My name is Ricardo Borba. I live in Ottawa, Ontario and I’m the owner of the first Nissan LEAF delivered to a consumer in Canada. I decided to create this blog to document the whole process of registering, reserving, purchasing and owning an electric car, and hopefully share the experience with others interested in the LEAF.

I’m particularly interested in monitoring the progress of the car in terms of operating costs and performance, particularly under the harsh Ottawa winter! This should offer a different perspective compared to the weather conditions the Leaf has been exposed so far.

I’ve been charging the LEAF at home with an L2 charger from AeroVironment. My employer (IBM Canada) has also allowed me to charge at work as an incentive for alternative fuel adoption. I’ve been using a standard 110 V outlet in the parking garage, charging during mid-peak hours.

I estimate we’ll be driving 20,000 Km per year with the Leaf as our primary car. We have a second car, which we plan to use for longer trips.

172 comments on “About

  1. Ricardo,
    Congratulations on taking home a Leaf. Please keep blogging, and keep the focus on data as well as your unquantifiable experiences. Everyone wants to know how this is going to work out for you, and for Nissan. My Mazda3 is getting a bit old…. Good luck!
    — tai viinikka

    • Can you give me a ball park price out the door. Taxes, rebate, shipping etc. I see the average price of about $38K and $8k rebate but it’s all those little dealer addons I’m wondering what it all adds up to?
      Thanks and good blog. It almost seems as though if you drive enough the car could almost pay for itself in the end.

      • Hi Gunther: That would be a question for the dealer. In my case, ten months ago, the SL model with the $900 Quick Charger port, plus all fees and taxes, minus the Ontario rebate, was almost exactly $40K. But remember I paid MSRP at the time. You might be able to negotiate a discount now that more units are available, not sure.

        The savings depend on how much you drive and which car you compare to. In our case, we’re on track to save $12,000 in the first 5 years. That’s 30% of what we paid for the car!

  2. Hi Ricardo,

    It was great to meet you and your Leaf at EVCO.ca last month. Your “EV Grin” was clear – long may you have it.

    On Oct 17, 7:00pm, I’ve been invited to lead a discussion at the first Kanata Science Cafe, on the “Secrets of the Electric Car”, and will be showing my own collection of EV conversions (Battery electric Ford Ranger, Plug-In Prius, and an e-bike recumbent). Would you like to join me with your Leaf? I’m sure the participants would love to see an example of a modern EV, available today, backed by a full warranty, and hear about your experience. The discussion is being held at Zak’s in the Kanata Signature Center, 499 TerryFox Drive. More info is at http://kanataenvironmentalnetwork.com/

  3. A gasoline powered car needs regular oil and air filter changes every 5000 to 8000 Km, but what is the required regular maintenance required for your electric car? I can’t see ever requiring more than a once a year check-up. Thanks for your reply!

    • Hi Joni,

      There’s very little in terms of regular maintenance compared to a gas-powered car. No oil changes, no oil filters, no spark plugs, etc. First service is after 12,000 Km or six months, for a tire rotation! After 24,000 Km or 12 months, another tire rotation and replacement of the cabin air filter, plus an annual inspection. The battery needs to be checked every year for diagnostics and usage reporting (as a condition for the 8-year warranty). Brake fluid needs to be replaced every two years. Coolant fluid, every 5 years. That’s about it.

      The only catch is that in Canada, due to all the sand, salt, and winter driving conditions, we may need to accelerate the schedule a bit and have the “annual” inspection done every six months.


  4. Hi Mr. Borba: My name is Olav Svela and I am involved with a company that’s developing a mine and processing plant in Quebec, to produce lithium carbonate, which is used in lithium-ion batteries that power your Nissan Leaf.

    As a Company, we are anticipating that electric vehicles and hybrids will become very popular as time goes on and, therefore, the world will need more lithium carbonate.

    Naturally, I have been very curious about how well received (or not) the electrics will be, so it’s been fascinating to follow your blogs, which I’ve only just discovered this morning.



    • Hey Daniel,

      Good to hear another Leaf is coming to Ottawa!

      I don’t know about the average costs of EV insurance but I can tell you my own experience. I’m only paying $146 more a year for the Leaf’s insurance compared to our 6-year old Corolla, for the same kind of policy. That probably came from the fact that the Leaf is newer (and more expensive) than the Corolla, not because it’s an electric vehicle.

      I was pleasantly surprised with the insurance costs not being a surprise 🙂 as I only called the insurance company for a quote two days before taking delivery.

      Our insurance company is The Personal.

      Hope you get your Leaf soon, and don’t forget to join the Canadian Owners Group on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/282243388457758/



    • Hi, I have compiled some stuff for fun, but not as detailed as this blog (and not all translated to english yet, but the spreadsheet is fairly simple and will allow for a comparison of km/kWh and cost per km… for my use in Sherbrooke). It seems the actual use of the vehicle by the owner could make the Leaf, the Volt or even an efficient gas/diesel powered car optimal with some overlap (daily km, access/time to charge, etc.). Of course, the purchase cost changes the assessment if included in the $/100km… Its on http://www.denisdionne.com and Mon VEAP blogue. I posted a few links to other Volt related sites in one of the post.

  5. Hello,

    I strongly think that dring EVs is a good choice, with a subscription to GreenBullFrog (to have clean electricity as well).

    I do know that the intial cost of a EV is high, but I think that in the long run, we do save money.

    The reason we want a EV is for the environnement.

    We live in the Byward Market of Ottawa, own a house, but it has no parking. Since our kids are at the age where they have tons of activities in various parts of Ottawa and Gatineau, we require a car.

    We would love to get a Leaf, but we must find parking for it. The City of Ottawa has parking permits for local residents, but you can’t have charging docks on sidewalks (well, you could, but the City is far from thinking about this).

    Some Byward Market residents have 2 parking spaces, but often, the second one is rented to residents of Kanata, Orleans, Aylmer, and other suburbs. They love renting to those people, as they occupy the sports Monday to Friday, between 8 and 5… After that, the spot are available to their house guests…

    We have spent a long time looking for parking (with adds here and there).

    We have found a spot now, but some details have to be fixed (we won’t purchase the car before a long term parking deal is signed with the house owner). The guy is very open to the project, and we think it will be possible. A “Right to Modify” form must be filled, and signed by the house owner, in front of a Notary (as we don’t own the parking space).

    All that to say: WE DO WANT TO BE AS GREEN AS POSSIBLE, but is sure is hard for stupid reasons.

    We think that as EVs become more popular, our problem won’t be so unique.

    I know that soon, the Ford Focus, and the V. Golf, will have EVs as well.

    Thank you for your blog.

  6. Thanks so much for your very useful blog. I am reseaching a Leaf for a purchase in the near future. Can you tell me if the Canadian “running lights” requirement is a programing issue or a different componet issue as I am considering a used US unit?

    • Hi Don: I don’t know the answer, but it sounds like a good question for the MNL forum (www.mynissanleaf.com), or to someone from service at a certified dealership. They might be able to do the conversion. Maybe all you’ll need is a software upgrade. Make sure you buy a used Leaf with the winter package.

  7. Great blog! I am the owner of a Chevrolet Volt and have been tracking the performance for the past few months and some of you findings fits with mine. Since I am in Quebec, about 7,5 cents per kWh and no peak price yet (good for me but raises other issues…). The charging station network is slowly growing here.

    • Hi Denis: Sorry for the long time to respond. I can’t read French but I saw you got a roof rack. Looks really nice. Have you noticed any difference in power consumption because of the extra drag? I got one as well, but haven’t really noticed any difference. Just the extra wind noise.

