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How often do you charge?

Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:18 am

So Leaf owners.. how often do you have to charge your leaf? I know it depends on use, but if you have a minimal day of use (20 miles or less), do you still charge it overnight back to a full charge, or do you just let it go down to low levels before you charge it?

Should you charge it ever night? What is better for the battery?
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Re: How often do you charge?

Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:19 am

Avoid having it sit at 100% charge for hours. That means charging as needed instead of to 100% every day or night.
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Re: How often do you charge?

Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:27 pm

If your daily drive is nice and regular, then work out how much energy it uses on average (I just use the dash energy economy meter and trip odo), and then figure out how much time your charger needs to replace that energy. Specify both a start AND end time so that your car charges for at least that long, during your power utility's lowest-price time that's still prior to your daily departure. Activate that timer for every day of the week that you expect to be a "typical drive" day. Depending on how much ten-minute "rounding up" you had to do on the charge time, the car's charge level will slowly ratchet up over many days. When it gets high enough that you can make two days' drive and still have some comfort margin (40% charge, say) remaining, skip plugging in that night; otherwise, just plug in every night. If you're just changing over to this policy from a "let the car charge 100% every day" one, let the charge burn off as previously stated before resuming the nightly plug-in.

If you've got a 2nd-gen (2018+) LEAF, its charge timers include a feature whereby they'll automatically be disabled anytime the car is away from its GPS "home" location. I was astonished that Nissan's designers would add something that useful after only five years of begging on the forums, but I really recommend it; you won't need to remember to hit the "timer override" button if you ever need to use a public L1/L2 charger. Another benefit: if someone has to unplug/replug your car, charging will resume (at least, it COULD, depending on the arrangements on the EVSE itself).

And of course, if your weekends are equally repeatable but with a different typical driving distance, you can configure the other timer for them.

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Re: How often do you charge?

Thu Sep 27, 2018 1:33 pm

I was much more careful with the 2012. With the 2015 I tend to put it on the plug most days after driving. It's not the best approach for longevity but I bought the car to use it and I don't want to be stuck with insufficient range in the event the need crops up. I charge to 100 percent and sometimes days go by. It has probably cost me a few percentage points but at the end of 3 1/2 years of lease I had 12 bars and battery was in sufficiently good shape for me to purchase the vehicle.
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Re: How often do you charge?

Thu Sep 27, 2018 2:31 pm

Right now I charge once a week during the work week and 2-3 times on my weekends (which is 3 days) all on QC. Come Winter, I will likely switch to 1-2 hours per day during work week and as needed during weekends.

I haven't spent a second over 75% SOC in several weeks.
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Re: How often do you charge?

Thu Sep 27, 2018 6:51 pm

I charge my B when the dash meter shows 75%T.

This is 75% of 80%.

When I had my Leaf's I charged to 80% also'

Current Leaf's and my eGolf charged to 100%. Charging fully makes for better EPA numbers but early Leaf's were told to only charge to 80%. Mercedes is very conservative and does not allow the battery to be fully charged.
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Re: How often do you charge?

Mon Oct 01, 2018 7:15 am

All my charging is level 1. I typically charge when I get under 40%. I charge from a 120v outlet in a parking garage at work, which usually gets me back to around 80%. My commute is 25 miles round trip, and I usually end-up charging 2 – 3 times per week. I do charge to 100% about once a month.

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Re: How often do you charge?

Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:20 pm

I got my 2018 in September, so I haven't had many charge sessions, but I try to limit my Level 2 charges at home. I have been testing the limits on the battery, to see how low I can safely go before charging it over night. I haven't been driving much, since I started working from home, so I haven't needed to charge much.

However, while on the road, I try to check out local Level 2 chargers to see how to use them, how fast they charge, etc. I typically limit my stay on these chargers to 1 hour; so far I've hit 4 of them, each on a separate day. I expect to explore more.

The Nissan manual says to limit the amount of CHAdeMO quick charges, since they can stress the battery if performed too often. I don't see a need for quick charges unless I do long distance driving. I rarely do long distance driving.

From what I have read about Li-ion batteries, their ideal operation is at 20 - 80% capacity, which is why many people try to limit the charge on their EVs to 80%. However, I have seen graphs from studies that show operation at 10 - 90% capacity does not take much life away from a battery, so that is the range I typically aim for on my phone and EV. is a good site for more info.

Also, the car's charge timer "Home" feature was mentioned in a reply post. That "Home" feature is only available in Leaf trims with Navigation. Mine is the Leaf S trim, so I don't Navigation or that "Home" feature. I use the charge timer, though, and hitting the override button is simple enough, since it is located next to the charge port lid button.
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Re: How often do you charge?

Mon Oct 01, 2018 9:41 pm

On most work days, I charge every day. Since I have a '13, I can limit it to 80%. My routine on most Mon to Thurs are: go to work, charge to 80% at work, go home and go back to work, charge to 80% at work, etc. Since charging at my work has become real busy, I tend to not plug in until after at least 5 pm. By then, nobody's in the queue to charge and it limits how much time my car spends at 80%.

If I were to charge to 100% at work, I can go home, to work, home and then work again before charging at work.

On some days, after work, I charge to 100% if I need to somewhere in the opposite direction of work.

On Fridays, I normally charge to 100% at work and try to also charge at free public L2 charging on the way home to at least 95% (will leave at some point when the car is ramping down charging speed per Leaf Spy Pro). Weekends are irregular but those are the days I tend to keep it at high SoC from picking up free juice. On Sunday night, I only care about having enough to make it to work, say 20 to 2%. 25% is more than enough make it to work on a dry day, even w/unexpected detours. I go to maybe 28 to 30% on cold rainy days.

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Re: How often do you charge?

Mon Oct 01, 2018 10:04 pm

My Leaf is my largest cell phone on wheels that I own and I treat it as such. When I get somewhere with an outlet, I plug it in. If I drive down the hill and back for a grocery run and come back at 94%, I plug it in. Move the car in the driveway and it is still at 100%, plug it back in and let it re-balance. Life is too short to care or worry about battery longevity. After the 35k or 37k miles (haven't checked in a while) it is at, I still get 80-85 miles of VERY SPIRITED and routinely high speed driving (speed limit is 75mph posted, traffic flows at 5-15mph faster than that) per charge on nice day with all bars, but probably not for long.

If I lived on the equator I may treat it differently but it is just not worth it. 5-7 years of worry and hassle to prolong battery life by 20%? At current replacement rates ($8500) that's $1700. I'll pay $1700 to not worry about it and just drive the darn thing. And in my specific case being at above 85% at this age versus those that have spent a car's-life of worry means I am equal. So it has cost me nothing to not care.
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