garyd9
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possible new leaf owner - wanted to say 'hi' and ask some questions

Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:46 pm

Good evening,

I'm very seriously considering purchasing a 2019 Leaf SL (non-plus) and hope I could ask a few questions to help me make this decision... In no particular order, as they pop into my head:

First, I'd be changing from a Toyota RAV4 Hybrid (which my wife is taking and I'll use her car as a trade.) Moving from a "CUV" to a compact (sub compact?) car seems like it'd be a large adjustment. How is the leaf's comfort for an almost 6 foot tall man who is a bit overweight? I've test driven the leaf, but often times a test drive doesn't reveal some comfort issues that might be experienced driving every day.

I've read (in this forum) that some people seem to have a major problem with the leather trim seats in the Leaf. However, I can't seem to find reference to any specific problems. Is it a poor quality leather, too thin, or... what? I know that some people (who wear shorts often) don't like leather because it gets hot/cold, but that's really not a concern for me.

How long could I expect to own the car in Western PA (Pittsburgh area) before the 40 KWh battery degrades by 50%? Nissan will replace the battery if it gets "below 9 out of 12 bars" in 8 yrs/100k miles, but I'm not sure what that really means. For all I know, their battery "bars" are as meaningless as signal strength "bars" on a mobile phone.

My daily commute (at the current time) is 32 miles a day (round trip) so I expect the non-plus will be plenty even on colder days even if I can only top of the battery with a level 1 charge at night (and for longer periods over the weekend if needed.)

Eventually, I'd wire a 220 jack/charger in my garage, but probably NOT the 220v, 50amps that the nissan supplied cable expects. Am I correct that if I use a different EVSE that's designed for lower amperage, that it'd actually supply less amperage to the car?

How does the car handle in snow/ice?

How does the car handle and feel on a highway going 65-75 MPH? Obviously, the "engine" wouldn't be noisy, but is there much wind noise? Is the drive smooth? (No dealership wants to let me drive their car on a highway to test this myself.)

In testing, I noticed that the car has nice pick-up. Does that change when the battery is lower than full? (The reason for asking is that in the toyota hybrid I have now, the battery supplies less power as it's charge gets lower and the ICE kicks in sooner.)

Every car make/model/trim has issues that most owners know about. For example, my RAV4 has the upgraded JBL amp/stereo/speakers that's actually a major downgrade. Often times, owners don't find out about these things until AFTER they've signed on the dotted line. What are the issues I should expect to see from the '19 Leaf SL (with tech package)?

As someone who's never before owned (or leased) an EV, is there anything else I should know? (Please don't use acronyms without defining them. I've seen GOM, SOH, Ahr, and a few others that I'm still not sure what they mean...)

Thank you
Gary

LeftieBiker
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Re: possible new leaf owner - wanted to say 'hi' and ask some questions

Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:23 pm

I'll add to this later, but for now a few quick answers:

* I'm the one who complaints most about the leather seats. There is nothing wrong with the quality: for me the issue is that they are leather. Leather seats are hot in Summer, cold in Winter, and are made from animal hides. I'm a vegetarian.

* The Leaf II isn't noisy at highway or freeway speeds. Not silent, but quieter than most ICE cars.

* The acceleration remains the same until the car is very, very low on charge. However, there seems to be an issue with driving fast, uphill, with less than 50% charge, and the heater running in cold weather. The charge level display seems to be programmed to try to scare you into slowing down by displaying a falsely low state of charge, and there may be a loss of power, under those conditions.

* I'm only 5'9", but in general people under about 6'2" seem to fit the Leaf fine. I am kind of fat these days, and still find the seats fine. One related issue is with the center console being too wide, intruding into the space for the driver's right leg.
Scarlet Ember 2018 Leaf SL W/ Pro Pilot
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Nubo
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Re: possible new leaf owner - wanted to say 'hi' and ask some questions

Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:12 pm

garyd9 wrote:Eventually, I'd wire a 220 jack/charger in my garage, but probably NOT the 220v, 50amps that the nissan supplied cable expects. Am I correct that if I use a different EVSE that's designed for lower amperage, that it'd actually supply less amperage to the car?
The signal from the EVSE tells the car how many amps it can pull. You must of course only install the EVSE on a circuit whose wiring can supply those amps. More specifically, the device is only allowed to pull a maximum of 80% of the circuit's capacity. So on a 20 amp circuit you can only install a 16A EVSE, etc...

