Jctz1
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2022 7:04 pm
Delivery Date: 13 Apr 2022
Leaf Number: 015219
Location: General Vancouver Area, BC, Canada

Living in Apartment Building - Charging questions

Hello,
We recently took the plunge and bought our first EV, a 2012 24kWh Nissan Leaf. It has 9 battery bars and overall is in great condition.
It drives so well, too, I am still getting used to it but even as someone who doesn't particularly like driving, I enjoy it immensely. It truly feels like gliding.
Our issue at the moment is that we live in a 30 year old apartment building, so we have no way of charging the car over night at home (no chargers or granny pins in the parkade). Luckily there's plenty of public chargers close by. The Level 2 chargers have a charge limit time of 2 hours, and the Fast DC chargers have a limit of 1 hour.
So far I have only charged the car twice, once at a level 2 charger for about 1:30hrs, which netted me around 4.3kWh of battery (how much charge is that in percentage? 17%?) just to test out the waters and learn how to charge it, and it went from 4 bars to 7 bars of charge.
The second time was the day after; I happened to hit a curb at low speeds (entry to parkade is stupidly designed) the previous day and was concerned about having damaged a tire in my new car, so I took it to a shop to get checked and while everything was fine, the person who drove the car drove it a bit recklessly and lowered it from 7 to 6 bars. I figured I'd try to get the car to 80%, so I went to the Fast Charging station and put 3.9kWh in the battery, from 6 bars to 11 bars.
All the stuff I have read about charging EV's say that the ideal situation is to charge using the granny pin or level 2 charging, from 20-80%, and to only use fast charging sparingly. We luckily don't drive a lot, maybe once or twice a week, though a couple of places we go to are between 20 and 30kms away (12-18 miles roughly, times two to account for the way back), and include a bit of highway driving, so I'd like to be sure that I am preserving those 9 bars of battery as long as possible. So I have a few questions:
1) What does "keep battery between 20-80%" actually mean? Does it mean to only use the car down to 20% and only charge it up to 80%? Or does it mean to keep the battery within that 20-80 range and charge as needed? for example, from 40-65 or from 50-80, etc.
2) Since we can't charge at home, and we can only charge in public stations 2-3 hours at a time, would that damage the battery, since we're not consistently getting to 80 or 100?
3) How often should we actually use Fast Charging? Once every few weeks? Only to make it back from a longer venture out?
4) Since the battery degradation for this used car is at 9 bars, I'm assuming it has degraded around 25%, which for a 10 year car sounds pretty good to me, though still concerning range-wise. Given this, what would be a good percentage equivalence per bar?
I'd appreciate any insight on any or all of these questions.
Thanks.
J.
2012 Leaf SL
cwerdna
Posts: 13379
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:31 pm
Delivery Date: 28 Jul 2013
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: Living in Apartment Building - Charging questions

2) No
3) Less is better. My last Leaf didn't even have a CHAdeMO inlet and I sold it when it turned about 8 years old.

Out of curiosity, what country are you in? Are you in Canada?

I wouldn't recommend Leafs to people w/o a means to charge at home, work or some place where you will be for hours at a time. You shouldn't have gotten a pre-'13 if you wanted to charge more quickly. '13 SV and '13 SL (and '13 S w/charge package) in the US have 6.6 kW on-board chargers so charging on L2 can be faster. On 240 volt L2s stations, you can hit 6.6 kW at 240 volts. If only 208 volts, it tends to be ~5.7 to 6.1 kW or so.

'22 Niro EV
'19 Bolt Premier (bought back by GM)
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Jctz1
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2022 7:04 pm
Delivery Date: 13 Apr 2022
Leaf Number: 015219
Location: General Vancouver Area, BC, Canada

Re: Living in Apartment Building - Charging questions

Hi cwerdna, thanks for taking the time to reply!
2) No
That's good to know! So theoretically we could just charge as needed within the 20-80 charge range, right?
Are you in Canada?
Yes, in BC.
You shouldn't have gotten a pre-'13 if you wanted to charge more quickly.
Unfortunately the 2012 is the only one we could afford. Leafs have gone up in price recently (20,000 CAD + for a 2015 with 100,000km in the ODO, for example), and this one seemed like a good deal. There is also a possibility of us getting to a place where we can charge overnight in the not so distant future, so we purchased with that in mind, but for the time being we are in an apartment building and that's why I have these questions. It's not like we need to fast charge every time, but we have the option to do so, hence why I was wondering how often it would be good to fast charge. Knowing that we can just level 2-charge when we need to is a relief, and it's what we would rather do.
2012 Leaf SL
User avatar
Marktm
Gold Member
Posts: 836
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 10:49 am
Delivery Date: 14 May 2021
Leaf Number: 022737
Location: Houston, TX

Re: Living in Apartment Building - Charging questions

Doing a little research on your "granny" issue (being from US), I found this interesting article. Appears the easiest, but likely not the most recommended is an "extension" for your granny charger (actually charge controller). If that's just not possible, you are stuck with area charge stations.

