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Two Months with an Electric Car
Old 07-23-2016, 07:36 PM   #1
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Two Months with an Electric Car

Here's a quick report on our first two months with our Nissan LEAF, model S.

It's been great fun. We used to go to town (thirty miles away) only once a week, but now we're often finding excuses to go. We have enough juice to drive in, do errands, and drive home, but we almost always plug in somewhere.

There's something fun about charging and killing time. For example, we'll plug in at the free CalTrans charger, then go have coffee, lunch, and pick up some stuff.

The most fun is driving beyond your range--needing to get a charge if you want to make it home. Today we went on a 113-mile trip. We parked at a charging station in downtown Fortuna, walked through a big car show, then walked to a Starbucks three miles away. I did some writing and Lena knitted. After lunch, we drove to Ferndale to try a new charger, and visited some touristy shops.

The "range-remaining" "Guess-o-meter" is terrible because it bases its estimate on only the last mile or so of driving. So, if you're driving at thirty MPH, it might say you have fifty miles left, but when you get on the the feeway, all of a sudden you're down to twenty. Instead, I've created a cheat sheet that estimates range based on the state of charge and our standard efficiency (3.9 miles per kWh).

For fun, I pushed it to the limit on one trip, and it was not fun. A few miles from home the GOM threw up its hands and said "I don't know how much farther you can drive. You're on your own." That is, it displayed the miles remaining as "--." I'll never do that again.

We rarely have to charge at home during the day when the rate is higher, but we've done it a few times because it's still cheaper than buying gas.

We've only used the truck twice--once for a trip to Oregon and once when we both needed a car.

The car is really smooth and quiet--a pleasure to drive.
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Old 07-23-2016, 08:00 PM   #2
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I'm glad you are enjoying your new ride, but you're going to have to explain to me...

The most fun is driving beyond your range--needing to get a charge if you want to make it home.

what makes that 'fun'? Driving an ICE on empty is a little nerve racking, better to have plenty of reserve at all times. And assuming you stay close enough to a gas station to pull into, a refill only takes a few minutes, not hours.

-ERD50
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Old 07-23-2016, 08:07 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Here's a quick report on our first two months with our Nissan LEAF, model S.


The most fun is driving beyond your range--needing to get a charge if you want to make it home. Today we went on a 113-mile trip. We parked at a charging station in downtown Fortuna, then walked to a Starbucks three miles away.
.
Not normal?
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Old 07-23-2016, 08:08 PM   #4
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The most fun is driving beyond your range--
Living on the wild side!

I worked with a guy who thought it great fun to see how low he could go on fuel before gassing up. He loved timing it so that his engine died of fuel starvation and he coasted to the pumps.
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Old 07-23-2016, 09:08 PM   #5
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What is the plan if you run out of juice on the road? Flat bed truck or do they have some kind of portable charger? I'm interested in LEAFs so am interested in your post.
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Old 07-23-2016, 09:11 PM   #6
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If getting home depends on the availability of a charging station, what happens if they are all occupied when you arrive? It's not like having to wait 2 minutes while the guy in front fills his gas tank, and it's not like there's another charging station on every corner.

Anyway, I'm glad the little car is bringing joy.
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Old 07-23-2016, 09:31 PM   #7
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Living on the wild side!

I worked with a guy who thought it great fun to see how low he could go on fuel before gassing up. He loved timing it so that his engine died of fuel starvation and he coasted to the pumps.
Pretty sure there was a Seinfeld episode like this.
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Old 07-23-2016, 09:38 PM   #8
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How about carrying a generator in the back with a gal of gas, so you can plug in anywhere
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Old 07-23-2016, 09:47 PM   #9
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How about carrying a generator in the back with a gal of gas, so you can plug in anywhere
Ha! Do it yourself hybrid!
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Old 07-23-2016, 10:32 PM   #10
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I'm glad you are enjoying your new ride, but you're going to have to explain to me...



