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Re: Other Leafs in Iowa?

Posted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 2:09 pm
by 13LeafS
Hi,
I just joined, and have had a 2013 Leaf S on lease since March of '13. I've put a ton of miles on in all kinds of weather, and have gone out specifically to "shake it down" in the worst of the worst weather for a year and a half now.

* Would you recommend a Leaf for the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area? Absolutely.

* How bad is winter driving in Iowa? Average range? Totally flogging on it (constant 70 to 75 mph on freeway, heat blasting, all seat heaters on = most power draw I could cause; 20 degrees outdoors) the lowest I could force the range to was 55 miles actually driven, getting home with the --- flashing. Based on the guessometer and distance from home when it went to ---, I would have had about 5 miles left when I parked at home. **UPDATE Now into my second season of wintry weather driving, and this range is down to about 45 miles**

* Have you had any problems getting your Leaf serviced at local dealers or 3rd parties? Never had it serviced by a 3rd party. It's leased, and has bumper-to-bumper. Local dealer has been alright, not spectacular, not bad.

* What's the futhest you've traveled from home in your Leaf? Have you ever run out of juice? I've had a number of 100 mile days, actually. Thought it was a big deal at first, but it's not hard to do. No, I've never run out of juice. I have no problem going to a park 40 highway miles away. On a day with shirtsleeve weather, it'll go more than 70 miles on the slab and easily mid 90s on surface streets.

* How do you feel about public charging in Iowa? Like the idea. There's nowhere near enough.

* Any good/bad things about owning an EV in Iowa? (I read something about lower registration rates.) It is registered for the $25, but good thing I took a printout regarding that to the courthouse with me; they had never heard of it, and I'm sure it was the talk of the office for a while afterwards.

Re: Other Leafs in Iowa?

Posted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:06 pm
by benjaminoakes
Wow, thanks for the great response! I'm still a little on the fence about getting a Leaf in the short term, so I'm hoping our ICE will last us long enough for the next major revision of the Leaf with the rumored range of 130+ mi. That would make it a lot easier to consider it an only car because we could use it for longer trips.

Re: Other Leafs in Iowa?

Posted: Sun Sep 14, 2014 6:33 pm
by CRLeafSL
I was in Des Moines today and saw a darker grey Leaf drive by the Kmart on Hubbell Ave. Anyone on the forum? I did not have my leaf with me since that's quite a drive from Cedar Rapids and not much charging in between the two cities. Just wondering if it was anyone on here.

Re: Other Leafs in Iowa?

Posted: Thu Sep 25, 2014 2:48 pm
by IowaShocker
Hello Iowa LEAF'ers! I purchased my Black 2013 LEAF SV about a month ago. I am happy to see there are a few others on here. I live across the road from the new Hy-Vee in Ankeny, and they have 4 6V chargers right up front! It's almost like having my own handi-cap parking space! I charge over there about every other day...do my grocery shopping, and have an adult beverage at the bar in the Market Grill! It's so sweet!!!! I will sometimes plug in, and walk home for a bit before walking back.

Anyway, I have seen 1 other black LEAF charging regularly at Hy-Vee...the bartender thinks its one of the teachers at DMAC right down the road. We keep crossing paths, but sure we will meet up.

Just a couple days ago, I met another LEAF'er charging who was on his way back to Huxley, and it is his 1/2 way stop for wherever he goes. He owns two...one for him, and one for his wife.

Lastly, I think the Fighting Burrito in Ames has 3 LEAF's they use for deliveries. And if you are in Ames, and need a charge (and a great burrito!), you can charge there. Also, the sales manager at the Nissan of Ames owns a black LEAF, and you can charge there.

In Des Moines I am luck to have so many places to charge. There are two Hy-Vee's with chargers on my way to work (16 miles one way). I usually stop at one of them for a coffee and donut on the way to work, and a quick 15 min charge.

So far, so good! Love to hear from others. Would also like to start a small Iowa LEAF group!!!

Cheers!

Ken

Re: Other Leafs in Iowa?

Posted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 5:06 am
by MarcFranke
We have formed a group in Iowa to promote the adoption of EVs in our state; EVIowa! Most of our owners are in eastern Iowa but we'd love to find more Leaf owners all over the state. We are holding an event this weekend on Sunday, Oct. 19 in the Iowa City area. We will be offering test rides in a Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, BMW i3 and Tesla Model S. Visit http://www.EVIowa.info" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; to learn more.

I love my Leaf!

I have solar panels at my house and make my own "fuel".

I've spent the last year advocating for more charging infrastructure with mixed results. I was working at GoDaddy in Hiawatha at the time and got them to install four Level 2 EVSEs for GoDaddy employees in the parking lot.

I approached 4 small towns in Iowa with the idea of doing fund raising and donating a Level 2 EVSE to each town. Each was located roughly 1/2 way from Cedar Rapids to:
1. Waterloo
2. Iowa City
3. Quad Cities
4. Des Moines

So far, the interest in these small towns is really low. Most did not reply to my emails or phone calls. The ones that did discussed it with me but just were not interested (not even for free). We clearly are in the "early adoption, early awareness" phase for EVs in Iowa. I'm not ready to give up, though. :D

Tesla has an initiative to install more Level 2 chargers so I'm trying to work that angle for Iowa.

