Real world experience in the Nissan LEAF

by Ernie Hernandez on January 17, 2012

Silver LEAF being driver9,000 miles in less than six months

Personal experience of a thing provides validation that is, quite often, otherwise not available. We recently read an article by a relatively new Nissan LEAF owner. The reason that we want to pass along this story is two-fold:

  1. He has completed all of his driving without buying a permanent 240-volt charging solution, and
  2. He has driven over 9,000 miles in less than six months.

This owner, by accumulating as many miles as he has in the relatively short time of ownership thus far, has found a way to make an electric car work for him. He writes about his cost of electricity vs. his average miles per month – his fuel cost efficiency works out to over 30 miles per $1 spent on electricity. His driving experience includes freeway speeds, heater usage, and significant elevation changes – 2,500 to 4,100 feet in ten miles. His father also owns a LEAF, but the author does not state which LEAF was acquired first.

If you can get past the somewhat cornball headline, the story makes an interesting read.

http://www.torquenews.com/1/man-buys-orphan-nissan-leaf-drives-9000-miles-without-gas

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Tom K January 19, 2012 at 7:25 am

It’s good to see people out there driving their LEAFs a lot. I’ve had mine now for 255 days and I’m just short of 15,000 miles. I estimate that I charged my car away from home for half of the mileage. I’m heading over to the dealership next week for the 15,000 checkup…

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Ernie Hernandez (LEAFguy) January 19, 2012 at 9:58 pm

15,000 miles? That is some serious driving – gas or electric. It truly shows though, that the LEAF can be a significant contributor to one’s daily transportation needs even if those needs include more than average driving. It all depends on trip length and possible charge locations as needed.

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Michele April 7, 2012 at 5:41 pm

Does it hurt the battery to charge it to 100%? Can you please give me more real-life information regarding 80% vs 100% charging? Thank you

Reply

Ernie Hernandez (LEAFguy) April 7, 2012 at 8:43 pm

Michele – Welcome to Living LEAF. According to Nissan, charging to 100% routinely will shorten the life of the battery pack. Keep in mind, Nissan wants to do everything possible to ensure a long battery life. Many owners that report on mynissanleaf.com have 12,000 miles or more, and some charge to 100% regularly. The real world information that you seek will be available after about four more years of use and we have 60,000 miles or more on a significant number of vehicles. The important point for you to consider is how long to do plan on owning the car. If you lease, you will have no problem at all with battery degradation during your lease period. I bought my car and plan to own it for at least eight to ten years. We drive a limited distance daily, so we charge every night to 80%. Since you are asking about 100% charging, I assume that your driving will require most of the available range. What you might consider is asking your employer if you can charge at work during the day on a 120-volt outlet. Many employers are EV friendly. Offer to pay so non-EV owners do not get upset with your arrangement. You can buy an inexpensive Kill-a-watt meter to track how much energy you’ve used. Michele, unless you are planning on driving more than 70 miles per day, it is probably a moot point. If you are, consider some of the options suggested. Good luck with your decision.

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