The Leaf is finally home! Delivery day report.

I took delivery of our Leaf yesterday from the hands of Allen Childs, president of Nissan Canada. It was a busy day, but also a very fun and exciting day.

The event received a lot of media attention. I gave interviews to several local radio stations and newspapers. The main newspaper in Ottawa, the Ottawa Citizen, published this story on the front page of its Business and Technology section.

There was also a story on CBC News, Auto123.com, several news segments on CBC Radio and CFRA, and short news story on TV at CTV News.

Getting the car keys from Allen Childs, President of Nissan Canada

I drove our Leaf for the first time with Allen Childs as a passenger. Then I took my family for a ride. Then I gave more interviews. Then we went home.

First report

I drove 99 Km the first day and arrived at home with 51 Km range to spare (3 bars). The average energy efficiency is sitting at 7.6 Km/KWh, which is really good. All my cost estimates were based on 6.6 Km/KWh. I plugged the car in for 2.5 hours in the evening before I had to leave again for an errand, and arrived later at night. I continued the charge overnight but my smart meter report only shows the first 2.5 hours right now, so here are the numbers:

– 2.5 h charge = 9.8 KWh
– Times 11 cents/KWh = $1.08
– Estimated range went up from 51 Km to 135 Km, or 84 Km.

Our Leaf finally recharging at home.

Now, that’s quite amazing. For less than a liter of gas, I can drive 84 Km. In the city!

I think the estimate is a bit optimistic though. Given my average of 7.6 Km/KWh, that charge should actually give me 74 Km, which is still very very good. I should get more precise numbers in the next few days, after a few full recharges.

iPhone app status after a full recharge overnight

As for the iPhone app, it works really well but don’t expect fast responses. You’re not talking to the car directly but through a central server. Update requests take about a minute to receive a response from the car.

ECO mode is sluggish but I’m starting to make sense out of it. It drives as if you had five heavy people in the car and lots of luggage. It gets to the speed you want but accelerates much more slowly than what you’re used to on the Leaf by default. On the other hand, the acceleration is very similar to a small gas-powered car, so you’re not making any people behind you crazy. It’s worth getting used to it because it saves a lot of energy, and you can always click it back to “sport mode” when you need it.

One thing to watch for in ECO mode: the regenerative breaking is very aggressive. That means you rarely have to step on the break when getting close to a red light. That’s great for recharging the battery but remember the person behind you will NOT see any break lights while you’re decelerating so make sure there’s enough room between you and the car behind you.

Today I drove another 82 Km and ended the day with a 67 Km range, or 4 bars. A full recharge was estimated to take 4.5 hours but took a bit more than 3.5h. The hydro report will be available tomorrow.

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5 comments on “The Leaf is finally home! Delivery day report.

  1. Nice to see what you’re getting for energy use here in Canada since that really does determine what you can get out of your charge.

    Few questions that you might be able to follow up with:
    Are you using Air Conditioning or Heating? (This will be relevant later this year)
    Would you say you’re driving like you do in your normal ICE car or have you felt the “Zen” of driving the LEAF?
    Have you heard of an app called “PlugShare”?

    Hope to hear plenty more about you and your LEAF Ricardo, all the best!

  2. Hi David. Thanks for your comment. The weather has been fairly mild so I haven’t used the A/C very much. I’ve been using the fans though, without the A/C, but that still counts against your range. Interesting enough, turning on the A/C while the fans are on don’t seem to change the range estimate very much. Not sure why.

    I’ve been experimenting with both D (regular) and ECO modes. The D mode is way more fun but the ECO mode can take you farther (and add some savings on our hydro bill). I haven’t settled on one or the other yet.

    I installed Plugshare before I got the Leaf but never used it. Just added my home charger there. I noticed a new public charging station in Ottawa. Need to check it out.

    Electricity consumption numbers for the first two days: 33.6 KWh ($3.96) for 198 Km driven (80% city, 20% country roads). Average 5.9 Km/KWh. With gas at $1.207, that’s equivalent to 1.66L/100Km.

    Ricardo

  3. Hi Ricardo,
    I have recently reserved my Nissan Leaf and am expecting a garage assessment in december. I could nto fail to notice your CARWINGS app said you had 178km to go. Well, considering the Nissan Leaf Battery has a range of 100 miles = 166km, did you get the Nissan with a 200 miles range battery (if so, how much mroe did you pay) or becaus ethe car was plugged and charging, it uses in electricity the equivalent of 10km to turn itself on, do internal checkups and drive away?
    thank you

  4. Hi Silmar,

    The estimated range is just what the name says: an estimate. It is calculated based on how you’ve been driving recently. I usually arrive at home very slowly, driving though 40 Km/h streets, so when I fully charge it, the estimate I get basically tells me “you can drive 178 Km as long as you keep driving through these same 40 Km/h streets”, but the moment I jump on a faster road, the range is recalculated and most certainly dropped. So, to answer your question, I don’t have a 200-mile battery (I wish!), just a very optimistic estimate sometimes. 🙂

    There’s a great Range Chart published at the Nissan Leaf Forum. It gives fairly precise estimates based on what I’ve been able to verify so far:
    http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?p=101293

    Cheers,

    Ricardo

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