Given the Rapidgate issues with the 2018 Leaf, can a 250 mile highway trip be realistically taken in this car?
I live in the NYC area, and about once a month I make one of two long-distance highway trips: either a 250ish mile trip to the Boston area, or a 250ish mile trip to the Washington D.C. area. These are usually weekend trips, so I drive 250 miles up on Friday, and then 250 miles back on Sunday.
These trips are mostly along Route 95, where the speed limit ranges from 55 MPH to 65 MPH. Let's say for 33% of the trip it's 55 MPH and for 66% of the trip it's 65 MPH. I usually drive the speed limit, in the right lane, dropping my speed by 5 MPH when going up hills.
After spending a lot of time reading through the Nissan Leaf section of Speak EV, my understanding is that the throttling of DC fast charging speeds in the 2018 Leaf does not happen during your second Fast Charge but rather during your third Fast Charge. Is this true?
Here are 2 different ways I would see these trips panning out:
1. Charge to 100% just before leaving. Drive 125 miles at 55-65 MPH. DC Fast Charge for 40 minutes or so up to 80%. Drive another 125 miles. Level 2 charge at destination. Repeat on the way back 2 days later.
2. Charge to 100% just before leaving. Drive 90 miles at 55-65 MPH. DC Fast Charge for 20 minutes or so. Drive 80 miles at 55-65 MPH. DC Fast Charge for another 20 minutes. Drive 80 more miles. Level 2 charge at destination. Repeat on the way back 2 days later.
If I have enough range at 55-65 MPH to drive 125 miles, then I would go with option 1 every time. But if weather, elevation, headwinds, HVAC, etc. prevent this, then I would go with option 2 just to be safe. The problem is that option 2 involves a second fast charge, and I haven't been able to get consistent info on whether this second fast charge is throttled or not. Speak EV says no. Bjorn says yes. What says this forum?
Maybe this is overly optimistic, but it seems that in the summer, driving 125 miles at 65 MPH is very doable in the 2018 Leaf. I recently did an 80 mile highway trip in the 2017 Leaf, at similar speeds of 55-65 MPH (though probably 2/3 at 55 and 1/3 at 65), and this only consumed 54% of the battery (started at 92%, ended at 38%). At that rate, this would mean that the 107 mile EPA rated 2017 Leaf has a real world range of 148 miles (albeit in 90 degree weather, with the AC set to 75 degrees, and the fan speed set to 2, and at a median speed of probably 58ish). Or, slightly more conservatively, the trip computer said I averaged 4.8 miles/kWh, times say 28 kWh of usable battery capacity, which equals 134.4 miles of range. Either way, if in optimal conditions the 2017 Leaf has 25% more range at 58 MPH than its EPA rating, then driving 125 miles, or even 150 miles, in the 2018 Leaf at similar speeds seems entirely possible....