GerryAZ wrote:The car does not need to be plugged in or turned on for the app to communicate with it. You can start climate control on battery power or check status anytime. You need to use refresh on the app if you want to update status of the car.
Interesting, that doesn't seem to be how it is working for us....we'll keep playing with it.
So you were told you had to pay for the 3G upgrade on a "2015?" Hmmm, interesting. My take; if that is the case, forget it. Its not really worth the money imho, especially for your apparent use case.
Yes, but it seems it was a mistake on the NissanConnect rep's end. For some reason she thought my car didn't have a TCU already, but it did, and it already had the upgrade to 3G as part of the Certified Pre-Owned inspection. So I was good to go, and the service is free for me (no upgrade cost, and no $15 monthly fee like the 2018 Leaf owners have to pay). As long as it stays free and doesn't cause me other trouble (such as 12V battery drain), then I'll likely keep using it.
BUT that is not why I am posting. Your have 2 MAJOR conflicting statement here. First off, you want to hypermile and think your roads are not conducive to getting great results and you would be right BUT not for the reasons you think.
I have driven the roads in your area many many many times and have gotten the best performance from my LEAF. For one thing, hills are not the best for highly efficient driving but can be mitigated quite a bit. So experiment with different driving styles. Your biggest advantage is the 55 mph speed limit. Stick to that "average" and your efficiency will soar.
Good to know, thank you! When driving in these hilly, windy areas, do you recommend setting the cruise control at 55 mph, or just keeping your average at 55 (i.e. gaining speed by not using regen on downhills, then allowing the car to lose speed on uphills)?
But efficiency does not start when you get behind the wheel. Relying on Level one will put you in a deep hole that will be difficult to overcome.
When you plug your car in, several things happen. NONE of them run on love. They ALL use electricity. This would be electricity diverted from the path that ends at your battery pack. This process happens only with AC charging. Now realize all charging we have losses due to heat, etc. Nothing much we can do for that. BUT the ideology that charging slower to generate less heat is wrong because of the all the support systems using their tiny slices of that incoming power.
In a nutshell; the overhead of the charging system only changes slightly from 120 volt 1.44 KW charging to 240 volt charging up to 6.6 KW. Due to this scenario, you want to charge rather quickly.
Effective charging efficiencies; FYI; I only list what I personally use on a regular enough basis to determine efficiency since measurements have to be taken over several days and averaged. 120 volt measurements were determined by Kill A watt meter. The 240 volt measurements were determined using a utility grade meter hooked in series before the dedicated charging outlet.
120 volts @ 12 amps; 1.44 KW = 75% to the battery
240 volts @ 12 amps; 2.88 KW = 85%
240 volts @ 20 amps; 4.8 KW = 88%
240 Volts @ 25 amps 6.0 KW = 90%
Definitely good info, thanks for your research! I do plan on adding Level 2 at home, I'm just not sure I'll get to it immediately since we're a little cash poor after buying the car! I was planning to add a dedicated 240V circuit at 40A, which the goal of being able to charge two EVs simultaneously (since we plan to get another one in 5 years or so). I own my home, so I'm happy to do permanent installs.
So advice #1 ; get an EVSE
Compare EVSE equipment for the home. There are a MILLION different options out there nowadays. Even Costco sells them now. I have a Clipper Creek mostly because it comes with just about any plug you want. Mine is the plug into the wall kind since I rent and although I haven't moved since I got, I have moved twice before so portability is a big requirement for me. Before doing that, check with your PUD, etc. for possible incentives and rebates to cover part of that cost. I already had several EVSEs when I got my Clipper Creek but because of incentives that overlapped my Clipper Creek purchase gave me back all but $30 of my expense of the EVSE purchase and wiring the extra dryer plug in the garage (Permitting is a LOT cheaper that way)
That's what's holding me back...there's no incentives from my power company, so all of this is out of pocket. I'm confident in my abilities to run the 240V circuit myself, but I'm nervous about voiding my home insurance by not using a certified electrician. I'm looking into the option of doing the work myself but having an electrician inspect and certify it. I also prefer a portable EVSE, it just makes sense since I'm considering long distance travel in the Leaf. This is the one I'm looking at:
EVI Deluxe Dual Voltage EV Portable Smart Charger Plus
That's the most recent recommendation in the EVSE thread. It comes with all the adapters, allows custom amperage selection, and the price is right. Thoughts?
2) Charge your LEAF every day. If your driving needs are very modest or you know in advance you will won't be going anywhere (On occasion, I know this but its rare for me as my life is not predictable and I tend to run off and "freewheel" on my days off, etc.) you might be able to skip a day but doing so on a regular basis means you are putting too much charge into the LEAF.
