garyd9
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:47 pm
Delivery Date: 23 May 2019
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (USA)

Re: possible new leaf owner - wanted to say 'hi' and ask some questions

Wed Apr 24, 2019 5:56 am

Leather seats: I have no problems with the typical hot/cold leather seats as I'm always wearing pants. I also have no issues with dead cows, sheep hair, plant skin, etc. Even purely synthetic seating surfaces can be related to dead animals or plants (even if only as a side effect of the chemical processes and pollution.)

@alozzy, how are the seats uncomfortable (beyond the center console?) The last time I bought a smaller car (a new ford focus), something in the driver seat drove into my right thigh and after a month or two was causing me actual pain while driving. It felt like a metal bar was pushed up in just the wrong place. The dealer told me everything was fine, so I ended up taking a major loss to get out of the painful car. I don't want to repeat that again (but it's very difficult to find those problems until you've driven around for a week or two.)

I appreciate all the replies so far. Please keep them coming.

Except, @evoforce, I'm not sure I understand your reply. I get the feeling that you're trying to say something without just coming out and saying it. Can you please elaborate? It appears that you aren't happy with the leaf, but suggesting that "something else" is better without more detail isn't really helpful. Also, could you tell me if you think your issues with the battery are general Leaf issues, or might be related to living in AZ?

Thank you
Gary

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SalisburySam
Gold Member
Posts: 304
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:01 am
Delivery Date: 24 Feb 2012
Leaf Number: 018156
Location: Salisbury, NC

Re: possible new leaf owner - wanted to say 'hi' and ask some questions

Wed Apr 24, 2019 6:18 am

garyd9 wrote:How is the leaf's comfort for an almost 6 foot tall man who is a bit overweight? I've test driven the leaf, but often times a test drive doesn't reveal some comfort issues that might be experienced driving every day.

I've read (in this forum) that some people seem to have a major problem with the leather trim seats in the Leaf. However, I can't seem to find reference to any specific problems. Is it a poor quality leather, too thin, or... what? I know that some people (who wear shorts often) don't like leather because it gets hot/cold, but that's really not a concern for me.

Eventually, I'd wire a 220 jack/charger in my garage, but probably NOT the 220v, 50amps that the nissan supplied cable expects. Am I correct that if I use a different EVSE that's designed for lower amperage, that it'd actually supply less amperage to the car?

How does the car handle and feel on a highway going 65-75 MPH? Obviously, the "engine" wouldn't be noisy, but is there much wind noise? Is the drive smooth? (No dealership wants to let me drive their car on a highway to test this myself.)

As someone who's never before owned (or leased) an EV, is there anything else I should know?


First of all Gary, welcome to the forum and to prospective LEAFing! Converting to EV is a wonderful experience in so many ways, and today’s options are pretty wonderful compared to the marketplace back in 2010 when I registered to order my LEAF. EV’s have progressed from “early adopter” vehicles to almost mainstream, in my view. I think that is because of the much greater range today’s EV’s have.

As to your queries:

1- I’m 6’2”, 250 lb, have no difficulty getting into or out of my LEAF, and I find the seats very comfortable. The LEAF is still a compact/subcompact car so I wouldn’t call the interior roomy, but indeed it is comfy. As a point of comparison, it is MUCH easier to get into/out of my LEAF than my Model 3. Right knee room is the biggest restriction for me if I get in the car after my wife has left the seat forward. In my normal driving position, even that isn’t much of a factor. My SL has cloth seating as leather was not offered on model year (MY) 2012. Like others, I prefer cloth to leather/pleather/vegan leather for comfort reasons, but that’s a personal preference.

2- As to highway driving, remember this is a real car, not a go-kart. It drives very well and smoothly at Interstate speeds. I get more road noise from the tires against whatever odd surface was last used to re-pave than I do wind or other noises...just like most cars. Obviously there are no ICE noises, but also no high speed whines from the motor nor electrical noises at speed. I also don’t understand why a dealer would not want to have you experience highway driving. I was encouraged to take mine out on the highway.

