2018 Leaf Owners in Hot Climates?

Discussion in 'LEAF' started by boba7523, Aug 5, 2018.

To remove this ad click here.

  1. boba7523

    boba7523 New Member

    Hi Everyone,

    New user here and looking for an EV as a commuter, and the 2018 Nissan Leaf caught my attention.

    I live in Southern California where the summer temperatures average 105F (40C). I average about 55 miles (88km) on my daily commute, which consist of about 30% stop and go traffic about 5 to 25mph and 70% highway speeds (about 65mph).

    I'd like to see if there are other 2018 Leaf owners living in hot climates (and hopefully in similar commuting scenario as I) who can offer their experiences on their range.

    I understand in an ideal world, the range is about 150 miles. After reading several articles, I think the real world range for my unique scenario would be about 110 miles.

    Thank you,
  2. To remove this ad click here.

  3. BAllred

    BAllred New Member

    I'm in Houston, and although the humidex/feels like temperature is usually in the upper 100s, the actual temperature has probably been around 98F. Regardless, I use the air conditioner liberally. My commute is about 45 miles, of which about 60% is highway where I usually drive at about 65mph.

    I've had my SV for about a month now, and I'm averaging about 175 miles per charge
  4. BAllred

    BAllred New Member

    I should add that I draft behind semi trucks when possible. Drafting makes a big difference, though I probably only get to do it on less than a quarter of my drives
  5. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Just lease the Leaf. Then you won't have to worry much about how soon the battery degrades. If you get a Leaf EPA rated for 150 miles, then it should be pretty dependable for a 110 mile daily range, altho if you live where it gets bitterly cold in the winter, you may have to limit your highway speed and/or practice hypermiling techniques on very cold days.

    There are a bevy of plug-in EVs coming in 2020. And by then, you can likely get a Tesla Model 3 without a long wait. So lots more to choose from at the end of a 3-year lease on a Leaf; hopefully something that fits your needs pretty well.
  6. boba7523

    boba7523 New Member

    Thank you guys for the response.!

    So hot weather is better for range versus cold weather?
  7. To remove this ad click here.

  8. boba7523

    boba7523 New Member

    That's an impressive range with 60% highway speeds!

    Were you worried about battery degradation issues prior to getting the car? My main concern is that battery is going to degrade in this hot weather, and I'll only be getting 100 mile range in a year or so if my battery capacity is reduced............
  9. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Definitely. In hot weather you may have to run the cabin A/C, but that doesn't cause nearly the hit to range that driving in below 20° F weather does.

    However, driving in cold weather doesn't risk permanent damage to the battery, as driving in hot weather does.

    The worst things for causing permanent battery damage in the Leaf are (1) having the battery pack get hot (100° F or higher) and stay hot for 24 hours or more (hence the frequent problem with premature aging in the Phoenix area, where it may not cool down at night during hot summer days), (2) charging the battery when hot, and (3) frequent use of DC fast charging. (Well, actually #3 is probably just a subset of #2, because using a DC fast charger heats up the battery, even in mild temperatures.)

    Fortunately the Leaf does have a battery temperature gauge, so you can see how hot the battery is when you're driving. Doesn't help, though, with knowing when the battery pack has stayed hot for hours when you're not in the car.

    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
  10. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Indeed it is. I'm guessing that drafting behind semi trucks isn't the only hypermiling technique he uses. It amazes me how much extra range some truly dedicated hypermilers can get. But that says a lot more about the driver than it does about the car.

  11. BAllred

    BAllred New Member

    Haha I'm not trying to get your hopes up, but I got ~25% more range than advertised on my Ford Focus Electric as well... I always thought the EPA figures were too conservative.

    I was aware of the degradation concerns raised by others, and the lack of TMS is something everyone should take into consideration. Having had warranty accounting exposure in my career, I looked at it from a warranty adjusting perspective and felt that my driving, storage, and charging habits place me in a low-risk group. My car is almost exclusively for commuting, and I do not drive fast or aggressively; I park in a garage at home and a parking garage at work; and I generally cycle my charging in a 40 to 90% bandwidth.

    I recommend looking at several pre-owned 30KWh Leafs in your area. Most listings have a picture of the dashboard, which the 1st gen showed the capacity bar by default. For those that don't, request that the salesperson send you a picture. I don't want to discredit the complaints of those who have suffered premature capacity loss, but it seems to me that they are likely a vocal minority as I looked at several listings and IIRC only saw one with a bar missing on the capacity gauge.

    A 100 mile range seems very unlikely to me within the 8 year warranty time frame and, with the rate at which battery costs have been decreasing over the last decade, I would expect the replacement cost to be easy to accrue for after the warranty expires.. especially when considering the regular maintenance cost savings of owning an EV.
  12. To remove this ad click here.

