DanCar
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Re: Is Nissan researching a gasoline based electricity generator

Sun Apr 25, 2010 11:36 pm

JasonT wrote:I feel like I'm missing something here - if you want a gasoline range extender, why not just go with the Volt instead?
Pay $5K extra and lug around an addition 600 lbs that I may never use?
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KarenRei
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Re: Is Nissan researching a gasoline based electricity generator

Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:25 am

And not be able to share the generator to boot.

I'd need a generator perhaps 6 times a year. Why should I want to have to have one all to myself? I'd *love* to be able to split the purchase and maintenance costs among many people.

daniel
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Re: Is Nissan researching a gasoline based electricity generator

Mon Apr 26, 2010 7:30 am

DanCar wrote:
LTLFTcomposite wrote:For a longer weekend trip wouldn't it be easier to just rent a regular car?
I think many people, like myself have a personal attachment to their car. The rental process is a pain including the visual inspection. I would think picking up a trailer would be easier, or even easier if a few neighbors shared one.
Renting a trailer would be as much of a hassle as renting a car, but proportionally more expensive because there are so few EVs that very few rental places would have them. The trailers themselves would be more expensive because the market is so small. Not every EV owner would want one, and there are so few EVs. And by the time there are enough EVs on the road to provide a market for trailers, there will be fast-charging stations along all the major routes, and only the minor roads would not have them, so there would still be only a tiny market for trailers, and they would be expensive and hard to find for rent.

As for sharing a trailer among several families, consider: Most people want to take their family vacation in summer during the school holidays. Such a collective of owners would certainly find themselves quarreling over who gets to use the trailer during the most popular holiday dates.
DanCar wrote:Hopefully the OEM makes it easy to add one by having a power socket on the back, trailer hitch, and computer connection.
I believe Nissan has said the Leaf is not capable of towing a trailer. At least, they are recommending against it, which means that if you damage the power train by towing a trailer (perhaps overheat something on a long uphill pull) you might void the warranty.
JasonT wrote:Do I wish the Leaf had more range? Certainly. But I wouldn't dream of hitching a gas engine to it - I'm getting the Leaf to get away from a gas engine!
My feelings exactly!!!

Most people want to be able to take road trips which exceed the limits of these early EVs. But most families own two cars and will not sell both to replace them with EVs immediately. Thus, unless you only own one car (a small minority of those families who could afford a Leaf anyway) you already have a car capable of those longer trips.

As I've said before, towing a stinky old generator behind a non-polluting car is a violation of art.

There's a story about a knife thrower in a circus. His wife was cheating on him, and he knew it, and she knew that he knew it. But she knew that he was incapable of hurting or killing her in the ring, not because he loved her, which he no longer did, but because it would be a violation of his art.
Reserved afternoon of 4/20.
"You can order" email late September, but was out of the country so...
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evnow
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Re: Is Nissan researching a gasoline based electricity generator

Mon Apr 26, 2010 7:49 am

daniel wrote:There's a story about a knife thrower in a circus. His wife was cheating on him, and he knew it, and she knew that he knew it. But she knew that he was incapable of hurting or killing her in the ring, not because he loved her, which he no longer did, but because it would be a violation of his art.
http://www.pkmeco.com/seinfeld/yada.htm

"I wanted to talk to you about Dr. Whatley. I have a suspicion that he's converted to Judaism purely for the jokes."
"And this offends you as a Jewish person?"
"No, it offends me as a comedian."
- Jerry and Father Curtis, in "The Yada Yada"
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KarenRei
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Re: Is Nissan researching a gasoline based electricity generator

Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:19 am

daniel wrote:Renting a trailer would be as much of a hassle as renting a car, but proportionally more expensive because there are so few EVs that very few rental places would have them. The trailers themselves would be more expensive because the market is so small.
So you're saying that a mass-produced generator shoved inside an incredibly simple housing will cost as much as an entire car?

The Long Ranger was, what, $6.5k? Something like that. And they only made a handful.
Not every EV owner would want one, and there are so few EVs.
Nissan's TN plant is designed to build 150k per year. That's Nissan alone. Just for the North American market.
And by the time there are enough EVs on the road to provide a market for trailers, there will be fast-charging stations along all the major routes
30 minutes to 80% versus 5 minutes to full. You don't see the difference to the general public, when it comes to long trips? Don't get me wrong; *I* would find even charging at RV parks to be acceptable for most long trips ;) But I'm definitely not "general public" in that regard.

