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PriusChatter adds Nissan LEAF to his garage - first impressions

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by DaveinOlyWA, Feb 4, 2011.

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  1. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    2013 Nissan LEAF
    Model:
    Persona
    After years of dreaming, months of waiting which involved two vigils lasting several hours on April 20, 2010 to register for the email invitation which then allowed me to reserve a place in line to submit a quote to a dealer starting August 31st. i was lucky enough to be one of a handful that was able to submit my quote for a Nissan Leaf on that first day. then came several weeks of .... well, nothing.
    It was obvious that Nissan had never done anything quite like this before. maybe they were taken by surprise by the overwhelming response to invitation. But this had been pent up demand which had been building for years. People were hungry for a real highway capable EV and the time was ripe. The scenario reminded me of the frenzy only seen at the playoff ticket booth of a perennial last place team who had finally made it to the big one.
    On January 18th, i picked up my Leaf from Rairdon's Nissan in Auburn, WA. It was almost surreal that my diligence allowed me for the 2nd time (I was the first one in WA to purchase the 2010 Prius as well) to be the first "regular" owner of a Nissan Leaf in the State of Washington (they did do a publicity delivery to another Washingtonian in December...but he doesn't count in my story).
    Now the paperwork took forever and ended up leaving right in the middle of rush hour traffic. I soon realized that defrost really takes a hit on the range. The Leaf constantly provides feedback on how many miles remain in the battery pack and it counts EVERYTHING. It was getting cold as it was in the mid 30's and first thing I had to do was turn on the defrost to clear up the windows and my range went from 91 miles down to 77 miles!! Whoa!! heard many here relating mileage hits when using defrost a lot, but wow!! this was almost TMI. Almost wished I was back with the carbon fueled ignorance of 5 minute mileage bars...but then again, that only lasted a second, two at the most.
    First thing i noticed is how loud OTHER cars were. The Leaf made no noise at all. When i took off fast enough i could hear a slight high pitched "way off in the distance" jet engine kind of sound. The acceleration was smooth to the point i had to concentrate on my speed because the car felt no different at 65 than it did at 40 mph... not good, especially while still in town.
    I finally shifted into eco mode because traffic was so bad. I had about 5-6 miles of very heavy stop and go to get to the freeway. After a good 30 minutes (and 5.3 miles) I hit the 18 Freeway for a quick uphill jaunt to I-5. I had thought about doing the 167 since the hills would be lesser, but was playing with the dash so much, i missed the turn...oh well.
    One thing that was very noticeable was the power. The acceleration even up the steep hill was very responsive. But as I hit the top, my range stated 58 miles and I still had about 40 miles to go, so time to go back to eco mode.
    Now, eco mode is not like eco on a Prius. It is actually like driving in B mode. When you take your foot off the gas, I was getting at least 3-4 "dots" regen. When i got onto I-5 traffic slowed again, but i noticed I was "treading water" now. Despite driving down the road, I was not losing any estimated range (when i got home. I had driven 47 miles and still had estimated 39 miles for a total of 96 miles. i had started out with 91, so guessing i "regen'd" 5 miles...nice!)
    My Leaf comes with a free subscription to Carwings, which has been discussed on the boards but its not active yet. I will be calling Nissan later to find out whats up. Now, Carwings does have RSS feed capability and I had kicked around the idea of feeding the Priuschat feed in so the Car could read to me, but I did have a chance to sample it and it does not do well on any "uncommon" words. Like the Prius Nav, it is very comical when trying to pronounce the many Indian place names we have here, so we will see on that. But one thing I do like. the phonebook upload was smart enough to sort by last name, unlike the Prius. very cool, but only has 6 speed dials. *sigh*, win some, lose some. The only real question; who gets the 6 slots. so who goes? my sister or Papa Murphys???
    Will be posting much more impressions and observations as soon as I can get enough time to drive it. (right now, someone is cruising town with it, while i sit here...)
    You can chat with other PriusChatters who are also interested in the Nissan LEAF here in our Nissan LEAF forum.
    6 people like this.
  2. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    Persona
    geeus Danny!! you could have corrected my math!!
  3. M8s

    M8s Retired and Lovin' It

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    Verry cool and exciting. Keep us posted. And more pictures, please.

    I'll have to add the Nissan Leaf forum to my regular reading list.
  4. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    Persona
  5. Cpl Bloggins

    Cpl Bloggins New Member

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    Keep us posted Dave, thanks
  6. Proco

    Proco Senior Member

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    Thanks for the write-up, Dave. I look forward to hearing more about your experience with the Leaf.

    Congrats!
  7. DeadPhish

    DeadPhish Senior Member

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    Location:
    Outer Banks of NC.. Retired to play golf and poker
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    An interesting poll that someone might create is

    How many current Prius owners have taken delivery of
    A.) a Leaf
    B.) a Volt
    C.) other
  8. Soylent

    Soylent It's not a station wagon! It's just big boned

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    Location:
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    Three
    Wait... like driving in "B" mode in the Prius? Does that function differently in the Gen 3's? In my Gen 2, shifting into B just makes it act like an engine brake for steep downhill roads.
  9. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    B mode works exactly the same but unlike the Prius Eco mode on the leaf increases regen so is recommended especially when driving heavy stop and go traffic
  10. Rybold

    Rybold globally warmed member

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    Doesn't "B" mode on the Prius engage both regen and engine braking?
    With the Leaf not having an engine, it essentially doubles the regen over the Prius to create the same amount of decelerating force?
    Am I correct? Can someone enlighten me? thanks.
  11. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    I'm going to say a couple things about the Leaf during a Toastmasters speech tomorrow. My topic is global warming, but with a 'this is what I've read' type of approach, from all sides I've seen.

    I'm going to explain how 1 gallon of gas produces 20 lbs of CO2 out of a tailpipe. Then I'll say, btw, I drove the Nissan Leaf inside a ballroom at SF auto show, there were 6 Leafs running all day indoors....

    no tailpipe, zero emissions. Should be a fun speech. Wish me luck.