Nissan Leaf 30kwh - the long journey test

Discussion in 'Hybrid, PHEV & EV Electric Cars Forum' started by jassco, Jul 3, 2017.

  1. jassco

    jassco
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    The wife and I are almost certainly going to be purchasing a 30kwh leaf in the next month or so, and we're getting one on loan for a lifestyle test drive (essentially an extended test for a few days).

    We're getting it from Nissan Lookers in Newcastle on Friday, and we're going to be driving to London and back to see what it's like for our yearly / twice-yearly trip to see family. This is a 300 mile journey, and the salesman who is going on holiday on Friday said he'll have restless nights wondering how we're getting on, and whether we've become stranded.

    I've mapped the route, and it appears entirely plausible based on 3 stops, which with having an under 2 year old we'd need anyway in our ICE. As luck has it, it's pretty much the same 3 locations we stop at usually.

    So the journey plan is:
    Newcastle to Wetherby (86 miles), taking it easy as if the chargers don't work then next nearest is either 13 miles away (Nissan Dealer in York, backing up on ourselves) or 20 miles to the next services.

    Wetherby to the Nissan garage at Grantham (87 miles). We'd have gone for the services (they are actually our backup plan) but there's a soft play for the little'n opposite the garage.

    Grantham to either Cambridge services (58 miles) or Birchanger services (87 miles), the former if little man is still awake. My issue with Birchanger is that it looks like there's only 1 charger, and not much of a backup plan.

    Then the last part will be 72 or 41 miles, depending where we stopped before.


    The next tricky part is that family don't have off street parking, but there's a nissan garage a couple of miles away that I'll pop to, or I'll find a paid charger somewhere.

    I'll update the thread with how we're getting on (or maybe just afterwards). Any tips / advice welcome for someone who hasn't driven an electric car for more than 10 mins, and certainly hasn't used public chargers before!
     
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  2. IronGiant

    IronGiant
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    Subscribing :D
     
  3. Alan CD

    Alan CD
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    I like this, very interested.

    The Leaf 30kwh is advertised as having a range of 155 miles max. OK, we all take that with a pinch of salt - usual sales stuff.

    From what I've read so far, in real life driving, the expected safe range is about 100 miles (leaving about 20 miles spare).

    So @jassco, your journey plan is safely within the real limits of the Leaf's range, leaving plenty of reserve in case of unforeseen circumstances.

    Keep us posted, especially with info on accessing charging points and costs of charging.
     
  4. jassco

    jassco
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    Typical - after being given the go-ahead by the garage yesterday, they've back-tracked now so using the leaf is looking very unlikely :(.

    First they're claiming that there's a limit of 150miles a day due to their insurance.

    Second, he's saying that because I don't have experience of using an EV and charging it, he doesn't think I'll be able to make the journey. Given I explained the planned route to him, it's actually putting a doubt into my mind whether the leaf is the right car if he's not confident of it making 85 miles - the wife's commute will be 80 miles round trip possibly without charging facilities on site.

    Think I'm more annoyed that he initially said yes then changed his mind, rather than just saying no up front
     
  5. IronGiant

    IronGiant
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    Sorry to hear that. Maybe he has a more realistic assessment of the state of the charging network for when you "need" a charge. :D It certainly seems quite possible to turn up at a charge point and discover it's broken leaving you high and dry if you can't get to another.
    If you are looking at an 80 miles a day commute I would be dubious as to whether you could guarantee that in bad winter weather. A recent Top Gear trial put the estimated winter mileage at 90. That's cutting it a bit fine IMHO, perhaps you would be better looking at the longer range Ioniq?.
     
  6. jassco

    jassco
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    I did have a look at the Ioniq and unfortunately the lease deals are a lot more expensive; to the value of 4k over the 3 years. Best I can find is 3k down and 320 a month.

    Whereas just had an offer for 1k down and 270 for the leaf, but I'm also expecting more negotiating room on the leaf because it's end of the model shortly.

    just to clarify, we're looking at 20k miles a year
     
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  7. 1jim

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    Guess you didn't get the test drive? Maybe a call to Nissan uk customer service to discuss test drive requirements might help
     
  8. craigy_b

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    After a chance conversation at the weekend I went into my local dealer yesterday and I have to say Im pressed with it. I take it the dealer was looking for a deposit to book the 4 day test drive?
     
  9. PSM1

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    I would say the dealer is being overly cautious and you will be fine with that journey. When driving to Cornwall last year I saw a Leaf (so 24kW version) at the Exeter services with Norwegian plates. So if they can get from there to Cornwall then you will be fine to London.
     
