Vigo
Vigo PowerDork
2/24/14 7:31 p.m.
And the visibility past the A pillars is still annoying. So much can hide behind the left side A pillar when going around left hand turns or even driving through a parking lot.

That really bothers me about my Prius as well. It seems like most of my aggressive driving around left hand turns has me staring directly into the giant a-pillar. At least there are airbags in there to sort of justify their bigness.

dankspeed
dankspeed Reader
2/24/14 9:03 p.m.

Spent two hours at a dealer today. Couldn't do any better than $240 a month on an S model with $2000 down. Anyone from ohio leasing a leaf? I'm reaching out to a 2nd dealer in hopes to improve the deal.

tuna55
tuna55 PowerDork
2/24/14 10:20 p.m.
dankspeed wrote: Spent two hours at a dealer today. Couldn't do any better than $240 a month on an S model with $2000 down. Anyone from ohio leasing a leaf? I'm reaching out to a 2nd dealer in hopes to improve the deal.

My lease is $243 and $0 down. Check to see if where you work has the VPP program with Nissan. My company does.

Klayfish
Klayfish SuperDork
2/25/14 5:57 a.m.

If you're 100% sure you're getting a Leaf, widen your search. As I mentioned before, I nearly got my Leaf from CA or OR and would have had it shipped to PA. I don't remember the exact numbers, but there was one dealer offering me an S for something like $139/month (pre-state tax) with $2000 down. Would have been worth it.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltraDork
2/25/14 6:10 a.m.
Vigo wrote:
And the visibility past the A pillars is still annoying. So much can hide behind the left side A pillar when going around left hand turns or even driving through a parking lot.
That really bothers me about my Prius as well. It seems like most of my aggressive driving around left hand turns has me staring directly into the giant a-pillar. At least there are airbags in there to sort of justify their bigness.

I think a lot of newer cars share this problem . Along with poor side and rear visibility. I'd love to see a quantitative comparison of visibility of the average 90s car to 2010+ car.

bastomatic
bastomatic SuperDork
2/25/14 7:55 a.m.
dankspeed wrote: Spent two hours at a dealer today. Couldn't do any better than $240 a month on an S model with $2000 down. Anyone from ohio leasing a leaf? I'm reaching out to a 2nd dealer in hopes to improve the deal.

I also went through the VPP program. If you know someone who works at Nissan they can get you a number, and many workplaces also qualify. I emailed about 5 dealers, told them what I wanted, and asked for an out the door price. The responses were very different, and some dealers were more willing to deal. I bought mine in Ann Arbor, but there were 5 dealers closer who wouldn't match the price.

Also, the S model has a more inefficient heater than the others in 2013, and it has a slower charger unless you upgrade to the quick charge package. Might not be a deal breaker, just thought I would let you know.

tuna55
tuna55 PowerDork
2/25/14 8:01 a.m.
bastomatic wrote: Also, the S model has a more inefficient heater than the others in 2013, and it has a slower charger unless you upgrade to the quick charge package. Might not be a deal breaker, just thought I would let you know.

Didn't know that about the heater. I have the S and it's been fine. It does use up range to heat the cabin, but it's not enough to ruin my driving it around.

bastomatic
bastomatic SuperDork
2/25/14 8:11 a.m.

I don't know how big a difference it makes, but the 2013 SV and SL models use a heat pump unit that is supposed to be more efficient. I can tell you the heater in my SV sucks down the range, but it has been stupid cold up here so far.

Also, the heater broke 3000 miles in.

Klayfish
Klayfish SuperDork
2/25/14 8:47 a.m.

The S model uses a resistance heater, and uses a lot of power. The SV and SL models add a heat pump as well. There's a graph out there on efficiency, but the cliff notes version is that in moderate cold the SV and SL are more efficient. In temps right around 32 and above, the heat pump uses significantly less power than the resistance heater. So the range reduction is much less. But when it gets well below freezing the SV and SL use the resistance heater as well, so the benefit starts to decline rapidly.

I've noticed this as well. In temps of 30-45 degrees, once the cabin is warm I'm only using .5-1.0kW at the most. Sometimes I'm using almost none. In 15 degree weather, I'm using 3.0-4.5kW at almost all times. Whenever possible, I try to preheat the car while still plugged in.

bastomatic
bastomatic SuperDork
2/25/14 9:47 p.m.

Speaking of heaters, I got my Leaf back from the dealer tonight. Dead resistance heater from what I can tell, but now all is well again. So glad to be back in the Leaf. The rental Focus was terrible.

On the bright side, nissan is picking up the rental tab, and the gas tab too. And the repair took a week, when I was expecting two full weeks.

Nashco
Nashco UberDork
2/26/14 12:51 a.m.

