Don't Run Out of Charge in Your Leaf!

Discussion in 'Nissan/Infiniti Hybrids and EVs' started by cycledrum, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2010
    2,641
    263
    0
    Location:
    Western NY
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Cheers.

    So 80% is recommended. Also:
    So, let's assume we're at 80% capacity after 5 years and we're still doing an 80% charge. That is 80% of 80% = 64% of the original full capacity. So after five years, using the still recommended 80% our "100 mile Leaf" is now as a general matter giving an estimated range of 64 miles. But that 100 is essentially a best-case. It seems like maybe 80 miles is more realistic (or less in extreme temps), so 64% of 80 is 51 miles after five years.

    I think that math is right. If so, wow. What a disappointment, really, you can't dress that up pretty. The demographic for practical users of this car really is exceedingly small.
     
  2. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    8,245
    1,197
    0
    Location:
    NorCal
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    Skoorb,

    Nissan led it off with '70% of drivers go less than 40 miles / day'. I'm sure we'd all like to see Leafs taking off, become common sightings among all the conventionals. I will be a little suprised when I see one. Apparently, Nissan only delivered 67 Leafs in Month of Feb. in US.


    When they say quick charge, sounds like they are speaking of the DC 'fast charge'.
     
  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    90,908
    40,841
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    on the other hand, without having been there, maybe these were just cases of driver error.
     
  4. spwolf

    spwolf Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2005
    3,156
    440
    0
    Location:
    Eastern Europe
    more and more i think about it, Leaf is definitely not a great car for USA due to much higher average miles you guys do there.

    Here in Europe I barely ever go over 6-10 miles in a day, and if I do, it is rarely more than 60 miles in one direction.

    But with leaf, and longer distances, slower charge with 110v and lack of quick recharge stations throughout the country... it is really hard sell.

    i wonder with all these inexperienced companies making EVs, will it give them bad name? Will Leaf customer who gets burned by the range, want to purchase another EV in the future?

    Lets face it, once you get stranded and not even stranded but once you have to wait for the charge to be completed, you will suddenly understand that this car might not be for you.
     
  5. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2010
    2,641
    263
    0
    Location:
    Western NY
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    And that's why it's kind of useless for you, too; really gas prices hardly matter to you driving that little. That's the Catch 22--by the time you drive enough to benefit from the electric savings you're probably driving way too far for its battery abilities.

    Burning customers is a risk, too.
     
  6. FL_Prius_Driver

    FL_Prius_Driver Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    4,319
    1,526
    0
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    I
    No question that buying an electric car as a complete replacement of a gas powered car is questionable. However when I list the things that have left me stranded over the years such as:

    1) Broken Oil pressure sensor
    2) Incorrectly installed oil filter
    3) Exploding Lead Acid Battery
    4) Alternator Brushes wearing out
    5) Automatic Transmission slipping
    6) Manual Clutch failing

    I realize that all of these are not going to happen in an electric car.
     
  7. GeekEV

    GeekEV Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    417
    14
    0
    Location:
    NorCal, USA
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Bingo! That's the real problem here, and something that any potential EV driver needs to be aware of. The situation won't improve until there are more common charge stations, or until there's some major battery advances. Both of which the government (US anyway) is pushing for with credits and rebates. Somebody has to go first though, and I'm glad I've chosen to be one of them. I love my LEAF! Within is known limitations, which I accept, it's awesome!
     
  8. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2010
    2,641
    263
    0
    Location:
    Western NY
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    I'm estimating I've gone about 500,000-700,000 miles in cars since I was born and never in my life that I can remember have I ever been stranded in a car, be it when I was driving or all through the years growing up as a kid. The one exception was when I personally ran out of gas. That sounds pretty lucky, but I've been in 7-8 car accidents (none major), so it works out :)
     
  9. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney EditProfOptInfoCustomUser Title

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    2,287
    458
    0
    Location:
    Maine
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    I'd love one. My commute is 41.4 miles round trip and my wife's commute is 40 miles round trip (or 42 if she gives her son a ride to school).

    The 100 is a good case, not a best case. Best test case gave 130 miles and hypermilers could push it further. However, I wouldn't buy it if I needed to do 100 miles round trip every day.

    The big flaw in your argument is that even IF the battery has degraded to 80% after 5 years of 80% charging and you needed the range lost to degradation you'd be able to use full charging to get extra range.