  10. jassco

    jassco
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    Nope didn't get it for the London trip. They didn't want a deposit, but asked for 18p/mile to do over 150 miles in a day.

    Do have it now though and it's such a beautiful car to drive. Done around 90 miles today mix of motorway and small roads. Tomorrow will be the practice of my wife's upcoming commute
     
  11. PSM1

    PSM1
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    That is the one thing I am missing about the Leaf is the lovely quiet and smooth drive.
     
  12. jassco

    jassco
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    So we did the commute today, setting off with 99% battery (it was showing 40 mins to full charge using the basic 3 pin plug) after charging it from around 7pm to 8am. She drove down just how she would drive normally (75-80 most the way), and I drove back at around 70. We got there with 59% battery remaining, and if we didn't detour on the way back for brunch then would have had 20-25 miles remaining, but that was without any air con or heating on.

    I then dropped her back at work before driving home. With about 2 miles to go, it changed from 9 miles remaining to ---- which was a little unexpected.

    So it is feasible, especially if she does a steady 70, but ideally she'll charge at work during the day. There are four bays, and when we looked today 3 were taken up. One by a Zoe, one by another Leaf and one by someone in an ICE. It's a private car park with gated entry though, so if that becomes a problem then I'd hope they begin to ticket / clamp them.
     
  13. IronGiant

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    I gathered from our Salesman that when it gets down to the last 10 miles or so it starts to go into a limp mode to wring as many miles as possible out of the drive, so it's possible that's why it stopped trying to predict remaining miles?
     
  14. gangzoom

    gangzoom
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    Good to see you got hold of a Leaf to try, a few pointers from my own experience of the Leaf - feel free to ignore :)

    1: Any speed over an indicated 65mph eats up the range in the Leaf like crazy!! If your wife insist on driving at 75-80mph and doing 80 miles commute she WILL end up stranded on the side of the M-way with no charge come winter.

    2: Current temp/weather is ideal conditions to get max range from any EV. When temps drop to single digit is when range will plummit, mainly due to decreased charge/discharge efficiency of the battery. If your pushing the range limits now that I would say the Nissan Salesman is right, come winter the car wouldn't have the range your family needs. For what's it worth in middle of Jan this year with temp around Zero my 24kWh was struggling to hit 60 miles range on a full charge even around town. As 75-80 mph woudlnt have struggled to cover 50 miles!! A 30kWh car wouldn't do that much more.

    3: When working out how much range you need think about what happens in 2-3 years time when the battery has lost some charge status due to degredation. The quickest way to induce degredation is by doing 100%-0% runs daily, and if your pushing the range when brand new even a 5% drop in battery charge status will be significant!!

    4: NEVER assume you can always charge your car at a public/shared charger. All it takes is someone to arrive before you and your be left waiting to charge.

    5: The battery state of charge meter becomes very inaccurate as charge status drops. I always set the battery display to % charge left and than work out range my self by using the miles per kWh figure.

    I'm an absolute EV convert but if your pushing the range limits on a 30kWh Leaf I would hold off buying till later this year. Nissan are likely to introduce a 40-60kWh Leaf in Septmeber, likewise Tesla Model 3 is now in production. As range of affordable Eve goes up a lot of what I've mentioned becomes irrelevant.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
  15. jassco

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    Thanks for that really detailed info @gangzoom. Yesterday's test was to push the limits of the car, but we've discussed that she'd have to drive at a more steady speed of 65-70 come winter. Doing that speed in this weather should leave about 35 miles, or roughly a third of the battery, which should be enough head room for winter driving and degradation. As long as she takes it easy on the way to work, then she can determine return speed based on whether she charges it or not - the 4 charging bays are actually in a uni car park that's behind a barrier. There was also little traffic yesterday (presumably as it's almost school holidays), so it should normally be too busy to do more than 70.

    My issue with waiting for the new Leaf with longer range is that it's surely(?) going to be even more expensive, somewhere in the range if the Ioniq.

    I do actually have a question about the charging bays. According to zap map, you can only stay for 2 hours. Does that mean she'd have to move the car after that, or is it 2 hours of charging? Reason for asking is that if she gets there for 9, she may not be able to move it again until 12 due to teaching.
     
  16. IronGiant

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    I suspect she'd make herself very unpopular if she used it as a parking bay. Hardly less popular than the ICE driver parking in the charging bay though. Something to discuss with the owner of the car park perhaps? Could she recharge at another time of day when she can take a break to unplug it and move when she gets the notification on her phone that it's charged?
     
