GlennD
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Re: No regular commute but plenty of assorted errands: Leaf still suitable?

Wed May 10, 2017 10:40 am

freezingkiwis wrote:There's a lot of discussion on these boards about regular commutes - a certain number of miles on a regular basis, with regular nightly charging - but what's the typical battery life when your driving habits are made up of completely random assorted trips?

Anything from 5miles to 50miles at a time. Some days no driving whatsover, some days multiple 20mile trips.

Does anyone have this sort of experience? Is it even better suited to these assorted random trips, or does regular usage with solid charging cycles in between suit the Leaf battery better?

Does it even matter at all? Can you maintain the battery life regardless?


As a retired person I put very few miles on my EV. In nine months I have 6000 miles.

If 50 miles is one way you are pushing it. If it is round trip then it is doable. If not consider a longer range car like the Bolt.
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GetOffYourGas
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Re: No regular commute but plenty of assorted errands: Leaf still suitable?

Wed May 10, 2017 10:56 am

Dooglas wrote:
GetOffYourGas wrote:The only issue I have with multiple short trips is in the winter when I have passengers. I have small children in car seats, so I use the climate control to keep the cabin warm for them. The rear heated seats are useless. Climate control takes a huge hit on range at the beginning of the trip, much less so once things are up to temperature. Unfortunately, with many short trips (and no opportunity to plug in between them), I take that hit a lot and the heater is basically running at full tilt (6kW) the whole time the car is on.

Other than that, I have seen very little difference between many short trips and one long trip. In the summer time, my total range is the same in both cases.

And that is a great argument for both having an L2 EVSE at home and preheating BEFORE you start out.

And more generally, my experience has been like yours. I see no great difference in range between several short trips or one longer trip - unless the difference is confounded by something like a substantial period at freeway speeds.


I think you misunderstand me. Neither L2 at home nor preheating helps my case significantly. See the bolded part of my original statement.
~Brian

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IssacZachary
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Re: No regular commute but plenty of assorted errands: Leaf still suitable?

Wed May 10, 2017 1:41 pm

I got my Leaf for my odd errand life style. Some days I drive it 2 miles, others 60, others 100 miles.

  • Have you kept record of your driving? I thought I was only driving about 5 miles per day average. Turns out I was doing a lot more.
  • When and where can you charge? Especially during the winter I take an hour long lunch break and charge off of L2 on a 40A EVSE. That throws on another 30% for the day.
  • How flexible are your errands? I can do a lot of mine another day or later the same day after a charge. Therefore I don't have range problems.
  • Do you know your errands in advance? If I know I'm going to have a lot going on for a certain day I charge to 100% and am more careful in driving efficiently. Otherwise I charge to 80%.
  • If you need to charge during the day, only charge to 80%. You'll get more distance for less charging time that way, even if you have to charge multiple times. So instead of taking a 3 hour luch to get to 100% for the rest of your afternoon, charge for an hour during lunch and then an hour for another break later on.
  • What options do you have for emergencies? How close is the hospital? How far out do you go? Can you call a friend or a taxi if need be? Is there a CHAdeMO station nearby? Would a foldup bicycle in the trunk be an option?
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BrockWI
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Re: No regular commute but plenty of assorted errands: Leaf still suitable?

Wed May 10, 2017 2:01 pm

As others have said it really comes down to a total number of miles driven. My wife is a school nurse and runs between six schools depending on who calls her and whenever during the day. We have a VW TDI wagon and she was using that, it REALLY hated driving 5 miles stopping for and hour and driving 5 miles again. That is why we really started looking at Leaf's in the first place, they don't care about stopping starting, no warm up time. She drives between 20 and 120 miles, usually about 40 miles a day. She often runs home for lunch, also between schools, and we have low rate from noon to four in winter and she could charge for 30 minutes putting another 15% back in. My work happens to be towards the center of her schools as well and once in a while I will come out to find my car, the TDI, gone and a Leaf in it's spot with 10% left :) but enough for me to get home. So it works for us.

