hackdroot
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Location: East Bay Area, CA

52 mile round trip commute possible/practical on '13-'14 SV

Sat Apr 15, 2017 1:13 pm

So I'm getting rid of my 99 Acura TL, due to a slowly dying tranny and oil leak, and would like to purchase a EV. Since I have solar at home, and am really done wrenching on used cars, a co-worker suggested a used leaf as the financing would pretty much be a wash with the gas/maint of my current ride (~200 month).

I have a 52 mile round trip commute to and from work currently. This involves a couple of 6-8% grades and a mix of about 70% ~55+mph speeds and 30% sitting in traffic. Living in the bay area, California, weather is mild to warm.

Although I may be able to charge at work in the near future (waitlisted for EV spot), currently I will need to make the drive on a single charge.

I've already begun reading all about the gotchas with the leaf and think I prefer a late model '13 to '14 year SL. I have a BT OBD II scanner and have downloaded LeafSpy, so I will be taking that shopping with me once I learn what the readings are and how to interpret them.

Is a 52 mile commute in these conditions practical? What about 62 miles on a single charge if I decided to go out for food during lunch?

I'm aware this all depends on battery condition, so I'm shooting for the best conditioned leaf I can get.

Thanks in advance for all the great resources and advice here. :D
Last edited by hackdroot on Sat Apr 15, 2017 1:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

speedski97
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Location: Whittier Ca

Re: 52 mile commute possible/practical on '13-'14 SV

Sat Apr 15, 2017 1:24 pm

Maybe a 30 KWh leaf , Volt, or Bolt. What is your Alt gain and loss over the trip? You can use Google earth to check. think you would have a problem on the fast driving days or hot and cold days.
Last edited by speedski97 on Sat Apr 15, 2017 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

hackdroot
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Location: East Bay Area, CA

Re: 52 mile commute possible/practical on '13-'14 SV

Sat Apr 15, 2017 1:28 pm

72' to 1000'

Edited OP: Not sure if I was clear, the 52 miles are round trip (26 miles to work)

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Stanton
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Re: 52 mile round trip commute possible/practical on '13-'14 SV

Sat Apr 15, 2017 1:47 pm

It all depends on speed: are you going to keep it under 60?
I don't think the temps will be a huge factor...assuming you don't need to run the heater.
I'd say no problem with a "new" Leaf, but anything more than 2BL could be a problem, especially if you extend it to 60 miles RT.
FWIW, I was still seeing 50-mile range at 4BL (but always < 60mph).
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alozzy
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Re: 52 mile round trip commute possible/practical on '13-'14 SV

Sat Apr 15, 2017 2:27 pm

Try out theEV trip planner here:

https://www.evtripplanner.com/planner/2-8/

Try these values after providing your start and end point:

  • Speed Multiplier: 1.0 (for lead foots, increase. Grannies, decrease)
  • Cabin Temp (°F): 70
  • Ext Temp (°F): change this to match conditions you expect in winter, spring/fall, and summer
  • Payload (lb): This includes everything in the car, such as the driver, passenger, and luggage
  • Wind (mph): for a conservative estimate of range, assume some headwind (5 mph)
  • Intial Charge (%): 100
  • Buffer Charge (%): 10

If you can share a screenshot of the results, that would be interesting...
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cwerdna
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Re: 52 mile commute possible/practical on '13-'14 SV

Sat Apr 15, 2017 2:27 pm

speedski97 wrote:Maybe a 30 KW leaf .

You mean 30 kWh. OP would then need to consider a '16 SV or SL, '16 "S 30" or '17+...

kW and kWh are very different metrics. It's the same as confusing gallons with horsepower. Think of kW = horsepower, kWh = gallons.

If one charges at 1 kW (or 1000 watts) for 6 hours, 6 kWh came out of the wall. If it's at 6 kW for 1 hour, it's also 6 kWh. If it's 1 watt for 6000 hours, it's also 6 kWh.

