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RegGuheert
Posts: 6419
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:12 am
Delivery Date: 16 Mar 2012
Leaf Number: 5926
Location: Northern VA

Are you in the Sub-80% Club?

Tue Jul 09, 2013 11:53 am

Consider this is the kick-off post for the Sub-80% Club!

I'm guessing that I am not the only one here who rarely charges the LEAF to 80% and/or lets it sit mostly at lower SOCs. This is the place to discuss the whys, the hows, the expectations and the drawbacks related to maintaining the LEAF battery SOC below 80% most of the time.

Why?
I have come to believe that so-called "Long-life Mode" in the LEAF may not offer much additional battery life versus charging to full. This is particularly true for those of us who do not drive the car each day and typically do not travel very far when we do drive. The LEAF has plenty of range for most of our trips, but if we simply used 80% charging and plugged in each day, the battery would spend most of its time almost fully charged.

How?
There are two main techniques which we use around here to try to maximize the battery life in our LEAF:
- Just-in-time charging: The LEAF is ONLY charged just before it is to be driven.
- End-of-trip SOC targeting: The SOC the LEAF is charged to is based on discharging the LEAF to three charge bars upon returning home. This is the charge level at which we would prefer the LEAF spend most of its time.

In practice, we do this by setting an 80% charge timer for each morning at 8:00AM.
- If we do not plan to drive the next day, the LEAF does not get plugged in.
- If we need more than about 7 bars of charge the next morning, we plug the car in the evening before. If the target is 10 bars, we're done. If the target is 7 to 9 bars, we simply unplug in the morning when it is at the correct level. If the target is full, then we override the timer to get it full. (This is fine if we are leaving after about 10:00AM. Otherwise, we need to override early in the morning or the night before.)
- If we are driving in the afternoon or need fewer than 7 bars for a trip, we simply press the charge override button a bit before we depart so that it gains the proper number of bars. I use about 2.5 bars/hour for the estimate.

Expectations:
By targeting 30% to 40% SOC for most of our LEAF's resting life, we hope to maximize battery life. Using estimates from Stoaty's LEAF Battery Aging Model we estimate this means 15 to 20 years of life, perhaps even more. Is this expectation reasonable? We really have no way to know. Only time will tell.

Drawbacks:
- This approach is a bit fiddly. It sure would be great if Nissan would allow us some more flexibility in setting up charging endpoints, etc. Several of us have requested this, but so far there has been no enhancement in this area.
- Our LEAF does not sit in a "ready to go" state. As a result, if something comes up on the spur of the moment, either we need to take another vehicle or we will end up running down the LEAF battery further than we should for best battery life. This latter issue can also arise if we use more charge for a given trip because of other factors such as weather, side trips or inefficient driving.

Are you in the Sub-80% Club? If so, please tell us why and how you manage. Perhaps we can all learn something from the exchange.
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
10K mi. on 041413; 20K mi. (55.7Ah) on 080714; 30K mi. (52.0Ah) on 123015; 40K mi. (49.8Ah) on 020817; 50K mi. (47.2Ah) on 120717; 60K mi. (43.66Ah) on 091918.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

Stoaty
Posts: 4490
Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2010 9:50 pm
Delivery Date: 12 Jun 2011
Leaf Number: 3871
Location: West Los Angeles

Re: Are you in the Sub-80% Club?

Tue Jul 09, 2013 12:21 pm

Yes, I am a charter member of the 80% club. I try to keep my Leaf between 30% and 40% SOC as much of the time as reasonably possible. That means I charge to about 70% SOC right before I go to work, it sits at 50% SOC for about 10 hours while I am at work, and ends up around 35% SOC when I get home. Repeat cycle next working day. On Saturday I usually do a full charge early AM, then drive 50 miles. Leaf slowly charges from 40% SOC to 80% SOC. When I am done hiking, I drive home and end up with about 35% SOC. In 2 years I had to take the ICE vehicle 3 times when I could have used the Leaf. This wasn't due to an emergency, it was because I set the charging timer the night before, but forgot to plug in the EVSE. :o

It's a bit more trouble, but I think it will pay off in the long run. Probably won't know for many years if it is worth it. Like Abasile, I also avoid taking the Leaf to work when the predicted high is 95 degrees or above. Last summer this was for a total of 5 weeks. I figure this is cheap insurance to protect my Leaf from excessive heat.
2011 Leaf with 62,000 miles given to Nephew
2013 Tesla Model S85 with 251 miles rated range at full charge
Leaf Spy Manual
Battery Aging Model Spreadsheet

Weatherman
Posts: 916
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:03 pm
Delivery Date: 08 Jul 2012
Leaf Number: 20922
Location: Weston, Florida

Re: Are you in the Sub-80% Club?