  8. Hi! Actually I also did not notice much difference during city use (low speeds) on my km/charge but what a difference during highway use (high speed)! Led to my worse performance ever : 43 km on a charge (I had three mountain bikes on the thule rack and four passengers). So… the rack will be removed when not required when travelling outside the city in order to avoid having a “wind break” (and probably breaking down the laminar flow around the car).

    I also noticed noise… but I assume we all become more sensitive to noise after driving on electric…

  9. I am compiling some numbers to help me justify purchasing a Leaf on my budget. I am nearly there and your blog has been immensely helpful. One thing that I was wondering is what you cost for charger installation ended up being. Thanks for this and keep up the good work

    • Hi Dwane: Installation costs vary a lot from house to house. It depends on how far the station is going to be from your panel (43 feet in our case) and also if you have enough room on your panel (we were ok). It also depends on who you’re going to hire to do the job. Labor is where most of the cost is. At the time (one year ago), I had two quotes: one from AeroVironment (AV), and one from a local electrician who was in the process of installing an SPX charger for a friend’s Volt. The estimate from the electrician wasn’t too far from the quote I already had from AV, and AV was able to install it much much quicker. With the delivery date coming closer and closer, timing was a main factor so we decided to go with AV. They ended up doing a great job at the end. The station was installed in time for the big day and it has worked flawlessly since then. Total cost in our case (charging station + S&H + permit + installation) was $2,334 + taxes.

      Today the market is more competitive and there are probably more charging station options available, but I haven’t done much research since we got ours installed. AV is still a good choice if you’re looking for piece of mind. You can also bundle it with your lease (I think), if you’re leasing it. But I know some skilled folks who bought charging stations in the US and installed them themselves (plus the permit and inspection paperwork). If you have the skills, or has a friend who has, that’s probably the cheapest option. There’s also http://evseupgrade.com. So shop around and see which one works the best for you.

      • I checked with Nissan. You can no longer bundle the charging station with your lease. This was only done in the beginning when they had the online reservation system, not after general availability.

  10. Hi Ricardo,

    I live in Stittsville and am very interested in purchasing the Leaf. I find, however, that the Nissan dealers are out to lunch about this car. I noticed you bought your vehicle at Hunt Club Nissan – who did you deal with?


  11. Hello Ricardo,

    Thank you for your informative blog. I am planning to get the Leaf as well. I noticed the Leaf does not have full plastic protection shield around wheel wells. Can you please comment on it as an experienced owner: Did you do anything about it? Did you notice any rust issues around wheel well after 30K?
    Your feedback is appreciated.


  12. Hi Ricardo,

    I met you at an EVCO meeting about a year ago. I am a member of an environmental group in Chelsea, QC, called ACRE that hosts an Earth Day event. This year’s event is on Saturday April 20th. I am hoping to have someone come out with their Leaf to show folks what it looks like. Would you or any of the other Leaf owners in Ottawa you know be interested in coming out to our Earth day event?

    It’s a lot to ask so thanks in advance for considering it. I spoke with the Leaf dealer in town and they said they don’t have any extra cars for demonstration events and they anticipate it will be a couple of months until they see the first 2013 at their dealership.

    “acre at videotron ca”



  13. Hi Ricardo,

    I just wanted to say what an interesting read it’s been looking at your Blog, thanks for posting your detailed experiences and I look forward to seeing any future updates 🙂

    Guy (from England)

  14. I bought a Leaf mid March 2013 and we have been enjoying it tremendously. My only concern is that the range is lower than I expected. The estimated range on ECO after 80% charge is usually about 125 km. I am trying to note the distance travelled and est range left on each charge. I am getting 100km or a bit less on a 80% charge. Is that within the expected range?
    Nissan recommends not charging to 100%. To what extent does 100% charges damage the battery?
    Could you note on your blog that a charging station is available in Kemptville, ON at the Bowling Lanes? It is on Plugshare and I am trying to get it on SunCountry and CAA.
    Al Miller

  15. Ricardo – your blog is an awesome resource. I am taking delivery of an I-MIEV on Friday here in Ottawa. Who did you contact to buy and install the L2 charger? I want the aerovironment too, but they don’t seem to have any Cdn or local contact info.

    Thanks again for your helpful blog.

    • Boldt Theile Inc
      217 Cardevco Rd RR 2, Carp, ON K0A 1L0

      They also installed my kWh-meter. No complaints, no problems really.

      Another option to consider, probably cheaper and more flexible, is to install a dryer or stove plug in your garage (any electrician can do it) and buy a smaller EVSE you connect with the same plug. E.g., LCS-25 from Sun Country Highway (Clipper Creek) or Schneider Electric. (suncountryhighway.ca, homedepot.ca, there are several options to choose from).

      You can also ask other recent Leaf owners what they did. I didn’t have a lot options when I got mine installed almost 2 years ago, but recent owners went through a lot of pros and cons during their selection process and will probably have some tips for you:

      Canada Nissan Leaf Owners

      Thanks for your comments and keep in touch.


      • Hi Ricardo,
        Have you heard of anyone else installing a non-aerovironment charger recently? I would be looking for a contractor in Ottawa to install this. I tried to join the facebook group to ask this question, but nobody has gotten back.


    • Hi Mike,

      I am getting my garage ready for my new Leaf and I bought an Areovironment form Amazon, then picked it up in Ogdensburg. Chargers bought in the US do still qualify for the Ont rebate (I asked).

  16. Thank you so much for taking the risk as an early adopter and for blogging about your experience. It greatly accelerated our research and strongly influenced our decision to buy a Leaf. It is great to get a Canadian perspective, especially from a cold/snowy region. Ordered today 🙂

  17. Hi Ricardo:

    We met in Kingston when you were here for the Ambassador hotel charger launch. I am looking at a Leaf at CARONE in Kingston, it was brought in from the US, the dealer says it was a good buy at US auction. There does not seem to be anything in the history that is alarming – any thoughts about buying a US spec car (headlights have been auto on modified)

    Thanks for your blog.

    • Hi Steve: People have been unsuccessful making Carwings work in Canada. Other than that, you should get a very good deal bringing one from the US. You should join the Nissan Leaf Owners Group on Facebook. There’s one person there, from Vancouver, that did all the research about bringing a used 2012 from WA state. He will have more info and details.


      You can look around the previous topics or post a question to the group.



  18. Hi Ricardo, I am in Kingston and considering a Leaf and had a few questions for you…
    1. Do you usually charge to 80% or 100%
    2. Have you noticed a drop in range since you have owned your Leaf?
    3. In a worst case scenario, like windy, -30C, and crappy roads, what kind of range would you expect to get? And is that from 80% or 100%?


    • Hi Mark,

      1. Normally to 80%. I only charge it to 100% when I really need it. It’s OK to fully charge as long as you use it right way. I usually charge to 80% overnight and then top it off to 100 right before I leave on a longer than usual trip. In other words, don’t charge to 100% and then go on vacation. That would be the only concern.

      2. Frankly, no. I know there’s a theoretical drop in capacity at this point but it must be negligible because I haven’t noticed any difference at all. I just completed a camping trip over the long weekend where I drove a fully loaded (heavy) car with a cargo box on the roof adding to the drag and I was still able to drive 142 Km in one charge (118 Km driven + 24 Km of range left). I’m approaching 40,000 Km and the dashboard is still showing all 12 bars of capacity. It seems that drop in capacity is mostly an issue in warmer climates. I haven’t heard of anyone losing capacity bars in Canada yet.

