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Leaf perfect for my 70 mile one-way commute
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Leaf perfect for my 70 mile one-way commute

I've own my Nissan Leaf for almost a year. It has served me just as a regular car. I live in a small town 70 miles from Austin, and I use my Leaf to commute to Austin and back. I drive to Austin one day, and drive back on a different day. The Leaf is perfect for this, with plenty of margin through all seasons, whether 107 degree summer days, or below freezing winters.

I've also driven the 75 miles into San Antonio with the family in the morning, enjoyed a lunch and a day downtown while the Leaf recharges, and driven back in the same day. I'm extremely happy with my EV.

 

Perfect scenario

Wow, that is the perfect scenario to use an EV.

My problem with the 39-40 range Volt is that I do not have the ability to charge it at work. I wish I could do like you, go to work one day and drive back home the next. That would be ideal, and I will never, ever have to use gas. 

Weather extremes?

"The Leaf is perfect for this, with plenty of margin through all seasons, whether 107 degree summer days, or below freezing winters."

 

Hi! I need to know more about this, especially the part about below freezing winters, if I'm going to get an EV here in Indiana. How much do weather extremes affect the range and performance of an electric car? Would it ever get so cold that the battery would conk out and the car couldn't be started? If so, would this problem be worse, not so bad, or the same as with the battery in an internal-combustion car? And are there ways to make this problem less likely to happen?

@VirAnimae

Q1.How much do weather extremes affect the range and performance of an electric car? 

A1. The hotter the battery the more charge it can accept. Unfortunately the hotter the battery the faster a LithIon battery will degrade so there's a careful balancing act that needs to happen. The colder the battery is the less efficient it is so it's basically working harder to provide the same amount of juice which means it uses more energy. For a Leaf the best weather is a 50-80*F which is quite common in the Pacific Northwest. The biggest concern is how much heater are you going to use. The Leaf heater is not very efficient which means if you're heating the air instead of using the heated seats and heated steering wheel then you will have less range.

http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=10753&start=20

 

Q2. Would it ever get so cold that the battery would conk out and the car couldn't be started? 

A2. Yes but it's unlikely. Nissan recommends that the Leaf not stay exposed to -20*F temp for more than 8 hours (IIRC). In addition to help prevent battery freeze there is a cold weather pack that is standard on 2012 Leafs which will engage a battery heater when plugged in if the ambient temperature is too low. Summary, yesterday was high of 40 and low of 20. Got 60 miles range out of a 90% charge and used the heater for 20 minutes stopped in parking lot. Today low was 30, high of 50 used 2 minutes (approx) heater and at 50 miles have half a battery still available.

Q3. If so, would this problem be worse, not so bad, or the same as with the battery in an internal-combustion car? 

A3. I don't have a specific answer but IMHO it would be worse. If your traction battery freezes you aren't going anywhere until it thaws. The flip side is that purchase of a Leaf includes at least 3 years of roadside assistance with a tow to the nearest charging station or home.

Q4. And are there ways to make this problem less likely to happen?

A4. Indiana, like Kansas, -20* temps aren't very frequent and even when it happens will the car really be out in it for 8 hours. Not mine. I'd take the wife's Prius in that event since she would be at home with closed schools anyway.

 

With regards to purchase/lease of an EV but specifically a Nissan Leaf, don't just look at the range you need when you drive it off the lot (70-80 miles, your mileage may vary) but rather what you need at the end of the lease/loan. Typically this means about 50 miles summer and 40 miles winter after 4-8 years. Would I buy my Leaf again? Absolutely, in a heartbeat.

 

Tom

ksnogas

 

Decreased range over time?

are you saying the older the Leaf gets the shorter the range? I where can I find more information about this?