It has MUCH more regen than the LEAF in cold weather even though the batteries are 10 years older and have 70,000 more miles on them. We've had some pretty cold weather this winter, so she has taken the Honda 10 or 15 times so far.

That doesn't add much to her commuting costs since we have already used up our stored (net-metered) solar electricity this winter due to a hot summer last year, low solar production in 2017, and a cold winter. So taking the Honda uses about one gallon of gasoline and costs about $3.00 per commute for fuel versus the LEAF which uses about 15 kWh of electricity (including preheating) and costs about $1.50 per commute, so the 2003 Honda costs about $1.50 more for fuel for her commute.

Interestingly, tires for the Honda have been much less expensive. The Honda has about 75,000 miles on tires which cost about $300.00 in 2008 and it should easily get 30,000 MORE miles out of them, versus the LEAF which only got about 50,000 miles out its Ecopia tires which cost over $400.00 to replace. So tires on the Honda only cost about $0.14 per commute versus $0.40 per commute for the LEAF. That difference is mostly offset by the cost of oil changes, which run about $0.15 per commute.

Fuel and maintenance charges per commute:
2011 Nissan LEAF: $1.90/commute
2003 Honda Civic Hybrid: $3.29/commute

But it was also cheaper to purchase the Honda (about $20,000 after the tax rebate versus $29,000 for the LEAF after the rebate). If you include purchase price in the commute, then the results are completely different:

Purchase price per commute including taxes and without rebate:
2011 Nissan LEAF: $14.50/commute
2003 Honda Civic Hybrid: $5.00/commute

The difference above is largely due to the total number of miles I used for each: 200,000 miles for the Honda Civic Hybrid and 100,000 miles for the Nissan LEAF. While it is likely the Honda could last longer than 200,000 miles, it will be VERY old when it gets to that point, so I'm not sure. The LEAF likely will not get past 100,000 miles on the existing battery, and probably not even that.

But since the vehicles are already paid for, the LEAF gets the nod for the commute when it can be made to work. For most of the year we have already prepaid for the LEAF's fuel in the form of photovoltaics, so it normally only costs about an additional $0.40/commute each time it is used. At some point it might make sense to replace the battery in the LEAF to allow us to use all of the PV-provided electricity which we have already purchased instead of purchasing gasoline for the Honda. We haven't decided whether we actually will replace the battery or instead purchase a different EV. We'll cross that bridge when we get to it, which SHOULD be after summer 2019. For now, it is still working for her commute the vast majority of the time.

If her commute were only 35 miles, I think she would be able to use it into 2020 or beyond.


I bought mine used, but I have to take into account the money I lost on the Volt.

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