My first road trip

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We have been driving Leafs since 2011. At the beginning of 2021, we had 4 cars, a 2014 Leaf S which we had since it was new, a 2013 Leaf S we bought in 2015 as a lease return with 8,000 miles, a 1999 Subaru and a 1998 Volvo. The Subaru was our trip car for many years. We had just acquired the Volvo and planned to sell the Subaru when it was stolen while our son was using it. At the time, it was a buyers market, so we leased a new 2020 Leaf SV+. The lease price reflected state and federal tax credits and a factory rebate. We figured we could use the SV+ for trips like the one to my sister's about 150 miles from our home in Portland, Oregon where I could plug into her dryer outlet and charge overnight. The Volvo was for longer trips. We gave the 2013 to our son, who uses it for local use and charged it from 120 volts. He and his fiance have a Prius for trips

Everything was good for about a month when I got a call from our son. He and his fiance were in a small town about 100 miles from home, headed to the coast in the Volvo and they were rear ended, totalling the car. No public transportation or rental cars available, so I had to retrieve them. I knew I would have to charge on the way home and stopped at an EVGO station. I couldn't start the charge with the EVGO app, so I spent about half an hour with EVGO support and they got the charge started. When it was done, it wouldn't release, so another call was required. Not a good first experience with public charging.

My next road trip was a one day round trip from Portland to Port Angeles, Washington, about 450 miles total to drop off some friends for a sailing trip. We charged at a Nissan dealer in Olympia in each direction (free for Leafs) with no problem. I also needed to charge in Port Angeles. The local Nissan dealer had a free L3 charger which died half way through the charge. I completed the charge at a nearby EA charger next to a Mach E. Total cost was about $4. Not perfect, but not too bad

The next road trip was ambitious, from Portland to Santa Cruz down the Oregon coast and through the redwoods in the fall of 2022. The first day was fine. A lunch charge at a Casino in Florence, Oregon and a motel in Brookings, Oregon which had an L2 charger. When we arrived, a Jeep PHEV was using the charger, but he finished and we charged overnight. Next day we charged in Klamath, California at a Chargepoint station. Poor cellphone coverage, but I was able to get the charge started by connecting to a nearby WiFi hotspot. That night we had a reservation at a Motel/RV Park in the Redwoods. When we made the reservation, we were promised a 240 volt 50 amp hookup. It wasn't available because they gave the hookup to a big RV. We charged on 120 overnight which gave us enough to get to an L3 charger. We charged just North of San Francisco and stayed with my wife's sister in Santa Cruz where we plugged into her dryer outlet. Our trip home had an overnight stay at a motel with some Tesla destination chargers which worked fine with our Tesla to J1772 adapter. We had an EVGO charger die half way through a charge in 100° plus heat, but we made it home without major problems.

After that trip, we decided to get either a PHEV or a Tesla. By fall of '22 it was a seller's market. We couldn't find any decent prices on a PHEV. I finally found a 2018 Tesla Model 3. We were able to sell the SV+ for substantially more than the lease buy-out amount, so that helped.

We have taken several long trips in the Tesla. We have never had a problem with a Supercharger not working and never had to wait for a charger. The nominal range is 305 miles. We went from Denver to Grand Junction which is about 240 mileson I-70 at over 80. We started at about 95% and were at about 12% when we arrived. We went from there to Salt Lake City the same day and ran into the worst problem charging in Price, Utah. We arrived late at night and the Tesla navigation said we had arrived at the Supercharger. We were in the middle of block with nothing in sight. Plugshare came to the rescue. A check in said it was behind the Dairy Queen, which was just across the street and dark. When we pulled into the DQ parking lot, we saw the Superchargers and were on our way 20 minutes later.

Tomorrow morning a Tesla mobile service tech is coming to our house to install a CCS retrofit which includes a CCS adapter so we can charge on virtually any L3 charger.

Next weekend we are going to Victoria via the Port Angeles ferry. We'll have to stop once on the way to charge for about 20 minutes. We're staying at an Airbnb with an L2 charger.

In a couple of years, charging almost any EV except a Leaf should be as easy as charging a Tesla. When I need to replace the Tesla, I probably won't get another one. I am sold on EV's and I doubt I'll ever get another ICE car, even a PHEV. Our 2014 Leaf has almost 90,000 miles and has needed no repairs. It still shows 12 bars and our only expenses have been tires and 12 volt batteries.

