Low efficiency - What could it be?

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Lothsahn

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 5, 2018
Messages
680
My 2011 leaf seems to have lower efficiency than others I know of. Driving on the highway at 70mph in 36 degree weather (with a very light rain), with no heat, I got 2.6 mi/kwh. I'm seeing people post averages of 3-4, with one person getting 5.9 lifetime average (at the high end of things).

With an 80% SOH battery, I'm getting 30 miles highway range right above freezing with no heat. This seems low. Any ideas, other than my tires, of what it could be? I'm running Continental Procontacts, which were advertised as low rolling resistance, but I'm starting to have doubts. I've driven another 2011 Leaf and it seems to get much better efficiency.

Thoughts?
 
Toby said:
What are you setting your tire pressure at? Most of us set at 40 psi which really helps.

There's an old post about RANGE EXTENDING which is worth a read.

Thanks for that!

44 psi all around.

I have the heater off switch, and I used it. The heater was consuming no power during this trip. I was blowing cold air out the defrost, and the compressor wasn't turning on. (verified by energy use screen with 0 kw draw)

Slow down definitely works. But it still seemed like my range was too low vs what it should be. I planned the trip with Leafspy so I knew I wouldn't run out of charge, or I definitely would have slowed down!

The GOM - Yeah, mine is way off. 2011/2012 is worse than other years. Showed 60 miles at the start of the trip, and I actually got 30 (starting at 75% SOC). 3 miles left when I pulled in the driveway.
 
That leaves the gremlins, I guess. Have someone observe you driving away, and tell you if there are several small humanoids holding on to the rear bumper, and dragging their feet.
 
You're driving 70mph and in cold weather. Both are not conducive to range. Maybe you should slow down? Do you drive with Leaf Spy? What's the efficiency displayed in the app?
 
I'd also check the temperature of your brake rotors after a drive and preferably if you haven't applied them for a while, coasting to a stop helps in the test. If they are hot you could have a stuck rotor or more. It happened to my '13S and I was getting very poor range, a $500 brake job later and now my rotors are cool and I get much better range.
When you let off on the gas on a flat road do you get pretty good coasting? The Leaf should cost for a long time on a flat road with ECO or B mode turned off or for best coasting put it in neutral.
 
R1200RT said:
You're driving 70mph and in cold weather. Both are not conducive to range. Maybe you should slow down? Do you drive with Leaf Spy? What's the efficiency displayed in the app?
^^^ THIS
 
Lothsahn said:
Thanks. Will check brakes.

Definitely can slow down. Just... Value my time. :)
It's not just the speed, it's the temperature. You have been driving an EV long enough to know that low temps (especially in the 30's F) kill range.
 
Stanton said:
Lothsahn said:
Thanks. Will check brakes.

Definitely can slow down. Just... Value my time. :)
It's not just the speed, it's the temperature. You have been driving an EV long enough to know that low temps (especially in the 30's F) kill range.

Yes... But the battery was warm (heated garage). I know air density matters too.

Just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything else.
 
The idea behind checking the brakes here is to look for "rubbing" beyond the normal intermittent contact between the rotor and caliper (or shoe and drum) that produces enough drag to hurt efficiency, but is still not noticeable while driving.
 
LeftieBiker said:
The idea behind checking the brakes here is to look for "rubbing" beyond the normal intermittent contact between the rotor and caliper (or shoe and drum) that produces enough drag to hurt efficiency, but is still not noticeable while driving.

Agreed, it's not unreasonable to suspect that the moving brake parts are a bit arthritic at 12 years if there hasn't been any brake maintenance done (cleaning and lubrication). Also, replacing the reduction gear oil will likely be beneficial if it's never been changed.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3REPy7rm4a8[/youtube]
 
Lothsahn said:
My 2011 leaf seems to have lower efficiency than others I know of. Driving on the highway at 70mph in 36 degree weather (with a very light rain), with no heat, I got 2.6 mi/kwh. I'm seeing people post averages of 3-4, with one person getting 5.9 lifetime average (at the high end of things).

With an 80% SOH battery, I'm getting 30 miles highway range right above freezing with no heat. This seems low. Any ideas, other than my tires, of what it could be? I'm running Continental Procontacts, which were advertised as low rolling resistance, but I'm starting to have doubts. I've driven another 2011 Leaf and it seems to get much better efficiency.

Thoughts?

In order for "most" people

high speed
degradation
high traction battery resistance
insufficient tire pressure
less efficient tires.
 
Lothsahn said:
Thanks. Will check brakes.

Definitely can slow down. Just... Value my time. :)

Reality check. Any vehicle ICE or EV will have poor efficiency travelling at 70mph.

Air resistance formula: http://spiff.rit.edu/classes/phys311/workshops/w6b/drag_expt.html#:~:text=The%20force%20of%20air%20resistance,the%20larger%20the%20drag%20force.

Air resistance Increases with the SQUARE of speed!!!

And NO wheel covers ain't going to help much at all. The underbelly pans and the overall shape accounts for most of the efficiencies inherent with the LEAF.
 
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