      3. My experience is that winter performance on extreme temperatures really depends on how much cabin heater you use. I did some tests driving without the heater (just using the heated seats and a good winter jacket, and pre-heating the car before leaving) and no matter what the temperature was outside (as low as -29C in my case) I was always able to drive at least 100 Km on a full charge (estimated). Turn on the cabin heater and your range goes down from there. How much? It depends on how warm you keep the cabin. If you heat it like a furnace, like most people are used to do with gas cars, then don’t expect to go very far. If you take advantage of the heated seats, pre-heating, and keep you winter coat on, then minimal cabin heating will still give you 80 Km in the city even at the coldest day. I would say 60 Km would be the extremely worst possible case, under heavy freezing rain, when you need to keep the windshield defroster on all the time. (all estimates are based on a full charge)

      In terms of wind, it’s the equivalent of adding or subtracting the wind speed to your own speed. For example, driving at 80 km/h with 20 km/h headwind is like driving at 100 km/h so you need to use that speed to estimate your range (the faster you drive, the shorter is your range).

      Finally, crappy roads usually mean lower speeds and therefore better range. Unplowed roads is more of an issue though because snow does add to your rolling resistance, but I don’t have any data to share under these conditions.

      Notice that my commute to work doesn’t include highways so my estimates are mostly based on city traffic.

      Hope that helps.


  19. Thanks Ricardo, I have a 90km round trip to work, so I guess I need to make sure I can charge at work if I would want to take the Leaf to work in winter. Otherwise after I got to work my Leaf would be sitting outside for over 12 hours before my return trip home.

    • Being able to charge at work makes all the difference in the world. You don’t even need a charging station, just access to a regular 120 V outlet. The amount of hours you spend at work will be enough to bring you to the same level of charge you had when you left home. You will also leave work with a warm battery which improves efficiency, and you might even be able to do all that by never charging above 80%.

      Talk to your employer. Explain the benefits, offer to pay for the electricity. Chances are they won’t even bother charging you anything once they know how cheap it is. In my case, it’s like $10/mo and I give it all to charity on my paycheque.

  20. What are you averaging in terms of km/kWh? And what average speed are you travelling at to achieve that average? Thanks!

    • Hi Mark. Sorry about the delay. I just came across my numbers reported by Carwings. Here they go:
      Month and Year Energy Economy
      Oct/2012 8.8 km/kWh
      Nov/2012 7.5 km/kWh
      Dec/2012 6.6 km/kWh
      Jan/2013 6.2 km/kWh
      Feb/2013 6.3 km/kWh
      Mar/2013 7.4 km/kWh
      Apr/2013 7.9 km/kWh
      May/2013 9.3 km/kWh
      Jun/2013 9.4 km/kWh
      Jul/2013 9.0 km/kWh
      Aug/2013 9.8 km/kWh
      Sep/2013 9.7 km/kWh

      • But I think these Carwings numbers are way off. My FleetCarma data logger says I drove 897 km so far this month using 130 kWh. That’s 6.9 km/kWh. And 7.1 km/kWh in August. That’s much more in line with what I see on the car dashboard.

      • Wow…thats really good efficiency! How fast do you normally drive? And how much would those averages drop in the winter? Half?

        Thanks again


        On Wed, Sep 18, 2013 at 8:13 PM, Canadian Leaf wrote:

        > ** > canadianleaf commented: “But I think these Carwings numbers are way > off. My FleetCarma data logger says I drove 897 km so far this month using > 130 kWh. That’s 6.9 km/kWh. And 7.1 km/kWh in August. That’s much more in > line with what I see on the car dashboard.” >

  21. Anybody familiar with warranty from Nissan when importing a new leaf from the USA ?
    From what I can gather, one has to register the car in the US, wait 6 months before importing it. I also read on a forum (the poster was a nissan dealer in Canada) who says that the warranty is valid in Canada. so which is it ?
    Extended warranty from Canadian third parties are usually not valid for such case.

  22. I would be calling Nissan Canada to confirm warranty. I guess you aren’t in a province with a gov’t rebate if you are importing new then eh? No, you don’t have to wait 6 months. Do a google search for ‘how to import a car into Canada’ and you will find a few different sites that have all the info.

  23. I am in Quebec, I do get a rebate. Price difference before rebate (between US-CA) is about 4-5000$. Let me clarify: It seems that Nissan says that the US warranty is not valid if car is registered in Canada within 6 months of purchase.

  24. So….why would you import? You won’t get the rebate if you don’t buy in Canada, plus you have possible warranty issues. I don’t get it.

    • Oh really? Hmmm..I might have to look into that…I am in the market for a 2013 Leaf as well. What about bringing the vehicle up to CDN standards? Daytime running lights? Anything else that needs to be done to allow the import into Canada?

      On Fri, Sep 27, 2013 at 10:14 PM, Canadian Leaf wrote:

      > ** > Khoa commented: “I do get the rebates. As long as you buy admissible > vehicules not registered before.I am more concerned about the warranty.” >

  25. Contrary to beliefs, import is easy (and cheap). That’s why we import 300 000 automobiles yearly from the US. I took home a Camry hybrid in 2008. Cost to import was 250$ all in. That is why manufacturers try to put obstacles: myths around the difficulty, standards (some cars are MADE in Canada), warranties, recall letters…to try justify the price gap. Toyota dealers are barred from selling new cars to Canadians, Hyundai, Nissan won’t honor their warranty, Honda will not issue a recall letter (but the RIV now accepts one from the dealer), some will charge you 1000$ (!) for such letter (it’s a letter!). Price diff can be huge, for ex: a Nissan Rogue list price is 80k here compared to 65k in US. If you go for luxury vehicule, it’s even bigger. If you don’t want to lift a finger, there are auto brokers that will bring the car to your door for a fee (around 850$ plus transport). So there are no reason aside from the warranty to not consider that option. For the grant, you might want to call to check just to be sure. Things can change after 6 years.
    As for the Leaf, most third party extended warranty companies won’t insure it since it’s too new, but for most other new cars, insurance will cost between 1500-2000$. You are still saving a huge amount. Check out the price diff: freight and destination charge is more than double in CA at 1990$ compared to 850$.

    • Ummm….I highly doubt a Nissan Rogue is $80,000…lol…..scam alert!

      On Sat, Sep 28, 2013 at 9:16 AM, Canadian Leaf wrote:

      > ** > Khoa commented: “Contrary to beliefs, import is easy (and cheap). > That’s why we import 300 000 automobiles yearly from the US. I took home a > Camry hybrid in 2008. Cost to import was 250$ all in. That is why > manufacturers try to put obstacles: myths around the difficulty,” >

  26. Hey Ricardo, nice 2 year update. I am just north of Kingston. Where are they building the Tesla charging station? On the Tesla site it shows a planned one closer to Belleville and another closer to Brockville. One near Kingston would be a great choice, as we are smack dab in the middle of Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa!

  27. Hi Ricardo.

    I am considering buying a Leaf and shipping it to the Yukon!

    My commute is short – usually under 20 km return (rarely up to 60 km return) and I have a heated garage.
    But, our average winter temp is -25 and we certainly get long stretches between -35 and -40C as well as short stretches below -40C.
    So I can easily start with a warm car. However, I would need to park it at my destination for a couple of hours even when the temp is between -35 and -40C and some destinations don’t have plug in potential. I know you haven’t had any experience at those temperatures but, based on the Ottawa winter experiences that you have had, do you think the Leaf would fair ok at temperatures between -35 and -40C, for short drives (ie less than 10 km) if started from a warm garage and at the destination either:
    -plugged in while parked for a couple of hours
    -not plugged in but started every hour for 10 minutes if parked for an hour or two
    -kept running while parked for the 20 minutes that it might take to get in and out of the grocery store

    (these are the techniques used in the Yukon for gas powered vehicles at these very cold temperatures)

    In the Yukon, we are very used to driving with our parka’s, hats and mitts on – so not worried about the interior temp too much – although it does have to be warm enough that interior components don’t freeze solid and would also need to be able to keep the windows defrosted enough to be able to see!