The Tesla now has over 90,000 miles snd has lost less than 5%. The battery and drive train warranty is good for another two years. We keep cars for a long time. Our 2011 Leaf replaced a 1990 Subaru that we bought new. It had almost 300,000 miles on it at the time. It is possible that we'll have the Leaf and the Tesla until we're too old to drive. I wouldn't mind a real self driving car at that point, but I don't think we'll have those in my lifetime. I named the Tesla Vaporware because so many of Elon's promises are. I will never buy another Nissan product as they have given the corporate middle finger to Leaf owners by refusing to provide CCS or NACS support.
 
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After I bought my 2019 plus, I did one 300 mile trip, as well as the return. Each trip took two 45 minute stops to charge. I bought dinner, checked emails, did some office work. it was very fun once but not something I will do regularly. I found my efficiency rose when I drafted behind semi trucks which I did quite a bit. My destination was Minneapolis which has less ChadMo chargers than my Iowa town of 75,000 people.
 
Last week we bought our second Tesla model 3. My wife was in the Costco parking lot when a full size Chevy crew cab pickup backed into her. Our poor 2014 Leaf S was totaled. No injuries , fortunately.

Thanks to Hertz, used Tesla Model 3's are cheap. While I would never buy one from Hertz, we bought a 2019 SR+ (260 mile nominal range) from a friend for $20,000 and we got the federal used EV tax credit credit, so our out of pocket was $16,000. They bought it new and it has 26,000 miles. They sold it because they bought a new Model Y. It looks new. It is pure stock, except for a Lithium 12 volt battery. I have an appointment to have the CCS retrofit installed and it will need new tires soon. It has three years left on the battery/power train warranty. Based on our experience with our 2018 model 3, I do not expect to have significant repair costs. With new tires and the CCS retrofit, I would not hesitate to drive either Model 3 anywhere in the country. Tesla Superchargers are plentiful along pretty much any interstate. If I wanted to take back roads, I would check Plugshare carefully.

What ever you think about Mr. Musk, our Tesla ownership experience has been easier than any car we previously owned, including our four Leafs. In almost two years, we have needed two repairs. The 2018 needed a new charging port door. We knew that when we bought it. $120 parts and labor, installed by mobile service at our house. The second was a new 12 volt battery. $110 installed at home. This was in response to a message to replace the 12 volt battery soon. Compared to our first Leaf 12 volt battery failure where we got a misleading error message and an attempt by the Nissan dealer to charge us $230 to install a new battery, this was painless.

As we no longer drive a Leaf, I'll probably monitor these forums occasionally. Our son and his fiance still have our old 2013 S. They have been driving it since 2021 and it has been much more reliable than their Prius, which recently needed a head gasket. We EV drivers don't need no stinking head gaskets.
 
What is your feeling of the relative efficiency of the Leaf vs SR+? In my limited driving of the Bolt, Kona, Niro, and M3 Standard Range vs. Leaf; only in the Kona was I able to do better than the Leaf for mixed driving.
 
We haven't had the SR+ long enough to measure efficiency. Range is more important to me than efficiency. While efficiency was important in the 24 KW 2014 Leaf, our 2019 Tesla SR+ should get to any regional destination on a single charge. Our 2018 Tesla is a long range RWD model with a nominal range of 305 miles. With the Leaf, we had to worry about using the heater, air conditioner or defroster. Heated seats and steering wheel allowed us to keep heater use down in our mild climate where winter temperatures are usually in the 40's. The only way to avoid using the defroster was with a rag. With the range of the Teslas, this is not an issue. Nissan beat Tesla by several years with a heat pump. Neither of our cars has one. I think Tesla introduced them in about 2021.

Both Teslas are RWD. They handle better than the 2020 Leaf SV+ we had. Last week we did a 200 mile back roads drive with a group of friends with our 2018 LR. Most of them were driving sports cars, a mixture of 2 seat Mercedes and BMW's with a Triumph TR3 for good measure. We had no trouble keeping up with them on the curves. We had the air conditioning on most of the time. We were able to do the trip without a recharge.

My requirement for range is that the car's range combined with the availability of reliable chargers needs to be greater than my bladder. Both our Teslas meet both of them. Our 2020 Leaf SV+ met the first requirement, but not the second.
 
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