Kieran973
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:51 pm
Delivery Date: 20 Jun 2018

Is the Nissan Leaf more prone to charging issues than other EVs and PHEVs

Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:45 pm

Hi everyone,

So, first, some context for the thread title.

I recently rented a 2017 Leaf for 24 hours because I'm thinking about buying one. I find dealership test drives stressful, awkward, and not very helpful, so lately I've been renting specific EVs/PHEVs on Turo for 24 hours and doing a more extended test drive that gives me a better sense of the car's real world efficiency, ride and handling, seat comfort, etc. Also, because of the charging situation where I live, renting allows me to test how the car charges at my place.

I don't own my own home - I rent an apartment that has a detached garage in the driveway. This garage has electricity with several 120V outlets, but the garage itself is old and while I am no electrician, some of the wiring looks like not the most professional work. I actually paid an electrician recently to come out and put a GFCI and plastic rain cover on the 120V outlet that I plan to use for whatever EV or PHEV I end up buying.

Anyway, when I got the rental 2017 Leaf home and plugged it into the 120V outlet in the garage with the brand new GFCI, the car wouldn't charge. The green "ready" light on the EVSE was lit up, and the plug icon was lit up on the Leaf's instrument panel, but no matter how many times I tried, I couldn't get the Leaf to actually charge. I read all the relevant sections in the Leaf manual, and I read several threads addressing similar problems on this very forum, and I tried all the fixes that worked in those situations (like making sure the charging schedule in the infotainment screen was turned off), but none of this worked. The weird thing is that I rented a Prius Prime in April and plugged it into the exact same 120V outlet and the car charged just fine. So at first I thought maybe there was a problem with the EVSE that came with the Leaf. But when I returned the Leaf the next day, the owner used this same EVSE and plugged it into a 120V outlet at his house and the Leaf took the charge.

Any ideas why this might have happened?

More importantly, which brings me back to the question in the thread title: are Nissan Leafs particularly sensitive to charging issues? Like are they more prone to not taking a charge than other EVs or PHEVs? The reason I ask is, again, the Prime had no problem charging in my garage. Also, when I took the 2017 Leaf to an EVGo quick charge station (after it wouldn't charge on the 120V outlet at my apartment and I had to return it), it charged for 16 seconds before abruptly turning off, and then I had to restart the whole process all over again. I'm considering both the 2017 and the 2018 Leaf, but if the Leaf is more fickle when charging compared to other EVs/PHEVs, I might have to go with a different option. I also may need to get the electrician back over here, but I'm trying to avoid paying for any more capital improvements to my landlord's property since I don't own it.

Any insight anyone could provide would be appreciated.

GerryAZ
Gold Member
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Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:47 pm
Delivery Date: 12 Jun 2011
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Is the Nissan Leaf more prone to charging issues than other EVs and PHEVs

Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:58 pm

A bad ground at the receptacle could cause the EVSE to not close its contactor and allow the car to charge. The older Leafs can tolerate a wide voltage range so low voltage is probably not the issue.
Gerry
Silver LEAF 2011 SL rear ended (totaled) by in-attentive driver 1/4/2015 at 50,422 miles
Silver LEAF 2015 SL purchased 2/7/2015

LeftieBiker
Posts: 9228
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 31 May 2013
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Is the Nissan Leaf more prone to charging issues than other EVs and PHEVs

Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:47 pm

Did you try pressing the charge timer override button? Timer issues are the #1 cause of Leafs failing to charge.
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.

flydiver
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:14 am
Delivery Date: 20 Mar 2018
Leaf Number: 337789
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Is the Nissan Leaf more prone to charging issues than other EVs and PHEVs

Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:17 pm

Old wiring, probably not ground. A GFI is acceptable to put in an ungrounded outlet, BUT, that does NOT ground it. You absolutely have to have a solid, grounded connection for the Leaf. I had that problem myself. 120v ungrounded (1940's house) outlet in the garage would not work. Had to snake the EVSE cable through the garage door to the computer room, which we luckily rewired when we remodeled the bathroom.

Did that for a few weeks before we had an electrician wire a dedicated 220v circuit into the garage. Expensive but much nicer/faster.

Can't speak to 'other' EV, but with the voltage being piped I'd be surprised if they all didn't have stringent requirements.

LeftieBiker
Posts: 9228
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 31 May 2013
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Is the Nissan Leaf more prone to charging issues than other EVs and PHEVs

Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:44 pm

Old wiring, probably not ground. A GFI is acceptable to put in an ungrounded outlet, BUT, that does NOT ground it. You absolutely have to have a solid, grounded connection for the Leaf.


