seanxushen
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2015 10:58 am
Delivery Date: 18 Nov 2015

New 2015SL range in extreme cold weather

Thu Jan 14, 2016 6:12 am

I have an almost new 2015 SL which I have got in November.

Yesterday, I have charged my car to about 97%, drove to downtown and return. It was about only 69km for the trip. The battery went down to about 20%. I almost worried if I can get home. Half of the trip is on traffic Jam on highway, another half is on highway drove 100km/hr. (Air Heater is off , I have only seat heater on)

The outside temperature is about -10 degree C.

Is that normal? A car with only less than 80km range is not that useful for my opinion. I almost believe that I made a wrong choice to purchase the leaf.

jjeff
Posts: 1920
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Leaf Number: 422121
Location: MSP MN

Re: New 2015SL range in extreme cold weather

Thu Jan 14, 2016 7:14 am

Sorry not too good with C but in warmer Wx(above 60F) I can get ~80 miles on my '13(with full bars). When it gets down to 30F that drops to maybe 60-65, in the teens it's closer to 50 and the last few days(0 F) it's only about 40 miles and teens below zero F it's not unheard of to be closer to 30 miles :(
I've found temperature(and to a lesser degree strong wind) has a huge effect on range, especially when it gets sub zero F. Because of this I like to plug mine in every chance I can when it's cold, even just if it's to warm the cabin prior to departure, everything helps. IMO the current affordable electric cars in the far North have a ways to go, when they get ~250 miles perfect conditions(like newer ones are promising) which I'd guess would be a bit over 100 at sub zero F temps it would be a lot more handy for most people. Note when it gets below freezing I leave my heater on basically all the time(has to be to keep windows clear) with a fan setting of 1 and air directed towards windscreen and floor, seat heaters and steering wheel never really get turned off.

If you can just make it past the real cold weather I believe you'll be happier with your Leaf, try and plug it in every chance you can when it's below freezing. In the summer I have no problems getting most anywhere I want with only 4/5 times/week nighttime charging(I like to keep mine set to 80% max except in teens or colder temps).
Note my ranges in my first paragraph are for a battery charged to 100%, something I don't usually do in the summer as my longest commute is normally less than 60 miles and thats only occasionally.
2012 SL purchased used 2/'16
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Stanton
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Re: New 2015SL range in extreme cold weather

Thu Jan 14, 2016 7:30 am

Put simply: cold weather is hell on batteries. The only good thing is the degradation/range loss is not permanent: it will return with warmer weather. I agree with the previous point about charging. While I'll charge anytime I can in the winter, it's completely the opposite in the summer: I never charge when the battery is > 6TB and I limit overnight charging to the early morning after the battery has had a chance to cool a bit (plus I can do 80% in my older Leaf).
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powersurge
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Re: New 2015SL range in extreme cold weather

Thu Jan 14, 2016 7:32 am

A few things... You are in a very cold temperature. You were driving fast, at almost 65 miles per hour. To get good range, the Leaf should be driven between 50-60 miles per hour. I drive highway at 53-55 miles per hour. If you drove 43 miles, and were left with 20 miles left, then you were low with your range.

However, we do not know how many hills you drove up, how many stops and starts you made, and how your acceleration was in the stop and go traffic. Also, if you use the Heat/ A/C to defog your windows in a cold environment, that would also affect the range.

I also have a 2015. I would say that your experience has way too many unknowns to estimate what you "should" get in range. You should take a drive on a flat road, with little or no other accessories, and reset your trip meter and the meter that measures "miles per kilowatt". On the highway at 55 miles per hour, a good number to get is between 4.4 to 5.5 miles per kilowatt. That is the true measure of how your car is performing.

One last thing, This is all assuming that you have all 12 bars of battery strength on the right of your dash display.. please update?? Where are you living?

seanxushen
Posts: 42
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Delivery Date: 18 Nov 2015

Re: New 2015SL range in extreme cold weather

Thu Jan 14, 2016 8:36 am

I have found http://www.greencarreports.com/news/108 ... rom-canada.
Looks like in -10 degree (10 F), average leaf range is about 50 miles, it is what I experienced.