    That might accelerate further degradation, but you wouldn't need that extra charging all the time. After all, as you wrote yourself, the efficiency depends on conditions so the buyers will take that into account when they buy, so even after degradation they will likely be able to charge only to 80% in better conditions.

    Add to that you're thinking that a 51 mile range isn't adequate for many people. It is. Given the way some people here are getting excited about a PHEV with a 13 mile AER, it should be more than adequate. Ignoring cost the BEV demographic is:
    (1) Can charge an electric car
    (2) Live in a mild climate or can put the car in a garage
    (3) One of the following:
    (a) Car is sufficient for all travel needs by itself OR
    (b) Car is sufficient for almost all travel needs by itself and other needs can be met by occasional rental or use of public transportation
    (c) Car is sufficient for all travel needs in combination with another car.

    Given the number of two cars households I suspect group (3)(c) is pretty large. (My wife and I meet (1) and (3)(c) but unfortunately don't meet condition (2) right now)

    I'd also suggest that in 5 years time, after which time people might have batteries that have degraded within spec there will be more opportunity to top up on the road in extreme cases. Given that a range emergency is liable to be just a matter of a mile or two, I'd expect an hour plugged into a 120V socket would handle almost all cases. In the case of my commute, there's a Nissan dealership across the city from work. It wouldn't be ideal to have to take a diversion there, but it could be used in an extreme case (degradation + bad winter day + bad traffic conditions).

    Finally, there's also the possibility of replacing a module in the battery. One of the good things about Nissan's design is that it is modular. I'm sure their motivation was ease of manufacture and replacement, but a side-effect could be owners not having to pay to replace the whole battery. In 5 years time battery modules should also be slightly cheaper to replace.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    90,908
    40,841
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    you're part of the solution man, thank you!
     
    1 person likes this.
  11. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    8,245
    1,197
    0
    Location:
    NorCal
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    The vision is that there will be more and more charge points - shopping malls, campuses, the beach. :)

    Replace xx% of city parking meters with chargers :D
     
  12. donee

    donee New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    2,956
    194
    0
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    III
    Hmm,

    Heavy loads (wife and screeming kids, lugage), hilly driving, high speeds in cold dense air. Something tells me that if he was by himself and on secondary roads, less than 45 mph, he would have made it just fine. Why do people cut it so close all the time? This sounds like the EV version of a Prius driver running out of gas!
     
  13. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2005
    17,037
    6,489
    54
    Location:
    South OC So Cal & Nashville, TN
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    Re: Oh wow, the flatbeds are coming out

    Are you kidding? If you're ignorant enough to let your self end up 10 miles from your nearest refill station ( gas or EV ) and you GOT into that issue with a 10mpg car ... or a 1,000,000kwh ev) does it really matter? You end up going up hill ..... -10 degrees, so you're running the heater (in either ... they'll both run to assure enough heat to keep YOU alive) ... in grid lock .... sorry .... it doesn't matter whether it's ICE or EV ... you WILL run out of fuel. Either way, you haveto consider how low you are on fuel . . . . . . airplane . . . . . SUV . . . EV . . . moped . . . horsie . . . . . you have to be aware.
    ;)

    So you presume that during the past 1/2 month that fuel price is static. great.
    .
     
  14. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2010
    2,641
    263
    0
    Location:
    Western NY
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    100 miles is optimistic. You live in Maine and the winter is real. If you are using 80% charge most of the time to save battery life I am betting your winter range on that is around 65 miles, because we know the range of this car goes down substantially when used in cold weather. 65 miles. That's new. After 5 years if you're still doing your 80% (and again, you have to for longevity--you cannot do 100% each day if you're using it to commute, assuming you want to get as long out of the battery as you can) 80% of 65 is 52. You cannot honestly tell me that with a 41 mile commute you'd take a car that has only a 10 mile buffer. No trips at lunch, no errands on the way home. And let's hope you don't hit a snow storm on the way home and have to sit in traffic a bit longer. Living that close to the wall you'll be well acclimated to your local tow companies, I am thinking.
    That is fearless distance, though. Zero range anxiety after the 13 miles.
    This would work for some people but I know how marriages work (kind of). If, for example, a husband is gung ho about this new EV he better be the one taking side trips to the charging station or tolerating tows home because unless his wife is totally on board with these kinds of shenanigans she will refuse to drive the EV after the first "event" ":)

    Regarding your discussion of modules I wonder if drop in replacement batteries would be available, just plug and play with a newer, higher capacity battery.

