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.
2012 Leaf SL