    Our heated garage will only fit one car and that, of course, would have to be the Leaf. But that means if i have to drive on the really cold days, I would only have the Leaf available. The long-distance vehicle, if parked outside all winter, definitely wouldn’t start at -40 or -45! So I will need to be able to drive it at those extreme temps, even if just for a short distance and not left parked for too long.

    I’m also interested in your thoughts about the addition of the hybrid heater in the 2013 models do you think it would make a significant difference for a Leaf bound for a Yukon winter?

    thanks for your thoughts.

    • Hi Suzanne,

      For such short commutes, I don’t think you’ll have any problem at all. You may actually find the Leaf more comfortable in the cold than a regular gas car (with heated seats, heated steering wheels, etc.).

      To your questions:
      – Parking at destination for a couple of hours even when the temp is between -35 and -40C: The battery has a 300 W internal heater that will not let its temperature drop below -20C. It can run the whole day without an issue.
      – Do you think the Leaf would fair ok at temperatures between -35 and -40C, for short drives (ie less than 10 km) if started from a warm garage? Absolutely. As long as electrons are moving in and out of the battery generating heat, the battery won’t care much about how cold it is outside.
      – plugged in while parked for a couple of hours: No an issue. Charging will in itself keep the battery warm.
      – not plugged in but started every hour for 10 minutes if parked for an hour or two: No need to start it. It’s not a gas car. 🙂 The battery heater will kick in automatically to keep the battery temp between -20C and -10C.
      – kept running while parked for the 20 minutes that it might take to get in and out of the grocery store: Again, no need to keep it “running”. There’s no idling on the Leaf. The only reason you would keep the car “on” would be to keep the climate control on, but you can leave the car off and activate climate control remotely, 5 minutes before you leave. That would have the same effect for the cabin temperature and use less energy.
      – warm enough that interior components don’t freeze solid: You should be able to run climate control at the minimal temperature setting. On the 2011/2012, it’s 18.5C. Not sure about the 2013 but it should be about the same.
      – The long-distance vehicle, if parked outside all winter, definitely wouldn’t start at -40 or -45! Hahahaha. So true. That’s a problem you won’t have with electric cars! Even if you forget it parked outside overnight (you will lose range but it will not refuse to “start”).
      – hybrid heater in the 2013 models, any difference for a Leaf bound for a Yukon winter? We don’t really know yet but we’re going to test it this winter in Ottawa. A friend nearby has a 2013 and we’re planning to run some side-by-side comparisons. Based on what we know about heat pumps, they’re only effective above -10C. Below that, the heater will revert to resistive heating but we want to know how it compares with the old heater. My guess is that worst case it will be the same. Stay tuned.

      You will probably own the Leaf at the highest latitude in North America. Everyone will be eager to hear from you! 🙂

      Good luck and I hope you get it soon! Stay in touch.


      • This is all very encouraging!

        Although the experiment would be too expensive to try, do you have a sense regarding how long a Leaf could stay parked in -30 to -40 temperatures before the battery would discharge and freeze if it were not plugged in?

        If it were plugged in at these temperatures, do you think the battery heater that would kick in would keep the battery healthy indefinitely or would there still be a limit after which point the battery’s ability to hold a charge would gradually diminish?


      • > Although the experiment would be too expensive to try, do you have a sense regarding how long a Leaf could stay parked in -30 to -40 temperatures before the battery would discharge and freeze if it were not plugged in?

        Matthew Klippenstein estimates a fully charged Leaf could be parked in the extreme cold for 80 hours without freezing the battery (24 kWh charge divided by 0.3 kW heater = 80 hours).

        > If it were plugged in at these temperatures, do you think the battery heater that would kick in would keep the battery healthy indefinitely or would there still be a limit after which point the battery’s ability to hold a charge would gradually diminish?

        Not at all. If it’s plugged in, the charge will be maintained and the heater will make sure the battery does not freeze. That’s the recommended procedure for long term storage in the winter.

  28. Hello Ricardo. Wow its great to have a resource like yourself. I’m about the buy a Leaf and my concern right now is that I do not have a garage. I live in the Toronto area, so not as cold at night as Ottawa (I know how cold it can get in Ottawa as I lived there for a number of years!). The coldest I’ve seen overnight here is around the minus 20 mark. If I follow your suggestions and keep it plugged in should I be worried about battery degradation, or overall performance?

    Thanks so much

  29. Thanks Ricardo. So now the only question after reading this is the possibility that my longer commute (55km each way Mon-Fri) may play some role in degradation over time but it sounds like heat is the bigger enemy, not cold.

  30. Well I did it. Just splurged and bought a 2013 Leaf SL. I should have it within the next month. I’m now looking at EVSE’s for home and work (240 v to be available at both locations) but would like to save some dough and get a single portable unit. Can you recommend a some portable EVSE solutions (and assume they are fine in all kinds of weather). Thanks Richardo.

  31. Non-portable is WAY faster if your home can handle an extra 40 amp breaker. Home Depot sells an Eaton indoor/outdoor for $949 and a Schneider indoor for $799. The Eaton also has a longer cord. If you want something portable thats faster that the Nissan one that comes with car, get it upgraded at evseupgrade.com

  32. Wow I’m glad I’ve found your blog…

    I live in Regina, Sask and the cold cold winter is coming.

    I was going to drive my Prius below -18C and use the Leaf (2013 SL) above that. I work at a hospital that has ‘weird’ plug ins that alternate power for the 120V every half second – making using a 120V EVSE/Charger impossible.

    After reading your blog, I now believe that I could actually use this car all winter? I charge it every night to 80% with a 6 KW level2 juicebox from emotorwerks. (works great) and was very concerned about the battery freezing! The dealer I bought it from in Prince Albert really didn’t know about what the car would do at -40C and honestly, neither did Nissan. They suggested using a garage and plugging it in. Wow… that was discouraging.

    Sooooo….. if I precondition the car by preheating it in the morning and charging it every night my 30KM round trip drive should be fine leaving it outside? The winter package (which the car has) will kick in at -20C as long as the car has more than 30% charge and kick out when the battery is -10?

    I’d sure be interested in picking your brain further…. by a phone call would be great.


    • Hi Phil. I think you’ll be driving your Leaf more than you think. With a 30 km round trip there’s no reason to keep it at home, even at the lowest temperature in Regina. Are you sure the Prius will start at -40C? LOL

      > if I precondition the car by preheating it in the morning and charging it every night my 30KM round trip drive should be fine leaving it outside?

      Yes! The battery heater will kick in once in a while (the -20C/-10C heating cycle, you got it right). It’s only 300 W when it runs so it shouldn’t make much of a dent on your range. The battery also has a thermal blanket around it so it should be a while before the outside temperature is felt inside. I don’t have any data at that low temperature but you’ll have a chance how things go gradually, day by day, as the temperature drops this winter, but with such a short commute, I really don’t expect you to have any trouble driving the Leaf to work all year long, even if you keep it parked outside.

      I saw you joined the Canada Owners Group on FB so you’re in good hands.


  33. Ricardo, your blog is inspirational. Thank-you! I have been following the introduction of electric cars worldwide and its fantastic to have someone up north collecting data and sharing their experiences. I also have decided to make my next vehicle a plugin electric but because of my remoteness I will most likely have to get a plugin hybrid. We will see, I guess 😉

    If I had the money I would go ahead and buy a TESLA, but alas, my wallet just shakes it head at me in a big NO gesture.

    Cheers man!

  34. I would love to get a Leaf, but winter is a killer. I need it to go at least 65km round trip in -20C windy conditions travelling 95km/hr, with being parked outside at work for 8 hours. I just can’t see it being able to do this.