Honestly in the dead of winter if she can run 40 miles in the snow with low heat, enough to keep the windshield clear, she is lucky. In spring and fall she can run 70 miles with no heat, and if she can charge at lunch she can run another 15 on top of that, did I mention she drives fast ;)
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gshepherd
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Re: No regular commute but plenty of assorted errands: Leaf still suitable?

Thu May 11, 2017 6:46 am

It sounds to me like the OP was asking about battery longevity rather than range on a charge.

I run my own business and work at home. Car-wise it's a bit like being retired. There are times I won't drive for several days. Most days I try to get out, but it may only be a few miles to pick up groceries, home improvement supplies (no house project is complete without blood, sweat, tears, and at least three trips to Home Depot), or check the mail. Perhaps once a week I'll head to the municipal airport where I keep my airplane. That's a 35 mile round trip. Very occasionally I'll push the range of my 30 kWh battery and go out on a real drive, which may involve public charging.

In addition, the car is stored for six months at a time while I head to warmer weather for the winter.

So, no regular commute for me!

In a nutshell, I try to follow the recommendations for long battery life in the owner's manual. Primarily that is to avoid leaving the car sitting for extended periods at either full or low charge. I believe it also cautions against multiple DCQC per day.

For long term storage, 60% charge, unplugged, and connecting a Battery Minder on the lead-acid 12V worked out well. Last winter's storage didn't bother it one bit.

Now I've only had my car for a year and just over 3000 miles. Fact of the matter is all batteries degrade. It's a matter of how fast. Instead of debating synthetic vs natural oil, how often to change the oil, or what grade of gasoline to use, we EVers can talk about charging and driving habits. :-)
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IssacZachary
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Re: No regular commute but plenty of assorted errands: Leaf still suitable?

Thu May 11, 2017 7:33 am

I'm going on 45,000 miles and still have a full 12 bars of battery life left! The main thing is the heat. Keep it cool and it will last.

And as already mentioned, short trips all day long is where BEV's rock, especially in cool weather! For ICE vehicles the short trips, especially in cool weather, is what kills them. At the rate I'm going I'll be getting over 200,000 miles out of my Leaf and still have plenty of charge left to keep going and still getting 110 electric MPG! But I've seen multiple ICE vehicles having mechanical problems long before that due to driving them in the cold and constant starting and stopping. Plus that kind of driving is horrible for fuel mileage. I get about half the fuel mileage around town as I do on the highway in my ICE vehicle.
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Dooglas
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Re: No regular commute but plenty of assorted errands: Leaf still suitable?

Sun May 14, 2017 2:39 pm

GetOffYourGas wrote:I think you misunderstand me. Neither L2 at home nor preheating helps my case significantly. See the bolded part of my original statement.

It would certainly mean that your vehicle cabin would be warm when you left home. Are you saying that you take many short trips during the day, but your vehicle sits for a long period of time between each trip?
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GetOffYourGas
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Re: No regular commute but plenty of assorted errands: Leaf still suitable?

Sun May 14, 2017 4:36 pm

Dooglas wrote:
GetOffYourGas wrote:I think you misunderstand me. Neither L2 at home nor preheating helps my case significantly. See the bolded part of my original statement.

It would certainly mean that your vehicle cabin would be warm when you left home. Are you saying that you take many short trips during the day, but your vehicle sits for a long period of time between each trip?


Yes. The vehicle sits for an hour or more between trips. When it is sub-zero out, that is more than long enough to completely cool off the car. Hence, it would not help significantly. It would help for the first 5-mile trip, but wouldn't help any subsequent trip. And I realize that this isn't the most common use of the car. But I will leave work to head the <3 miles home. I shuffle the kids into the car and immediately, drive 5 miles to take my daughter to gymnastics. An hour later, we are off to take my son to martial arts. An hour later, we're off again to the grocery store...

The OP mentioned frequent short trips without mentioning where he lives. I just bring it up as something that was unexpected to me, but makes perfect sense.
~Brian

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2011 Torqeedo Travel 1003 electric outboard on a 22' sailboat
2012 Leaf SV
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