In terms of making pure EVs acceptable to long-range driving:

1) Trailers come first.
2) Fast-enough rapid charge comes second.
3) Long enough range that neither matter any more comes third.
As for sharing a trailer among several families, consider: Most people want to take their family vacation in summer during the school holidays. Such a collective of owners would certainly find themselves quarreling over who gets to use the trailer during the most popular holiday dates.
One could make the exact same argument about RV rental and airplane flights, and yet somehow they manage ;) The reality is that even though some dates are more popular than others, there's still a very wide distribution of when people go places. Even on the busiest of days, only a small fraction of people who would ever use a trailer will want to use one.
I believe Nissan has said the Leaf is not capable of towing a trailer. At least, they are recommending against it, which means that if you damage the power train by towing a trailer (perhaps overheat something on a long uphill pull) you might void the warranty.
The exact quote is:
Q: Can the Nissan LEAF tow a small boat or garden trailer?

A: At this point, we don’t recommend towing. Longer-term, we hope to provide options for specific needs like yours.
Says nothing about warranties, and shows that they're actually looking into towing. Also, that's about towing "a small boat or garden trailer", which would probably be heavier than a genset trailer.

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evnow
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Re: Is Nissan researching a gasoline based electricity generator

Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:51 am

One more important thing.

Let us say I want to take a week's holiday in SanFrancisco, like we have done before. The route from Seattle, through highway 1/101 is scenic - almost a "must see". I'd like to go in my EV since I can use that as an EV in SFO. My total emissions using EV + generator would be less than if I rent a prius for my trip.

We have to decide what is the ultimate aim - EV for the sake of it or emission/oil use reduction.
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DanCar
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Re: Is Nissan researching a gasoline based electricity generator

Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:50 pm

30 minute charges aren't as good as renting a trailer because if you rent a trailer then only 1 person has to wait, but if you go the 30 minute charger route, then everyone in the car has to wait. So if you ask my wife whether she wants to wait or not, then obviously she will prefer the trailer.

Even more true because the 30 minute wait is multiplied by 3, versus stops for gas. So who wants to wait 1.5 hours when they don't have to?

If there are 4 people in the car then it is 1.5 hours multiplied by 4 versus 5 minutes multiplied by 4. Does 6 hours compare to 20 minutes?

I don't care if there are 30 minute chargers everywhere, I'd rather have a trailer.

Nissan, please, put in the hooks to make adding a trailer easy! :-)
Last edited by DanCar on Mon Apr 26, 2010 2:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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evnow
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Re: Is Nissan researching a gasoline based electricity generator

Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:34 pm

I'm not sure 30 minute charges work for longer trips. You would have to have a break nearly every 60-90 minutes depending on the speed for 30 minutes. Doesn't work in practice. Just to go from St Louis to Chicago, you would need 3 recharges.

30 minute charger is good for someone to drive to a place that is 5o to 80 or so miles away & come back - like one of the nearby ski resorts for us.
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JasonT
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Re: Is Nissan researching a gasoline based electricity generator

Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:00 pm

evnow wrote:I'm not sure 30 minute charges work for longer trips. You would have to have a break nearly every 60-90 minutes depending on the speed for 30 minutes. Doesn't work in practice. Just to go from St Louis to Chicago, you would need 3 recharges.

30 minute charger is good for someone to drive to a place that is 5o to 80 or so miles away & come back - like one of the nearby ski resorts for us.
You're absolutely right - with 100 mile range (and I'm guessing much less at freeway speeds), this won't work.

This is not the car to be going long trips on -- if you want long trips, I really think you should be looking elsewhere. Even if you can do a trailer hook up on the Leaf, I suspect the modding to try and get it to accept energy from a generator while on the move would be... pretty serious, if not impossible (I am not a car guy, so I am ready to admit I could be wrong on the difficulty of this). And if you can't get it to accept the energy while on the move, then you're still stuck with the waits.
DanCar wrote:30 minute charges aren't as good as renting a trailer because if you rent a trailer then only 1 person has to wait, but if you go the 30 minute charger route, then everyone in the car has to wait.
I don't understand this at all - why would one person have to wait instead of everyone in the car? Maybe I'm not getting your vision.

I completely admit, I just don't understand the whole push for this - I accept the limitations of this car, and embrace it. If I wanted to go cross-country, or even Tucson <-> Phoenix on a regular basis, I would not buy this car.

DanCar
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Re: Is Nissan researching a gasoline based electricity generator

Mon Apr 26, 2010 4:41 pm

DanCar wrote:30 minute charges aren't as good as renting a trailer because if you rent a trailer then only 1 person has to wait, but if you go the 30 minute charger route, then everyone in the car has to wait.
I don't understand this at all - why would one person have to wait instead of everyone in the car? Maybe I'm not getting your vision.
I rent the trailer with 300 mile range and fill it up. I have to wait. I go an pick up the passengers and head out. None of them have to wait for the refill.
I completely admit, I just don't understand the whole push for this - I accept the limitations of this car, and embrace it. If I wanted to go cross-country, or even Tucson <-> Phoenix on a regular basis, I would not buy this car.
What if it is only a few times a year?
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