In respond the update, above asked, I said that I did turn air heat off and leave the seat heat on. On highway with no traffic, I drove about 65 mile/hour, and I never be able to keep that speed. With 43miles total drive, it spends me about two hours, so you can imaging how bad the traffic was.

I am in Toronto, and we use Km, and C. I think most of people here are from US, so I start to use your numbers now..

BrockWI
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Re: New 2015SL range in extreme cold weather

Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:27 am

The thing that gets me is it HAS to be the outside environment. I can leave with the car on a 40F (4C) day and get 4.5 for a known trip. Then I can make the exact same trip, with the car sitting in an insulated attached 40F garage for 12 hours overnight, drive the exact same trip in -10F (-23C) and I will get 3.5. Nothing but the outside temp has changed, no cabin heat either time. Battery starts 1F lower according to Leaf Spy. In summer that is a 6.5 trip :)

The only thing I can figure is air resistance and tires (and everything) getting colder as I drive, thus increasing rolling resistance.

FYI the trip is 10 miles round trip to drop of the kids for swim practice, max speed 40 mph with an average speed of 18, very consistent and repeatable trip.

But getting back to the original post, speed kills the battery, it seems even more so in winter. When it's -10F (-23C) here we are lucky to go 50 miles a charge with mostly city, urban driving, with the fan set on 1 with the windshield / foot setting and the heat set to 70F. Which works for us quite well.
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jjeff
Posts: 1920
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Re: New 2015SL range in extreme cold weather

Thu Jan 14, 2016 2:00 pm

seanxushen wrote:I have found http://www.greencarreports.com/news/108 ... rom-canada.
Looks like in -10 degree (10 F), average leaf range is about 50 miles, it is what I experienced.
Yes I'd agree with that, note even bumping things up to 20F seems to help quite a bit, 30F and higher is even better, zero F also seems to be a break point, colder that that and frequent charges are best.
If you can only make it past those cold days the Leaf is really great, of course if you need to drive 50+ miles in 0F degree days on a regular occasion, the Leaf may indeed be a bad choice.
One nice thing about plugging it in every night in the cold is you can use the climate control timer to have the car be nice and toasty warm when you leave, in that case I also like to use the charging timer so the batteries aren't sitting at full charge for extended periods of time and if I don't need the range I like to use the 80% charge option(not available on your '15 but you can simulate it using the charging timer).
Not so sure if avoiding a high SOC for extended periods of time is as important for battery longevity in very cold weather but I still do.
seanxushen wrote: In respond the update, above asked, I said that I did turn air heat off and leave the seat heat on. On highway with no traffic, I drove about 65 mile/hour, and I never be able to keep that speed. With 43miles total drive, it spends me about two hours, so you can imaging how bad the traffic was.
My distances were also averaging 65-70 MPH(freeway speeds around here) as others have said speed has a big impact on distance, in town or stop and go traffic actually helps things quite a bit.
seanxushen wrote: I am in Toronto, and we use Km, and C. I think most of people here are from US, so I start to use your numbers now..
I'd guess more people here than other sites might understand the metric system(engineers and such) but many are probably like me and know very little :oops: Locals always use C in my yearly vac to Canada and it generally confuses me. I like the newer cars like the Leaf where it's easy to change the spedo to Km/hr to match the signs, although going triple digits(10Km over posted) always looks fast on the dash :lol:
2012 SL purchased used 2/'16
2013 S w/QC purchased new
Juicebox Premium 60a L1/L2 EVSE, Ebusbar 16a L1/L2 EVSE
'12 EVSEupgrade'd 20a L1/L2 EVSE, '13 EVSEupgrade'd adjustable 6-20a L2, 6-13a L1 EVSE
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GRA
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Re: New 2015SL range in extreme cold weather

Thu Jan 14, 2016 3:06 pm

Just to provide accurate conversions, -10C = 14 deg. F, at which point a heat pump will provide no significant efficiency advantage over the resistive heater (the OP had the heat turned off, in any case). 100 km/hr = ~62 mph. [Update] 80 km is 49.7 miles. -30C = -22 deg. F. Centigrade (Celsius) and Fahrenheit are equal @ -40 (and at no other temp). For those who prefer tables: http://meteorologytraining.tpub.com/143 ... 2_24_2.jpg

The range experienced isn't out of line in those conditions, but the OP should check the tire pressure and make sure to set them at least 10% above what the owner's manual says (what do they use in Canada, kPa?), which will improve both life and range.
Last edited by GRA on Thu Jan 14, 2016 5:28 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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kubel
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Re: New 2015SL range in extreme cold weather

Thu Jan 14, 2016 4:03 pm

Summarizing the data:

New battery (presume 100% SOH)
14F = 14% capacity loss due to cold
Less regen and more rolling resistance due to cold
50% stop-and-go, 50% at 62mph
Heater off
43 miles to 20%.

