Hello Deltwalrus, and welcome to Central Ohio LEAF Owners!
My commute: I have none, retired. I use the LEAF for everything except long-distance (>40 miles one way) travel. Most of my trips are shopping, multiple errands, dining out, appointments, and so on. Most of us charge our LEAFs overnight to 80% capacity as suggested by the owner's manual to increase battery life. On that, I can get 75 miles with limited driving on the Interstates. The more I'm on the Interstate, the fewer miles I can go. I do all driving in "ECO" mode as opposed to "D", which will mean more to you after you take delivery.
Charging my LEAF to 100% capacity gives me an additional 15-20 miles, again limited by Interstate driving.
I didn't buy a car to be uncomfortable in it so I use climate control for hot, cold, and humid days, which is to say, most of the time. When heat is needed but it isn't really cold, the heated seats and steering wheel are sufficient for me and save a lot of juice. Surprisingly, in hot weather the A/C uses less charge than I expected and works very well. It is also very, very nice to turn on the A/C 10 minutes or so before I get into the car when it is parked in the sun to cool it down in the summer. And yes, that takes a few miles away from you but it is wonderful.
I'm averaging 4.4 miles/kwh, which seems average to slightly-better than average. Given that the battery is a 25kwh battery, I should get 110 miles to completely drain the battery from full charge. That won't happen though as (1) the 4.4 is only an average, (2) the car goes into "turtle" mode at low charge restricting power and climate control, (3) I don't want to risk running out away from home or other charging station.
Your 50-mile RT (round trip) commute sounds like a perfect application for the LEAF, including the use of climate control and with a few miles left over should you want to drive a short distance to lunch. There are a few charging stations in and around downtown as well so you may be able to extend your range if you are parking near one of them. Some remain free to use, others have begun to charge for the electricity.
1- Charge to 80% overnight, do this by setting the charging time to FINISH charging around 5:30am or so.
2- Drive in "ECO" mode
3- Use regenerative braking as much as you safely can. This usually means slowing down sooner and more gently at lights and other stops.
4- Enjoy the car, the experience, and the forum!
5- At delivery, your LEAF dealer will have you sign up for Nissan's free Carwings service which links to your LEAF navigation system, iPhone/iPad links to the car, and so on. I also recommend signing up for the following charging station websites: http://www.BlinkNetwork.com
" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;, http://www.CarStations.com
" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;, http://www.ChargePoint.com
" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;, and any others that may install charging stations near your route.