Silverfish
Posts: 29
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:32 am
Delivery Date: 21 Jun 2018

Charge a little each day, or longer charges every few days?

Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:02 am

Hi folks, first time, long time, etc.

I know this topic has been discussed a lot, but my Google-fu didn't yield answers to my specific questions. Or, rather, yielded too many contradictory answers.

I drive between 0 and 10 miles on most days, occasionally up to 25. (Work at home, so no commute as such.) My newly bought 2013 Leaf has an 80% range of 55-60 miles. I could easily charge only 2-3x a week and not worry about range.

Car has 53,000 miles and shows 11 bars, but really more like 10, according to SOH in LeafSpy. 2/2013 manufacture, so no lizard battery. I live in the Pacific Northwest and keep the car in a garage.

So: Is it better to charge a few miles every day? Or to get it down to 25-30% and then charge up to 80%, with a rare 100% charge for battery balancing? I want to maximize battery life.

Also, which is better for battery longevity: L1 or L2 charging? Both options are available. I don't foresee time being an issue, so I'm happy to use L1 if it extends battery life. If it really, truly, honestly doesn't matter, I'd probably go with L2 because it's on a dedicated circuit.

Thanks.

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davewill
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Location: San Diego, CA, US

Re: Charge a little each day, or longer charges every few days?

Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:24 am

No difference between L1 and L2 charging. Both are slow enough that the battery isn't adversely affected. If your car has the 80% setting, I'd use that and plug in every night. If not, you could plug in if the car is more than 20% down. However I have a usage pattern similar to yours and, in my book that's too inconvenient for a questionable return in battery longevity, and I would plug in every night unless the day's use was truly minimal.
2014 Rav4 EV, Blizzard Pearl White
2011 LEAF SL w/QC, Blue Ocean, returned at end of lease

magico13
Posts: 68
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 12:39 pm
Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: Charge a little each day, or longer charges every few days?

Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:40 am

I'd also recommend L2 charging just because it's more efficient so you're using less energy to charge it the same amount, saving you money. Either way you're charging at a low enough rate that it probably won't affect the battery much.
2015 SV w/ QC

RonDawg
Posts: 2884
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2013 3:46 am
Delivery Date: 11 Jan 2013
Leaf Number: 027089
Location: SoCal

Re: Charge a little each day, or longer charges every few days?

Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:59 pm

I agree with davewill, plug in every night if the car has the "Long Life" (80% charging) option. I believe 2013 models still had it. I especially recommend this if you will be charging on L1, as it takes a long time to accrue range at 120V.

Do you already have L2? If not, and you have a robust L1 outlet not shared with anything else, I probably wouldn't bother with installing L2 given your daily range needs. I exclusively used L1 at home for the first 9 months I had a Leaf, and still use it as a "top up charge" on my eGolf as using the L2 EVSE in my garage requires backing that car in (charging port located right rear panel). You will use slightly more energy (L1 is not as efficient, plus ancillary systems will need to run longer), but I think someone here calculated it was very little added cost.
Blue Ocean 2012 Leaf SV, lost that 1st bar at 34 months/26,435 miles. Lease returned 2 months later. Final LeafStat figures: 225 Gids, 17.44 kWH, SOC 91.89%, SOH 82.36%, 69.49% HX, 54.57 Ahr, battery temp 61.8 F.
Now driving a 2015 VW eGolf SEL.

LeftieBiker
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Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Charge a little each day, or longer charges every few days?

Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:26 pm

I agree with davewill, plug in every night if the car has the "Long Life" (80% charging) option. I believe 2013 models still had it. I especially recommend this if you will be charging on L1, as it takes a long time to accrue range at 120V.


The 2013 has Long Life (80%) available in the charge timers, and it also has an 80% or 100% limit setting for the car, regardless of charge timer. There is a useful trick that takes advantage of this: set a charge timer to 80% maximum charge, and have it start and end at the same time every day (example: 6:00PM to 6:00PM). Then set the car's charge limit to 100%. This allows you to charge to 80% normally without setting a new timer, but also lets you charge to 100% anytime you want, just by pressing the Timer Override button on the left side of the dash (it's a clock icon with a line through it, IIRC) when you plug in. You may see the car charge for less than 5 minutes at the start/end time every day, but it works fine.
Scarlet Ember 2018 Leaf SL W/ Pro Pilot
2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, & 3 EZIP E-bicycles.
PLEASE don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

Silverfish
Posts: 29
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:32 am
Delivery Date: 21 Jun 2018

Re: Charge a little each day, or longer charges every few days?

Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:42 pm

Thanks, everyone.

RonDawg wrote:Do you already have L2? If not, and you have a robust L1 outlet not shared with anything else, I probably wouldn't bother with installing L2 given your daily range needs.


I bought an L2 charging cable to fit the 20A/240V outlet the garage already had, which happened to be on a dedicated circuit, and which we never use for anything else. It came with the house. So I'm already set up for L2 charging, and it works fine. I had an electrician check it out before I used it.

I've got an L1 outlet shared with a few things that don't get used at night, so I've been using that sometimes too. I can get all the miles I need with the L1 in less than 8 hours, often in just 3-4 hours. Not sure how robust the outlet is, honestly. The L2 outlet is in better shape.

And yep, I've got the 80% option, both for the car itself and for the charging timers.

A question, though: If I've got it set to charge at 80%, and it's plugged in for 12 hours, what are the odds that the battery will deplete slightly and then charge a second and even third time? I ask because LeafSpy consistently lists 2-3 L1/L2 charges each time I do a single overnight charge, and that's the only explanation I can think of. The same thing happens with two different charging cables, or I'd suspect the cable & EVSE itself.

LeftieBiker wrote:You may see the car charge for less than 5 minutes at the start/end time every day, but it works fine.


Is there a way to see how long the car actually charged for? I'm still learning about the car, LeafSpy, etc.

Thanks again.

RonDawg
Posts: 2884
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2013 3:46 am
Delivery Date: 11 Jan 2013
Leaf Number: 027089
Location: SoCal

Re: Charge a little each day, or longer charges every few days?

Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:09 am

Silverfish wrote:Thanks, everyone.

RonDawg wrote:Do you already have L2? If not, and you have a robust L1 outlet not shared with anything else, I probably wouldn't bother with installing L2 given your daily range needs.


I bought an L2 charging cable to fit the 20A/240V outlet the garage already had, which happened to be on a dedicated circuit, and which we never use for anything else. It came with the house. So I'm already set up for L2 charging, and it works fine. I had an electrician check it out before I used it.

I've got an L1 outlet shared with a few things that don't get used at night, so I've been using that sometimes too. I can get all the miles I need with the L1 in less than 8 hours, often in just 3-4 hours. Not sure how robust the outlet is, honestly. The L2 outlet is in better shape.


In that case, use the L2, especially if you're not sure about the condition of your L1 circuit and outlet.
Blue Ocean 2012 Leaf SV, lost that 1st bar at 34 months/26,435 miles. Lease returned 2 months later. Final LeafStat figures: 225 Gids, 17.44 kWH, SOC 91.89%, SOH 82.36%, 69.49% HX, 54.57 Ahr, battery temp 61.8 F.
Now driving a 2015 VW eGolf SEL.

powersurge
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Re: Charge a little each day, or longer charges every few days?

Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:24 am

I wouldn't charge to 80% in your case since the car would be at this level permanently.

The battery lasts the longest if you leave it constantly at 50%. So I would leave it at 40%-60%, and you have at least 20 miles of solid range at any time.

then charge the car with a timer back to 60% (unless you want to go farther). On those days, charge the car up to 100% and go,....

magico13
Posts: 68
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 12:39 pm
Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: Charge a little each day, or longer charges every few days?

Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:49 am

Silverfish wrote: I ask because LeafSpy consistently lists 2-3 L1/L2 charges each time I do a single overnight charge, and that's the only explanation I can think of.


I believe the car counts plugging it in as one charge on the counter and then starting the actual charge as another charge on the counter. For my LEAF on L2 it pretty consistently goes up by 2 for every one charge.
2015 SV w/ QC

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davewill
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Location: San Diego, CA, US

Re: Charge a little each day, or longer charges every few days?

Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:51 pm

powersurge wrote:I wouldn't charge to 80% in your case since the car would be at this level permanently.

The battery lasts the longest if you leave it constantly at 50%. So I would leave it at 40%-60%, and you have at least 20 miles of solid range at any time.

then charge the car with a timer back to 60% (unless you want to go farther). On those days, charge the car up to 100% and go,....

And if a situation comes up where you want to go more than 20 miles away, but you didn't know that the night before? Keeping the battery that low is a ridiculous waste of effort for a very questionable return.
2014 Rav4 EV, Blizzard Pearl White
2011 LEAF SL w/QC, Blue Ocean, returned at end of lease

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