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.
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.