Tue Jul 09, 2013 12:34 pm

I was, but less than 80% charge just doesn't cut it anymore. I also used to set the timer so charging ended right before I was ready to leave for work in the morning. Neither of these actions seemed to help. Still lost the first capacity bar in less than a year and less than 8,500 miles. Now, I just charge to 80% a few hours after I get home in the evening and don't give it much thought.

If anything, I'm interested in seeing how fast my LEAF's battery can decay (not by abusing it, of course). I'm shooting for losing the second bar by the end of the summer, and losing bars 10 and 9 next summer. I want to see if Nissan will release me from my lease at the end of next summer, rather than giving me a new battery under warranty. I'll be very happy if they just let me give the car back and allow me to stop making lease payments on it.
2013 Crystal Red Volt
2012 SV Glacier Pearl LEAF; turned in 5/12/2015:18.6K Miles:50.13 AHr:10 bars, 24% gone

mksE55
Posts: 176
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:10 pm
Delivery Date: 22 Oct 2011
Leaf Number: 5086
Location: Tyler TX

Re: Are you in the Sub-80% Club?

Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:18 pm

Weatherman wrote:I was, but less than 80% charge just doesn't cut it anymore. I also used to set the timer so charging ended right before I was ready to leave for work in the morning. Neither of these actions seemed to help. Still lost the first capacity bar in less than a year and less than 8,500 miles. Now, I just charge to 80% a few hours after I get home in the evening and don't give it much thought.

If anything, I'm interested in seeing how fast my LEAF's battery can decay (not by abusing it, of course). I'm shooting for losing the second bar by the end of the summer, and losing bars 10 and 9 next summer. I want to see if Nissan will release me from my lease at the end of next summer, rather than giving me a new battery under warranty. I'll be very happy if they just let me give the car back and allow me to stop making lease payments on it.

well speaking from experience they will not let you out of your lease at 9 bar loss, I just called and tried. I may consider that option at 8 bar loss when they are left with replacing the battery or letting me out of the lease. I may see what the dealer will give me on trade for a used leaf with a new battery it may work out to sell it rather than end the lease early. I do hate the idea of going back to gas but the Texas heat is to much for the leaf I will have to see what other EVs will work here in TX.
Bye Bye Exxon , Shell, Mobil
* 2011 SL
3 bar loss 23,000 mi
in less than 2 yrs
4/14 now 4 bar loss 32,000 just over 2 years

Weatherman
Posts: 916
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:03 pm
Delivery Date: 08 Jul 2012
Leaf Number: 20922
Location: Weston, Florida

Re: Are you in the Sub-80% Club?

Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:27 pm

mksE55 wrote:well speaking from experience they will not let you out of your lease at 9 bar loss, I just called and tried. I may consider that option at 8 bar loss when they are left with replacing the battery or letting me out of the lease.
I figured that would be the case. There needs to be a significant financial incentive.

I would think, since they are required to give the car a new battery once it reaches 8 bars, they would be more interested in immediately taking the car back and transferring it to a cooler location to sell. A 27-month-old car with a new battery might be worth a lot more than a 36-month-old car with a battery that has cooked in the South Florida heat for nine months.
2013 Crystal Red Volt
2012 SV Glacier Pearl LEAF; turned in 5/12/2015:18.6K Miles:50.13 AHr:10 bars, 24% gone

Reddy
Posts: 1544
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:09 pm
Delivery Date: 18 Aug 2011
Leaf Number: 006828
Location: Pasco, WA

Re: Are you in the Sub-80% Club?

Tue Jul 09, 2013 3:30 pm

Yes, I'm in the "sub-club". With my 8 mi RT commute and small town size, it's pretty easy. My charging method is mainly a "replace what is used" method. I have my timer set for to charge on L1 from 1-3am to a maximum of 80%. Sat/Sun morning charging timer is set a bit longer for possible weekend trips. This way I just replace what is used during the previous drive and never exceed 80%.

The time varies slightly from summer to winter or if I anticipate farther driving needs. Mostly I plug in nightly, but sometimes I don't bother since I'm over 5 bars.

As with everything, nothing is absolute. Last night I overrode the timer and over charged (all the way to about 75%) because the car came back at LBW yesterday (unexpected trip to a nearby town). Oops, now I need to use run it back down because today's temps might reach 100 F.

During the summer, I park outside at night to keep the battery cooler, and inside under the shade during the day. Mostly I bicycle to work in the summer so this isn't a problem. If anything, I'm driving more than I used to because of the nice Leaf (or perhaps age and laziness).