    I am totally in love with the Model S.

  35. Thanks for the information on the blog. I inquired earlier about installing the EVSE. I just wanted to let you know that today I finally made the purchase. Thanks for all of your details and hard work. It made the decision more informed and I feel much more confident.

  36. Hi Ricardo,

    A trip from Gatineau to Beloeil, with a Leaf…

    I started with the CAA Electric Vehicle Charing Station Locator :

    This site is not bad (what misses is the google map trip planner).
    In general, the cost is $2.50 to do the On the Go charge (you can get a prepaid card)… some parking lots offer free charge.

    The objective : see if I can go visit friends that live in Beloeil.

    I found many charging stations, but decided to use only those that are opened 24h/d, 7/w.

    I’m not alone in the car, I have my kids with me, and our luggage as well. I hope to drive at 100 KM/h.

    Is 161 KM too far, with such conditions? It is cold outside, lots of wind…
    I get scared, so I stop at the previous charging station, in Casselman:

    STOP 1) 632 Principale Street, Casselman, ON (that is 60 KM from starting point)

    STOP 2) 601 Saint Charles Av., Vaudreuil-Dorion, QC (102 KM from previous stop).

    BtW, this is offered by St-Hubert’s Restaurant, so I have lunch with my kids, while the car charges for FREE (yep, this one is FREE).

    STOP 3) 255 Boulevard Constable, McMasterville, QC ( drove an other 76,1 KM).

    At this point, I only have 5 more KM to do, to be at our friends house.
    Car is almost fully charged, so I can even use it during our visit (as they don’t have a charging station for me… YET).

    PLEASE NOTE THAT I DON’T HAVE A LEAF YET (does this spoil the story???)

    I plan on getting my car on June 1, 2014 (Nissan Leaf SL + Tech). I’m sold to the idea of having a Leaf, the specific model is my current obsession.

    Also, in normal situations, I think I’ll do charging at home, during the off peak periods. I figured tips would not be possible yet, but I’m starting to think they are possible…

    What I want to know: do On The Go Charging Stations have more charging capacity/speed, than home charging stations?

    To be more specific (if we get back to this crazy trip plan):

    How long would each stop take?

    Based on the distances I wrote, would I be able to get to each of the 3 spots, even with 80% charges, or less?

    Yes, I would start the trip with a 100% full charge, but what would I get from the other charges?

    Thank you for this great blog. I love it.


    • Hi Daniel,

      Sorry for the delay in my response. Driving to Montreal without DCQC is tricky. I haven’t tried it myself but I’m planning to do it this summer. For me, it’s even more difficult with the 2011 charger, but the 2014 you’re planning to get has a much faster charger which makes the trip more doable.

      I think you can do the Gatineau-Beloeil trip with just one stop. Take highway 50, drive 80 km and stop at Montebello to top it off at the Electric Circuit station they have. Assuming you get there 50% charged, you’ll probably need 2 hours to get back to 100%, but you’ll find a lot of things to do at the hotel and restaurant while you wait. From there to Beloeil it’s 160 km and you can probably do it in one charge if you drive efficiently and the temperature is above 15C. Below that temperature, you’ll probably need an extra stop in Montreal. There are several Electric Circuit stations available once you arrive at the city. Find them using the Electric Circuit map. You won’t need to fully charge. Just get enough charge to get to your destination. Each hour of charge will give you an extra 30 km of range, give it or take. As for the winter, you’ll probably need to wait for fast chargers to be installed along highway 50 in 2016 (fingers crossed).

      You’ll extend your range if you drive at 90 km/h instead of 100 km/h. Also consider taking highway 148 instead of 50. It’s about the same distance but with a more efficient and probably more pleasant drive.

      Let me know when you take delivery. Hope you enjoy it like I am!


  37. Hello Ricardo,

    Many thanks for the thorough and relevant information. I just took a 2014 Leaf out for a test drive and found it quite enjoyable. Are you familiar with the solar panels on the SL trim? I was told this is used to power auxiliary features such as the radio, but is it also used to heat/cool the cabin?

    Also, how often do you use the radio on your commute? I rarely drive anywhere without music, and would love to know how this affects the range.

    Thanks again,


    • Hi Steve,

      As far as I can tell, the power used by the radio and speakers is negligible. It doesn’t even register on the accessories gauge. Climate control has the biggest impact by far. Everything else, including the heated seats and steering wheel are peanuts. As for the solar panel, the power it generates is very small. It can only trickle-charge the 12V battery and not much else. It’s not used to heat or cool the cabin. It wouldn’t be a deciding factor for me in terms of choosing the trim. It really doesn’t make much of a difference.

      One recommendation I would make is to stay away from the S trim for two reasons: it has the old heating system, the same one I have on the 2011. Only the SV and SL have the new heater, which is much more efficient and worth every penny. The S also has the old 3.3 kW charger, much slower than the new 6 kW charger found in the other trims.

      Hope you get yours soon and thanks for your comments.


  38. Daniel, there is a charging station in Casselman but it belongs to a GM dealership and they only allow Chevrolet Volts to recharge there … I checked with them already. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to recharge our LEAFs there.

  39. Thank you Guy. That is a shame, as Nissan lets non Leafs charge at their dealerships. For now, I’m loving my Leaf, and hope to do a trip at some point…

    I also plan on getting some kind of a Thule that I would install only when required (yes, I know it reduces the car range, but if I can’t bring requires camping, or other types of material, I’ll just rent vehicles for trips).


  40. I would speak to Jason Sampara at Huntclub Nissan. He spent 3 hours with my wife and I showing is the LEAF before we bought ours. Very knowledgable, friendly and no pressure tactics.

    Jason Vallis

  41. Hi Ricardo,
    Great site! This was the perfect find for me as I’m considering a Leaf and not too far from you (Toronto) so the cold weather reports are excellent. The one question I have is whether or not you’d consider buying a used 2011 Leaf (I can now find these with often less the 48K Km). It sounds as though the battery degradation is minimal over this distance but there are obvious concerns buying used electric cars (whether warranted or not). Thoughts?

    • Hi Phil,

      Quite a coincidence. I just bought a used 2012 Volt for my wife to replace the Corolla. I never felt uncomfortable buying a used electric car, maybe because I know a lot of Leaf and Volt owners and I haven’t heard any horror stories so far. One thing I did was to make sure it still had some full warranty left (3 years, 60,000 km) in case there was something wrong with it when we bought it. It gives us some piece of mind, at least during the first few months. But remember the powertrain, which is usually more expensive to fix, has a much longer warranty coverage. A lot of things to consider. Our 2011 LEAF is already out of the main warranty, with 65,000 km on it, but I would still buy it in a flash. 🙂

      As for the battery, one thing you might want to do while shopping for LEAFs is to get a Wifi or Bluetooth OBD-II adapter, and run LeafSpy or LeafStat on your phone to check the battery capacity of the LEAF you’re planning to buy. It’s very easy to install the OBD-II adapter, under the steering wheel. Mine is at 87% capacity right now, which is normal for a 2011.

      You may also want to join the Canada Nissan Leaf Owners on Facebook and post the question. I’m sure you’ll get good feedback. I know at least one person in the group, from Ottawa, who bought a used Leaf. https://www.facebook.com/groups/282243388457758/

      Oh, there’s also the option of importing a used Leaf from the US. A lot of them are coming out of 2-year lease terms. That’s how we got our Volt.

      Thanks and good luck,


  42. I am a new LEAF owner, having joined the large number of purchases of US leafs being brought across the boarder. I’m getting (what I gather is the usual) runaround about telematics, carwings, Canada, US-origined cars, ATT&Rogers, etc. Has anyone got to the bottom of this quagmire. Hardly a great introduction to what is otherwise a nice car.

