DanMannyMan
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:16 am

Does a LEAF make sense for me?

Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:13 am

Hi everyone! I am sold on the fact that the LEAF is a great car. I want one. However, I'm nervous about how well it would work for my situation, and I've done a TON of research on the car. Hopefully some of you can provide advice.

I live in Nashua, New Hampshire and commute 31 miles (mostly highway 60-70 MPH) to work in Wilmington, Massachusetts. Obviously we have some cold winters, and I'm concerned that this commute might be right on the edge of making it to/from work in a worst case scenario. I haven't asked work yet about charging, but I'm assuming they'd be willing to run an extension cord for me to charge at the least.

At home, I don't have a garage. The house is old and has no external outlets either, so I'd have to get that installed. The junction box is new at least. I'm not sure if the car should be covered while charging in the case of snowfall.

From my reading, I think I'd want a 2013 or newer to get the heat pump. I'd definitely be buying used. That's what makes researching hard; it's tough to find real-world reporting on the range of older models, how well they function in the cold, and their range in different driving situations.

Any thoughts on this? Does a LEAF make sense for me? Thanks for any advice in advance.

oz10k
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Joined: Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:29 am
Delivery Date: 18 Oct 2017
Leaf Number: 313665
Location: Northwest Chicago burb

Re: Does a LEAF make sense for me?

Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:22 am

The short answer, yes.

If you can level 1 charge at work you'll be fine. But if you must use an extension cord, make sure it's appropriately rated. You may even want to consider a multi-current EVSE that allows you to charge at 8 amps (there are several available on Amazon).

I don't think you need to cover the car when charging, but others with more experience may have more to say.

A heat pump is the better option, but if you can charge at work I don't think it's a deal-breaker. The heated seats work very well, the heated steering-wheel is OK (tends to be either too hot or not hot enough). On the really cold days try to stay at 60 MPH and if you start getting nervous about the battery level use the heater only as-needed to keep the windows clear.

DanMannyMan
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:16 am

Re: Does a LEAF make sense for me?

Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:41 am

oz10k wrote:The short answer, yes.

If you can level 1 charge at work you'll be fine. But if you must use an extension cord, make sure it's appropriately rated. You may even want to consider a multi-current EVSE that allows you to charge at 8 amps (there are several available on Amazon).

I don't think you need to cover the car when charging, but others with more experience may have more to say.

A heat pump is the better option, but if you can charge at work I don't think it's a deal-breaker. The heated seats work very well, the heated steering-wheel is OK (tends to be either too hot or not hot enough). On the really cold days try to stay at 60 MPH and if you start getting nervous about the battery level use the heater only as-needed to keep the windows clear.


Thanks for the response! Would you say that it's critical that I charge at work? I know that newer models with greater range would probably be fine, but what about a 2013-2015 model?

BillHolz
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2016 6:32 am
Delivery Date: 07 May 2016
Leaf Number: 322345
Location: Norfolk, VA

Re: Does a LEAF make sense for me?

Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:52 am

I bought my 2015SV Leaf to do a slightly shorter commute (54 miles RT) and it did great with just charging at one end or the other except for a couple times in the winter with snow on the roads. With the much longer winter that you have, the only way it would be feasable is if you have reliable charging at both ends. Install a good 40A or greater 240V circuit at home for an L2 EVSE and at least that extension cord you mentioned at work for L1 charging while at work.

In answer to your question to the other post, yes you will need to charge somewhere besides home during the winter with snow on the roads. It can be at work or anywhere along the way but looking at plugshare, there are several places along the way to charge but very few DC fast charge which makes any stops to charge take longer. An L2 EVSE that you stop at will give you about 20 miles of winter driving per hour of charge assuming the 6.6KW charger.
2015 SV no QC

downeykp
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Re: Does a LEAF make sense for me?

Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:05 am

I would pass. Your car will be especially cold in the type of winter weather you have. What happens if you get into a winter traffic jam? Heater will eat up a lot of your battery capacity especially in below 0 temperatures.
This car is much better in milder climates.
2011 Black Leaf SL+QC Vin. 1931
Res. 6-14-10 Order 1-25-11
EVSE: Mod'd Ver. 2 Nissan L1
Delivered 5-31-11

7 years 33000mi. 8 bars

39 Suniva panels 10.3kw with Enphase micro inverters my electricity cost $21.87 a month.

oz10k
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:29 am
Delivery Date: 18 Oct 2017
Leaf Number: 313665
Location: Northwest Chicago burb

Re: Does a LEAF make sense for me?

Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:08 am

Keep in mind, all I'm giving you is my opinion. :)

Yes, in your case I think being able to charge at work is critical. For the first year or two you it may only be an issue on the odd days that are REALLY cold or REALLY snowy. But are you planning on keeping the car for 3, 4, or 5 years? By then there will be a significant number of days when you WILL need to charge while you're at work.

FYI. You can get a multi-voltage, multi-current EVSE that will let you charge at 120 or 240 volts at various amp levels. In my opinion 40 amp capacity is nice, but is not necessary. Live with what you get for a while, then you'll be in a better position to decide what works best for you.

For more opinions, read some the threads in the EVSE/Charging sub-forum.

Ron

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Stanton
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Re: Does a LEAF make sense for me?

Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:26 am

Not unless you secure some reliable L2 charging. While a newer (2018+) Leaf might help range issues in the cold, you still need to sort out your charging options.
2011 Blue Ocean SV w/floor mats & window tint
12v LiFePO4 battery & FIAMM 74100 horns
Wet Okole seat covers (front)
Tor's low-power heater mod
2013 sun visor
3G modem upgrade
L2 EVSE Upgrade
Battery Pack replaced (Rev E) @51 months and 41k miles

Reddy
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Leaf Number: 006828
Location: Pasco, WA

Re: Does a LEAF make sense for me?

Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:46 pm

DanMannyMan wrote:...I live in Nashua, New Hampshire and commute 31 miles (mostly highway 60-70 MPH) to work in Wilmington, Massachusetts. Obviously we have some cold winters, and I'm concerned that this commute might be right on the edge of making it to/from work in a worst case scenario. I haven't asked work yet about charging, but I'm assuming they'd be willing to run an extension cord for me to charge at the least.....
Summary: 62 mi RT at 70 mph in winter with a 5+ yr old Leaf. Sorry, you will definitely be "on the edge". I wouldn't recommend it unless you have 240V charging both at home and at work. Yes, this might work for a few years, even many winter days, but not everyday every condition. If you REALLY want to make this work then you need to pre-plan a few options: Slow down, switch to a gas car or telecommute during the worst days, find a couple of charging stations along the route, plan on shopping on your way home, etc. Looking at Plugshare, you have several DCQC good options, so perhaps this will work.
Reddy
2011 SL; 9 bar, 45.80 AHr; 45,000 mi; rcv'd Aug 18, 2011
Long: http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.p ... al#p226115"
Cold: http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.p ... 60#p243033"

DanMannyMan
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:16 am

Re: Does a LEAF make sense for me?

Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:00 am

I appreciate all of the opinions and information, thanks!

My current plan is to keep my Prius running for another year (maybe 2), while I save for a LEAF. I'll work on getting a charger installed at work. The state of Massachusetts will pay 50% for charger installation, but the funds are exhausted for the year for the parts of the state where most people live. It seems like that would be a great incentive!

LeftieBiker
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Re: Does a LEAF make sense for me?

Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:16 am

Have you considered leasing and then buying a Prius Prime?
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.

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