If folks are interested to advocate for more adoption of EVs in Iowa, please let me know. You can email me through the EVIowa.info website.

Re: Other Leafs in Iowa?

Posted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 5:38 pm
by CRLeafSL
Hey MarcFranke,

I just now saw your ad about the EV event on 10/19. Day Late, dollar short. Story of my life. Anyways, my lease is coming due in February 2015 (thank god). Unfortunately I can't say I love my leaf. I'm actually well disappointed. It's a great car to drive don't get me wrong, but the range is absolutely worthless. Especially in the winter months. Now to be fair, I do have a 2012 version so I don't have the heat pump. That thing is terrible on range in the cold added with a very power hungry resistive heater. I probably would be best not to have been at your event on 10/19 cause I would tell it like it is (at least how I feel about the car in the winter). Nissan is working on batteries that are better in the heat, but have done pretty much nothing for us that live in cold climates which I believe is just as big of a problem as heat but Nissan is ignoring it. I can't wait till this thing goes back. I won't even look at another EV until they break at least 200 Highway miles traveling 65 to 70 mph per charge and have liquid heating/cooling of the battery. As far as I'm concerned Liquid heating/cooling is not an option, it's mandatory. I don't care what battery chem they use, it will have to be liquid heated and cooled or I"m walking the other way. Simple as that.

Re: Other Leafs in Iowa?

Posted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 5:57 pm
by kikngas
CRLeafSL :
I can understand your frustration. I'm new to all of this and so just starting to see winter results. I bought the car assuming it would address my daily needs, not longer trips. So far I've been doing well. I figured my typical day is about 30 miles, and so even if actual range is half of rating, I'd still have plenty to get home. I also have a few public charging options around town if I feel 10 miles range boost would help me home. But so far I've just been charging 110v at home.

I wanted to point out that it is hard to say Nissan is ignoring the cold. They will be working on getting more range into the footprint for the next decade, and every time they roll out a new version, that's going to help cold weather drivers.

I was curious if you've considered how much of your 200mi @ 70MPH requirement is due to the lack charging infrastructure as compared to actual battery capacity requirement. So, consider the opposite situation. I mean in a world where you could L2 charge every time you park, how much range would you actually need in the battery? And if you do drive 100+ miles at a stretch, if charging were pervasive, would you be completely unwilling to detour your trip to charge once or twice?

I am also curious if your TMS requirement is a result of your desire to have more consistent range? Or a desire to have a long-lived battery? Or if there are other factors. It's always seemed like a lot of energy to me to heat or cool the entire thermal mass of the battery. Having said that, I wish it would engage the battery heater when I'm plugged in, any time that doing so would give more range (or give an option to select if I want fastest charge time, or most resulting capacity). Otherwise the battery heater doesn't come on until it gets below zero(F).

Re: Other Leafs in Iowa?

Posted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 10:15 pm
by CRLeafSL
To reply to Kikngas:

I believe that TMS is indeed necessary because we all know that a warm battery performs better and holds more energy. I will also admit that range should stay more constant with a TMS. I just think adding more buffer with a larger battery to compensate for colder climate losses is not the answer. That's just putting a band aid on a bigger issue. Warm the battery and you won't have cold losses. So Yes I do believe Nissan is ignoring a permanent fix with a band aid and I refuse to buy any EV from any manufacturer that refuses to put a TMS on the battery. I understand warming the battery takes energy, but in my opinion energy that is absolutely necessary to have a well performing battery in any temp. It is needed.

To address your infrastructure comment about the 200 miles at 70MPH, no having more chargers doesn't change my opinion. I look at cars being gas or electric to be able to take me where I want to go when I want to go. Now I know that the leaf is meant to be an in town commuter car (which I think is a big waste of money, but my opinion) and I leased it knowing that. Now that I've had it for almost two years, I know it's not for me. Until I can climb into an electric car and travel about as far as I can in a gas car, I will stay with gas. I wouldn't buy a gas car that could only go 70-80 miles per tank even though there are gas stations everywhere. Same for the electric. It would have to go at least 200 miles + at highway speeds before I would have to stop and charge. Adding more chargers and me having to stop twice as much is again not the solution.

Re: Other Leafs in Iowa?

Posted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 8:17 pm
by CRLeafSL
One more week with this POS. Man I'm counting down the days and to add fuel to the fire, I'm going back to a '99 Dodge Ram 4x4 pickup with a 5.9L in it and am actually looking forward to it. At least in my truck I can go further than 40 to 50 miles and have all the heat I want. This car is the biggest joke I've ever driven in cold weather and I've owned alot of different vehicles. We will see if Nissan puts a TMS on the Version 2 Leaf due out in 2016 I believe, but doubt it. If they don't, I'll never look at Nissan again, especially for electric. My next electric WILL have a TMS on it. No if's and's' or butt's about it. It will have it.

Re: Other Leafs in Iowa?

Posted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 4:14 am
by CRLeafSL
Well my Leaf is gone. Turned her back into the dealer. It was a learning curve but now I know what an electric car has to have for me to buy. The Leaf isn't even close to meeting my criteria so no more for me until they make big drastic changes to it. I'm back to ICE for now and not regretting a minute of not having my leaf. Have fun with yours ( I feel sorry for ya).