We have a couple weeks (and a couple hundred miles) of experience.
The registration & title transfer was only $10 but when the old registration expires in July then we'll have to pay $340 annually. That's still $40 cheaper than our Prius. The Honolulu County and Hawaii state laws permit 2.5 hours of free parking and we get to use the HOV lane.
I've driven the same Oahu roads for 30 years, but driving them in the Leaf is different than a Gen II Prius. I've optimized my driving for high MPG with gentle acceleration. I know where to let a Prius coast, where to accelerate, and where to touch the brakes. It's all become muscle memory.
But with the Leaf in ECO mode (a good thing around here), I'm re-learning those habits. I can use the dashboard display to feather the accelerator and manually let the Leaf coast, and the Leaf's regenerative braking helps the cruise control maintain speed going downhill as well as uphill. (Not as much coasting downhill as the Prius.) The Leaf decelerates (regenerates) more than the Prius, so I have to get closer to intersections or turns before I take my foot off the accelerator to slow down. I hardly ever use the brake.
I’m pleasantly surprised that the Leaf displays my iPod's info on the dashboard in a presbyopian-friendly font. No more scrabbling for reading glasses to squint at the iPod's 1”x1” display.
I really enjoy driving it, but I'm not going to get to do that very often. It's definitely my spouse’s car. (When our daughter & son-in-law were visiting, it somehow became our daughter’s car.) Luckily it’s plenty roomy in the passenger & back seats.
Spouse has informed me that our Leaf is now “the clean car” and will not be subjected to seawater, sand, or surf wax. I'm apparently never going to be allowed to load a longboard in it, either, so that cargo question has been rendered moot. I’ve moved the roof rack to our 2005 Prius, which only has about 54K miles and will probably give us a few more years.
I've noticed that when I press or release the Leaf’s accelerator I can hear the faint "click" from the axle. It’s barely audible, and I'm only hearing it because the rest of the car is so quiet.
Please let me know if there’s a copy of the NTB 12-055 TSB around here or where I can find one. I’m not in any particular hurry (right?) and the car’s almost certainly out of its 3-year/36K warranty, so I could have a dealer take a look at it this year or next.
The Leaf has more hauling volume than our Prius, but I’m a little skeptical about driving it without a spare tire. We have the 12v air pump with its can of "flat tire sealant", and the sealant expired in March of 2018. Is it worth buying a new can of sealant? Or is it better to buy a spare wheel/tire? (And maybe a jack, and a wheel nut wrench?) 3 out of our 4 flat tires in the last decade have happened in our garage (slow leaks from road debris). We could just use our Prius jack on the Leaf, put the flat in the Prius, and head for the tire shop. If it happened on the road it’d be mightily annoying, but it’s only a 30x40-mile island.
The Leaf owner's manual seems to assume that we've installed a L2 240v charging system on the garage wall, and it discourages L1 110v charging. We're fine with L1 charging but I'd still like to understand the engineering issues behind the L1 vs L2 debate. I'm tempted to attach a 240v adapter plug on the Leaf's OEM 110v charger and stick it into the 240v receptacle behind our (rarely used) electric dryer.
I’m not trying to be a cheapskate-- I just don’t want to be responsible for still yet even more redundant infrastructure in our house. Is it worth buying an L2 EVSE? Any other benefits other than the faster charge, which we don’t need? Is the L2 somehow better for battery longevity? Do the aftermarket L2 EVSE charging systems have some convenience feature (charge timers? time-of-day metering?) which we "can't live without"?
I’ve verified (the hard way) that our Bosch OBDII code reader doesn’t connect to LeafSpy with our iOS devices. LeafSpy came right up with the LELink2. Thanks for all the threads and documentation on that.
On the “Battery Cells” first screen, the cells all seem to be within a mV of each other. It reported “AHr=54.69”, SOH of 88.06% after 3.5 years, and Hx of 80.21%. It shows nine DC charges and 620 L1/L2 charges (since August 2014).
The temperature graph (after the car sat in the garage overnight) shows all three sensors around 75-76 degrees. I’ll take another look at them after finishing a charge.
SOC on the third “Table” screen is 69.6% (same as the dashboard) and 175 GIDs (62.3%) with 13.6 Kwh remaining.
The code scan was interesting but not scary. DTCs include “U1000 0008 BCM CAN Comm Circuit” and I found this thread:
with this manual reference:
http://www.nicoclub.com/manuals/Leaf/20 ... AF/BCS.pdf
“B29A0 2408 Charger N/CHG Port Engage Err VC-95”
“B29C1 2308 Charger EVSE VC-98”
with these threads:
viewtopic.php?f=30&t=25812&p=526973&hil ... 95#p526973
viewtopic.php?f=30&t=26179&p=532376&hil ... 98#p532376
I’m not sure what “2408” or “2308” mean but the issues seem to be possible dirt or poor insulation. The car’s charging fine on L1 and I haven’t used an EVSE yet.
Best of all, LeafSpy helped me shut off the door auto-lock feature and the backup beep.
After extensive discussions, we gave away our dying 2006 Prius. A local family understands the issues with the dashboard display and the rest of the car's failing parts. They're happy to live with it or to fix it on their own. I gave them every opportunity to change their minds and say "No thanks", but their gearhead friend says there's really no downside for them. They've already transferred the title & registration.
I'm still figuring out how many more solar panels we'll need for our photovoltaic array. We've only charged the Leaf's battery a few times in the last week. We'll get a better feel for our driving habits during the next month but I'm guessing that I'll need at least 400 more watts.
This has still been our fastest & easiest vehicle transaction in nearly 40 years.
2015 model S, bought in January 2019.
2017 model S, bought in July 2019.