iDriver wrote:I'll have the Leaf garaged both at home and at work 99% of the time. I'm really more concerned by the commute home on a hot day. Sitting in gridlock is a sad reality here in California and sometimes it's well over 95 degrees out. Would you recommend I leave the car at home? Or am I worrying about something that just really isn't worth worrying about?
The battery weighs around 660 lbs. Thermally speaking, that's a LARGE thermal mass. Its temperature is not affected over short periods of time from the ambient
temperatures. However, large charging or discharging currents do indeed heat it quite quickly, as encountered during QC (Quick Charge, sometimes still called L3) or full-power acceleration, if endured for longer periods of time or at a high SOC (State-of-Charge).
The commute home won't have much impact. Garaging the LEAF on both ends is a good thing (if your garage at home is well insulated; I am assuming you are using cool city garages in Sac'to). Letting it sit parked the whole day in the sunshine on hot asphalt (or even concrete) during hot summer days is NOT good.
All in all, with keeping it in the shade and the commute you are describing is not detrimental. You will still experience some loss, similar to ours, but if you lease it for 3 years (to get the $2,500 from CVRP) or 2 years, this concern is also mitigated. The leasing rates are very favorable and almost too good to pass up.
As far as alert to high battery temp: yes, it's right there on the driver's instrument panel. However, because of the (thermal mass) lag time, it's not exactly responsive, Still, this is not really a problem, plus you really don't get a lot of choice, but at least it's there to warn you if you are excessively doing QC. Overall, as we here at MNL have found, even "safe zone" battery temps -- when experienced over long periods of time -- are not good for the battery (like continuous 6 Temperature Bars (TB) or higher). We are just now seeing TBs starting to creep from 5 to 6 in our area on a routine basis. Later in the summer it will be 6 consistently, then some peaks at 7. The red zone does not start until after the 10th TB.