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garygid
Gold Member
Posts: 12466
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:10 am
Delivery Date: 29 Mar 2011
Leaf Number: 000855
Location: Laguna Hills, Orange Co, CA

Re: Help - On the fence about Leaf purchase!!! Range Questio

Tue May 10, 2011 9:15 pm

As the battery loses some capacity over several years, you might have trouble, especially in cold, rain, or snow.

Charging options:
1. At work is ideal, since you are there for some time. Depending upon where you are able to park, there will be different options. You might be able to rent a space at a nearby parking lot/structure where they are open to providing you with a place to plug in. Installing an EVSE for you is not really necessary (see below).

2. Someplace closer to work, up to maybe halfway home. Even a friend's house, or anywhere you could count on using a 240v socket (or two opposite-phase 120v sockets) for an hour or so if/when you need it.

If not at first in good weather, but later, perhaps in cold, windy, or bad weather, you will need some "Plan B" to get some extra charging. If you cannot arrange that in some way, you will probably (rarely) not quite make it.

Stores, a friendly mechanic, somebody's home, ... a Volt dealer, ... there are many possibilities, but you should find one/some.

The L1 (120v) EVSE that comes with the LEAF will add maybe 4 miles per hour of charging. Upgrade it to accept 240v also, and you get about 8 miles per hour of charging (when plugged into a 240v source).

If you are not up to the "charging challenge", it might not be right for you long term.
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2010 Prius
2011 LEAF, 2014 Tesla S85
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LEAFfan
Posts: 4828
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 6:08 pm
Delivery Date: 08 Jun 2011
Leaf Number: 1855
Location: Phoenix Area

Re: Help - On the fence about Leaf purchase!!! Range Questio

Wed May 11, 2011 3:04 am

garygid wrote:As the battery loses some capacity over several years, you might have trouble, especially in cold, rain, or snow.
I wouldn't worry about battery capacity loss in several years because we will definitely have DC fast chargers by then that will make up for any loss of capacity.
2013 LEAF SV Del. 2/28/13
2013 LEAF World Record for Most Miles Driven On One Charge-188 miles/8.8 m/kW h
4.8 kW DC PV ($ .91/W fully installed)/ Dec., 2010

Lopton
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:21 pm
Delivery Date: 04 Dec 2015
Leaf Number: 300864
Location: San Fernando Valley, CA

Re: Help - On the fence about Leaf purchase!!! Range Questio

Wed May 11, 2011 3:55 am

LEAFfan wrote:
garygid wrote:As the battery loses some capacity over several years, you might have trouble, especially in cold, rain, or snow.
I wouldn't worry about battery capacity loss in several years because we will definitely have DC fast chargers by then that will make up for any loss of capacity.
We can't even get Ecotality to install level 2 chargers, I am highly skeptical of any fast chargers arriving...

-Matt
Original 2011 Leaf SV #857 - Total Loss on 11/27/2015
New 2016 Leaf SL #300864

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jhm614
Posts: 920
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 7:48 pm
Delivery Date: 30 Mar 2011
Leaf Number: 000493
Location: Arlington, TX

Re: Help - On the fence about Leaf purchase!!! Range Questio

Wed May 11, 2011 4:42 am

martindfw wrote:First of all let me start out by saying hi! I'm new here, however, I've been lurking for awhile before I registered and have read numerous threads on this site. I even test drove the Leaf when they had the Leaf Experience tour here in the DFW area and fell in love with the little EV that is the Leaf.

That said, I'm torn as to whether or not the Leaf is for me due to my commute needs - 72 miles round-trip. The commute is about 30 miles interstate with the rest being on surface streets with no real fluctuations in elevation. Additionally, I will not have any way to charge the Leaf at the courthouse and I sure as heck don't anticipate an EV charging station coming on-line anytime soon. So that said is the Leaf for me??? What do you current owners think: will the Leaf make my commute, or am I asking for trouble?

Thanks in advance.
Hi Martin,

After driving my Leaf for a month, I think the EPA estimate is a little low (maybe 10%?) but in the ball park. My commute is ~57 miles round trip with a mix of conditions similar to yours. I'm making the trip and usually have between 27-32 miles left at the end of the day. This includes running the AC on a regular basis and keeping the car in ECO all the time. However, 4 things may affect you:

1) Rain - any rain will drop your range some, very heavy rain will drop your range significantly. The drag, I guess.
2) Heater - Puts at least a 10% dent in your range if you run it all the time. More if you get stuck in traffic. Not a problem in the morning where you can pre-heat but it will be a bigger deal when you are driving home.
3) Losing discipline on the freeway. A good song comes on the radio and suddenly you are cruising along at 75 or 80 instead of 65... This impacts your range, especially if you don't catch it quickly.
4) And the great unknown - what happens to the battery in 4 or 5 years.