  13. BAllred

    BAllred New Member

    That's basically it, though after thinking about it I should say I don't always get to drive 65mph during rush hour traffic in Houston. I imagine the slower highway driving helps the range out a bit
  14. Paul K

    Paul K Active Member

    Well it's not as hot here in Ontario right now as California but at the highest temperatures (a little over 30C) and parked in the sun I still haven't gone over 6 temp bars when starting out or driving. Today I did an 80K run which had me down to 50% SOC by the time I got home. I meant to top up for an hour while having a nap but it was a real good nap and the car charged to 100% which I definitely did not want. Also found the temperature had gone up to 7 bars. An hour and a half later I'm back down to 6. Nothing definitive here. Just some numbers feedback for all.
  15. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Slower driving on the highway helps the range a lot.

  16. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    You might consider putting a timer on your EVSE (for the uninitiated, that means the charger installed on the wall of your garage or elsewhere), to cut off charging when you want.

    One of the issues I have with the Leaf is that Nissan deliberately designed it so the driver can't pre-set what level of charge he wants, so it always charges to 100% if left to itself. They even removed the ability to stop charging at 80%, which the Leaf had for the first model year or two!
    :eek: :mad: :(
  17. Kenneth Bokor

    Kenneth Bokor Active Member

    Good advice here across the board. I offer that Nissan states to use the new Leaf as you want to, the BMS will take care of the battery. So charge to 100% if you want to. With the newer Chemistry and 8-Year Warranty, they are confident in this approach. However, I personally don't charge every night back to 100% like I do with my iPhone. I look at what my next day is going to be like with regards to driving range needed and then decide if I plug it in or not. I generally get it down to 30% or so before back to 100%, unless I need to sooner. That's not because I am worried about serious degradation since I am not. It's because I'm just being cheap and don't want to spend a few cents more to charge to 100% if I don't need to on a given day. I don't do the charge to 80% at all game.

    If boba or anyone else is concerned about a best-practise approach, contact your Nissan dealer or Nissan HQ and get the recommended advice from them. No one here on this or any other Forum will be covering any warranty claims, so take all of our advise with some lattitude. Each case is unique and with over 340,000 Leafs on the road globally, this sense that the Leaf's battery packs are sub-par is bogus in my mind. Like I said, if you are worried about pack issues in your particular climate and geography, then my advise is not to gauge your actions on this Forum's info or any other forum, but get this info directly from Nissan somehow.

    I too live in Ontario and it's been an above-average hot summer with temperatures in the 28-35 degrees C plus humidity range, and I've had zero issues with my now almost 3-month new 2018 Leaf with almost 7,000 kms on it.

    If you are really concerned about the Leaf's long-term viability, then look at another option since there are plenty to choose from and more coming. However, for new you will have to spend a bit more. Oh and I never lease - IMO it's a waste of money as you continually make payments for ever and own nothing. I've personally owned over 25 cars in my lifetime so far and never leased. I pay them off or pay cash since I buy slightly used most of the time and then enjoy no car payments for the many years I keep my cars - usually 6-8 years of use and more.

    If you can financially write off a Lease payment due to work circumstances, than that is a different approach and will work.

    My advise anyhow as I don't like to live in debt.
    Domenick likes this.
  18. Paul K

    Paul K Active Member

    I normally do use the timer to limit charging. I've pretty well figured out the time and percentage relationship. The car charges much faster than the estimated times shown in the display. I find that an hour on my 30amp dock gives me at least 20% increase in SOC and I've had as much as 28% show up after deliberately setting it for one hour. By doing this I usually end up charging between 75% and 90% if not going out of town. For that I charge to 100%. Normally my naps are 30 to 40 minutes which would have been great for the top up. I guess the heat made me a little extra tired and the "nap" lasted almost 3 hours, hence the accidental charge to full. To take advantage of TOU pricing I set my timer to stop charging at 7am in the winter and 6am in the summer and back up the start time for what I'll need the next day.
  19. boba7523

    boba7523 New Member

    What's the procedure for cycling the charge? And what should I charge it to?
  20. boba7523

    boba7523 New Member

    Is it possible to use a timer with this TurboCord? If so, what kind of timer do I use?
  21. BAllred

    BAllred New Member

    I can’t speak to using timers; I use and recommend the emotorwerks juicebox. It’s a tad more expensive, but it makes controlling the charging bandwidth really easy.

    I prefer usually living between 40 and 90% due to the Battery University studies. Even so I still only have to charge once every three days
  22. BAllred

    BAllred New Member

  23. Stephen Hodges

    Stephen Hodges New Member

    I wonder how rare this is, my neighbors daughter still commuting to college over 20 miles and 1500 ft elevation.... just! 4bars!.jpg

Share This Page