1ahayward
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2018 5:46 am
Delivery Date: 12 Dec 2018

Cold climate owners' experience wanted

Thu Dec 13, 2018 5:29 am

I bought the 2018 Leaf last night. We're having typical December weather here in Minnesota: 20's (F) for highs and single digits for lows. It will get colder. My daily commute is 13 miles round trip. I've been advised by my local electric company that my detached, unheated garage's regular 120V outlet ought to handle the car's charging needs - at least until I see how I really use it. I have a friend in St. Paul who has used Trickle for the entire time she's owned her 2016 Leaf. I'd appreciate other folks' experience with this issue. I think I'm particularly worrying about the car sitting outside all day when it's really cold (windchill of -20's is common) in January and the battery isn't fully charged.

LeftieBiker
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Re: Cold climate owners' experience wanted

Thu Dec 13, 2018 5:50 am

Don't worry too much. First, windchill affects mainly living creatures, second bodies of water, and, dead last, solid objects. Its effect on your Leaf will be only to get it down to ambient faster, not below. I had my 2013 SV parked in the open, on the usually-downwind side of the Hudson River, with temps as low as -15F. I also used 120 volt charging only. Keep the state of charge above 40% as much as possible, and always above 30% when exposed to frigid temps, because the battery warmer will start when the car's pack temperature falls into the single digits. The warmer will use a noticeable but not huge amount of charge until the pack warms back into the teens F, IIRC. With your short commute you can charge the car to between 70% and 100% (80% would be best) and not worry. Your car can deal with your Winters better than with really Hot Summers.

Just as an extra precaution, don't leave the car plugged in but not charging unless the battery warmer is on. (This is indicated by one of the blue charging lights lighting up, IIRC.) Earlier versions of the Leaf could suffer from a drained 12 volt accessory battery if left plugged in but not charging for many hours or days. This has probably been resolved with the 2018, but that isn't a known fact, yet. You shouldn't need to charge the car for more than half the day, anyway.
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rogersleaf
Posts: 248
Joined: Sun May 18, 2014 7:50 pm
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Leaf Number: 307726
Location: Kent, Ohio

Re: Cold climate owners' experience wanted

Thu Dec 13, 2018 7:19 am

Just add that my ‘14 seemed to work better if it was driven daily during extreme cold. Speculate that a little exercise was keeping the battery temps in a more productive range. In my case have an attached unheated garage that rarely gets below freezing on sub-zero nights. When it was too cold for enough range to make my commute, would leave it parked outside, partially charged, and unplugged for several days while my CRV was being used and parked inside. If I expected to use the leaf, would bring inside a day ahead of time to rewarm the batteries slowly, then fully charge, preheat while plugged in and drive it for short errand trips. Then, it seemed to deliver a bit more range. If I only drove the leaf every other day in extreme cold, it seemed to deliver less usable range.

Don’t become too over concerned about extreme cold, it’s a better cold weather car than many will admit as long as properly equipped for the cold. Just make sure to maintain enough charge on the battery to run the battery warmer.
2014 SV - Brilliant Silver - returned 1/2017 at end of lease.
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jjeff
Posts: 1854
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:10 am
Delivery Date: 13 Jul 2014
Leaf Number: 422121
Location: MSP MN

Re: Cold climate owners' experience wanted

Fri Dec 14, 2018 5:36 pm

1ahayward wrote:I bought the 2018 Leaf last night. We're having typical December weather here in Minnesota: 20's (F) for highs and single digits for lows. It will get colder. My daily commute is 13 miles round trip. I've been advised by my local electric company that my detached, unheated garage's regular 120V outlet ought to handle the car's charging needs - at least until I see how I really use it. I have a friend in St. Paul who has used Trickle for the entire time she's owned her 2016 Leaf. I'd appreciate other folks' experience with this issue. I think I'm particularly worrying about the car sitting outside all day when it's really cold (windchill of -20's is common) in January and the battery isn't fully charged.

As others have said, it will work but one of the nicest features of our Leaf(morning warmup) will cause your Leaf to lose many % SOC. With a nice 20a 240v EVSE you won't lose charge and even slightly gain charge.
I got by with 120v for 1 winter but have been much happier with 240v :)
Note in sub zero temps I would only expect 1/2 the summer range, my 75 mile Leaf could be as low as 35 miles in sub zero temps and snow, ~40s in 0 temps. The plus side is the Leaf has a pretty good heater and with preheat it's nice to get into a 70 degree car when it's zero out :)
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IssacZachary
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Re: Cold climate owners' experience wanted

Fri Dec 14, 2018 5:41 pm

In Colorado with nights as cold as -40°F I came to appreciate the level 2 EVSE I got. Not that you can't get by with a level 1 EVSE, but having that 240V "6kW" charging capability was sure nice.