Isn't it funny how horrible a gas car seems for a typical commute after daily driving an EV for a while? It really is habit forming.

EV Driver said: Why doesn't this thing instantly provide torque when I push the go pedal? Something must be broken, it also makes a horrible noise when I accelerate. What do you mean I have to turn the key ...I'm in the car and I have the key in my pocket, why would I have to turn? Ha, multiple gears...this thing is so old!

Of course, I still have gas cars kicking around for toys, but for the daily driver it's almost humorous when I don't have my EV.

Bryce

bastomatic
bastomatic SuperDork
2/26/14 5:03 a.m.

In reply to Nashco:

Well, it doesn't help when the gas powered car is a rental with over 40k miles on it, that has obviously been beaten to death.

I should also mention that I found out that Nissan has it's own dedicated Leaf consumer affairs hotline, and they take service pretty seriously. I can't say that the parts arrived quicker because I contacted them, but the dealership certainly seemed to be very on the ball after I contacted the Leaf team.

Klayfish
Klayfish SuperDork
2/26/14 6:21 a.m.
bastomatic wrote: I should also mention that I found out that Nissan has it's own dedicated Leaf consumer affairs hotline, and they take service pretty seriously. I can't say that the parts arrived quicker because I contacted them, but the dealership certainly seemed to be very on the ball after I contacted the Leaf team.

Yup. I was told that when I leased my car. I used them when I complained about my heated steering wheel. While I wasn't satisfied with the ultimate outcome, I was very happy with the dedicated support team for Leaf owners. They paid for my rental car and gas while the dealer had the car, and followed up with me regularly.

Chris_V
Chris_V UltraDork
2/26/14 9:57 a.m.
Nashco wrote: Isn't it funny how horrible a gas car seems for a typical commute after daily driving an EV for a while? It really is habit forming.

Lol yeah, the Impala I have right now as a rental is horrible in comparison, and I've gone through a tank of gas in the week+ that I've been commuting in it... HATE it.

Ransom
Ransom PowerDork
2/26/14 10:58 a.m.

FWIW, I just submitted a comment to Nissan about the A-pillars. I have a grouse, and it may affect which car I choose next, so I guess that's about all I can do: Tell them I might vote with my dollars to be able to see, and then make sure I pick a car I can see out of next time. Not that this issue precludes re-Leafing, given our overall happiness with the car, but maybe there will be more selection in October '15. (Or maybe nobody will make a car, EV or ICE, that I can see out of)

The WRX wasn't as bad (though tight uphill lefts certainly were more obscured than I'd like), so it's not as though all modern vehicles are as bad as the Leaf (and Volt?).

Chris_V
Chris_V UltraDork
2/26/14 12:23 p.m.

No, not ALL modern vehicles are as bad, but once you get to ultra aerodynamic cars that also have to have safe A pillar support and A pillr airbags, you get fat A pillars that you can't see past. A lot of cars with laid back windshields have this problem. I don't mind poor visibility over my shoulder and rearward, as I got used to mid engine sports cars and delivery vans/vehicles with no rearward visibility at all. But I don't like this trend of not being able to see things AHEAD of me that I might hit.

dankspeed
dankspeed Reader
2/26/14 2:58 p.m.

In reply to tuna55: No VPP unfortunately. The 2nd dealer did a little better but not good enough to bite.

Nashco
Nashco UberDork
2/28/14 4:22 p.m.

I started a build thread for my Spark EV autocrosser here:

http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/build-projects-and-project-cars/2014-chevrolet-spark-ev-an-affordable-electric-racecar/80158/page1/

Fortunately, EV racers don't need racing gas, so that's money saved. Unfortunately, EV racers still need race tires.

Bryce

tuna55
tuna55 PowerDork
3/24/14 4:14 p.m.

Four codes, P316c, P3170, P3171 and b29c1 over the past four weeks. Dealership doesn't know. They told me it was this weird brand charger. When I mentioned that I only trickle charge, they stopped knowing things. I weld on the same circuit as the Leaf charges on... related?

Vigo
Vigo PowerDork
3/24/14 8:40 p.m.

I just looked in Alldata and every one of those codes is skipped in their code descriptions. Sigh.

tuna55
tuna55 PowerDork
3/24/14 9:16 p.m.
Vigo wrote: I just looked in Alldata and every one of those codes is skipped in their code descriptions. Sigh.

Thanks for looking!!

Nashco
Nashco UberDork
3/25/14 5:16 p.m.