https://toughleads.co.uk/pages/safely-c ... ic-vehicle

Having owned a 2012 for about a year with (eventually) 9 bars, I had to fully charge or to 80% anytime that I could - seems a little too late to worry to much about battery degredation :|. Having LeafSpy will be helpful in estimating trip limitations for sure.
2012 Leaf SL
2021 Leaf SV Plus
Jctz1
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2022 7:04 pm
Delivery Date: 13 Apr 2022
Leaf Number: 015219
Location: General Vancouver Area, BC, Canada

Re: Living in Apartment Building - Charging questions

Marktm wrote: Mon Apr 18, 2022 11:41 am Doing a little research on your "granny" issue (being from US), I found this interesting article. Appears the easiest, but likely not the most recommended is an "extension" for your granny charger (actually charge controller). If that's just not possible, you are stuck with area charge stations.

https://toughleads.co.uk/pages/safely-c ... ic-vehicle

Having owned a 2012 for about a year with (eventually) 9 bars, I had to fully charge or to 80% anytime that I could - seems a little too late to worry to much about battery degredation :|. Having LeafSpy will be helpful in estimating trip limitations for sure.
Hi Marktm! Thanks for taking the time to reply.

We are actually located in Canada, though a lot of information on EV's I found was from the UK, so I kind of adopted the term "granny pin" for the 140V charger (directly from an outlet) without noticing. :D

Thanks for your suggestion! Sadly there's no way we can charge using that even with an extension. :/

The only reason I am worried about battery degradation is that I want to keep this car as long as possible, at least 3-5 years. Obviously if as we use it we find it doesn't fulfill our needs, we might wind up switching to a different EV, but that is a last resort situation. Thanks again for replying!
2012 Leaf SL
cwerdna
Posts: 13379
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:31 pm
Delivery Date: 28 Jul 2013
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: Living in Apartment Building - Charging questions

I'm only guessing Canada due to the use of parkade. In the UK, they seem to call parking lots/garages car parks.

'22 Niro EV
'19 Bolt Premier (bought back by GM)
'13 Leaf SV w/premium (former)
'13 Leaf SV w/QC + LED & premium (lease over)

Please don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.
LeftieBiker
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Re: Living in Apartment Building - Charging questions

If you didn't live in Canada, I'd be encouraging you to resell the 2012 ASAP. Why? because the 2011 - 4/2013 Leafs have batteries that use a fast-degrading chemistry that is especially vulnerable to heat.(I dubbed them "Canary packs" in my buying guide, which I will link below.) If you are in a cooler part of Canada, you may get a few more years out of the battery. If you have Hot (28C+) Summers, you are going to see significantly more loss of capacity, and should then consider selling it.

Used Leaf buying guide: https://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?p=538030
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2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, & 2 lithium E-bicycles.
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PLEASE don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.
goldbrick
Posts: 2009
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:33 pm
Delivery Date: 01 Aug 2017
Leaf Number: 311806
Location: Boulder, CO

Re: Living in Apartment Building - Charging questions

The advice to stay within 20%-80% charge is meant mostly to prevent the car from sitting at very low or very high states of charge since either extreme is hard on the battery and accelerates its degradation. In either case, time is also a factor so not much damage will be done by charging to 100% if you drive away immediately or running the battery down to 0% if you charge right away.

What you want to avoid is letting the car sit for a long time at very high % SOC or very low % SOC. Under your circumstances, I would focus more on convenience and trying to leave the car between 20% and 80% only when it's parked for a while. If you're driving around feel free to run it from 100% down to 0% if you need to, just don't park it at 99% or 1% for a week and let it sit there.
LeftieBiker
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Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2018
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Living in Apartment Building - Charging questions

I'd offer slightly different advice: don't worry about charging to 100% as long as you use the car soon after it's charged, and don't worry about driving it down to 10-20%, as long as you recharge immediately afterward when it's less than 20%. Running it to an indicated 0% (actually a bit higher in reality) can let any weak cells in the battery trigger a shutdown, even if you have a significant amount of range left. The car will slow and then shut down to protect the weakest cell(s) in the battery.
Brilliant Silver 2021 Leaf SV40 W/ Pro Pilot & Protection
2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, & 2 lithium E-bicycles.
BAFX OBDII Dongle
PLEASE don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.
cwerdna
Posts: 13379
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:31 pm
Delivery Date: 28 Jul 2013
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: Living in Apartment Building - Charging questions

Household voltages in the US are most certainly not 140 volts! I doubt they are in Canada. 140 volts coming out of 120 volt outlets could let out the "magic smoke" (http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/M/magic-smoke.html) out of some items.

'22 Niro EV
'19 Bolt Premier (bought back by GM)
'13 Leaf SV w/premium (former)
'13 Leaf SV w/QC + LED & premium (lease over)

Please don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

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