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Old 09-24-2012, 05:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Drove Nissan Leaf EV

Nice car. Quiet. Has plenty of power. I experimented with "Drive" versus "Eco" modes and couldn't really tell the difference. Both had equal amounts of power for takeoff.

Wouldn't buy one though because of the premature battery losses it's been experiencing. Last thing I need is a $10,000 bill at 50 or 60,000 miles.
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Amazing the torque? Its easily to chirp tires and activate the traction control. Way easier than in the i2.

I didnt like the feeling I had a gallon of gas and how wild of swing the mpg estimator made before the vehicle needed to be recharged.
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobb View Post
I didnt like the feeling I had a gallon of gas and how wild of swing the mpg estimator made before the vehicle needed to be recharged.
The Leaf owners call it the "guess" gauge. It doesn't accurately show how far you can go.
And yeah it's about 1 gallon of gasoline energy in the car (rated 96 eMPG and 73 miles per charge). I expected the motor to have strong pull from the line, but slow down after it passed 60. I also thought the Eco mode would be like the Civic or Insight's Eco mode: With limited power available.
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theaveng View Post
The Leaf owners call it the "guess" gauge. It doesn't accurately show how far you can go.
And yeah it's about 1 gallon of gasoline energy in the car (rated 96 eMPG and 73 miles per charge). I expected the motor to have strong pull from the line, but slow down after it passed 60. I also thought the Eco mode would be like the Civic or Insight's Eco mode: With limited power available.
It hurts my head to think there is only 1 gallon of fuel equivalent, it is a nice car, sadly EV's don't meet my travel patterns... Yet.

Give the industry a few more development cycles and things are likely to be better.

Here's hoping for a plugin Honda hybrid.
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Old 09-24-2012, 10:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Honda had a plug-in concept, I think Accord based, on their website.
Considering that Ford is realeasing the two 'Energi' hybrid vehicles with 20 miles of electric driving and then gas hybrid after that, similar to the Volt but with better MPG on gas and hopefully a lower cost, I have a feeling Ford might beat out the Chevy Volt if they price it right. Not sure how it would compete with the Prius plug-in but looking at how the Prius built their plug-in and its driving limitations in EV mode, I'm thinking the Prius plug-in won't do so well. The problem is the Ford Focus EV came way over the price target that I was thinking and IMHO won't be able to compete with the Nissan Leaf EV. Honda is keeping numbers small with the Fit EV by only leasing in a small area for now.

It'll be interesting to see how everything turns out in the production market. Can't wait until next spring when I start my 1st Gen Insight conversion and beat the range of the Leaf with a smaller battery pack than the Leaf uses and less total cost and better efficiency than any other highway capable EV ever mass produced and sold.
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Old 09-24-2012, 10:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I drove the volt about a month ago, I can see why some people like it, the cabin is well appointed and well integrated. For me, the cost was way to high.

As you say, the production arena will be interesting.
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Old 09-25-2012, 12:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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EVs only need 1 "gallon" of energy because the conversion of chemical fuel-to-electricity (and the ~40% losses) happened at the central plant. In our cars that happens on-board.

Also I thought someone already made an electric Insight? What kind of range did they get?
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Old 09-25-2012, 12:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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There are a few electric Insights but the owners don't talk about them. I've tried to contact multiple different EVAlbum converters of the Insight asking them how their experience is and nobody responds. The most information I got was from Otmar's response on this forum regarding efficiency while driving at 55mph but he went with an AC drive system with a more or less DIY type controller that broke on him. There was a post of one of the conversion that Wayne Alexander did but the owner of the car wanted his car to be run on lead-acid and be about the cheapest conversion possible, skipping heat, a DC-DC, and a number of other normal things for an EV conversion were left behind because the owner of the car didn't care. This forum more or less 'shunned the non-believer/messenger' so we don't really have much information there either as I'm sure the owner of that car would be chased away if he showed up.

John Wayland is converting his Insight but his last update was on October 2nd 2011, almost a year since the last update. So at this point we really have very limited information from those deeply in progress or complete with Insight conversions to EV. John Wayland is going to try to fit 75kwh of lithium-ion battery pack into his car and estimates 350 miles of range but multiple people here(including me) think he could easily do 400-500 miles on that pack that large.

If I go off of Otmar's 140wh/mile figure I could theoretically be at 110 miles at 20% state of charge with the 19.2kwh pack that I'm planning for my car. If I go with 160wh/mile efficiency, I could swing about 100 miles in good conditions which would figure 120 miles until the battery would be at zero, but it's better for these batteries if you don't run them down below about 20% remaining too often. ..plus you generally don't want to be running around on the last 'few drops' of your capacity to avoid getting stuck. I figure a 20 mile buffer is plenty.
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Old 09-25-2012, 02:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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My use of the phrase of a gallon of gas was referring to my i2. My MID ranges wildly depending on my driving style and use of the PHEV kit. Still having a vehicle that can go 50 or 80 miles before it needs to be recharged wouldnt work as my main vehicle and I found myself really worried watching the range meter. More so than I thought as most EVs do not go very far.

The only diy person I know of has a geo metro they made an ev. It cost 10 grand in parts, the guy was a mechanic and did the labor him self including some welding, machining. He used lead acid batteries and with the range he wanted he made it a 2 seater using the rear seats for mo batteries.

His best is 45 mph at 45 miles on a full charge. He has a 15 and 20 amp 110 volt charger. One takes 12 hours, another 8 but only one circuit in his house can power the charger. It was fun to drive, but after that he had to plug it in for the day.
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Old 09-25-2012, 03:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Last edited by Baloo; 09-25-2012 at 06:38 PM.
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