Some EVSE can be adjusted to supply more than one amperage level.
I noticed you're still working with polymers.

Lothsahn
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Re: possible new leaf owner - wanted to say 'hi' and ask some questions

Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:44 pm

I'll add a few things:
I own a 2011, so it's different than the 2019. They did a redesign in 2018.

That said, it's one of the quietest cars I've ever driven, especially at low speeds. It is also quiet on the highway. We call it Casper (the ghost).

I'm 5'10" and I fit just fine. I'm ~200 lbs. Again, redesign may have changed the interior.

With new Continental Procontacts and aligned it drives like a dream... Low CG, good cornering, and stable at all speeds.

Snow and ice: The stock tires (Ecopias) are all about maximum range. For ice/snow, they're ok, not great. With Procontacts I had no issues all winter (and we had a lot of ice). The car does have slightly less traction than most accelerating because the weight is 50/50, whereas most gas cars have most of the weight on the front wheels. Good for not spinning out, bad for going up steep, slick, icy hills. Most people wouldn't even notice. Essentially it handles like a mid-engine sports car.

The bars aren't arbitrary, but I don't know if they changed with the 40kWh. 8 bars used to correspond to roughly 65% capacity. My car has 7 bars at 57%. Your battery should last MUCH longer than mine (2011/2012 had defective batteries).

I get 20 miles with the heat cranked in the winter and 40-45 in the summer driving carefully. My car is a 24kWh battery, so your 40 kWh would have to degrade A LOT to fail your 32 mi commute. I wouldn't be worried about that unless you want to keep the car for 12+ years. You'll be in warranty for the first 10 years anyway...

110v charging should work for you, but I'd you do a lot of driving one day, it may literally take 2 days to charge to full.

If you do run a 240V circuit, pull 50A unless your panel absolutely can't. It'll be worth it for any future electric cars you might get, will work with all EVSEs, and it won't cost that much more than 30-40A.

Given your climate, I'd try to make sure the car has a heat pump (SV/SL).

Btw... Terms:
SOH: State of health (% capacity/health of the battery). This corresponds to the little bars on the dash
SOC: State of charge (% battery charge). This corresponds to the big bars on the dash.
GOM: guess of miles (Miles Left shown on dash)
Ah: ampere hours (Google it for a lengthy explanation)
2011 Silver SV, purchased 2018, lives in Missouri (previously in CA)
LeafSpy Pro + BAFX Products OBDII dongle
Battery swap 2019/04/24 (87% SOH, 12 bar)

LeftieBiker
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Re: possible new leaf owner - wanted to say 'hi' and ask some questions

Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:23 pm

Eventually, I'd wire a 220 jack/charger in my garage, but probably NOT the 220v, 50amps that the nissan supplied cable expects. Am I correct that if I use a different EVSE that's designed for lower amperage, that it'd actually supply less amperage to the car?
Nissan goofed big time by including a dual voltage EVSE that requires a 40 amp circuit, while implying that people can plug it into (typically 30 amp) dryer circuits. You don't need a 50 amp circuit, but you do need 40, because the National Electrical Code requires constant draw devices like EV charging stations and cable to have circuits with 20% more amperage available, to prevent overheating issues.

House voltages in the US are now primarily 120 and 240 volts. Some commercial charging stations and many townhouse type residences use 208 volt primary feeds. (I don't actually know if the lower voltage outlets in that case are 120, 110, or what...)

EDIT: OK, I checked. Regular outlet voltage in homes with 208 volt service is still 120 volts.
Scarlet Ember 2018 Leaf SL W/ Pro Pilot
2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, & 3 EZIP E-bicycles.
BAFX OBDII Dongle
PLEASE don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

LeftieBiker
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Re: possible new leaf owner - wanted to say 'hi' and ask some questions

Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:27 pm

Given your climate, I'd try to make sure the car has a heat pump (SV/SL).
The heat pump is now optional on the SV (but standard on the SL). You have to get the SV All Weather Package to get the heat pump, heated steering wheel, and even heated seats.
Scarlet Ember 2018 Leaf SL W/ Pro Pilot
2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, & 3 EZIP E-bicycles.
BAFX OBDII Dongle
PLEASE don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

Evoforce
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Re: possible new leaf owner - wanted to say 'hi' and ask some questions

Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:35 pm

Buy a brand of EV (Leaf is not it) that liquid cools its battery (for longevity), has long range (for trips if needed), has the best safety rating, has faster recharge rate (away from home), has a better resale value (less depreciation), has better charging infrastructure, etc. Then you can ditch all ice as soon as possible.
*2011 Leaf 1 bought 2/28/15 @ 28,000ish mi 10 bar (8 bars @ 11/25/15 @ 37,453 ) (New lizard @ 39,275 mi @ 1/20/2016) Now 52,166 mi.
*Tesla Model S 61,000 mi
*2011 Leaf 2 bought 4/28/15 @ 24,000ish mi 12 bar (new lizard Dec. 2014 @ 22,273 mi) Now 35,485 mi

LeftieBiker
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Re: possible new leaf owner - wanted to say 'hi' and ask some questions

Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:45 pm

How long could I expect to own the car in Western PA (Pittsburgh area) before the 40 KWh battery degrades by 50%? Nissan will replace the battery if it gets "below 9 out of 12 bars" in 8 yrs/100k miles, but I'm not sure what that really means. For all I know, their battery "bars" are as meaningless as signal strength "bars" on a mobile phone.
Leafs have 12 little capacity "bars" (the original Leaf dashboard had a charge display that consisted of 12 "fuel bars" and the capacity bars were short little extensions of them on the display) displayed. IIRC, the 40kwh Leafs have a capacity screen that looks more like a cell phone battery display, with 12 segments that have no dividing lines. Anyway, the 12th bar (the first one to vanish as capacity drops) represents about 15% of the full capacity. The bars after that each represent about half that much. The capacity represented is real, and important, but the representation isn't extremely accurate. Still, this is the measure that Nissan uses to decide if you get a new battery under warranty.
Scarlet Ember 2018 Leaf SL W/ Pro Pilot
2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, & 3 EZIP E-bicycles.
BAFX OBDII Dongle
PLEASE don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

alozzy
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Re: possible new leaf owner - wanted to say 'hi' and ask some questions

Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:46 pm

garyd9 wrote: How is the leaf's comfort for an almost 6 foot tall man who is a bit overweight?
I'm 6'-3" and 205 lbs and the 2013 fit is decent, but not perfect. The center console gets in the way of my knee, which on longer trips is uncomfortable and the seat kind of sucks too. But, that's unfortunately true of many cars - they aren't made for people over 6' tall.
garyd9 wrote: How long could I expect to own the car in Western PA (Pittsburgh area) before the 40 KWh battery degrades by 50%?
Probably a decade.
garyd9 wrote: Am I correct that if I use a different EVSE that's designed for lower amperage, that it'd actually supply less amperage to the car?
Yes, as long as the EVSE has the ability to operate at multiple amperage set points. An inexpensive portable EVSE that does that is the Zencar 32A model.
garyd9 wrote: How does the car handle in snow/ice?
Better than any other car I've owned, but I don't own the 2019 LEAF.
garyd9 wrote: How does the car handle and feel on a highway going 65-75 MPH? Obviously, the "engine" wouldn't be noisy, but is there much wind noise? Is the drive smooth?
The reviews I've seen are all pretty consistent - it's quiet.
garyd9 wrote: In testing, I noticed that the car has nice pick-up. Does that change when the battery is lower than full?
On my 2013 SV, I don't notice any difference in "pick-up" at lower states of charge.
garyd9 wrote: What are the issues I should expect to see from the '19 Leaf SL (with tech package)?
Likely similar issues to the 2018, so have a look at this ongoing post, among others:

http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?f=55&t=25521
Vancouver, CA owner of a 2013 Ocean Blue SV + QC, purchased 01/2017 in WA
Zencar 12/20/24/30A L1/L2 portable EVSE
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Loving my first BEV :D

LeftieBiker
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Re: possible new leaf owner - wanted to say 'hi' and ask some questions

Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:33 am

How does the car handle in snow/ice?
If you have little snow or ice, it handles as well as any other FWD car with all-season tires, and better than many. Add dedicated snow tires on all four wheels, and it handles great in snow and ice. The Michelin X-ice is a common choice, including for me. They are actually very quiet as well. If you want extra wheels for the snows, 17" Nissan Juke wheels fit fine. I'm not 100% sure if the 16" alloy wheels from previous Leafs fit, but I think the Leaf S still uses the same 16" steel wheels; if so, then 16" snows on 16" steel wheels should work great.
Scarlet Ember 2018 Leaf SL W/ Pro Pilot
2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, & 3 EZIP E-bicycles.
BAFX OBDII Dongle
PLEASE don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

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