    When I first heard of the leaf I thought 100 miles is pretty doable. But caveating it with "well in the winter it's worse, if you run the heat it's worse, and you shouldn't have the battery always fully charged" that 100 miles seems more like a dream.
    You presume to presume. Run the numbers. When you go from 25->50 mpg you are saving TWICE as much money in gas as when you go from 50->100. At some point the diminishing returns make further savings of far less interest. 15,000 miles/year at 50 mpg in a Prius and $3.50 gas you're spending $87.50/month on gas. Then if you go to 100 mpg you're saving only $43.75. Who really cares about that unless it comes without any strings attached? It would be nice but it's not worth accepting much in the way of other compromises. The Prius as-is is just too good for its own good. Or the good of competitors perhaps.
     
  15. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    8,245
    1,197
    0
    Location:
    NorCal
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    Probably the best thing we can do as non-EV drivers is read blogs from EV drivers. DaveinOlyWA and others around here could tell us a lot about their typical driving day.
     
  16. drees

    drees Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    1,778
    247
    0
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    It's pretty clear that if your typical driving day is over 75 miles - those miles should either be in mild weather, or you should be able to utilize the cabin pre-heat/cool feature, or you should have an opportunity to charge for an hour or two in the middle of the day, or you should plan your driving to avoid high freeway speeds.

    My typical driving day: Drive 12 miles to work. Drive 12 miles back. Perhaps take a 1/2 mile detour to drop the kids off at school. Perhaps drive 2-4 miles for lunch and back (4-8 miles total). Maybe stop off at a store on the way home - on the way so less than a 1/4 mile detour. So at most - I might drive 35 miles / day.

    My wife usually works from home. If she has to go in, her drive is 20 miles each way. She also might run a few errands, but those aren't more than a couple miles out of the way, too. So at most she might drive 50 miles / day.

    Of course, we do drive out to see family a few times/year which might be anywhere from 80 - 500 mi away depending on who we're visiting. In which case we'd take the Prius.

    A PHEV Prius in addition to the Leaf would be perfect - it'd let us eliminate nearly all our gas consumption with even just a 12 mile EV range. And it's still the most efficient vehicle on the open highway.

    Sure - for a lot of people an EV would mean making some real adjustments. But hey - gas isn't getting any cheaper. And our air isn't getting cleaner. I sure would breath a lot easier if more cars on the road were zero emissions.
     
  17. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    15,140
    610
    0
    Location:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Vehicle:
    2013 Nissan LEAF
    Model:
    Persona
    ok, now that we have all that out. yes, it appears that relying on the gauge to tell you how far you can go before leaving home is probably not a good idea. iow, the car cannot effectively predict the future...issue #1

    issue #2: the gauge stating it had plenty of range (on first battery low warning you have around 15 miles) was misleading. the driver assuming the 15 mile range, ignored the warning. so he is with the estimated (unfortunately dont know, could not really find a good # or consistent info) "group" of people who misjudge and run out of GAS, everyday.

    Allstate Motor Club did say that incidences of running out of gas did increase 40% during the 2008 gas price spike on their Roadside Assistance program. maybe its because people could not afford to buy gas, but we wont mention that... i mention the differences in price in my sig.

    now, many here have pointed out that gas is all over the place, can buy it anywhere (i did a road trip to California last September and was forced to stop at a hotel for the night because my "550 mile per tank" Prius needed gas and the station was closed. so, it maybe available, but you might want to review the hours of operation. we later found out that we could have stopped at a station we had passed a few miles before. they were open all night and only charged 40 cents more per gallon for their troubles. but that references cost, (see above, or signature line)

    but the availability of fuel of any kind does not mean the driver will stop for it. there were several FREE charging stations on this guys route and he chose to "live on the edge" and miscalculated. he was a new owner, not fully familiar with his car, etc.

    so, blame it on the car?? i work tier 1 tech support. we get stats all the time, mostly because of our escalation rates to tier 2 which is highly discouraged (we also don t have permissions or access to certain tools, so some escalations are unavoidable) is always analyzed.

    likewise we get escalations to us. 75% of issues is user error which is NOT my job. 20% is user education which is mine, but of that 20%, the edcuation involves basic operation with 9% of those issues being lack of power (dead battery or not knowing how to turn the device on) which is also NOT my job.

    with end user info, we only get a very small picture of what really happened. the problem with all this and i have been there a million times. unless you know ahead of time that you are going to have a problem, you are not really observant.

    so, what we have is a "realistic" impression by the end user of what really happened.
     
Loading...