  17. gangzoom

    gangzoom
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    Happy to share my experiences, just want to make sure people are realistic about range rather than just believe the adverts :)

    As for the next Leaf, I would look at it another way......Once the new car is announced Nissan will also be keen to shift what ever stock they have left of the old car, which only means one thing.....Cheap PCP deals.

    A bunch of us got £0 deposit, <£200/months PCP deals a few years back when Nissan was really pushing the Leaf, am pretty sure they same type of deals will be back in a few months as Nissan aims to shift old stock. All depends on just how long you can wait for.
     
  18. IronGiant

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    Won't a completely crap GMFV adversely affect pcp deals unless they massively decrease the initial value?
     
  19. jassco

    jassco
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    That was my thought, especially if they increased price of higher range model rather than lowering the 30 price.

    I did another run today doing 70 with a few overtakes at 75. I got there with 86 miles remaining and 65% battery, and that included dropping toddler at grandparents like she might have to occasionally.

    I'm confident now it'll be fine even with battery degradation and winter driving
     
  20. jassco

    jassco
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    Sometimes I really hate car dealers. We discussed every single part of the deal in depth and came to an agreement, and shook hands. Part of this was that we wanted to collect the car start of September.

    After we agreed everything, he came back after getting some paperwork for me to sign the deal and said the car wouldn't be available until end of August anyway, but that he's got to knock £250 off (just over 10%) what he's giving us for our car as it'll have depreciated in six weeks, and we'll have done a couple hundred more miles.

    This was after he offered one monthly price (which was too high but included mats and scotch guard), then when he lowered the price he explained in detail where the savings came from but failed to mention removing these. He wouldn't even do the mats at cost price, and this had already used up any goodwill he had.

    So after over 2 hours, I told him he's pissed me off by trying to back track on the deal we shook hands on and I walked out. Not decided whether I'm going back either, I'll sleep on that. There's nothing I hate more than lying.
     
  21. SourKraut

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    @jassco That really is disgusting way to treat a customer, they might get back to you with the existing deal you made, but I certainly wouldn't go back if they don't.
    Are you able to go to a different dealership?
     
  22. Alan CD

    Alan CD
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    How long would it take to charge the battery overnight on the 30kWh Leaf using a 13 amp point?

    Why I ask is because I can only provide a 13 amp charging point at my home. If I wait for the next generation of the Nissan Leaf or any other EV that has about a 200 miles range it might take too long to recharge the battery from a 13 amp charge point.
     
  23. SourKraut

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    @Alan CD I think it comes in as something like 8/9Hrs.
     
  24. SourKraut

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    Can you not have a podpoint charge unit fitted free?
     
  25. Alan CD

    Alan CD
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    I live in a quaint old terraced mews style house in a small courtyard complex and the garages + parking areas are in a separate block on the other side of the courtyard. So cannot park the car near the house, only in or next to my garage.

    The garage has power and light on a 20 amp underground armoured cable feed from the house - that's it. So it would be hugely expensive to run in 32 amp podpoint feed to the garage. Hence my query.

    If it takes 8 - 9 hours to trickle charge the 30kWh Leaf, the 2018 60kWh Leaf will take about 16 - 17 hours to full charge. Too long.

    Not only that I'm not happy with the idea of drawing 13 amps continuously for about 16 hours over an underground cable!
     
  26. 1jim

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    Have you tried carwow for a quote, dealers bid , you can email a few and get part ex prices, finance quotes and the like. A whole lot less hassle, if they can beat the dealers nearest you even better...I bet they can with no messing around
     
  27. IronGiant

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    You might be able to get the 16A one fitted? That would fully charge a 40kWh car in 10 hours.
     
  28. Alan CD

    Alan CD
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    W = I x V
    W = 16 x 240 = 3840 = 3.84kW

    The forthcoming 40kWh Leaf is actually 39kWh so just about matches the 10 hour trickle charge time.

    However, the new 40kWh Leaf has a real time range of 140 - 160 miles which might just meet my requirements. I would like a safe range of 150 miles.

    All a bit borderline :(
     
  29. SourKraut

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    I was hoping the new Leaf would be in the 200 mile range :(...still by the time my contract ends maybe this'll be achievable (2020)
     
  30. gangzoom

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    You need to remember not many people will ever charge from 0% to 100% in one trip. Infact in 20k of EV driving I think I've only ever done a <5% to 100% charge ONCE!!

    We moved into our new house 3 months ago, for the first 2 months I charged our Tesla with a 60kWh battery using a standard 3 pin plug with no problems. I get home at about 6 pm from work and leave at 8 am next day, didn't once have an issue with not enough range the next day.
     

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