Dealership doesn't know...what the code description is for the code? That's impossible for me to believe. They might not know the cause, but they certainly know the description and a brief summary of what it means or how to troubleshoot it from the service manual. You should ask this guy, he seems to have asked about the exact same codes, he's really close to you, and he is asking a much more informed forum:

http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=16239&p=359429

Bryce

tuna55
tuna55 PowerDork
3/25/14 6:57 p.m.
Nashco wrote: Dealership doesn't know...what the code description is for the code? That's impossible for me to believe. They might not know the cause, but they certainly know the description and a brief summary of what it means or how to troubleshoot it from the service manual. You should ask this guy, he seems to have asked about the exact same codes, he's really close to you, and he is asking a much more informed forum: http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=16239&p=359429 Bryce

I tried, that guy tuna55 or whatever is a jerk!

Still not totally sure what's going on but the dealer did provide the code titles and they were not helpful.

I weld on the same circuit occasionally (every day). Coincidence?

Nashco
Nashco UberDork
3/26/14 2:54 p.m.

I had another great EV adventure last weekend. In the Pacific Northwest, there are two types of DC fast chargers that are common, Blink and AeroVironment, which were both free to use when they first became available. Blink started charging $5/session a while back, but since most of them are in the city I rarely need to use them anyway. AeroVironment announced that they will start charging for usage on April 1, and these are the ones that are critical for long distance travel on the interstate. There are a few free ones popping up at Nissan dealers, but they have limited hours and access, so they can't be relied on. I took this as a kick in the ass to take a drive I've been wanting to take, possibly the last time I'll ever be able to go on a long road trip without paying for fuel.

As a side note, I did the same thing trying to road trip with free waste vegetable oil in a diesel Suburban in the past. The experience taught me that even if the fuel itself is free it was certainly not free to make it consumable. Filters, barrels, pumps, etc. added to the time it takes to acquire and filter the fuel made for something that wasn't free in the end. As you can see, free or nearly free road trips are kind of a holy grail for me.

Anyway, the trip report. We drove 720 miles in a little over two days. I've really wanted to make the drive up to Leavenworth, WA as I grew up nearby and I really love driving through the mountains there. We had set the whole weekend aside for just taking it easy, no specific requirements or timelines besides EV adventuring and being home by Sunday night. The end result was something like this:

Friday: Leave Portland around 3, just in time for a traffic jam heading out of Portland. I had a full charge courtesy of the free charging we get at work. We had great weather so the drive was nice and it was easy to get great mileage with no heater or air conditioner required. Continue north with stops in Castle Rock, Tumwater, Burien, dinner at my uncle's restaurant in Silver Lake, and end up at my aunt and uncle's house in Mukilteo for the night. Every charge stop was at a free DCFC, charge to 80%. The chargers were almost perfectly spaced at 55 miles, enough to get from point to point with 80% and arriving at each stop with a small buffer. About 210 miles for the day, about 2 hours spent charging, and 4 hours driving.

Saturday: Great homemade breakfast to start the day off and our overnight level 1 charger had us starting with a full charge. This was a pretty easy day for driving. One stop to charge in Skykomish and a couple stops at tourist traps before arriving at our destination in Leavenworth. Plugged in and charged to 100% while walking around the shops downtown and having lunch, then checked into the hotel. Made some new friends while having some great German beer and sausages. About 110 miles for the day, about 30 minutes spent charging, and about 2.5 hours driving.

Sunday: Up fairly early and a light breakfast before starting off our big driving day. Starting with a full charge from the previous day, we had charging stops in Skykomish, Sultan, Puyallup, Centralia, and Castle Rock. We took a detour to Orting to go visit the place where Jessica and I met nearly 10 years ago. The backroads were a lot more enjoyable as well, much prettier than the interstate. We also had lunch in Centralia. We were taking the backroads from Castle Rock towards Portland and it looked like we'd have a nice sunset. On a whim, Jessica said we should drive to the beach for the sunset...so we did, which put us on a detour adding about 100 extra miles to the plan. Arrived in Astoria with the last few minutes of sun unfortunately obscured by clouds in the distance. Over to the Fort George Brewery/restaurant for some tasters and a snack while the car charged before hitting the road again for the last leg towards home. About 400 miles for the day, about 3 hours spent charging, and 9 hours driving.

For those interested in the specific route I took, this is what it looks like on Google Maps:

http://goo.gl/wPl9SK

As usual, we had interesting conversations with locals, other EV drivers on their own adventures, or people driving by just stopping to ask us about EV ownership at almost every charge stop. Rarely a dull moment while waiting to charge! We also got to see some pretty countryside and some family that I haven't seen for years, and the weather absolutely could not have been better for mid-March in the Northwest, with clear skies and in the high 60s every day! All in all, a successful and enjoyable 720 mile road trip over a couple of days and we didn't have to pay a penny for fuel over the entire trip. That's a feather in my cap that I doubt I'll be able to top for a long, long while.

Bryce

tuna55
tuna55 PowerDork
3/27/14 7:21 a.m.

Dude,

that shirt your wife is wearing. Is it hers? I went to school there 2000-2005.

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