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#4720400 - 04/08/18 10:37 AM My Life with Leaf
Scout1 Offline


Registered: 08/06/07
Posts: 392
Loc: Seattle WA
It's been about a year and a half with my 2015 Leaf and thought I'd give an update and give you all a glimpse of what we'll all be driving in ten years! Close to 30K miles on it now and I haven't noticed any deterioration in the range/battery life yet. I drive it regularly and make sure I don't leave it sitting at 100% charge too long. I come home from my 50 mile round trip to work with about 20 or 30 miles left. Plug it in (240 volt charger) so later on we can go out to dinner. It works really well for our lifestyle.

I like the silence and absolutely effortless drive. It accelerates briskly off a stop with the instant torque the electric motor provides. Although it's quick off the line, it soon runs out of oomph at speed. Don't try to get into a roll-on competition! The other really nice thing is the regenerative breaking; it has a "B" mode that really increases that and you can use it to modulate speed in heavy traffic without ever using the brake - single pedal operation!

I've gotten familiar with how it operates and how to get the best energy efficiency; most of the time I get between 4 and 4.5 miles per KWH on my commute. Pretty much depends on if I keep the speed down to 60 mph. Drive 70 and the efficiency goes down. Also, running the heater takes the range down. Strangely, running the AC in the summer seems to be more efficient than running the heater in winter although that may be just due to the fact the battery likes warmer weather better than cold.

I find myself enjoying the commute much more in the Leaf. Since I park in the slow lane at 60mph, it's a lot less stressful than what I used to do in the gas burner darting lane to lane (come on guys, you know what I'm talking about!)

Maintenance:
I had to replace the 12 volt battery last week. Got in the Leaf and it simply wouldn't start. Read on the Leaf forum what it was and a trip to Costco for a new Interstate battery and she's back on the road. Fortunately it was parked in my driveway at the time. I did put new tires on it too but that was because I picked up a couple of road hazards and one wasn't pluggable. I stayed with the Bridgestone Ecopia-Plus tires since heard the wrong tires on these electric cars can ruin your range.
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Scout1
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#4720440 - 04/08/18 10:59 AM Re: My Life with Leaf [Re: Scout1]
spasm3 Offline


Registered: 05/30/10
Posts: 8776
Loc: North Carolina
I see used leafs at really marked down prices. One would work for me as a commuter. But the CVT trans is what would keep my from ever getting one.

With the flat torque curve of an electric motor, i think a 2 speed ( mini powerglide) would be great. That or a manual.
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#4720443 - 04/08/18 11:00 AM Re: My Life with Leaf [Re: Scout1]
JC1 Offline


Registered: 11/29/08
Posts: 3062
Loc: Oshawa, Ontario Canada
Nice write up. What does it cost in electricity per month to run and how many miles do you do per month?
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#4720451 - 04/08/18 11:08 AM Re: My Life with Leaf [Re: Scout1]
Rat407 Offline


Registered: 12/13/02
Posts: 1502
Loc: North Carolina
Changing from the factory tires on my Cruze Diesel really made a difference in mpg. I took a 5mpg hit going from the Goodyears to Continentals.
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#4720456 - 04/08/18 11:12 AM Re: My Life with Leaf [Re: spasm3]
EdwardC Online   content


Registered: 11/14/13
Posts: 1887
Loc: Chicago, IL
Thanks for posting! We picked up a leftover 2016 model last year for pretty cheap. We have about 4,500 miles on it and love the little car. Great for around town commuting. We were averaging about the same miles per kWh as you in the summer, but out winter average dropped down to about 3.5. Heater is is a big power hog, like you said. I was surprised too that the A/C had such a small effect in mileage.

Is your model a 24kWh or 30kWh? Have you taken it in yearly for the battery diagnostic?

Originally Posted By: spasm3
I see used leafs at really marked down prices. One would work for me as a commuter. But the CVT trans is what would keep my from ever getting one.

With the flat torque curve of an electric motor, i think a 2 speed ( mini powerglide) would be great. That or a manual.


I don't think the LEAF has a CVT, it's essentially just a 1 speed transmission.

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#4720472 - 04/08/18 11:30 AM Re: My Life with Leaf [Re: Scout1]
Stevie Offline


Registered: 11/08/04
Posts: 217
Loc: Port Aransas, TX
Thanks for the real world review. Very interesting to me.

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#4720518 - 04/08/18 12:29 PM Re: My Life with Leaf [Re: JC1]
Scout1 Offline


Registered: 08/06/07
Posts: 392
Loc: Seattle WA
Originally Posted By: JC1
Nice write up. What does it cost in electricity per month to run and how many miles do you do per month?


You know, I've not really been able to tell. I've had my son and his kids move back in so power usage is up in general! It doesn't look like much though. Pretty cheap running on electricity in Seattle. Most all of our power is Hydro so it's a pretty clean solution for this region.

My car has the 24 KWH battery... wish I had the 30.

I haven't heard about a yearly battery diagnostic? What does it do for you other than let the dealer say something needs replacing for a high price? If you aren't seeing any anomalous behavior from the car, why take it in? Pretty much zero maintenance on these little cars! I did have a bit of a problem finding replacement windshield wipers. Turns out the cheap Costco Goodyear blades hit each other and clicked every time they swiped. So I replaced those with some Exact Fit Rainex wipers and they work fine. The Costco wipers also left a part of the windshield un-wiped so they were pretty awful.
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Scout1
Truth will always bear up against falsehood, as oil does above water

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#4720521 - 04/08/18 12:34 PM Re: My Life with Leaf [Re: Scout1]
EdwardC Online   content


Registered: 11/14/13
Posts: 1887
Loc: Chicago, IL
I remember reading that the first two annual battery inspection are free by Nissan, I was just curious what what kind of report they would give you at the inspection. http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?t=16113

We have the 30kWh, and wish we had the new generation's 40. The further suburbs around Chicago can be a struggle, especially without traffic to keep our speeds slow (luckily we just about always have traffic...). Those trips we might plan an extra 10 minutes and take more local.

