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Leafers in Toronto

Posted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 6:00 pm
by Andmann
I have been looking for leafs on the road here in T dot. I have only seen 2 since they came out.
I seen at least 10 Teslas in the last couple months and I'm not including the demo units.

Are there many around? Looking to get some usage info from some owners.

How did the cat handle this longer winter this year?
Charging on the road and stuff like that.


Re: Leafers in Toronto

Posted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:13 pm
by imposter
I picked up my 2013 S Leaf at the beginning of November, 2013 so this was my only winter driving the car. I had snow tires put on right away, and from the beginning of November to the beginning of April my average energy efficiency according to the car was 5.9 kms/kWh. It had started out at 6.5 kms/kWh, but decreased steadily and slowly throughout the winter, briefly hitting a low of 5.8 at the end of March before jumping back up to 5.9. At the beginning of April I switched back to the stock tires and reset the meter, and since then the average energy economy has stabilized at about 8.0 kms/kWh. I would imagine the warmer weather has something to do with the jump, but most of it is probably the tires. Both are with a good mix of driving around town and on the highway. Time-wise, I mostly drive around town (Waterloo) with short trips to work or doing shopping every day. But a good chunk of the kilometers, possibly more than half of them, were from trips to/from Toronto.

In any case, the car performed great over the winter as far as I am concerned. I used the heated seats extensively, the heated steering wheel fairly regularly, and the cabin heater as sparingly as possible. I rarely felt a need to use the cabin heater when the temperature was above -10, but beyond that it was pretty much a necessity. If I didn't have the heat on I just set the air on the windshield only, and at the lowest flow rate to keep things from fogging up while not blowing cold air on my feet. I also used the climate timer to make sure I was getting into a pre-warmed car when going to work in the morning, but again didn't use the heat when I was driving. If I had always used the cabin heater to keep it nice and toasty, I'm sure my energy efficiency would have been a fair bit lower.

I took one trip up to Peterborough at the beginning of March, but I had to spend a lot of time recharging both ways so it was a very long trip; about 8 hours with driving/recharging to get there (arriving with 6% battery left) and 10 hours coming back (into a strong-ish head wind and with more uphill driving). The trip was about 260 kms each way. I certainly wouldn't recommend planning a trip more than about 120 kms in the winter - and much less if the weather is bad because driving through strong wind/snow really cut down on the distance I could travel. I mean, sure, you can keep the heater and radio, etc., on while you stop to recharge but it still gets mighty boring and makes for an extra long and tiring day. Even to go 120 kms I would stop for a coffee and 30-40 min recharge on the way to make sure I didn't fall short on charge.

And I see about as many Leafs around Waterloo as I do Teslas...which is about 3 or 4 of each. :)

Re: Leafers in Toronto

Posted: Wed May 07, 2014 5:58 am
by ilike
Is anyone looking to own/lease one soon in GTA?

Re: Leafers in Toronto

Posted: Wed May 07, 2014 2:48 pm
by Andmann
I am looking to lease, but not till later this year or early next year.
I have gone to the dealer on mccowan and sheppard to get some basic info and check out the car.

Re: Leafers in Toronto

Posted: Wed May 07, 2014 4:56 pm
by ilike
Glad to hear, Andmann. Same here but I'm looking for one sooner. Dealership said 2014 S trim is pretty much out in Ontario and SV and SL are also being sold pretty fast. Unless I can wait until 2015 ones come out, I'd rather hurry up.

Re: Leafers in Toronto

Posted: Thu May 08, 2014 12:37 pm
by verobel
Hi there Toronto and Eastern Ontario Leafers;

As the days go buy I smile a bit more as I look at the range displayed on my dash after a full charge at night with my L2 charger. When I got the car in January 2014 I was quickly into -25C weather and even my 65km drive to work and back could be a challenge (although I never needed a tow). In January
I might see the range at 130 and then quickly deteriorate to 95 within 3 minutes of hitting the highway. So I was carefull to preheat, use cabin heater to a minimum and care seat and steering wheel heat to the max. I also stayed down around 80kph on the highway. (well it was often slippery anyway). Usually when I got home I had about 20 km left. If I had extra capacity I either heated more or drove faster.

