For those like me who want to conserve as much energy as possible I offer my recipe--tested over 2,000 miles--for getting the highest Mile per KWh from the Leaf. I have a lifetime average of 5.8 miles per KWh (dash reading) and a daily commute that involves 1300 feet of elevation gain, with 28 miles on freeway and 12 miles on city streets. Over 100,000 miles, I figure that I will save 7,800 KWh compared to an average of 4.0 miles per KWh. That's a lot more than turning off a few lights. At 15 cents per KWh (for LA DWP Green Power) that comes out to almost $1200. Note that the environmental considerations of energy conservation are an order of magnitude more important to me than price.
There are two main principles to follow in order to achieve this mileage:
1) The slower you drive the better, since wind resistance increases with the square of the velocity. Never drive faster than 55 MPH, except by coasting down a hill.
2) To the maximum extent possible, don't use energy from the battery that can't be dissipated by coasting, hills, or wind resistance (rather than from regen or braking). Once that energy is gone, the most you can get back is 30% from regen. EDIT: from the regen thread, it appears regen is probably more like 70%: http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=5509
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How Stoaty does this in practice:
1) Treat the Leaf like a video game, learning how to maximize your efficiency as you practice
2) Use EV Mode with Energy Screen showing on the Navigator screen
3) Charge to 80% when feasible (I alway do this), since you will have regen available right away (if needed) instead of waiting until the battery discharges significantly
4) Maximum speed in the city is usually 25-35 MPH; maximum speed on the freeway is 52 MPH (traffic permitting, which it often doesn't), except when coasting down a hill. Use right lane of freeway when traffic is significantly faster.
5) Accelerate gently from stops (usually up to 10 KW, occasionally up to 20 KW)
6) Look ahead at the speed of traffic and the next 1-2 stoplights. Note whether the lights are "stale" (have been green for a while and likely to change soon) so you can anticipate when you are likely to need to slow down or stop. Use just enough power so that you can end up coasting up to stopped traffic, or using a minimal amount of regen to slow when necessary.
7) Once you are up to cruising speed, feather the accelerator so that you are either coasting (zero on energy screen) or using just a slight amount of power to keep speed constant
8) Don't let off the accelerator enough to invoke regen unless you need to slow down. This just wastes power unnecessarily.
9) When you need to use regen, use it over a long enough distance that you don't max out on regen and end up needing to apply the brakes also
10) Use the brakes only when the above techniques have failed to slow you enough or you have to stop (absent an unexpected stops, brakes should usually only be needed below 10 MPH).
11) EDIT: after further testing, I now use regen on long downhill stretches (like Sepulveda Pass on 405 freeway) and keep my speed at 50-52 MPH. This resulted in a 5% increase in efficiency on my regular 47 mile commute (6.1 -> 6.4 miles/KWh on energy screen center console)
12) Don't be concerned if people race by you, and occasionally--and rudely--honk. If you are driving with maximum efficiency you will likely see them stopped very soon, either in a freeway slowdown, or waiting at a light. I often pass the people who raced up to the light in another lane and are waiting there, stopped.
13) Stoaty has rarely used AC, partly because it isn't that hot, and partly because when it got up to 95 degrees (low humidity) he used that as an opportunity to acclimate to the heat--which paid off on a recent backpacking trip. Depending on the temperature, humidity, your heat tolerance, etc. this may not work for you.
It really isn't that hard to learn, and soon becomes second nature. Driving this way is fun and relaxing, because you are never in a hurry to make the next light and don't spend very much time stopped. There also isn't much of a time penalty--at least for me--because my commute has gone from 32 minutes one way to 37 minutes one way.
Any other eco-obsessive drivers out there?