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Nissan Leaf to complement our Tesla Model X

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by Malbrough, Jun 6, 2018.

  1. Malbrough

    Malbrough Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2017
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    Location:
    Oklahoma
    After replacing our old Civic CNG with a new Model X in December 2017, we quickly realized that we were ready to be done with ICE cars completely. Our other car, a 2013 Ford Escape, quickly become the gas car that we hated to use. We found ourselves using the Model X for everything, from long road trips to errands. We have a Model 3 on order (waiting for short range) but we were ready to go all-electric now. We decided to replace the Escape with a 4000-mile 2017 certified used Nissan Leaf SV to serve as the local grocery-getter / errand-runner / daily commuter, and to save miles on the Model X. Here are my observations so far after 3 weeks of owning the Leaf.

    The Nissan Leaf build quality is good, about on par with my former 2012 Civic CNG. It is very maneuverable in parking lots, and has enough acceleration for daily driving. My commute is only 9 miles each way, mainly back roads, and the parking lot at work is tight. The Leaf is much easier to park and really lowers the stress of parking the Model X in those tight spots. Maintenance on the Leaf appears to be easier for a do-it-yourself owner. I broke the door mirror glass when trying to pry off one of those little panoramic mirrors. Replacing mirror glass was as easy as getting the new part from my local Nissan dealer and popping it on.

    Being able to remotely control HVAC in the Leaf is great, which is why I got the SV version. I find myself using the climate control timer feature daily. I wish I could set a schedule to turn climate control on at 4pm every weekday without having to set the timer daily. The navigation is very old looking, compared to Tesla, but that's to be expected for the price. Bluetooth works well with my Samsung S8, and overall ease of use is pretty good. There are way too many buttons on the steering wheel and dash, compared to Tesla.

    As for EV driving, I wish the Leaf had stronger regenerative braking. Kinda silly having to pull the shift knob down to the Drive position twice to go to regen (B) mode. Regen should be default. Eco mode was on when I took delivery, making the so slow I thought it was broken. Then one day I decided to push the Eco button while accelerating, turning off Eco mode. The Leaf lurched forward like a whole different car, and I'll never use Eco mode again. I don't care about "building trees" or whatever, we're already doing that for real by only driving EVs. I bought a Level 2 16 amp charger for $195 from Amazon, and it's been working great to replace the 30 miles or so of charge we use daily.

    I recently saw a video from Ben Sullens on YouTube, where he mentions he still has a pickup truck because of owning a home and needing to haul stuff. We fixed that problem also, by buying a little fold up trailer from Northern Tool last year. We move so much stuff with that trailer, and it folds up and out of the way when not in use. We get many comments from folks at Home Depot when they see the Model X hauling a trailer, loaded up with stuff. Kinda funny, but the Tesla doesn't even break a sweat towing stuff, of course.

    Overall, the Leaf, Model X, trailer combo works out nicely for us. The Leaf is no Tesla, but it's not meant to be. It's a car we'll use in the metro area only, and will save wear and tear on our Tesla(s). Once we get the Model 3, we'll keep the Leaf as a 3rd car for snow / hail days. The Leaf has a long Nissan CPO warranty, and it should be faster / easier to repair than a Tesla, if damaged. Bottom line, we're able to do everything we need without having to fill up anything with gas. Even our lawn equipment is battery or corded, so we buy no gasoline at all, which is very unusual in the middle of Oklahoma.
     
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  2. Sparrow

    Sparrow S105/ Roadster 189

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    Take good care of your batteries in that Leaf. Especially try to keep them cool. I just got rid of my 2017 Leaf after owning it for 17 months and 8700 miles because it already lost its first capacity bar. I thought my 2011 Leaf was bad when it lost its first bar after 16,000 miles and a little over 2 years of ownership, but the 2017 was even worse. In comparison, my 2012 Tesla S has lost maybe 6% in 5 1/2 years.
     
    • Like x 1
  3. cwerdna

    cwerdna Active Member

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    Yes, batteries in the '16 30 kWh Leafs are NOT holding up well from a capacity loss POV. :( It doesn't look like the '17 is doing any better.

    We know of at least 18 4 bar losers on 30 kWh Leafs so far: 2016-2017 model year 30 kWh bar losers and capacity losses - Page 108 - My Nissan Leaf Forum. The +1 is later in that thread. Those folks have lost somewhere past 30% of capacity!

    We don't know of any 4 bar losers on the model year '15 "lizard" 24 kWh battery yet: 2015 "lizard" and 2016 24 kWh S battery capacity bar losers - My Nissan Leaf Forum. "Lizard" battery is the best one we know of, so far.