Now as the months went by and the temperature rose up to -10, I was driving faster and sometimes getting home with 30 to 40 km left. My main guage to look at was the battery level: 50% is important when you need to do a return trip without charging at work.

Now into May I can say that the full charge range displayed is 160km or higher! I could easily have 50-60 km to spare at the end of the day. I remember when the battery temperature guage was always stuck at 2 or 3. Now it usually sits at 5 or 6.

I ventured out on some trips where I would need to recharge elsewhere. First I went to Kingston where the Nissan dealer has sold a few Leafs (including mine) and the one way distance is either 75km (by ferry) or (95) by 401. When I go the longer route I go faster 90-105kph on the 401 and usually get low battery warnings on the 401 just outside Kingston. When the car recharges (~2.5 hrs at dealer) it is good to plan things like visit local shops/mall, restaurant or movie. Some are a bit of a hike (walking is good exercise, but 15 minutes in cooler weather may be pushing it). Now that it is warmer, I use a folding bike that fits in the trunk. The salesman chuckle a bit, but it gets me where I want to be in around 5 minutes.

My latest trip was to Kitchener/Waterloo (~300km) through Toronto. I made several stops and was cautious on the way over, driving slower (90/100kph). I stopped in Coburg (BestWestern has many hotels with chargers) and charged for free; but made use of their restaurant and wifi. I also stopped in Whitby and then Pearson Airport: Nissan HQ and was pleased to use their new L3 charger. (charged from 20 km to 120km=80% in only 20 minutes!!) Wish we had those at all Enroute stations down the 401. As it is Enroutes don't have a single charge station!!! I also stopped in Milton's new Tim Horton that has 2 L2 chargers. Perhaps Timmy's could put a few L3 stations in... I would probably put on 10-15 lbs. Then while I was in Waterloo I charged at the Nissan dealer and the Connestoga mall (only 1 charger there). The trip took 12 hours!

On the way back I was more experienced (less cautious). I figured if I was going to recharge I might as well use all the electrons and drive a bit faster and spend more time parked. The return travel time was 9 hours. I would say that if you have an L3 charger on your trip perhaps such a cavalier attitude might be fun, but when you hit the old L2 chargers.. you pay the price, perhaps waiting an extra hour to get the electrons back that you so frivolously burned.

In summary, these long trips are not so good unless to like to explore the charge points or plan activities like picnics, shopping, movies or bike rides (if you have one like me that folds up and fits in the trunk). I don't thinks I would do the Waterloo (300km) trip again with a Leaf unless they had more L3 chargers at Enroute stations. You should also consider the predicament you will be in when more Leafs's are in 'trip' mode. You may not only have to recharge, but also wait for another car (or 2 ) to complete charging before it is your turn!

Better to rent an ICE, or retire
and take your time.

regards, John ;)
ps still great for daily commute. probably saved $1000 on gas so far.

Re: Leafers in Toronto

Posted: Thu May 08, 2014 1:57 pm
by ilike
Wow!! Thank you very much for sharing your experience, verobel. Yes, I'm eager to see more and more public charging stations on the streets.

Re: Leafers in Toronto

Posted: Mon May 12, 2014 6:28 pm
by imposter
It's nice to know there is an L3 at Nissan HQ. Too bad they screw over us Canadians by not allowing you to get the quick charge port as an add-on for the S model. I hope by the time my lease is up they will have more L3s around, and are willing to include it on the base model like they do for Americans.

Re: Leafers in Toronto

Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 7:59 pm
by rspreitzer
I'm in Kitchener - Doon South and just agreed to lease a 2015 Leaf S. Can't wait to get it :) I've seen ONE on the road, it was in my neighbourhood.


Re: Leafers in Toronto

Posted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 6:53 am
by bps88
ilike wrote:Is anyone looking to own/lease one soon in GTA?

Hi, I just leased a new 2015 leaf! metallic grey with a light tint, I liked the white but already have a white car so thought a different colour would be nice. I had a horrible experience with the nissan dealership in Brampton so went to 401 Dixie nissan and Anees, the salesperson who handles the leaf was amazing to deal with...honest! he had me out for a good 45 minute test drive then took me to show me some different charging station options that were set up, very thorough.