If you can find a way to charge at work, it's a no-brainer. If not, you are right at the borderline. I would say most days you will make the trip without any problems but rain will be an issue occasionally -- and a heavy rain would probably leave you stranded on the way home. Also, you might not be able to run the heater on your commute home.
2011 Brilliant Silver SL - 110,000 gasoline free miles so far.
4BL: 06/29/13 @ 27 months, 43,520 miles, 42.56 Ahr. New 12 bar battery: 09/09/13
4BLx2:12/31/16 @ 69 months, 99,475 miles, 42.99 Ahr.

Herm
Posts: 3765
Joined: Sun May 23, 2010 3:08 pm
Delivery Date: 29 Aug 2012
Location: Timbuktu, Mali

Re: Help - On the fence about Leaf purchase!!! Range Questio

Wed May 11, 2011 6:19 am

I would suggest you will suffer a lot of frustration, plus cycling the battery 100% everyday will shorten its life.. probably a good idea to lease. A Volt or the coming plug-in Prius will be a better option for you.

How many miles do you drive in a year?

martindfw
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue May 10, 2011 12:25 pm
Delivery Date: 10 May 2011

Re: Help - On the fence about Leaf purchase!!! Range Questio

Wed May 11, 2011 6:49 am

Herm wrote: How many miles do you drive in a year?
Since the Leaf would be a commute only car for the most part I figure about 18,000 which would seem to kill the idea of a lease.

Oh and for clarifications sake I should have stated that the 30 miles interstate is each way, so that works out to be 60 interstate miles a day with the balance, about 12 miles, being on city streets.

Thanks for all the answers so far!!!

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Ready2plugin
Posts: 672
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:08 am

Re: Help - On the fence about Leaf purchase!!! Range Questio

Wed May 11, 2011 7:51 am

martindfw wrote:
Herm wrote: How many miles do you drive in a year?
Since the Leaf would be a commute only car for the most part I figure about 18,000 which would seem to kill the idea of a lease.

Oh and for clarifications sake I should have stated that the 30 miles interstate is each way, so that works out to be 60 interstate miles a day with the balance, about 12 miles, being on city streets.

Thanks for all the answers so far!!!
You should be able to do it, just remember it will limit any side trips during lunch or before/after work.

smkettner
Posts: 7409
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:13 pm
Delivery Date: 26 Feb 2014
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: Help - On the fence about Leaf purchase!!! Range Questio

Wed May 11, 2011 8:29 am

Consider leasing as you will be about maxing out the battery on a daily basis.
1 bar lost at 21,451 miles, 16 months.
2 bar lost at 35,339 miles, 25 months.
LEAF traded at 45,400 miles for a RAV4-EV
RAV4 traded in for I-Pace Dec 2018

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davewill
Posts: 5083
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:04 pm
Location: San Diego, CA, US

Re: Help - On the fence about Leaf purchase!!! Range Questio

Wed May 11, 2011 11:20 am

Herm wrote: How many miles do you drive in a year?
martindfw wrote:Since the Leaf would be a commute only car for the most part I figure about 18,000 which would seem to kill the idea of a lease.
You can get a lease with a higher mileage allowance.
2014 Rav4 EV, Blizzard Pearl White
2011 LEAF SL w/QC, Blue Ocean, returned at end of lease

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LTLFTcomposite
Posts: 4733
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 6:06 pm
Delivery Date: 10 Dec 2011
Leaf Number: 5926
Location: Central FL

Re: Help - On the fence about Leaf purchase!!! Range Questio

Wed May 11, 2011 11:50 am

Another question to consider is multi-car household makeup... for example if the Leaf turned out to be problematic for your use could your spouse use it and you use her car? Or would you be forced to sell the Leaf or terminate the lease early, potentially taking a loss?
LTL
White 2012 SV delivered 10 Dec 2011 returned 25 Nov 2014 replaced with stopgap ICE Sentra
[35 months] [35K miles] [9 Bars]
2013 Volt replaced after 36 months/30k miles with ICE Rogue
2016 SV-adjacent May 2016 lost 4th bar March 2018

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