freezingkiwis
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue May 09, 2017 9:21 pm
Delivery Date: 12 Oct 2017

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

Tue May 09, 2017 9:27 pm

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?

alozzy
Posts: 348
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:25 pm
Delivery Date: 18 Jan 2017

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

Tue May 09, 2017 9:40 pm

Only you can really answer this, as you are most familiar with your usage patterns.

I would suggest that you go to plugshare.com, or install the app on your phone, and see if your usage patterns would lend themselves to L2 public charging.

If you buy an SV or SL, then you can add about 6 kWh to the pack per hour (roughly 25 miles of range per hour) of L2 charging, so you can top up fairly quickly.

If there are L3 (DCQC) options, and you buy a Leaf with a CHADEMO port, then you can top up MUCH quicker.
Canadian with a US 2013 Ocean Blue SV + QC, purchased 01/2017 in WA
Zencar 12/20/24/30A L1/L2 portable EVSE
1-1/4" Curt #11396 hitch
After market, DIY LED DRLs
LeafSpy Pro + Konnwei KW902 ELM327 BT OBDII dongle
Big grin, enjoying my first BEV :D

LeftieBiker
Posts: 6126
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 31 May 2013
Location: Upstate New York, US

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

Tue May 09, 2017 10:11 pm

To answer your question, just look at the most miles you will ever travel in one day, then add 20% for the unexpected and for degradation. That number is what you need to look for in a car's range. The length of the trips isn't as important. I suggest you NOT assume partial recharges, for those days when you can't do them.
2013 "Brilliant Silver" SV with Premium Package and no QC, and 2009 Vectrix VX-1 with 18 Leaf cells.

The most offensive, tasteless phrase in use here is "Pulled the trigger." I no longer respond to posts that use it.

Bjorn1349
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2016 4:40 am
Delivery Date: 17 Nov 2016
Location: Lew-Vul, KY

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

Tue May 09, 2017 10:36 pm

Allright, so no one can ever give a solid answer, and that's because the car, range, etc, can vary so much. I was in the same boat a couple months ago but I just went for it and bought a damn Leaf. They are dead cheap right now.

Here's my experience so far: Anyone who knows more please feel free to correct me. I'm still new and learning.

I get about 60 miles of stated range with 80% charging. Keep in mind that the last 20 miles are really not there. The charge gets below 20% at around 20-23 miles, which from my reading, you don't want to go below 20% or its bad for the battery. So really I have 40 miles a day of driving range.

Thats fine for me. I go 10 miles to work and back most days. I only have the level 1 stock EVSE cord. It's been fine so far. However, if I want to run an errand in the morning and drive to work and back I tend to run into the low charge/warning lights about battery level. I believe that if I want to use the car for more than to work and back I will need a level 2 charge system to be able to recoup enough range to use the car like I would a normal gas vehicle. The recharge on a lunch hour is unusable with the stock cord. It's not bad, just being realistic about what you can do.

I can make a 20 mile, 40 round trip, journey no problem. The car is very efficient. It's doing that and then running another trip in short order that kills the car for me.

I charge every other day. If i have 65 miles of range at 80% on Monday morning, I can do the 8.9 miles to work and back on Monday and Tuesday but I have to recharge Tuesday night to be able to make it the next day. Throw in one small trip outside those 20 or so miles and I start hitting the low range/charge limits. The car says I have 20+ miles to go but the warnings come on. I am also at 5.4 miles/kWh according to the car. I have no app to read the "real" values from the car. I am just going by the dash lights and meters.

Hope thats helpful. It's a great car and I really like mine but the range i have been getting is far below what is advertised and I drive like a granny. Just my experience so far.
I know it works fine, but I can make it work better!

alozzy
Posts: 348
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:25 pm
Delivery Date: 18 Jan 2017

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

Tue May 09, 2017 11:14 pm

@Bjorn1349, I don't know the health of your battery pack, but for sake of argument let's say you have 20kWh of useable battery capacity, since that's a nice round number...

If you are managing to eke out 5.4 miles/kWh, then you are doing really well - sounds like there aren't many hills on your usual routes. Each kWh represents roughly 5% of pack charge, so if you have 25% remaining charge on the dash then you can likely go another 20 miles before you hit the very low battery warning (at approx. 8% SOC). Again, not unlike with an ICE car, the low battery warning light doesn't mean your Leaf is about to die - you've got a good buffer before you really need to worry. If I remember, I reset my trip counter when the LBW light turns on.