  43. Hi Ricardo!

    Years after sitting in your Leaf and admiring how quiet it was, I finally purchased my own Leaf. (My son, Alec the bassist/guitarist used to jam with Victor.)

    I have a question about the the extended warranty. Not sure if anyone as already asked/discussed that here. They were really trying to sell that to me. One package being “everything other than tires and brake are fully covered parts and labour till 200,000 KM”, for a little less than $3500.

    $3500 is more than 10% of my purchase price. But I do plan to keep the Leaf for a long time… do you think it’s worth the extended warranty? I imagine that your original warranty of 60,000 KM or 3 years has already expired. Have you ever experienced issues that needed fixing after 3 years, electronically or otherwise?

    Thanks very much for posting all the useful information on the blog!

    • Hi Landdy!

      Of course I remember Alec. Good to hear from you! And good to hear about your Leaf. That’s awesome! Congratulations!

      I found a couple of extended warranties discussion in other forums. It’s always best to hear the opinion from different people and get different perspectives. Here are some links:

      You can also post the question on the Canada Leaf Owners group on Facebook. I don’t remember anyone asking this question there before so it’s a great opportunity to get started on the group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/282243388457758/

      I didn’t get an extended warranty myself. I got one for our previous car (for $1,275) and we didn’t use it for anything. After that experience I decided not to buy extended warranties for anything, and keep the money on a “virtual” savings account to use when stuff really breaks. I already got passed the 60,000 km warranty last summer. So far no issues, fingers crossed.

      You said 200,000 km but did they tell you how many years? In any case, I find $3,500 way too expensive. Remember the most expensive stuff in the car (the power train) is covered for 5 years (or 100,000 km), and the batteries for 8 years. So you’re really buying insurance for what comes after that (not sure if extended warranties cover the batteries — double check). You’re also paying it all upfront, whether you use it or not. It’s kind of a gamble. I’m not saying don’t get one — because you might need it after all, and you will hate me if you do… 🙂 The only thing that’s for sure is that it’s always a very good deal for those *selling* the extended warranty because most people end up not using them. On the other hand, if you’re one of the “lucky ones” that need a lot of repairs, you’ll have made a good deal. Just remember you’ll need a very expensive repair bill of $3,500 (+ interests) to break even. It will only become a good deal after that.

      Anyway, post your question on the Facebook group. There are many owners there and they love to help.

      And congratulations again! Really exciting!


  44. Thanks for the reply, Ricardo!

    After doing some more research, I’ve decided not to go with an extended warranty for now. The dealership was trying really hard to make a deal and offered 200,000 KM with no time limit and including batteries. A co-worker bought the same car from the same dealership experienced the same — a different sales though.

    It would still be interesting to see how other Canadian Leaf owners view this topic so let’s see.

    Driving the Leaf home tomorrow… feeling really exciting!

  45. I’m buying a Leaf, and trying to choose between S and SV. From the specs, I see the differences (that seem important to me) are:
    • Hybrid heater system
    • Quick charge port

    Are these important if we are to use our car as a primary vehicle (still short commuting trips mostly though). Also, do I need carwings for remote pre-heating? Or are there other options?


    • Hi Mohan: The hybrid heater system is *very* important. My 2011 has the old heater system and it is very inefficient, reduces the range considerably. As for the Quick Charge port, it depends on where you live. We don’t have any DCQC around Ottawa so I never used the port. On the other hand, Quebec is getting tons of fast chargers installed so it’s a must-have if you live there (or in BC). I should be able to use it in the next couple of years though, as there are plans to install them between Ottawa and Montreal (highway 50).

      You can configure the car onboard timer to do pre-heating at regular times (say every morning before you leave to work), but I’m not sure if this is available on the S model though.

  46. You can set a manual timer within the car for climate, but carwings is a huge upgrade. Get the SV. Many features for the extra money.

  47. Hi Mohan,

    I have the SV model, and I love it. I have not had the chance to use the Quick charge port yet, as the closest one is in Vaudreil (at the St-Hubert’s parking lot). A number of Quick charge ports are being added in the province of Quebec (I think they have 6 or 7 now), but they are not in this area. I do hope to see lots in the futur.

    As for the car wings, this was included with the car. I think in the long run, it will be a paid service, but I don’t know when this will happen. On very cold days, I like to use my phone app, and start heating the car before entering it.

  48. Hi Mohan,

    I did not have things done by Aerovironment. I ordered my EV charging station from the US (as the model I wanted did not exist in Canada). Models change all the time, I have a HCS-40, 30A, 240V Charging, 25′ Cord. Here is the link to the site:

    As I live on the Quebec side (Gatineau), I called an electrician, and showed him the specs, and instructions, that were included in the box. He looked at the thing and smiled, as it was a very easy job for him. He had never installed that type of device before, he did a great job.

    So there are options.

  49. Sun Country, in Canada, handles Clipper Creek products. I have a small one at home with a plug and had one installed at the Bowling Lanes in Kemptville which is a 40 amp charger. I believe that one is available with a plug so you would only have to install a line with a plug.
    Check out their web site. It would be eligible for the Ontario rebate.

  50. If you wish to see my charging setup, please let me know. Also, do send a message when you get your Leaf. I’m sure you will love your new car.

      • We got our new Leaf last week. So far, we are loving it although we have experienced brief moments of range anxiety especially because we are still relying on trickle charge (we have been getting estimates for installation of an EVSE, but they all seem high – $1400). One issue we have noticed is that we seem to be unable to turn on climate control when it is trickle charging. Anyone else have this issue?

      • Hey Mohan. Congrats on your Leaf! Awesome news! The Level 1 charger doesn’t have enough power to pre-heat the Leaf, specially in the winter. You will need a Level 2 for that. Installation costs vary a lot. In my case, I was able to reduce the cost a bit by installing it as close to the panel as possible. Remember you get a 50% rebate from Ontario, up to a $1000. Congrats again!

  51. Hi there. Congrats on your new LEAF! My wife and I got ours in April last year. We rely 100% on trickle charging and drive between 40-50km a day. This winter I have used the remote start climate control on a few occasions without issue. Is there anything else plugged into the circuit you are charging the car from? We use a dedicated 15A circuit. Cheers. Jason

  52. Hi Ricardo

    Well, I’m a brewer, and I’ve ordered 15 sacs of malts. Each sac weighs 25 kg.
    Can my Leaf cary such weight (375 kg = 827 lbs)?

    Please reply soon, as the pickup is tonight.

  53. Thank you for your anwser. Your friends are a little big, don’t you think? So you would drive with all that, no worries? Cool, I guess.

  54. Hi Ricardo, I am on the brink of buying a Leaf in the US and exporting it here. (It is a 2013 model, that just came off a 2 year lease). My friend warned me about small-wheeled cars such as the Leaf not having enough clearance for driving in snow. Here in Calgary, they sometimes leave over 6″ of snow on the roads to save money on snow-ploughing. Has the clearance been a problem for you?

    • Hi Raf. No problem at all. Clearance is not much different than other cars of comparable size. We get a lot of snow here in Ottawa and I never got stuck. Actually, I slid off the road once, off to a fresh pile of snow and almost got stuck. Luckily, the traction control kept the car going ever so slowly without spinning the wheels. I could feel the mix of snow, sand and salt crushing under my feet. I think the extra weight of the batteries kept the car firm on the ground, combined with the extra grip of the snow tires, so I was able to bring it back to the road.

