A lot of posts in this thread beat up on alembic42 and he certainly failed to do due diligence before purchasing his Leaf but he has my sympathy. His mistake was one that any of us could have made on a bad day. Even allowing for salesman's exaggerations the fact that range deteriorates in cold weather as badly as it does is something that our previous experience with gasoline cars completely fails to prepare us to even suspect. Gasoline cars lose range in cold weather too but unless you're actually measuring carefully, it's not too noticeable and with 300+ mile ranges and gas stations everywhere it's no big deal anyway. But with EVs like the Leaf it's a _very big deal__
Like alembic42, I tpp failed to do enough due diligence. I bought my Leaf new at the end of February, 2015 but almost immediately went on a long vacation and didn't return until the beginning of April so that I returned to early Spring temperatures. So all was just ducky and innocent I had no clue what was going to happen on the first really cold day the following December when I left work on a frigid (22 F) day to pick up a friend at an airport a "mere" 25 miles away. Fortunately I made it but just barely. It was a wakeup call. So I then began paying careful attention to my Leaf's cold weather performance and found that its nominal 84 mile range was maybe 45 miles during the worst of Winter.
Same thing as happened to alembic82 -- completely blindsided by the discovery that not only was the range less in Winter, it was a FULL BINARY ORDER OF MAGNITUDE less. But I was not betrayed the way he was because lucky me my commute is only 20 miles round trip and none of it at freeway speeds. So even in Winter, my Leaf serves me well and the impact of Winter for me is only that I have to plug in more often. (Other than the fact that Winter mostly sucks). And even with Winter-halved range my Leaf is still more economical than any gas alternative other than a mo-ped or tiny motorcycle. So even after my loss of innocence, I don't feel betrayed by my Leaf. I'm still pretty happy with it (albeit a bit less so than before I knew
The primary purpose of a car is to get you and your groceries from point A to point B, in reasonable safety and comfort.
So if your EV goes turtle at point A and a half it has failed to discharge its fundamental purpose. The buyer needs to have an accurate idea of expected range in realistic, not optimal circumstances (duh) so that he/she doesn't go turtle and A and an half. So where does info come from? One possibility is from the dealer or salesman but this thread has already laughed that idea out of court. Another is forums such as this but how does the dear buyer even know to search out and consult these forums when nothing in his/her experience with the last 1,2,3,4 or 5 car purchases tipped him/her off that doing this sort of thing was not merely wise but essential
My point is that many a buyer besides alebmic42 and I are going to walk into this same nasty trap. Is this OK and if not, what's to be done about it?
One school of thought is laissez-faire and caveat emptor and buyer beware. Pro
: it's all about free markets and minimal regulation (yay!!!) but Con
: people are going to continue to get screwed and electric cars are going to get a bad reputation. This will harm the environment and harm the economy because global warming unchecked will be very very expensive economically.
Another idea is that manufacturers should show enlightened self=interest and tell the exact truth about expected range. Tesla seems to do this very thing by providing a simple calculator of expected range as a function of speed, temperature, and tire size (https://www.tesla.com/models
at the bottom of the page). I say "seems to" beause I have no idea of the calculated values are correct (but see http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news ... /index.htm
). Nissan, on the other hand, (I just got back from the NissanUSA web site) is still suggesting an expected range of 80-85 miles or more with a testimonial hint that cooler weather will !increase! range. The Chevy Bolt site is no better. I have no idea how forthcoming all the rest are and don't have the stomach to look. Enlightment here is wanting.
This leaves nothing left but the govermment (and if you don't like this idea, see [a] and [b] above). The EPA MPGE disclosure is the obvious hook to hang this on. The range/MPGE value could easily be stated for several temperatures, e.g., 10 degrees F, 40, 70, and 100. Or at the very least a "range is reduced by cold temperatures -- see http://www.epa.gov/EV/temperature
" for the essential facts.
My 2 cents worth. If anyone has better ideas I'd love to hear them.