3- Lastly, I’d reconsider the choice to NOT provide a 240v charging opportunity. While many owners use 120v for their typical short commutes, and that can certainly work, a dedicated 240v charging solution is a wonderful convenience. If you have any thoughts of spending any money at all for your home’s charging setup, and you can afford to do so, I can’t strongly enough recommend a 240v solution for the speed, convenience of being able to leave the vehicle’s own charging cable in the car for emergencies, and safety of not sharing a circuit with other home uses. Also as to how much juice actually gets to the car while charging is dependent upon several things: the vehicle will only accept a certain amperage, a given EVSE will only provide a certain amperage, an electrical circuit will only provide a certain amperage, and the lowest of these rules. Circuit wiring is driven by National Electrical and local codes specifying wire size for given amounts of distance, current, and voltage and circuit breaker sizes to handle that. EVSE’s are designed to take that juice, temper it to the load the car wants and do so using standard, typically J1772, connections that have built-in safety features to allow, for example, charging in the rain outside without electrical leakage. And the vehicle will only accept so much current at a time. So, after all this, my recommendation is to determine how you want to typically park the car, determine where you want an installed EVSE to reach the vehicle’s charging port, hire a local and licensed electrician to provide current 25% greater than the maximum the car and EVSE can accept, and get ‘er done. By the way, this should “future proof” your EVSE for other vehicles you may acquire. The AeroVironment EVSE I purchased through Nissan back in 2012 provided 32amps to the vehicle, which my 2012 can’t use so the car is the limiting factor. I use the same EVSE today still for my LEAF and also for my Model 3 which can accept 48amps so the EVSE is now the limiting factor in my setup for the Tesla, even though I have it on a circuit designed to provide 60amps to the EVSE. I had this wired in case I ever wanted to buy the Tesla EVSE which can provide that 48amps to my car.

Apologize for the long rant...and good luck with your decisions and EV ownership!
Nissan 2012 LEAF SL, 13,500 miles, 9 bars, 70.4% SOH, 46.19 Ahr

Tesla Model 3: Long Range Rear Wheel Drive | Extended AutoPilot | Full Self-Driving
Delivered: July, 2018 | 7,800 miles
Get 1000 miles free Supercharging: https://ts.la/john70942

rogersleaf
Posts: 249
Joined: Sun May 18, 2014 7:50 pm
Delivery Date: 22 Mar 2019
Leaf Number: 307726
Location: Kent, Ohio

Re: possible new leaf owner - wanted to say 'hi' and ask some questions

Wed Apr 24, 2019 6:26 am

Gary,
From your original post, making an assumption that you have more than one car in the household. The key aspect to remember about the LEAF is it does many things very well, but the technology is not the best for long distance usage where the battery is recharged multiple times per day. That’s where the 2nd car becomes important. If your intended usage is a local commuter & grocery getter, it can be a fine choice. Are there betting battery systems on the market? Sure... If you never use the car in hot climate conditions, Nissan’s passive battery cooling is not likely to contribute to significantly faster degradation than more complex & expensive systems.

My usage conditions in NE Ohio are similar to Pittsburgh except for the hills. I would be more concerned about cold weather (keeping the battery warm and cabin heat) and ample reserve capacity for the hills. 40KWh should be ample for what you described for many years. I’m running up to 100 miles/day into Cleveland, mostly 65-70 mph expressways on @ 2/3 the battery at most. Focus your concerns on home charging, ability to leave it plugged in to pre-condition the cabin in Winter, other comfort concerns. Whatever choice you make, do not get talked into a LEAF without the weather package. There are many currently in stock this way around Pittsburgh with aggressive pricing. Also, ask your dealer about utility company based rebates, it’s what separates LEAF from the crowd on price and provides cost parity to comparable ICE vehicles. Good luck with your choice.
2014 SV - Brilliant Silver - returned 1/2017 at end of lease.
2019 SL - White - w/Tech Package

garyd9
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:47 pm
Delivery Date: 23 May 2019
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (USA)