  55. I live in Gatineau (close to Ottawa). No issues with my Leaf, during the winter months. But PLEASE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No more winter conversations ! I waited so long for summer… best season 🙂

  56. Hi Ricardo. I have bought a Leaf several hours drive from where I live. Plugshare shows that there are plugs close enough together to drive it from the dealer home, which would save me at least $1500 in shipping. However, most of them are not quick charge… So, I am wondering if it’s possible to tow a generator behind me on a small utility trailer. Of course I need a high capacity generator, if it is even possible. Can you tell me anything about this option?

  57. Raf, don’t bother messing around with generators. Make your new acquisition a full day road trip while taking advantage of your PlugShare hops… Stop overnight and plug in at a motel if you have to! The destination is nice but the trip should be even more enjoyable and memorable! $1500 worth of enjoyable 😉

    • That sounds good, but it is several hundred miles! 13 hours at normal freeway speed. I have to charge at 18 towns, some as far apart as 70 miles. Most of the chargers are 110 volts, and I think that it would take about 15 hours to charge. If I had a week or two, it might be possible, but I only have 2 days. I might give it a go and get as close as possible and ship the remainder, but I thought that I could rig up a generator with 4 hour charging. At least that would allow about 5 charges a day and I could make it half the way.

      Sent from my iPad


      • LOL! When you said several hundred miles, I figured two or three hundred, not almost a thousand! That’s a full 3 day dive or more, even with a whole row of level 2 EVSEs on the way back…

        Either take a week of holidays and enjoy charging via PlugShare.com, or pay the $1500 if you can’t afford the time.

        Decisions, decisions… 🙂

  58. Yes, it would be a fun holiday, now you mention it! Actually, last year I biked across the rockies for a week and loved it. So now you’ve given me a great idea… I can take my bike in the Leaf and at each long chaging stop can do biking in the area. OK – Time to look at the plugshare trip planner!!

    After looking on the internet, I see that Leafs can be charged with generators – not surprisingly. But the generators that I see for sale would not help much except to bridge sections where charging stations are far apart.

    Thank you again for your replies! This is a great forum. It offers one of the few analytical and thorough discussions around EV, and helped persuade me to buy a Leaf for use in cold Canada. I will let you know how things turned out!

  59. Olá Ricardo.
    Também me interesso muito, e há bastante tempo, por carros elétricos – desde que vivia no Brasil. Há um ano e meio me mudei para Bridlewood, Ottawa.
    Gostaria de saber se preciso instalar algum equipamento na garagem para carregar as baterias, pois moro de aluguel e não quero fazer obras complicadas.

    Estou pensando em trocar o meu carro e gostaria de saber se um carro elétrico é vantajoso no meu caso.



  60. Hi Ricardo – I just returned from buying a Leaf in the states. I took your advice and took a week off to try to drive it back, but there were not enough chargers enroute so I ended up renting a u-haul and towed it to BC. Then I tried driving it, and actually got a couple hundred miles on it. Unfortunately, I missed a turnoff where I was going to juice up, and therefore ran out of juice in the mountains. I got a ride from a kind couple, and was able to tow it to the nearest town. Then I rented a u-haul to tow it the rest of the way home. So it was an adventure, and I tested the very limits of the vehicle’s range both successfully and unsuccessfully! I found that there were some great charging facilities, all free for use, but too infrequently spaced.

    By the way, using a generator is not permitted according to my owner’s manual. I imagine that a good generator with proper sinusoidal output would work fine, but no doubt would void the warranty. I’m glad I didn’t go that way.

    The car is amazing to drive, and I am now commuting with it and charging at work – which is free and fast. I have zero regrets in purchasing this vehicle, having put about 500 miles on it in less than 2 weeks on interstates and trans-Canada and mountain passes – Loads of spare power and it is all torque off the line – a joy to drive!

    Are you connected to any electric car blogs that might cover western Canada? I am wondering how we can get more level 2 chargers installed. Maybe as a (small) community of electric vehicle owners, it is possible to get some on the trans-Canada and other well-travelled highways. We need one in Lake Louise and one at the Rogers Pass. I am surprised to see that such big travel destinations do not have even a level 2 charger.

    • Hey RAF. What a great story. Glad you made it all the way. Congrats! You should join the Canada Nissan Leaf Owners group on Facebook. There are a lot people from BC there and they know all about good locations to charge. There are also a lot of fast chargers being planned for BC next year. One of the recent posts on the group has the map of proposed locations by BC Hydro. https://www.facebook.com/groups/282243388457758/

      • Thanks Ricardo! I’ve submitting a request to join the group. I’ll see if I can find that map, too. I’ve sent an email to Parks Canada asking about installing a charger at Lake Louise, and also emailed a manager at one of the businesses in LL Village with the same request. We’ll see what comes of that. Date: Fri, 14 Aug 2015 14:02:43 +0000 To: rmsmith_calgary@hotmail.com

  61. Regional Ranking Question

    I live in Gatineau, next to Ottawa. I’ve started working on improving my ranking results…more distance, less use of power… My regional rankings are sometimes Gold, sometimes Platnum. I can even see (if I’m stoped), my regional postion ranking (it varies from 3000 to 9000).

    My question: what is my region???? Is it all of Quebec (province), does it cover a radious of * square km? Is it all of Canada, all of North America? I’m curious. Any info about this?

    Thank you,

  62. Hi Ricardo,

    I would like to thank you for the very detailed blog you have created.
    It has made the decision of getting a leaf so much easier.
    One of the anxieties I had was knowing how the car would perform in our Canadian winters. We live in Edmonton which gets a little less snow than Ottawa but gets a little colder.

    We don’t have charging available at work and share about the same commute as you (34km round trip). I think it should be ok, I’m just a little worried about the -35c days! The car will be in a garage that never gets below -10c though.

    One question that I had, do you see a problem in using the trickle charger at home? I read somewhere that the trickle charger doesn’t warm up the car. The level 2 charger costs about $1000 which I’m not convinced is worth the investment.

    Alberta doesn’t have any EV rebates like Ontario. Which means, my car will be at least $8500 more expensive in the long run.
    For me, I think the Leaf is more about settings an example to my kids than anything else. Saving gas and the environment is a nice added bonus though.

    I’ll likely get a 2015 model as a 2016 is going to cost about CAD$2000 due to the larger battery. To be honest, I don’t think we would need the extra range for the day-to-day driving.
    I plan on keeping the car for about 10 years. Looking at your blog, looks like it won’t be difficult.

    Again, I was very happy to see such a detailed blog from a fellow Canadian/Brazilian.


  63. Rafael, I just installed a charger at home in my garage, and it was so easy it only took a little more than an hour to install. It is way way faster than the trickle charger, and is worth it. Unfortunately I bought a charger that doesn’t take full advantage of the 6.6 kW onboard charger. If I were you I would buy a 30amp/240V charger. There is a supplier that is recommended by people who are members of the Canadian Leaf Facebook page, or you could get one from one of the many suppliers. The trickle charger takes over 15 hours. Of course, you could just try it first of all and see. But having the fast charge means that you can come home from work and an hour later have another 30 km of range added before you head out. You will end up using the car more, I think.

    • Thanks Raphael.
      Just wanted to update. I did end up buying a 2015 SL. So far it’s been great. Trickle charge over night seems to be working well for us. Let’s see what happens during winter.
      One more Leaf in Edmonton!


    • Hey Raphael
      I love this blog and benefited from this as everyone else (thanks Ricardo), I just wanted to mention that there are much cheaper options available when it comes to L2 chargers, I recently bought this ‘Ebusbar BEV-H02A10 EV Charger Level 2, 240 Volt’ from Amazon.com (US) and it works great. I live in Oakville, Ontario and its not as cold as Ottawa or Edmonton but still this chargers helps to cut the charging time to around 5 hours from 15+.

