abruzzopat
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2019 6:56 am
Delivery Date: 01 Sep 2019

HELP deciding whether to buy a Leaf Plus

Sun Sep 01, 2019 7:12 am

Thanks in advance for your advice... on the fence about whether a Leaf is right for us. Here is our situation:

Primary driver is my wife who works as a care giver and drives ~35mi/day around town.

However, our concern is this: we share a mountain cabin and drive to it once or twice per month. It is 144 miles from our home. The drive is about 100 mi on open highway, then about 44 miles of rural highway with twists and turns. We live in Charlotte at an elevation of about 600' and the cabin is at about 4600', so lots of climbing. In summer, A/C is a must, and in winter, some heat would also be needed.

This drive consumes a lot of fuel and is the main reason we want to go electric. The stated 225 mile range of the leaf plus seems fine, but we are worried about real world experience after the batteries start to get old.

Do you folks think the leaf is a good choice?

Levenkay
Gold Member
Posts: 517
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:01 pm
Delivery Date: 11 Aug 2018
Leaf Number: 308382
Location: Portland, OR

Re: HELP deciding whether to buy a Leaf Plus

Sun Sep 01, 2019 10:47 am

Have you looked into the availability of DC fast-charging stations along your route? Would taking a fifteen-minute break somewhere around the end of the "open highway" portion of your monthly trip be so bad?

DougWantsALeaf
Posts: 841
Joined: Fri May 10, 2013 8:21 pm
Delivery Date: 18 May 2013
Leaf Number: 407811
Location: Chicago North Side

Re: HELP deciding whether to buy a Leaf Plus

Sun Sep 01, 2019 11:13 am

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=a90pI-8xibw

The Thrifty Three Tesla vs Leaf Plus seems like a pretty similar test.

On the way up, if the car starts garaged (meaning at 40-50 degrees) and all season tires are sufficient, you should be fine. Else you can preheat while charging before departure.

Per the other post, have a couple (even level 2) charge options on the far end in case stuck in inclement weather on the way up.
2019 SV Plus Silver
2013 Leaf SV
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Max distance on 13 Leaf: 120 miles
Max distance on 19 Leaf: 242 Highway 4.5 miles/kWh (4.9 KWh remaining)

abruzzopat
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2019 6:56 am
Delivery Date: 01 Sep 2019

Re: HELP deciding whether to buy a Leaf Plus

Sun Sep 01, 2019 11:42 am

Levenkay wrote:
Sun Sep 01, 2019 10:47 am
Have you looked into the availability of DC fast-charging stations along your route? Would taking a fifteen-minute break somewhere around the end of the "open highway" portion of your monthly trip be so bad?
Thanks for the reply. So i am a TOTAL newbie here... I did not know there was something that could charge a Leaf that quickly. I did some looking and actually the only DC station along the route is just outside Charlotte. There are a few Level 2 stations along the way.
Last edited by abruzzopat on Sun Sep 01, 2019 11:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

abruzzopat
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2019 6:56 am
Delivery Date: 01 Sep 2019

Re: HELP deciding whether to buy a Leaf Plus

Sun Sep 01, 2019 11:43 am

DougWantsALeaf wrote:
Sun Sep 01, 2019 11:13 am

The Thrifty Three Tesla vs Leaf Plus seems like a pretty similar test.

On the way up, if the car starts garaged (meaning at 40-50 degrees) and all season tires are sufficient, you should be fine. Else you can preheat while charging before departure.

Per the other post, have a couple (even level 2) charge options on the far end in case stuck in inclement weather on the way up.
Very interesting... thank you!

LeftieBiker
Moderator
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Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: HELP deciding whether to buy a Leaf Plus

Sun Sep 01, 2019 12:39 pm

abruzzopat wrote:
Sun Sep 01, 2019 11:42 am
Levenkay wrote:
Sun Sep 01, 2019 10:47 am
Have you looked into the availability of DC fast-charging stations along your route? Would taking a fifteen-minute break somewhere around the end of the "open highway" portion of your monthly trip be so bad?
Thanks for the reply. So i am a TOTAL newbie here... I did not know there was something that could charge a Leaf that quickly. I did some looking and actually the only DC station along the route is just outside Charlotte. There are a few Level 2 stations along the way.

The 15 minutes is for a partial recharge, not a full one. 15 minutes should add, very roughly, about 40 miles of range.