Re: possible new leaf owner - wanted to say 'hi' and ask some questions

Wed Apr 24, 2019 7:04 am

rogersleaf wrote:From your original post, making an assumption that you have more than one car in the household.
Yes. The leaf would be my "daily driver" for getting to/from work, and occasional errands. Any longer trips or trips requiring storage space would be in the RAV4.

rogersleaf wrote:My usage conditions in NE Ohio are similar to Pittsburgh except for the hills. I would be more concerned about cold weather (keeping the battery warm and cabin heat) and ample reserve capacity for the hills. 40KWh should be ample for what you described for many years.
Okay, you probably have a nearly identical temperature range to me (and a lot more snow.)

I have an attached garage that rarely gets below 50F, so morning cold shouldn't be too much of a problem. I think the SL trim has the battery heater (and the rest of the weather package goodies) included.

That leads to another question: Will the battery heater work when charging from level 1 (110v) or does that require level 2? I do intend to eventually get 220v, but it'll be several months before I do so. I want to have a better feel for what my needs are, which side of the garage I'll be parking in, how cumbersome the cables might be, etc. Oh, and I also want to wait for the PA state rebate check to pay for the electrician and charger. ;)

The dealers here in western PA seem to be very... anti-EV. Not only do they not know about any utility rebates, they actively stonewall when I ask about one I already know of. My electric company offers a $3500 rebate specifically on 2019 non-plus leaf's (some partnership with nissan), but it has to be done via the dealership. (To be honest, without that rebate I wouldn't be considering the car.) The dealership I've talked to claimed ignorance when I asked about that rebate until I insisted that they research it, gave them the rebate code, etc.

WetEV
Posts: 2888
Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 8:25 am
Delivery Date: 16 Feb 2014
Location: Near Seattle, WA

Re: possible new leaf owner - wanted to say 'hi' and ask some questions

Wed Apr 24, 2019 7:16 am

garyd9 wrote:The dealers here in western PA seem to be very... anti-EV. Not only do they not know about any utility rebates, they actively stonewall when I ask about one I already know of. My electric company offers a $3500 rebate specifically on 2019 non-plus leaf's (some partnership with nissan), but it has to be done via the dealership. (To be honest, without that rebate I wouldn't be considering the car.) The dealership I've talked to claimed ignorance when I asked about that rebate until I insisted that they research it, gave them the rebate code, etc.


Car dealerships can be very anti-EV as it partly breaks their business model. Service department is a large fraction of dealership income, and with an EV much less service required.
WetEV
#49
Most everything around here is wet during the rainy season. And the rainy season is long.
2012 Leaf SL Red (Totaled)
2014 Leaf SL Red

rogersleaf
Posts: 249
Joined: Sun May 18, 2014 7:50 pm
Delivery Date: 22 Mar 2019
Leaf Number: 307726
Location: Kent, Ohio

Re: possible new leaf owner - wanted to say 'hi' and ask some questions

Wed Apr 24, 2019 9:23 am

Gary,
Should also know that $3500 utility rebate likely comes with a pre-negotiated price discount for the car if PA’s program mirrors Ohio. The actual value is closer to $6500 off and the dealer makes almost nothing on selling the car. Didn’t figure that out until the dealer called Nissan to factor in the rebate and was told the price. So don’t be surprised if getting some pushback or anti-EV attitudes from local dealers.
2014 SV - Brilliant Silver - returned 1/2017 at end of lease.
2019 SL - White - w/Tech Package

rogersleaf
Posts: 249
Joined: Sun May 18, 2014 7:50 pm
Delivery Date: 22 Mar 2019
Leaf Number: 307726
Location: Kent, Ohio

Re: possible new leaf owner - wanted to say 'hi' and ask some questions

Wed Apr 24, 2019 9:44 am

The battery heater is one aspect, weather package is different & separate.

