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DFW test drive

Posted: Fri May 30, 2014 3:26 pm
by astricklin
Has anyone been able to have a test drive or possibly even rent a LEAF for a week or more? I am hoping to be able to purchase a new car soon and I am seriously considering the LEAF. My biggest concern is my commute distance. If I drive all the way to work, it is 90 miles a day, I can shorten the distance to 60 miles a day by taking the train from Ft Worth to my office (this is the most likely scenario). I could also further reduce the commute to 30 miles a day by using the park and ride location, but this is very restrictive on timing.
I would love to be able to try out a car for several days to a week to see if it works for me before making a huge commitment. Has anyone been able to do something like this?

Re: DFW test drive

Posted: Fri May 30, 2014 3:39 pm
by keydiver
Do you have the ability to recharge at work? If not, forget it, 90 miles is too far for a commute.

Re: DFW test drive

Posted: Fri May 30, 2014 4:42 pm
by Stanton
Even 60 miles/day is too much on a consistent basis...especially after a couple of years in the TX heat.

Re: DFW test drive

Posted: Fri May 30, 2014 8:08 pm
by LeftieBiker
For a 90 mile commute, your best bet is Prius PHEV. Let it manage the battery charge on its own instead of using EV mode a lot, and you'll do the 90 miles on one gallon of gas.

Re: DFW test drive

Posted: Fri May 30, 2014 8:29 pm
by DaveEV
There's no way you'll do 90 miles in a PiP on 1 gallon of gas. Probably about 1.5 gallons. A Volt should actually do a bit better than the PiP in terms of gas consumption, but you'll use a lot more electricity.

Re: DFW test drive

Posted: Fri May 30, 2014 9:49 pm
by LeftieBiker
drees wrote:There's no way you'll do 90 miles in a PiP on 1 gallon of gas. Probably about 1.5 gallons. A Volt should actually do a bit better than the PiP in terms of gas consumption, but you'll use a lot more electricity.
The Volt will go maybe 45 miles in EV mode, then revert to 37-40MPG. The PIP can get 90MPG or so for the whole trip, assuming more or less level ground and moderate speed. Unlike the Volt, it was designed for maximum fuel economy, rather than maximum EV range, and will then revert to about 55-60MPG for as long as it's driven with no recharge..

Re: DFW test drive

Posted: Sat May 31, 2014 6:52 am
by rocolema
In Dallas, in my 2012 Leaf, after 1.5 years, for my 60 mile commute, and driving carefully, I get 70 miles in the summer, and only 60 miles in the winter. I already let my wife drive it in the winter, and next summer, she will have to drive it full time.

Re: DFW test drive

Posted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 12:01 pm
by astricklin
I have not yet looked into being able to charge at work (not certain if there are any 120 outlets on the building exterior), however there is a blink station at the McD's down the street. Also there are several dealers and other charge locations along my commute. For the most likely commute distance of 60 round trip, this would be parking at the T&P station in downtown Ft. Worth. It seems that most people get 50-60 miles on a charge but each person's conditions and driving habits are slightly different. Also, if I need to, I have the option of using a park and ride location that would cut the commute to only 40 miles round trip.
I don't really appreciate that some members of this forum just straight dismiss getting this vehicle if the daily commute is over 50 miles (in fact I have outlined 3 scenarios for my daily commute one of which is only 40 mile). I think that there are probably many people that drive further than this with their leaf on a daily basis. Living in the DFW area, there are many charging stations available and I also have multiple other vehicles that I own that I can use if needed. This is why I had inquired about being able to test drive for more than just a couple of hours. I would like to be able to see if I can make the vehicle work for my specific situation (without having the commitment of purchase/lease) and not be too bothered by possibly having to stop to charge during my commute.

Re: DFW test drive

Posted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 12:05 pm
by astricklin
LeftieBiker wrote:For a 90 mile commute, your best bet is Prius PHEV. Let it manage the battery charge on its own instead of using EV mode a lot, and you'll do the 90 miles on one gallon of gas.
The PiP is not available from Texas dealers at this time. This is not an option. Also the Volt and BMW extended range are too expensive and not large enough vehicles for my needs. I would seriously consider a Focus electric as well, but I do not think the availability is very good in Texas and I know they are also more expensive than the leaf.

Re: DFW test drive

Posted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 5:28 am
by Pipcecil
As a three year leaf owner 90 is too much, With heat battery degradation, I can only get about 50-54 miles (average) on a nice summer day with light AC use on one charge (and that's to just above turtle). Luckily I can charge at work. It is worse in the winter (maybe 35-40) when it was in the teens.

When you look at the leaf range you have to consider both winter driving and degradation over time. Winter will cut out maybe 20% more from your range - and that's freezing in the car with barely any heater (although my 2011 is very inefficient compared to the heat pumps offered in the SV/SL line). With the Texas heat you will loose 30% of your battery in 3 years. So whatever range you get new, knock off 30% (its actually a little more because of resistance stuff, but its a good ballpark). And yes, the stacking of 30% battery lose and winter can be very brutal.

If you want an extended test drive, enterprise here in DFW rents Leafs. I know this because my car was in the body shop (was rear ended) and the enterprise down the street (in arlington) had leaf's to rent, but all were rented at the time. You can get an extended test drive there. I don't know if dealerships would allow an extended test drive. I knew Chevy dealerships in the metroplex were offering weekend test drives of the Volt, but that was awhile ago. Also, don't discount a Volt so easily. If you need 5 passenger, then yea, it won't work. But the trunk of the Volt is surprising large for its class, and the Volt is also super posh - you get all the greatest stuff. The price did come almost in line with the leaf plus many places were offering 0% interest. Despite costing 5-6k more than my leaf, my wife's monthly volt payments are way less because of the 0% interest.

If a Leaf or Volt just won't work, your best bet is a Ford C-max Energi or a Ford Fusion Energi. Both available in Texas, bigger than a Volt/Prius and cheaper than a Volt. As mentioned PiP is not available in Texas.

Both Energi's get ~20 miles on electricity (21 by the EPA rating) and get an average of 43 mpg, better than the volt but not as good as a Prius (although its better than a Prius V). So if you want a plug-in but with some space and cheaper than a Volt - this is the way to go.

Good luck with your choices! As you mentioned we do have lots of charging stations around, so if you don't mind walking to your work then its a great idea. We also have a BUNCH of QC stations around (well more than most places). While it will cost you and additional 20-30 minutes of your time on a daily commute, it is an option if you needed it (via a cold day, lots of wind, or errands to run). If you haven't seen the map in my sig, check it out - it has all the stations in the metroplex divided by type and by company.