If things were different I'd suggest a 40kwh Leaf, because 90% of the time it would be fine for you, and it can be fast charged. The problem is that the 40kwh Leaf battery both gets hot easily, and charges much more slowly when hot. One fast DCFC recharge each way would probably work fine for you, as long as the car had a least a day to cool off between trips, but all in all, if you can afford an ePlus, that would be the better choice, I think, for you.
Scarlet Ember 2018 Leaf SL W/ Pro Pilot
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jjeff
Posts: 1898
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:10 am
Delivery Date: 13 Jul 2014
Leaf Number: 422121
Location: MSP MN

Re: HELP deciding whether to buy a Leaf Plus

Mon Sep 02, 2019 5:15 am

OP, I think what I'm hearing is the 40kWh Leaf might work, especially with an en-route QC, absolutely requiring a QC along en-route with battery degradation or in cold weather but you'd really be better off with the Leaf Plus(which I believe you are looking at). That said even a Leaf Plus won't make it there and back(288 miles) without charging of some sort, probably not L1 but at least L2(home 240v) or L3(away QC station) would also be OK. Assuming you can get a decent 240v plug(or EVSE) wired at your cabin and you're there for at least one overnight you should have no problem for years to come with a Plus not have to worry about charging en-route.
You might also want to think of a 240v L2 plug(or wired) EVSE at home although with your limited home driving you might be able to get by with L1(120v) and basically leaving your car plugged in all the time while at home. In your case since I believe all Plus's come with a L2 EVSE then just having the correct 14-50 plug at home and cabin would be your cheapest alternative(although personally I prefer to leave my car EVSE in the car for emergencies and not have to bother winding it up and stowing it every time I charge, the call is yours).
IMO it sounds like a Leaf Plus would be an ideal vehicle for you to avoid gas stations for many years to come and enjoy driving a nice clean quiet EV :)
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SageBrush
Posts: 4588
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Location: NM

Re: HELP deciding whether to buy a Leaf Plus

Mon Sep 02, 2019 6:13 am

abruzzopat wrote:
Sun Sep 01, 2019 7:12 am
This drive consumes a lot of fuel and is the main reason we want to go electric.
'Fuel' as in money, or as in pollution ?

The main problem with the LEAF as an EV is the lack of battery thermal control. Any LEAF owner who lives outside of a cool climate like the PNW should factor in 3-5% battery range loss a year. This has the following effects:

1. High depreciation
2. Effectively a 5 - 8 year car before it cannot do what it was able to when new unless a LOT of extra battery is bought up front
3. Slow fast charging

My advice: If you are set on an EV and since you live in the South and want to use the car for long trips, spend a few thousand more (or maybe about the same) and buy a Tesla Model 3 SR+
2013 LEAF 'S' Model with QC & rear-view camera
Bought off-lease Jan 2017 from N. California
Two years in Colorado, now in NM
03/2018: 58 Ahr, 28k miles
11/2018: 56.16 Ahr, 30k miles
-----
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WetEV
Posts: 2986
Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 8:25 am
Delivery Date: 16 Feb 2014
Location: Near Seattle, WA

Re: HELP deciding whether to buy a Leaf Plus

Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:54 am

SageBrush wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 6:13 am
The main problem with the LEAF as an EV is the lack of battery thermal control. Any LEAF owner who lives outside of a cool climate like the PNW should factor in 3-5% battery range loss a year. This has the following effects:

1. High depreciation
2. Effectively a 5 - 8 year car before it cannot do what it was able to when new unless a LOT of extra battery is bought up front
3. Slow fast charging

My advice: If you are set on an EV and since you live in the South and want to use the car for long trips, spend a few thousand more (or maybe about the same) and buy a Tesla Model 3 SR+
https://cleantechnica.com/2019/08/31/to ... roductive/

Sage is a Nissan hater.
WetEV
#49
Most everything around here is wet during the rainy season. And the rainy season is long.
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powersurge
Posts: 1421
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Delivery Date: 06 Dec 2014
Location: Long Island, NY

Re: HELP deciding whether to buy a Leaf Plus

Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:46 am

I have often made this statement regarding if people "should" by a Leaf. Please excuse me if I sound like a broken record, or too negative.

If you expect the car to take you long distances (more than 50 miles on a standard Leaf or more than 100 miles on an E+), up high mountain inclines, and during the winter time, I suggest.... DO NOT BUY A LEAF OR ANY EV.

At this point in technological history, there is no reason that anyone HAS to have an EV. The Leaf, like all EVs, are not a mature technology, and folks should buy it only if they are aware of its limitations. They should buy it if it meets their daily needs... And then ALSO HAVE NOT MAXED OUT ITS CAPABILITY. If you expect to push the car's range past its 50% capacity on a daily basis, then you should not buy a Leaf. A Leaf that has its battery driven down to 10-25% on a daily basis will not be kind to its battery long term.

For those who want to drive long distances every once in a while.... You should not have your Leaf as your only vehicle. Have a gasoline car for long distance traveling. If you expect your Leaf to be your only vehicle, then do not buy it...

If you do not like my opinion? Sorry. I would rather have an EV Noobie not buy a Leaf, Than invest in an expensive, limited used vehicle and then be terribly disappointed and angry.

SO - My formula -- Buy a Leaf if your driving will only use a maximum 50-60% of your charge before recharging. In other words - Expect to recharge when your car's battery is at 40-50%. Then your Leaf experience will be a good one.

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