Based on my driving habits, I was thinking of charging Tues, Thurs, Sat, Sun, and aiming to charge to 80% each time. If I ever take a longer roadtrip and need to charge to 100%, I should know that days in advance and be able to override the charging timer. I believe this will continually keep me in that 50% - 80% sweet spot, as my routine drive to town and back uses about 30% of the battery. What do you mean by 'you are putting too much charge into the LEAF'? Wouldn't charging less help keep the battery at a lower state of charge for a longer period of time?
Advice #2; You say you don't need timers but if you have TOU billing, you want to do all your charging when rates are lowest but more important; You do not want to charge to full if you don't need that much range and it sounds like most of the time you won't. Now you can manage your charging manually. I do it but it and it works for me but I wouldn't recommend it to "anyone" else because its a bit of a pain.
We don't use TOU billing, it is flat rate at 12 cents per kW/hr. We did the math and if we switched to TOU and were very careful, we might save $5 per year. And if we weren't careful it would end up costing us more. So flat rate is a much better option, I think. I'm still using the charge timer to only charge at night to help keep the battery at a cooler temp during charging, and to make sure there's nothing else running on the circuit (the current 120V circuit I'm using is shared by my workshop where I'll run shop tools, but I'm definitely not going to be running any shop tools between midnight and 8 am... again, that's just temporary until I get the dedicated 240V circuit installed).
So anyway, I know you asked specific questions and I haven't really answered any of them but let me say there have been a "few" issues with 12 volt battery management so if you decided CARWINGS is a required part of your future, then get a 12 volt jumper box or something in case you need it. I only had CARWINGS on my 2011 and yeah, during a two week period when I was forced to park on the street, there was twice it was cold enough to do the remote heating and yeah, it was cool I guess. But what I wanted my car to do about a HUNDRED times was to precool the car but unfortunately my approximate 7 minute walk to the parking lot from my desk was usually not enough time to get the car cooling. In fact, about half the time, it didn't even start at all. This pretty much ended my desire to have CARWINGS. Now realize that my 2011 was 2G and now we have blazingly 4G. (yours would only be 3G) but most accounts of 2018 users seems to be in agreement that the system is still quite slow.
I carry around this little Li-ION jump starter battery:
HyperPS 6800mah Multi-function Vehicle Car Jump Starter Mobile Power Bank Battery Charger Emergency Kit with LED Torch
Bought it from Amazon, but unfortunately they don't seem to carry it anymore. That's a shame, because it is a great little device! Supports quick charging on my phone through USB-C, and I've used it to successfully jump start a Prius before. Haven't tested it on the Leaf, but I'm confident it would work given the Leaf's smallish 12V battery.
I have heard about the slowness of the remote climate control start...I'm planning to kick it on about 20 mins before leaving, we'll see if that's enough. At home the car is parked in a garage, so the temp stays pretty stable anyway.
Also, even if I decided to stop using NissanConnect/Carwings, wouldn't the TCU still be operating and draining the 12V battery? The car is relaying telemetry data to Nissan servers regardless, right?
On the flipside; your concern about Leaf Spy killing the battery? I haven't heard that and in reality, there is little hard evidence why 12 volt batteries die on LEAFs so suddenly. Yes, its true the 12 volt BMS is crap. The lead acid battery is essentially treated likes its a Lithium based battery which is the same as telling a vegan to eat around the meat on a pizza with mushrooms...
But its my feeling the CARWINGS is the primary reason 12 volt batteries die. As far as Leaf Spy. I always make sure I exit the program (in settings you can make sure BT shuts off on exit as well) and have never had a 12 volt battery issue.
The two things I consider indispensable for all LEAFers is Leaf Spy and Plugshare. If you like data, you will LOVE LEAF Spy. I use a dedicated phone for my LEAF Spy device (too much junk on regular phone) in airplane mode and connect to home wi fi regularly to transfer files to my home computer.
On your pricing; Leaf Spy Pro is $20 (I would NEVER consider getting anything less) The current recommended dongle is $35. I would HIGHLY recommend you check with Jim (see thread here) or access LEAF Spy help menu for recommended dongles. There are a TON out there that do not work. FYI; You can go to Amazon and search OBD device for Nissan LEAF if that is easier for you.
Thanks, I'm definitely happy to pay a bit more for a dongle that just works (and has an on/off switch). I expect that I would only really use LeafSpyPro while on long roadtrips, but I think I will enjoy the data on it as you do.
Thank you for such a detailed reply! Just yesterday I was reading your blog about your trip down the Oregon coast to test out the upgraded charging stations. Granted you have more range than I do, but it was still refreshing to see that EV roadtripping in this area is quite doable!