Based on the data you supplied, you would have run out at about 55 miles which is what I would expect out of a new car with the heater running with eco mode on at this temperature and at that speed. You say the heater was not running, so either there's another variable at play (strong headwind, tires are under-inflated, car has cargo or passengers, or there's snow on the ground), or the battery is not at 100% health.

But yeah, my 2012 LEAF could *barely* make a 52 mile trip with the heater running in 14F under similar conditions with a 100% SOH battery on a full charge and with a pre-heated cabin. I would expect a 2015 to do slightly better since it's more efficient.
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minispeed
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Re: New 2015SL range in extreme cold weather

Thu Jan 14, 2016 4:15 pm

Well this is my second winter in the GTA with my leaf so I can give you some local advice. First off it's much better this year than it was last year. I drive 140km a day and stop for a charge in the winter. My wife has since stolen the leaf from me as she doesn't like getting in a cold car in the morning. She does 88km a day (Ancaster to Oakville) on one charge and doesn't turn off heat. She just keeps it under 100km on the highway and in the afternoon avoids the highway as it starts off quick (bad for range) then gets slow. She takes Dundas street and it's about the same time.

Last year the worst I ever had it was using 80% of my battery to go 73km, 85% highway at about 90-95km/hr (56-60mph) but that was on days that was as low as -30c (I think that's about where C and F are the same).

A couple tips I would give. Make sure your tire pressures are set cold. Most dealers set them hot, it's just easier since the tech picks up a car drives it around then brings it into the shop. Also a lot of places will set a default 32psi for all cars. This was done when I worked at a dealer. For both my leaf and my cousins leaf they were delivered with about 30psi cold. Easiest way to do this without an air pump is to pump them up at the gas station to 10-15 psi more than you want. Wait till the morning then release air until they are where you want them.

If you've already bought winter tires and they aren't LRR then that's a big hit to range.

Since you have an SL you have the 17s, they are heavy, very heavy. I would seriously recommend getting winter tires for safety but you can also get a nice range boost by dropping down to a light weight 15 or 16 in rim and tire. My 15s are 30lb a corner, 16s can easily be 36 lbs and stock 17s are 49 I think.

For tires I would go with a Nokian Hakkapellita R, Kal tire or MTC tire Oakville (better prices at MTC). They are some of the lowest rolling resistance tires you can buy. Also go with a 205/65/15 (I run those) or 205/60/16 (my cousin runs that on his SL) as it's a bit taller for less rolling resistance. You can also go with a Michelin Xice as it's very good for rolling resistance (I have them on both of my Prii). You can also run both of them up to 51psi.

As for 15 vs 16. 15s are a tight fit, very tight. I would only go 15 if you buy something listed on tire rack. They offer it as an option on the 2013 Leaf SV so select that. Since the 2015 leaf SL you have has 17s they don't offer 15s. You can call them to double check fitment even if you don't end up buying from them.

The only light 15 they offer is the Motegi SP10 at 14.4lbs.
For 16s they have the Enkei RPF1, 13.7lbs but $211US each. I called a few years ago and the Kosei K4R at 12.4 lbs fit but since the centre cap won't fit the leaf they aren't listed. They are $159US each and also a high offset so they will pull in closer to the car and be a bit better for aero (to see them search under a Hyundai veloster).

For 16s there's also the Motegi MR125 at 15.4, Advanti B1 Lupo at 15.6 and the Fast Hayaku at 15.6.

With maybe the exception of the Kosei you should be able to get the Motegi, Fast and Enkei at any place around here. JRP in Mississauga is the distributer for Enkei in Canada so they'll have the best price. I know MTC Oakville carries fast, and you can find a ton of places on Kijiji selling them too as they are a Canadian company.

Hope that helps.
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