One pays for electricity at home in cents per kWh. There are a few utilities w/residential plans where they not only bill per kWh but also have demand charges, but that's rare and complicates calculations. (Demand charges aren't unusual on many commercial plans.)

A 24 kWh Leaf has ~21 kWh usable battery but since charging isn't 100% efficient, it takes more than 21 kWh out of the wall to fully charge a dead Leaf. viewtopic.php?p=155305#p155305 has some figures, but it was before the '13+ Leaf w/optional 6 kW on-board charger.

(BTW, 1 hp = ~0.746 kW. And, many .gov sites say 1 gallon of gasoline=33.7 kWh.)

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hackdroot
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2017 12:54 pm
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Location: East Bay Area, CA

Re: 52 mile round trip commute possible/practical on '13-'14 SV

Sat Apr 15, 2017 2:40 pm

alozzy wrote:Try out theEV trip planner here:

https://www.evtripplanner.com/planner/2-8/

Try these values after providing your start and end point:

  • Speed Multiplier: 1.0 (for lead foots, increase. Grannies, decrease)
  • Cabin Temp (°F): 70
  • Ext Temp (°F): change this to match conditions you expect in winter, spring/fall, and summer
  • Payload (lb): This includes everything in the car, such as the driver, passenger, and luggage
  • Wind (mph): for a conservative estimate of range, assume some headwind (5 mph)
  • Intial Charge (%): 100
  • Buffer Charge (%): 10

If you can share a screenshot of the results, that would be interesting...


At 105 degF, usually peak summer temps. and 250lb payload.
Figures in parens is 27degF, lowest winter temps.

Distance 26.2 miles
Driving Time 0:41
Charging Time 0:00
Total Trip Time 0:41
Total Energy Used 6.4 kWh (6.8 kWh)
26 RM (28 RM)
Average Efficiency 246 Wh/mile (259 Wh/mile)
Net Elevation Change 548 feet

With traffic it's a good 50-60 mins.

LeftieBiker
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Re: 52 mile round trip commute possible/practical on '13-'14 SV

Sat Apr 15, 2017 2:50 pm

You can find slightly used '16 30kwh SV models for about $17k. A used '16 S30 would be even less. That would be your best bet, unless charging at work will be certain in the near future. It isn't that you can't do that commute on a 24kwh leaf, it's just that you'll come to hate doing it over time.
2013 "Brilliant Silver" SV with Premium Package and no QC, and 2009 Vectrix VX-1 with 18 Leaf cells.

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jjeff
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Re: 52 mile round trip commute possible/practical on '13-'14 SV

Sat Apr 15, 2017 2:55 pm

I would have no problem doing 60 miles with my 12 bar Leaf in all but teens or colder for temps or a very strong head wind, I figure 70 miles in optimal driving conditions. My '12 which is missing 2 bars is lucky to make 60 miles on the best days. My driving is mostly freeway, 65mph.
You wouldn't be able to make your 52 mile commute going 70-80mph but with a 12 bar Leaf in CA you shouldn't have a problem. Hopefully by the time your battery would start to deteriorate you'll have work place charging, which even if only L1(120v outlet) it would make all the difference in the world. Note another failsafe is if you happen to have a L3 or even fast L2 en route, for the days you may be in a real hurry and maybe pushing a bit of a head wind. After driving the car for a bit you'll start to learn how much extra charge you might have or what percent it takes to get to work. If you don't have at least that much on your way home, you'll have to start looking for at least a short time charging on the way home. The nice thing about EVs is if you happen to get stuck in traffic it will actually help your range(vs driving say a steady 60 mph) opposite of ICE vehicles where bad traffic can use more fuel.
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Phatcat73
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Re: 52 mile round trip commute possible/practical on '13-'14 SV

Sat Apr 15, 2017 3:49 pm

You're in CA. Lease or buy a new vehicle and get the $2500 state rebate. This way you'll have peace of mind regarding range, warranty and degradation. Deals are hot if you shop around.
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