Thursday, December 19, 2013

Leaf is home

Well, I was told that I have lost 1 bar and I am still within the limits of the battery pack. So they say. I was told if I loose 3 bars I will get a new battery if its before the warranty period is up. I truly bet it will be long before the warranty is up. I drove home today from the dealer. 43 miles. 7 miles were left showing on my Guess O Meter. The outside temp was 58 degrees when I left the Dealer. 53 by the time I got home. I also got the battery pack to warm up enough to show one extra bar on that meter. I drove on flat ground at 57 mph all the way home. No stopping and no climate control and in eco mode. So I got according to the meter a total of 50 miles. Wow. That is just crap. I drive 45 miles every day to work and back. Guess I don't get to drive the car to work in the winter any longer. Guess the Wife gets to drive the Leaf to work locally which is only like 10 miles to 15 miles total for her.

So here is my take. If you have a commute of 25 miles total then a 70 mile electric car should do you just fine for a few years. I say that because the car is totally different in the winter than in the summer.  It is the worst case that you should plan on after like 5 years. If after 5 years and in the winter if your car can still get you to work and back then maybe it will be worth driving. I have been an advocate for all electric but at this time I may change my mind a bit. I am thinking back again to turbo diesel car again and use synthetic or waste veggie oil. Still not clean like electric which I really do like but you know, if you only get a few good years from a pack its still not a viable way to get around. Better but not good enough.

I am coming around to liking the Volt but my take on that was to use a well designed turbo diesel with electric. Not gasoline with electric. So lets take out the gas engine and put in a good turbo diesel that will give plenty of power and excellent mileage. That is the way to go. So when the battery pack craps out in a few years you can still drive electric with your diesel running a generator to power your  drive motor. A total doable thing. The Volt has it right. Now it needs to be put into a killer looking body and bump up the electric range.

Pete :)


  1. The concept cars for the volt looked way better than the production unit they ended up releasing. They sure toned it down.

    1. I recognise your winter Leaf experiences. Now, in my 2nd winter, I still have all 'quality bars' on the dash. But My winter experience so far :
      1st year: 90 km at 90 km/hr
      2nd year: 80 km at 80 km/hr (100% battery capacity available)

      As an advocate EV driver, one doesn't want to elaborate too much on it.
      I am convinced that heated batteries, bring back proper winter performance. Like Tesla seems to have.

  2. Anonymous,

    I am assuming you have a 2012 model with battery heating and that you have considerable less mileage than I do. I know that cold is hard but when you take your car to work and back doing 55 mph and using no heat and only get 48 miles till empty that is pretty bad. Whats worse is that Nissan says the battery is still good. Right now I can do like 58 miles since it has warmed up considerably. So with the advent of global warming changing our local weather I am still an electric car advocate. I just think better batteries are needed. Batteries need to be like the LiFePO4 cells that actually have considerable longer cycle life than what the OEM vehicles currently use.

    Pete :)