As others have explained, if you turn on your cabin preheat with it plugged into a 120V outlet you will lose some range. That may not be as bad in a 40kWh Leaf as it was in my 24kWh Leaf, but it is nice to start out with 100% and a warm car.

Wind chill down around -20° to 20°F isn't a problem for a Leaf with a 15°F battery as a human with a 98°F body. It's like trying to factor wind chill for our bodies in 70° to 100°F weather. The cold will affect the performance, but that is not affected much by the wind.

Wind chill on a 180°F engine is a much bigger problem.
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LeftieBiker
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Re: Cold climate owners' experience wanted

Fri Dec 14, 2018 6:00 pm

As others have explained, if you turn on your cabin preheat with it plugged into a 120V outlet you will lose some range. That may not be as bad in a 40kWh Leaf as it was in my 24kWh Leaf, but it is nice to start out with 100% and a warm car.


Keep in mind that he has a 13 mile round trip commute. ;-) No need to worry about losing 10% charge to some preheating.
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.

SageBrush
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Location: Colorado

Re: Cold climate owners' experience wanted

Fri Dec 14, 2018 6:03 pm

Weather posts about 'wind chill' are calibrated for humans and are meant to express a loss of insulation. The scale does not apply to a LEAF battery.

OP: why do you not trust your local friend's experience ?

I second other posts: if you can install 240v at a reasonable cost it is totally worth it. I paid about $200 for a 14-50 outlet.
2013 LEAF 'S' Model with QC & rear-view camera
Bought off-lease Jan 2017 from N. California
Car is now enjoying an easy life in Colorado
03/2018: 58 Ahr, 28k miles
11/2018: 56.16 Ahr, 30k miles
-----
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BrockWI
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Re: Cold climate owners' experience wanted

Sat Dec 15, 2018 9:26 pm

jjeff wrote:As others have said, it will work but one of the nicest features of our Leaf(morning warmup) will cause your Leaf to lose many % SOC. With a nice 20a 240v EVSE you won't lose charge and even slightly gain charge.
I got by with 120v for 1 winter but have been much happier with 240v :)
Note in sub zero temps I would only expect 1/2 the summer range, my 75 mile Leaf could be as low as 35 miles in sub zero temps and snow, ~40s in 0 temps. The plus side is the Leaf has a pretty good heater and with preheat it's nice to get into a 70 degree car when it's zero out :)


I agree with jjeff. The time I have had issues is was when it was -20F and the car sat outside for 16 hours (at worked & can't plug in) and I lost some range due to the battery warmer kicking on and the battery getting colder. 30 miles is about the worst I have seen when it was really cold and the car had 0 temp bars :) However the Leaf "started" just fine while some other ice cars couldn't :)
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GlennD
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Leaf Number: 410357
Location: Anaheim

Re: Cold climate owners' experience wanted

Sat Dec 15, 2018 10:25 pm

SageBrush wrote:Weather posts about 'wind chill' are calibrated for humans and are meant to express a loss of insulation. The scale does not apply to a LEAF battery.

OP: why do you not trust your local friend's experience ?

I second other posts: if you can install 240v at a reasonable cost it is totally worth it. I paid about $200 for a 14-50 outlet.


I spent less than that as a DIY project. It was inspected when my panel was replaced. I used to have the dreaded FPE panel. Current rules require a 200A or better panel so I have lots of room for more breakers.
:
2013 Pearl White SL Premium
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Loved the VW but it sat too low for my old body
Back to a Cirrus White 2017 B250e
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SageBrush
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Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:28 am
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Location: Colorado

Re: Cold climate owners' experience wanted

Sun Dec 16, 2018 5:38 am

[quote="GlennD"]
I spent less than that as a DIY project./quote]
Absolutely. My $200 was to bring out an electrician
2013 LEAF 'S' Model with QC & rear-view camera
Bought off-lease Jan 2017 from N. California
Car is now enjoying an easy life in Colorado
03/2018: 58 Ahr, 28k miles
11/2018: 56.16 Ahr, 30k miles
-----
2018 Tesla Model 3 LR, Delivered 6/2018

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