    The only upside is that Nissan made the 30 kWh capacity warranty 8 years/100K miles instead of 5 years/60K miles on the 24 kWh.
     
  4. gavine

    gavine Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast

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    You would think Nissan would have learned and added liquid cooling. Even the battery in the new model is air-cooled.
     
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  5. ewoodrick

    ewoodrick Active Member

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    I had a 2015 Leaf on lease that became due at the end of last year and replaced it with a 2018 Leaf. It's a very different car. It has more power, it has better styling, and a lot larger battery (160m+)
    I got a Model 3 a few weeks ago, and just replaced mw lawn mower with an electric.

    The 2018 Leaf is a pretty awesome car. We got the top of the line with ProPilot and while not quite as good as the Tesla, does provide the same functionality as the Model 3 today. Hit the button, it's following cars and staying in-between the lines. Yes, the eco button is your choice, while I sometimes complain about the B mode, it is nice to be able to quickly choose the amount of regen that I want, sometimes I like to coast. B mode makes more sense in the city than on the highways.
    Want more regen, then the ePedal in the 2018 Leaf is what you want. It provides 99% one-pedal driving, coming to a complete stop when the foot is removed from the accelerator. Remove foot, brake light comes on and you are stopping pretty quick (very quick stops may require brake).

    With 160 miles on the battery, and especially coming from 88 miles, range anxiety isn't a big thing anymore. The wife even took it on a 200 mile each way trip with no issues.

    And if you need to haul some things around town, Home Depot rents their trucks for really cheap. But then again, we got a 8 foot rug in the Leaf and a lawnmower in the Model 3.
     
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  6. Phillip L

    Phillip L Gas Passer

    Joined:
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    711
    Location:
    Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada
    We did a similar thing, except it is a combination of the Tesla Model S and a Chevy Volt. No regrets. And like you we have an electric lawn mower. But up here we need gas for the snowblower! The Volt we use almost only in electric mode.
     
  7. MacGreiner

    Joined:
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    MD
    Any EV that displaces an ICE is a good EV in my eye.
     
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  8. number12

    number12 Supporting Member

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    That’s my set up. Except add another leaf and a 3 (between 2 drivers).

    Leaf gets more driving time unfortunately, but it’s so practical and spacious I can’t help it.

    All cordless lawn equipment as well (greenworks).

    The economics alone are worth it.
     
  9. Cirrus MS100D

    Cirrus MS100D Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2017
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    Location:
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Been enjoying a Fiat 500e for all the same reasons as your Leaf. I charge on 120v most of the time, which is sufficient for my ~20 mi daily usage, but bought the adapter that allows me to use the Tesla HPWC if/when I need to juice up during the day (charges the Fiat from near empty to full in about 4 hours.)
     
  10. david_42

    david_42 Member

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    That's to be added for the 2019 Leaf. The graphs I've seen comparing the 24 kwhr and 30 kwhr are appalling. The 30 kwhr loses capacity 3-4 times as fast.
     
  11. Malbrough

    Malbrough Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2017
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    Location:
    Oklahoma
    I just got a service email from Nissan that may address this very problem:

    Nissan is committed to providing the highest levels of product safety, quality and customer satisfaction. With that in mind, we want to bring to your attention important information regarding a voluntary service campaign being conducted by Nissan to reprogram the 30 kWh Lithium-ion Battery Controller (LBC) on your Nissan LEAF vehicle.

    REASON FOR SERVICE CAMPAIGN

    The software used by the LBC miscalculates the driving range and the battery’s capacity level gauge, resulting in capacity and range being displayed lower than the actual amount. Nissan is releasing new software to customers to correct these parameters and provide an accurate representation of range and capacity.

    WHAT NISSAN WILL DO

    To ensure your continued satisfaction and confidence in your car, your Nissan dealer will reprogram the 30 kWh LBC with updated software to correct the calculation for the driving range and Lithium-ion battery capacity gauge indicators. This procedure will be performed at no cost to you for parts and labor. Additionally, this service should take less than one (1) hour to complete, but your Nissan dealer may require your vehicle for a longer period of time based upon their work schedule.

    WHAT YOU SHOULD DO

    Nissan encourages you to contact your LEAF certified Nissan dealer at your earliest convenience in order to arrange your appointment. To minimize any inconvenience to you, it is important that you have an appointment before bringing your vehicle to the dealer for service. Please bring this notice with you to your service appointment. Detailed instructions have been sent to your Nissan dealer.
     
  12. gavine

    gavine Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast

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    So archaic, having to bring the car in (with an appointment) for a software update.
     

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