The battery heater is included on all new LEAFs in your area and works with or without being plugged in. However, it’s only intended for keeping the battery from physically freezing, not keeping it in a temp range to where the battery performs efficiently. I found with my previous LEAF that I had to use the car daily to keep the battery at decent temps in cold weather. If I parked it for several days, they cooled down which cut into range. Keeping it inside the attached garage helps a lot. I found it necessary to drive & charge a day ahead of time to stretch my range after several days of non-use in winter.

The weather package includes heated seats, heated steering wheel and in SV’s rear heat ducts & heat pump HVAC. SL has this standard. You don’t want to be without this package in Pittsburgh.
2014 SV - Brilliant Silver - returned 1/2017 at end of lease.
2019 SL - White - w/Tech Package

garyd9
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:47 pm
Delivery Date: 23 May 2019
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (USA)

Re: possible new leaf owner - wanted to say 'hi' and ask some questions

Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:08 am

rogersleaf wrote:Gary,
Should also know that $3500 utility rebate likely comes with a pre-negotiated price discount for the car if PA’s program mirrors Ohio.


No such luck here. Here's a link to the flyer for the utility sponsored rebate. (I'm a customer, not an employee): https://duquesnelight.com/docs/default- ... il-dlc.pdf

Something new on my power company website: "EV bill credit for plug-in electric vehicles. Receive $60 per vehicle just for letting us know you own or lease an EV." I'm assuming that this is a one-time credit and not a monthly credit. ;)

Lothsahn
Posts: 331
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:35 pm
Delivery Date: 04 Jan 2018
Leaf Number: 007797

Re: possible new leaf owner - wanted to say 'hi' and ask some questions

Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:47 am

garyd9 wrote:Except, @evoforce, I'm not sure I understand your reply. I get the feeling that you're trying to say something without just coming out and saying it. Can you please elaborate? It appears that you aren't happy with the leaf, but suggesting that "something else" is better without more detail isn't really helpful. Also, could you tell me if you think your issues with the battery are general Leaf issues, or might be related to living in AZ?


evoforce is saying buy a Tesla. He provides some valid reasons for doing so (longer range, supercharging network, thermally controlled battery, better safety, better depreciation).

What he doesn't mention is the Leaf is still a very safe car (although not as safe as a Tesla), depreciation on the 40 kWh Leafs vs Tesla Model 3 is unclear (2018 40 kWh Leafs with 20k miles are only $5k cheaper than 2019 new Leafs), the reliability of a Tesla is far worse, and the Tesla will cost significantly more. Early Leaf models depreciated very quickly as better EVs came to market.

With the new battery chemistries, I would expect your battery to last at least 10 years in Pittsburg, PA with significant capacity left (70%+). While the Tesla battery will last longer, I think you're OK. if you lived in AZ, I would not recommend a new Leaf.
2011 Silver SV, purchased 2018, lives in Missouri (previously in CA)
LeafSpy Pro + BAFX Products OBDII dongle
Battery swap 2019/04/24 (87% SOH, 12 bar)

Lothsahn
Posts: 331
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:35 pm
Delivery Date: 04 Jan 2018
Leaf Number: 007797

Re: possible new leaf owner - wanted to say 'hi' and ask some questions

Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:51 am

garyd9 wrote:No such luck here. Here's a link to the flyer for the utility sponsored rebate. (I'm a customer, not an employee): https://duquesnelight.com/docs/default- ... il-dlc.pdf


Pretty sure you get the rebate.

Simply bring to your participating Nissan dealership
(i) a copy of this flyer
(ii) proof of eligible residency
(iii) your current monthly electric bill or current proof of employment with Duquesne Light Company.

If you're a resident and have a current monthly electric bill, you should get $11k off a new Leaf ($7500 federal+$3500 utility). However, the Federal rebate only applies if you have enough taxes to cover the credit. For instance, if you only pay $5k in taxes this year, you'll only get a $5k credit.
2011 Silver SV, purchased 2018, lives in Missouri (previously in CA)
LeafSpy Pro + BAFX Products OBDII dongle
Battery swap 2019/04/24 (87% SOH, 12 bar)

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