  64. Hi Ricardo,

    Would love to be able to talk to you about owning a Leaf in Ottawa. We are considering getting a 2016 but have lots of questions about winter in particular and also chargers. My wife and I (and our 2 year old) live downtown and commute out to Kanata and Blair Road respectively. Great blog!


  65. Hi CanadianLeaf,
    You mentioned in a post a while back of a price for a replacement traction battery pack. I’m here in Mississauga and my local Nissan dealer cannot seem to find out anything about a replacement battery. I just received an email from Nissan Canada with a suggested price of $7,250, but if the dealer cannot even figure out how to get one, it’s a moot point. Do you have any specifics on part numbers or how you got that pricing? Or was this just a ballpark figure based on (a) the $5,500 price in the US, and (b) assuming if it is available in the US it would also be available in Canada?
    Love the blog — very detailed and informative I’m at 134,000 km after 4 years and 4 months and down 3 capacity bars (LEAF Spy says 70%).

    • Hi Renny,

      It was a ballpark estimate based on reports from the US. I don’t know anyone who has replaced the battery in Canada.

      134K, that’s impressive!

      I hit 99K yesterday (one capacity bar lost).



  66. Thanks for the info it helped me make my decision to purchased a 2016 leaf s model. I’m in North Bay and curios to see how it fares in the winter here. Am I the most northerly leaf driver in Ontario?

  67. Hi Ricardo,

    Can you recommend a good electrician for installing electrical charger at home. I live in Ottawa.


  68. Thanks Ricardo!
    I have to also mention that I have read your entire blog more than once and you have done an amazing work!

    You can also congratulate me with the purchase of a new 2017 Leaf, trim S. I decided not to go for a higher trim level since in 2017 they offer the same battery and charging options in base model.
    I will be getting my car next Monday. Can’t wait.

    Few questions:
    – since I bought a base model, I will need to install a monitoring device to track performance. What would you recommend?
    – if you guys are planning a meeting any time soon I would love to attend it to meet you in person.
    – will you recommend a smart charger or a basic one is good enough given that I will be using a car plugin device for monitoring.


  69. Hi Ricardo,

    I have a Leaf, and there is something I would like to do:
    Plug the car, but not have charging start.

    Some reasons:

    1) So I can use climat control
    2) Charge at night, not day
    3) Charge, when charging is required, not just because car is pluged.

    Is this possible?

    • Hey. What model of Leaf do you have? Base or “more advanced”? 🙂
      It is possible if you have a smart charger. This way you can plag-in and manage everything through the charger software. Most chargers connect to the car and can tell you the charge rate and other car stats.
      Also, there are plugins that can activate some car’s functionality for owners of base model. I am currently reaserching it.

  70. Hi Paul, Ricardo, all.
    I have the 2014 SL model, so I think this is something that can be done (I have carwings, and access to many things from PC, or Smart Phone App).

    My charger on the other hand has no ON OFF.
    So far, each time I plug it in the car, charging starts.

    What I wish to do: be able to plug the car each time I’m home, but I don’t want it to charge automatically. I wish I can manually start climate control, or charging, from my house. Is this possible? How?

    • Hi Daniel, one way to control it is by setting up charging schedule on your Leaf. Let’s say it is 3pm and you want it to start charging after 7pm. Turn the feature ON and indicate that you want it to be fully charged by (let’s say) 5am. The car will automatically start charging by estimating the charging time. So, if it requires 5 hours to fully charge your Leaf, the car will start charging at midnight. And you can plug it in anytime before midnight (even at 3pm) and it will only begin charging at the current time + charge time = the time you want it to be fully charged.

      I know it’s not the most simplistic way, but the only other option will be to install a smart charger in your garage.

      Hope it helps,

  71. BINGO: all if fine now, thank you Paul.

    With this crazy cold, my car will like having something to keep battery at minimum required temperature, and I will use climate control, a few minutes before entering the car.

  72. Hello Recardo, I hope you still have have the Leaf. I noticed that you have have not made any recent entries.
    I have been following your blog for a while and am interested if you have any major battery problems. My 2011 Leaf had lost two bars so fa. It was bought used two yeas ago.

    • Hey Darrel. Sorry for the long time to respond. The Leaf is still alive and well. I just posted an update on it. I lost its second capacity bar two months ago, at 122K km. Cheers.

  73. Hi Ricardo

    I would love to know what you think of the new Nissan Leaf! Being a current owner and driver of the leaf, it’d be great to hear your views of the changes to the leaf and how you think it addresses the current Leaf’s shortcomings.


    • My main concern about the 2018 Leaf is still the lack of a active thermal management system on the batteries. Our current Leaf has been losing 4% of capacity per year, while our 2012 Volt (with an active TMS) has lost virtually none.

      It may not be a big issue if you’re going to lease, but if you’re expecting to purchase and keep it for the long run, an active TMS is the single most important thing I’ll be looking for on my next EV.

      • Where do you live? Does it get THAT HOT?

        I live close to Ottawa (on the Québec side)… had no issues at all. I understand that desert temperatures could have an impact..

  74. Crazy question (to avoid use of climate control)

    During a long winter drive (trip), would it be safe, and useful, to burn and small IKEA style candle (placed inside a deep metal container), to generate heat?

    The goal is to increase driving range, and not give up too much comfort.

    I don’t know how long it takes for a candle to consume oxygen, and if the car has enough air recirculation (with closed windows), to ensure safe breathing environment.

    If such solution where to work, the metal container would be placed in a safe, anchored position.

    Please note I would use the heated steering wheel, and seats, and would have warm clothing on me.

    Yes, crazy question (hope it does not look like a red neck idea).

  75. Thank you for making this blog! Very informative as I’m looking at getting a used Leaf. 2015 -2016. I’m still a newbee but I have a question for you. I know that Nissan Canada will warranty the battery for the capacity usage for – 5 years or 100,000 km – if it drops below 9 bars. My question is, when do you verify that the battery is below 9 bars? Is that when your charging is complete and it states that it full and you can count the bars? Help me understand.



  76. Hi, have a 2012 Leaf but used in nov 2017. I so your Km/Kwh performances and get a little bit worry. My best is 4.6. I commute 12 Km to work in a combination of 80% city and 20% low speed highway(80Km/h). Have 50000Km and lost one bar. Any idea way so low performance (compare with you)

      • Have another subject to talk with you.
        Did you had any issue with the pressure tire monitor system.
        From what I read on the net the battery of the pressure sensor it will deplete after 4-5 years and start to get pressure warnings.
        It is my case and I was wondering if you know any way to turn off the monitoring system or bypassed. I don’t fell like spending 100-200 CAD/sensor to replace them.

  77. How is your 2011 Leaf doing, Ricardo? I bought a Leaf 4 years ago thanks to your encouragement (see comments thread). It is still going strong and achieved140 km of range on a single charge just last week, with102,000 km now on the clock. You had lost two bars at 122k km a couple of years ago – any update?

    • Hi Raf,

      I’m also curious at how Ricardo’s Leaf is doing.

      My Leaf is a little over 5 years. I have 100% of the bars. In the summer, I average 130 km/charge. In the winter, I rarely get to 100km. My best was 162 km.

      I sure like the look of the new Leaf, but I plan on keeping mine for an other 10+ years.

      • I have a 2012 LEAF which I purchased in March 2013. I only have 56000 km but have lost 2 bars. It currently shows about 120 km on ECO but I get about 100 km if I keep my speed low. My car seems to have lost more capacity than most.

      • I am hearing that battery degeneration can reveal itself abruptly. I’d be interested to know if anyone has a Leaf that has retained its original range after 150,000 km, which is where my vehicle will be in 2-3 years.

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