My Nissan Leaf test drive and review

Discussion in 'General Diesel Discussion' started by chittychittybangbang, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. chittychittybangbang

    chittychittybangbang Administrator

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    Cliffs notes: not ready for the mainstream.

    I don’t have pictures or specs to accompany this review because there are a million pics and technical specs you can find elsewhere if you don’t know what this car looks like or is about. This review is just my opinion of the car.

    The main reason is that to be mainstream, it requires a change in consumer behavior. It’s incredibly easy for people to change but they aren’t used to plugging in the car overnight or planning their routes.
    This is necessary because the car’s range is around 100 miles. Unfortunately, the EPA estimates range at 73 miles/charge which is closer to many people will see. Under conditions like a heat wave or very cold temperatures, range could be further reduced because you’re blasting the AC or heater. While you can plug in the car to preheat or pre-cool the car, you will most likely not have this ability where you’re parked during the day.

    Hit the jump to my EV website for the full review: http://www.evwaudi.com/2011/07/my-nissan-leaf-test-drive-and-review/
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  2. gt4494

    gt4494 Member

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    Have they ever figured out what the life of the batteries are or what it might cost to replace them? This question is also about the gas/electric cars like the Prius.

    I know that with my driving requirements (trips over 200 miles one way) the current technology of total electric will not support.

    I do take pleasure in watching the Prius try to do 80mph on the interstate knowing my TDI is getting almost the same fuel mileage and I can blow him into the weeds anytime I want to..:D
  3. chittychittybangbang

    chittychittybangbang Administrator

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    The life of the batteries is high and they have an 8 year warranty/100k, the highest warranty item on the car. They can also replace individual cells instead of the whole pack. So even if you're out of warranty cell replacement shouldn't be too bad.

    Like the review says, I can't wait for the Golf EV....version 3.0! Most people are open to driving electric cars but not in their current price/performance/range situation.
  4. darrelld

    darrelld Member

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    My concern with the Leaf is lack of battery active thermal management. Extreme temps would have to significantly shorten battery life over time.

    Coworker with Civic Hybrid has an 8 year battery warranty but the Civic has deteriorated to the point the car will not cool properly in the 110+ summers we have recently. Honda so far has been unwilling to accept the warranty claim for battery replacement.
  5. dezel

    dezel Member

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    I think it was edmunds.com that said you have to factor in $2200 for the charging station.
    Chevy volt was about $1475 in addition to a $40k sticker price. A full charge is about 3-4 hrs. A quicker charge because they use 240 volts. It wont work for me because I drive about 100 miles a day,hills etc. Its a thumbs up in some ways but you have to factor in the impact on the electric grid.
  6. benfactorial

    benfactorial New Member

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    Yeah, the EV technology is still not ripe. 3 things would have to happen for me to even consider buying an EV:
    1. longer range - at least 150 miles average
    2. widely available public charging stations (Where can I charge my car if I'm on a road trip?)
    3. Quicker charges - if I can get enough energy out of a 15-min charge to get home, in most circumstances, that would be acceptable
  7. chittychittybangbang

    chittychittybangbang Administrator

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    I heard an interview with Ghosn on the Leaf. Most early adopters understand the limitations and are only running the battery down to around 40% during normal use.

    2. They believe that places like Whole Foods will pay for free charging stations so you can charge your car when you're inside paying 50% more for the same brand orange juice you can buy at the valu-mart.

    3. The main enemy here is heat. Heat kills batteries. Fast charging makes heat. The household charger charges to 100%, their quick charger only charges to 80% even with the coolant system. Even though the car has no engine it still uses coolant for the batteries. There are some exciting battery developments but I'll wait.

    IMHO, the future is in supercapacitors. Vs. chemical batteries they charge nearly instantly and are the real key to a full transition to electric cars. This idea has been floating around for years but there needs to be real breakthroughs to move forward. At that point the electric car will be fully ripe.
  8. drsmile

    drsmile New Member

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    There was a school that built a TDI powered "supercar" project that had a supercap for burst acceleration and brake regen. It seems like a no brainer that this is the future solution.

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