It's my understanding that the green Ready light won't light if the ground is bad.
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.

flydiver
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:14 am
Delivery Date: 20 Mar 2018
Leaf Number: 337789
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Is the Nissan Leaf more prone to charging issues than other EVs and PHEVs

Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:26 pm

You can purchase a simple plug-in diagnostic device to detect proper wiring from the hardware store. It has a number of LED lights and a key to determine what is wrong with standard household wiring. Good to have around.
I don't know why the other plug-in car would work, but the Leaf will not unless properly wired.
IMO, having GOOD SAFE wiring for this kind of use is important no matter which vehicle you choose.

This might help you with your diagnostics. I had my stock Panasonic ESVE upgraded and got this with the returned unit.
http://evseupgrade.com/evse-quick-reference.pdf

Kieran973
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:51 pm
Delivery Date: 20 Jun 2018

Re: Is the Nissan Leaf more prone to charging issues than other EVs and PHEVs

Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:51 pm

Thanks, everyone, for your posts so far. Sounds like I need to get the electrician back out here. Probably the best thing to do would be to run a dedicated circuit from the circuit board to this outlet.

It's just weird because the outlet does work. I charged a Prius Prime on it, I've tested it with lamps and cell phone chargers, etc. And there is some kind of electrical communication between the Leaf and the outlet, because the green "ready" light on the EVSE lights up, as does the yellow plug icon on the instrument panel. And I triple checked that the charge timer was turned off.

I actually have one of those plug-in diagnostic devices, but I forgot that I own it. I used it to test the outlet right after the GFCI was put in, and everything was fine. I'll check again tomorrow.

But it sounds like the Leaf is not especially prone to charging issues like these, at least not more so than other EVs/PHEVs, and that the problem is most likely the old wiring in my garage?

Kieran973
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:51 pm
Delivery Date: 20 Jun 2018

Re: Is the Nissan Leaf more prone to charging issues than other EVs and PHEVs

Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:33 pm

Just used the plug-in diagnostic device on the GFCI outlet. The reading says "open ground" which I assume is the same thing as "ungrounded"?

Just so I know when the electrician comes by, what is the safe/correct/best thing for him to do in this situation? Should he run a brand new "grounded" 120V/15A wire? Or if I'm paying for him to run new wiring, would it make sense to just put in a 240V/40A wire/outlet and an L2 EVSE?

Thanks.

flydiver
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:14 am
Delivery Date: 20 Mar 2018
Leaf Number: 337789
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Is the Nissan Leaf more prone to charging issues than other EVs and PHEVs

Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:50 pm

Open ground = no ground. A GFI is a acceptable way to turn a ungrounded 2 prong into an ungrounded 3 prong.
Yeah, you can just put in a 3-prong plug but you aren't supposed to and may have trouble with that when you sell. And it's still not grounded.

To fix this the panel needs to be grounded and you need to run a circuit from there. If you are going to do that, most of the expense is in the labor. Highly recommend a 220v outlet if the panel will support it. You need to discuss both of those issues with the electrician before going forward.
I had to have some circuits juggled to get a free breaker for 30A/220v. Old house, recently converted from 60A fuses, to 100A breakers and maxed out there.
Last edited by flydiver on Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

GerryAZ
Gold Member
Posts: 1780
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:47 pm
Delivery Date: 12 Jun 2011
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Is the Nissan Leaf more prone to charging issues than other EVs and PHEVs

Fri Jun 22, 2018 5:22 am

Kieran973 wrote:Just used the plug-in diagnostic device on the GFCI outlet. The reading says "open ground" which I assume is the same thing as "ungrounded"?

Just so I know when the electrician comes by, what is the safe/correct/best thing for him to do in this situation? Should he run a brand new "grounded" 120V/15A wire? Or if I'm paying for him to run new wiring, would it make sense to just put in a 240V/40A wire/outlet and an L2 EVSE?

Thanks.


The ungrounded GFCI complies with NEC (and probably your local Code), but a solid ground is needed for the Nissan EVSE to function. A 240V circuit and L2 EVSE is the way to go because the faster charging allows for more miles of use each day. A 240V 50A circuit with 14-50 receptacle would give you the most flexibility if your service panel can support it.
Gerry
Silver LEAF 2011 SL rear ended (totaled) by in-attentive driver 1/4/2015 at 50,422 miles
Silver LEAF 2015 SL purchased 2/7/2015

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