Previous descriptions:
http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.p ... =0#p278498
http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.p ... ty#p259231
Reddy
2011 SL; 9 bar, 45.80 AHr; 45,000 mi; rcv'd Aug 18, 2011
Long: http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.p ... al#p226115"
Cold: http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.p ... 60#p243033"

Rat
Posts: 957
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 7:47 pm
Delivery Date: 08 Sep 2011
Location: Silicon Valley
Contact: Website Twitter

Re: Are you in the Sub-80% Club?

Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:54 pm

I'm close to being a member. I have the car timer set on 80% but I don't plug it in every night. Some nights if it's already at 80% I unplug it just so the battery and other electronics don't get queried by the EVSE. If it's at 60% and I know I'm only doing local errands the next day, I don't plug it in. However, I didn't bother with this for the first year and a half. I always just plugged it in every night. Now I try to have it sit longer at lower SOC sometimes on general principles to give the battery a thorough workout, but I really don't feel like I am making a significant difference either way. As the OP said, only time will tell. I expect long battery life just because I'm retired and don't commute, have low mileage, moderate temperature and almost never QC. At the end of 10 years I'll only have 50000 miles on the car, almost all of it under pretty easy conditions.
2011 SL down to 9 capacity bars
OnWords

User avatar
abasile
Posts: 1922
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:49 am
Delivery Date: 20 Apr 2011
Location: Arrowbear Lake, CA

Re: Are you in the Sub-80% Club?

Tue Jul 09, 2013 10:36 pm

I've been a member of this club for quite a while, for two reasons:
1. Battery longevity
2. To avoid limiting regenerative braking on the ~5000' descent from the mountain town where I live

Normally we set an 80% timer ending at 8 AM like RegGuheert and unplug early. A more flexible charge timer would be nice!

As Stoaty mentioned, I often avoid taking the LEAF "down the hill" to work when it's hot, i.e., above 90-95 degrees. Today, for instance, it reached 102 degrees at work and only about 82 degrees at home. Thankfully I was able to work from home. On other days I take the family's Prius if needed.

In deciding whether or not to drive the LEAF on a given hot day, I factor in the amount of nighttime cooling available - often our early to mid summer weather is influenced by the North American Monsoon which increases humidity and thus keeps the nighttime temperatures higher. One of my goals is to avoid letting the battery get hot/warm without a chance to fully cool.
2011 LEAF at 71K miles, pre-owned 2012 Tesla S 85 at 98K miles
LEAF battery: 9/12 bars and < 49 Ah (-28% vs. new)
Tesla battery: 250+ miles of range (-5% vs. new)

CmdrThor
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:41 am
Delivery Date: 07 Jun 2013
Location: Marietta, GA

Re: Are you in the Sub-80% Club?

Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:27 am

It's a good concept, but the average driver won't be bothered to keep the car at a specific SOC. We get the most benefit out of the car when we can actually use it instead of keeping at a low SOC and hoping we have a few hours warning before going out. Having to take the ICE vehicle is a waste of money so I try to make sure we have enough charge to get around town.

Now I do use the timers, and set them to end charge at 80% or 100% in the morning depending on the length of the commute for the day, but it is annoying that if you have a timer set to end at 6am for example, if you want to charge during the day you have to manually turn the timers off either with the timer off button or in the nav. My wife really dislikes the timers and just wants to be able to plug in and it charge. Typically if she has to charge at work in order to make it home and I forgot to turn the timer off, I'll log in to carwings and start the charging manually after she's plugged in (and it didn't start charging because of a timer).

RonDawg
Posts: 3039
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2013 3:46 am
Delivery Date: 11 Jan 2013
Leaf Number: 027089
Location: SoCal

Re: Are you in the Sub-80% Club?

Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:41 am

CmdrThor wrote:Now I do use the timers, and set them to end charge at 80% or 100% in the morning depending on the length of the commute for the day, but it is annoying that if you have a timer set to end at 6am for example, if you want to charge during the day you have to manually turn the timers off either with the timer off button or in the nav. My wife really dislikes the timers and just wants to be able to plug in and it charge. Typically if she has to charge at work in order to make it home and I forgot to turn the timer off, I'll log in to carwings and start the charging manually after she's plugged in (and it didn't start charging because of a timer).
What's difficult and/or inconvenient about pushing the timer override button? You can also have no timers set at all, but I presume you are using them so as to take advantage of an off-peak rate.
Blue Ocean 2012 Leaf SV, lost that 1st bar at 34 months/26,435 miles. Lease returned 2 months later. Final LeafStat figures: 225 Gids, 17.44 kWH, SOC 91.89%, SOH 82.36%, 69.49% HX, 54.57 Ahr, battery temp 61.8 F.
Now driving a 2015 VW eGolf SEL.

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