The most fun is driving beyond your range--needing to get a charge if you want to make it home.



what makes that 'fun'? Driving an ICE on empty is a little nerve racking, better to have plenty of reserve at all times. And assuming you stay close enough to a gas station to pull into, a refill only takes a few minutes, not hours.



-ERD50

Sarcasm, maybe?

In the distant past, I made several trips per year between the "midwest" and Texas, because my son lived "up north". On one trip back north, with two kids in the car, I passed an exit with a gas station on I-40 east of Memphis, which is sparsely populated, thinking I was okay. Well, I was running on fumes before the next exit. So, late at night, middle of nowhere, two kids? Could have been a major fu, er, faux pax!

I rarely get below a quarter tank these days.
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Old 07-24-2016, 05:38 AM   #11
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While I am in immense admiration for the OP and dedication to the environment. I cannot for the life of me understand WHY anyone would drive an electric car or a hybrid commuter car. (Tesla and other sporty style electrics notwithstanding).


My friend has/had a Prius, when he saw what my Diesel BMW did to the Gallon for almost the same cost, he sold it and purchased one too. (NE Florida to Toronto Canada, averaged 70mph and 50.5mpg) with no limitations other than gas stations. But at 750 miles to a tank full, I would not consider that an impediment.


Even our last diesel, a Mercedes E350D did 46mpg on the highway.


Now saying that, I also have a friend with a Tesla Model S Sport and it is the fastest car I have ever driven. It has a 250 mile range.
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Old 07-24-2016, 05:51 AM   #12
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You are nuts, T-Al. That sounds scary as hell. I'm stickin with my hybrid. I don't want to run out of juice and have to tow that sucker home.
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Old 07-24-2016, 06:42 AM   #13
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Give it up T-Al. There is no way this group is going to accept the fact that you are happy with your electric car. It would just hurt too much.
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Old 07-24-2016, 07:01 AM   #14
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One thing to keep in mind Al is that the Leaf battery does not have an active cooling system and relies on air passing over it to cool it. You must be very careful in hot weather to make sure your battery life meter has is left with plenty of buffer to get you to a charging station.

From what I have read, battery degradation is is common with the Leaf due to no active thermal management system. This is one of the reasons way these cars hit the used market frequently and are priced low.

I'm glad you like it, but caution you on the battery issue in hot weather.
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Old 07-24-2016, 07:05 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by ShokWaveRider View Post
While I am in immense admiration for the OP and dedication to the environment. I cannot for the life of me understand WHY anyone would drive an electric car or a hybrid commuter car. (Tesla and other sporty style electrics notwithstanding).


My friend has/had a Prius, when he saw what my Diesel BMW did to the Gallon for almost the same cost, he sold it and purchased one too. (NE Florida to Toronto Canada, averaged 70mph and 50.5mpg) with no limitations other than gas stations. But at 750 miles to a tank full, I would not consider that an impediment.


Even our last diesel, a Mercedes E350D did 46mpg on the highway.


Now saying that, I also have a friend with a Tesla Model S Sport and it is the fastest car I have ever driven. It has a 250 mile range.

But my Prius was $25k new...
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Old 07-24-2016, 07:14 AM   #16
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But my Prius was $25k new...
But it's certainly not a BMW though. Not even close or nearly as much fun!
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Old 07-24-2016, 07:23 AM   #17
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Give it up T-Al. There is no way this group is going to accept the fact that you are happy with your electric car. It would just hurt too much.
Maybe T-Al is happy, or maybe it's a simple case of green smugness...
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Old 07-24-2016, 07:27 AM   #18
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AL,
I get this. A toy with function. Gets you into town extra time each week. Time for sbux too. Sounds like a shared passion with more fun time with the boss.
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Old 07-24-2016, 07:38 AM   #19
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Pretty sure there was a Seinfeld episode like this.
Yep.......

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Old 07-24-2016, 08:02 AM   #20
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Maybe T-Al is happy, or maybe it's a simple case of green smugness...
That's it. He is just faking happiness to make us feel bad because he is happy.
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