I haven't replaced the wipers yet, but plan to get get the OEM wiper inserts, I've had good luck doing that with my Hondas, hopefully it works as easily with the Nissan.

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#4720534 - 04/08/18 12:51 PM Re: My Life with Leaf [Re: Scout1]
AZjeff Offline


Registered: 01/14/11
Posts: 2731
Loc: PV Az
Thanks for the report. I'm about to start a 75 mile round trip commute and gave them a look but it's 95% highway and 1800 feet elevation so the range is just too close. Plugging in at work seems like cheating.
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#4720578 - 04/08/18 01:49 PM Re: My Life with Leaf [Re: Scout1]
JustinH Offline


Registered: 04/17/04
Posts: 5204
Loc: Texas
we have a person at work who drives a leaf. She plugs it in every day at work with a long extension cord.
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#4720596 - 04/08/18 02:14 PM Re: My Life with Leaf [Re: Scout1]
14Accent Offline


Registered: 08/03/17
Posts: 430
Loc: MN
I can't wait to get a year under my belt with the Volt. I've been averaging 3.2 miles/kWh however this past week in MN has been garbage for my range. I'm 100% in love with the car though.

This coming from someone who can't stand hybrids normally. EV's just fit in such a neat little area of automobile tech and I love being an early adopter.
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2013 Chevrolet Volt - Saves enough in fuel to pay for itself!

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#4720647 - 04/08/18 03:06 PM Re: My Life with Leaf [Re: Scout1]
bowlofturtle Offline


Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 763
Loc: Chicago
Good to hear these are being used the correct way.

What are the ranges of the newer and older Leafs? Everytime i see one at a discount i think about getting one to replace my 18mpg Infiniti sedan.

I do 65miles round trip but more importantly I only have access to 110v or w/e the standard outlets are. I dont want to be that guy on the side of the road.
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#4720663 - 04/08/18 03:24 PM Re: My Life with Leaf [Re: bowlofturtle]
ls973800 Offline


Registered: 01/30/13
Posts: 145
Loc: Lake County, Ohio
I had a Ford C-Max Energi for two years as a leased vehicle. It could run on battery or gasoline engine, depending on the conditions. I usually could run around town for about 30 miles before having to charge it back up with my standard 112 volts in the garage. I think the best I got was about 3000 miles using electric and only one tank of gasoline.

The A/C also did not drain near as much as the heater. Heater and defroster/defogger on and you could watch your electric range take a dump.

Fun little car, actually enjoyed the CVT in it what with no harsh shifts or hunting for gears. Turned it back in at end of the lease, as the residual was too high to purchase it. Market prices were much lower on any of the electric vehicles after they were turned back in, Ford or Nisan.

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#4720675 - 04/08/18 03:37 PM Re: My Life with Leaf [Re: EdwardC]
spasm3 Offline


Registered: 05/30/10
Posts: 8776
Loc: North Carolina
Originally Posted By: EdwardC
Thanks for posting! We picked up a leftover 2016 model last year for pretty cheap. We have about 4,500 miles on it and love the little car. Great for around town commuting. We were averaging about the same miles per kWh as you in the summer, but out winter average dropped down to about 3.5. Heater is is a big power hog, like you said. I was surprised too that the A/C had such a small effect in mileage.

Is your model a 24kWh or 30kWh? Have you taken it in yearly for the battery diagnostic?

Originally Posted By: spasm3
I see used leafs at really marked down prices. One would work for me as a commuter. But the CVT trans is what would keep my from ever getting one.

With the flat torque curve of an electric motor, i think a 2 speed ( mini powerglide) would be great. That or a manual.


I don't think the LEAF has a CVT, it's essentially just a 1 speed transmission.


Great! If i find one at the right price, i could use it as a drive to work car. I'll have to investigate the charging needs. I have 230v at the end of my garage for my air compressor.
_________________________
13 elantra 68k 5w30 QSUD
03 chevy avalanche76k synpwr 10w30
01 saturnsc1 185k synpwr rebuilt
17 mazda cx-5 3900 miles m1 0w20/0w40 mix

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#4720778 - 04/08/18 05:36 PM Re: My Life with Leaf [Re: Scout1]
macarose Offline


Registered: 01/25/09
Posts: 414
Loc: Georgia
Georgia used to be #1 for LEAF sales but once the state subsidies were eliminated, those sales went down by 90%.

The hot weather does a brutal number on these batteries. Even the new ones have trouble since the batteries for the LEAF are air cooled. We have tons of these vehicles at the auction and most of the Nissan dealers dump 'em instead of retailing them. This market is insanely oversupplied.

I have an i-MiEV in my garage right now that Carmax was unable to retail (Google Steven Lang and you'll figure me out). Absolutely lovely vehicle and it doesn't feel cheap in any respect. I plan on my wife and I driving it about 20 to 30 miles a day and eventually I'll sell it for around $6000. It'll be a fun ride but most of the folks out there who want to be long-term keepers of an EV and live where it's opt should opt for one that has a liquid-cooled battery.

All the best!


Edited by macarose (04/08/18 05:39 PM)

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