I don't make a habit of hitting the VLBW, no more than I made a habit of running on fumes in my ICE car, but I don't worry about it if it happens once in awhile.

It's easy to let range anxiety ruin your enjoyment of the car, I choose not to let that happen...
Canadian with a US 2013 Ocean Blue SV + QC, purchased 01/2017 in WA
Zencar 12/20/24/30A L1/L2 portable EVSE
1-1/4" Curt #11396 hitch
After market, DIY LED DRLs
LeafSpy Pro + Konnwei KW902 ELM327 BT OBDII dongle
Big grin, enjoying my first BEV :D

DarthPuppy
Posts: 427
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:45 pm
Delivery Date: 11 Aug 2013

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

Tue May 09, 2017 11:18 pm

A lot depends on the details of your situation. If you can have a level 2 charger (some will insist on calling it EVSE) at your home and your multiple trip days have half hour to an hour between them, you could find the car meets all your needs. If your area has decent public charging available, you might not need the home charging upgrade. And of course, if your area does have that, then your flexibility goes up further.

If you go with the 30kwh version with 107 mile range and only charge to 80%, that suggests 85 mile range when you start the day (best to assume no more than 70ish). If your longest trip is 50 miles round trip, you are in good shape on that. If it is 50 miles one way, 100 miles round trip, you will not likely be happy unless you have time and reliable access to charging at the far end. If you will do multiple 20 mile trips, you should be good for 3 of those, more if you can plug in between trips. If you know the day before and change the charging pattern to 100%, then 4 such trips should be a breeze. Plus any time you can plug in between your trips will give added flexibility/comfort. If you are looking at the 24kwh versions, you will need to be more cautious in your planning. Also, remember that batteries degrade over time. So if you want to keep it as your car for a long period, you will probably want to go with the higher range to start with.

One point of annoyance will be that they removed the ability to have the car stop charging at 80%. You can still get there using a little math and a timer but Nissan really needs to fix this.

LeftieBiker
Posts: 6126
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 31 May 2013
Location: Upstate New York, US

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

Tue May 09, 2017 11:25 pm

The charge gets below 20% at around 20-23 miles, which from my reading, you don't want to go below 20% or its bad for the battery. So really I have 40 miles a day of driving range.


Actually, you can go down to the Low Battery Warning as often as you like, provided you recharge back over 20% immediately afterward. And lots of people drive to the Very Low Battery Warning regularly, with the same caveat - recharge right away, at least to 20-25%. I'd try to avoid going BELOW the VLBW, if only because you need LeafSpy running to tell you exactly how much juice and range you have, down that low. So you can safely use maybe 10 of those last 20-23 miles.
2013 "Brilliant Silver" SV with Premium Package and no QC, and 2009 Vectrix VX-1 with 18 Leaf cells.

The most offensive, tasteless phrase in use here is "Pulled the trigger." I no longer respond to posts that use it.

GetOffYourGas
Posts: 1387
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 6:56 pm
Delivery Date: 09 Mar 2012
Location: Syracuse, NY

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

Wed May 10, 2017 7:05 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?


Where do you live/ what is your climate?

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.
~Brian

EV Fleet:
2011 Torqeedo Travel 1003 electric outboard on a 22' sailboat
2012 Leaf SV
2015 C-Max Energi (302A package)

joeriv
Posts: 54
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:33 pm
Location: Fairfield County CT

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

Wed May 10, 2017 7:39 am

I use my 2013 S for exactly what you stated - basically an in-town car for short errands, some highway etc. I can only tell you that after 3+ years and 16,000 miles, I have not dropped any bars. Some times I charge twice in one day, sometimes every 2-3 days depending on usage, sometimes it sits for 2-5 weeks while traveling with a 12 volt trickle charger. I routinely charge to 80% and have charged to 100% maybe 20 times in three years, never below 20%. The weather in CT is not extreme and my garage is never over 80 degrees in the summer, so I think conditions are quite favorable for battery health.

No guarantees but I would guess that my Leaf will be a 8-10 year car with the original battery, and by that time replacement batteries will be cheaper so I expect to go beyond that.
Leaf S with QC, DEC 2013 mfg date

Dooglas
Posts: 101
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:08 pm
Delivery Date: 04 Jan 2017
Leaf Number: 314779
Location: Oregon City, OR

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

Wed May 10, 2017 10:33 am

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.
2013 Leaf SV - lease ended, 2016 Leaf S30

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