100,000 km!

  
We hit 100,000 clicks this past weekend. Not bad for a car that “can’t go very far” LOL. It took us 4.5 years to do it. That’s 22,222 km per year, quite a bit more than I had originally predicted. And definitely more than any other car I had in the past!

Overall, the Leaf is still doing vey very well, with no major issues. The only out-of-the-warranty item I had to replace was a faulty switch on the driver’s power window. Nothing else. The AeroVironment charging station is still working as new.

Battery capacity is at 83%, still more than enough for my daily commute. It’s been almost a year since we lost the first bar at 84% so the drop in capacity has slowed down considerably. I don’t expect to need a battery replacement any time soon.

The Volt continues to work well as well. We barely use any gas in the spring, summer or fall, but in the winter it’s pretty much unavoidable. In the colder months, range drops to just 35 km, and the gas engine kicks in for a few minutes when temperature drops below -4C, which is pretty much the whole time here in Ottawa during the winter.

Future plans

We made a reservation for a Tesla Model 3, which is expected to be delivered some time in 2018. The  350+ km of range and the access to superchargers will be a dream come true. 

  

The Leaf will be 7 years old when the Model 3 arrives. It will probably become my son’s car. The only problem is that my wife wants the Model 3 for her so I may end up driving the Volt… Hmmm. Maybe I’ll give the Volt to my son and keep the Leaf. We’ll see.

Another exciting news is that we should be getting a lot of DC Fast Chargers here in Ontario this year, as part of a 20 million dollars program by the province. The locations are expected to be announced any day now. We should also be getting more DC Fast Chargers along highway 50 between Ottawa and Montreal, in addition to the two that are already operational. On top of all that, the federal government just announced today that a national plan for fast charging stations will also be implemented across Canada. 

These are very exciting times indeed!

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First capacity bar lost

Lost the first bar

Our dashboard now shows 12 bars of charge but only 11 bars of capacity.

Oh, well. It finally happened. Not that I was looking forward to it, but it was something we couldn’t avoid. Our LEAF has lost its first bar.

A brand new LEAF is delivered with approximately 100% of the rated battery capacity (24 kWh, of which about 22 kWh is usable). As it happens to all batteries, the ability to store energy slowly degrades with time and usage. The LEAF shows up to 12 bars of capacity on the dashboard, indicated by those short bars located to the right of the (longer) charge bars. While charge levels will always go from 0 to 100% (of the available capacity), the capacity itself will slowly decay from the original 100% down to a level where it is no longer useful.

The rate of decay depends of many factors — battery chemistry, mileage, age, average temperature, etc. Earlier versions of the battery, mine included, are mostly sensitive to high temperatures, which is not really a problem here in Ottawa. The second main factor appears to be age, as many of my 2011/2012 LEAF friends already lost their first bar regardless of their milage. Milage is also a factor but apparently not as much as age.

So, how much capacity have we lost? The first bar disappears after capacity drops below 85% (15% loss). I’ve been monitoring the battery capacity with an iPhone app connected to the OBDII port for the past two years. Capacity was about 88% when I first started monitoring it in 2013, and reached 84% in the beginning of June. It was just a matter of time until the computer noticed it and turned off the top capacity bar on the dashboard.

Capacity bars are not linear. The first one goes away after you lose 15%. Subsequent ones will disappear each time you lose 6.25% (2 bars lost at 21.25%, 3 bars lost at 27.5%, 4 bars at 33.75%, and so on). The Nissan warranty will swap any battery that loses more than 3 bars in less than 5 years, but that’s not likely to happen in our case.

Capacity loss is also not linear. We lost about 11-12% in the first two years, but only 4-5% in the last two.

Despite the disappointment, the loss of our first bar was by no means unexpected. The official estimate from Nissan, from the very the beginning, was for the LEAF to keep 80% of its original capacity after 5 years, which is pretty much dead on (ours has 84% after 4 years).

As for the future, I think it will be a few years before we deem necessary to replace our battery. Even at 84% capacity, the LEAF still offers enough range to cover most of our daily trips in the city, even during the winter. Being able to charge at work makes it even easier to get through the day. Actually, I still charge the LEAF to 80% most of the time. On top of that, we still have the Volt available for longer trips.

Nissan offers a battery trade-in replacement for about $6,000, which is not a bad deal, but not necessarily appealing if all you’re getting is an extra 25% of capacity back. HOWEVER, there are strong indications that a 30 kWh pack will be available this year (on 2016 models). If the form factory of the new battery is compatible with older models, then an upgrade will be much more appealing. Even today, such upgrade would give us 60% more capacity than what we have right now, which will be really attractive.

In conclusion, losing the first bar may have a big psychological effect on most owners but reality is capacity loss is a continuing  factor. The LEAF will lose a little tiny bit of capacity on a monthly basis but it will take 3 to 4 years for that drop to be translated visually in terms of bars on the dashboard.

On there other hand, as my friend Kelly Carmichael says, the range of the LEAF actually increases with time as more and more fast charging stations are installed. In our case, DC Fast Chargers are expected to be installed along highway 50 between Ottawa and Montreal this year, allowing for trips that were not practical even when our LEAF was brand new.

80,000 km Later

80,000 clicks

80,000 km hit on April 26, 2015

It’s been a while since I posted the last update and a lot of things have happened since then. First and foremost, the Leaf is still doing great after almost four years. We recently hit 80,000 km at the odometer and we still have 12 bars of capacity on the dashboard.

We don’t have any major issue to report. We did our last service check in July last year, a few weeks before the full warranty of 60,000 km expired. I’m planning to take it for another checkup this summer, and keep it on a regular yearly basis (I used to take it for a service check every six months but now I realize that’s not really necessary). The main major service I expect to perform this year is the flushing of the brake fluid, which was never needed in all inspections done so far. But after 4 years, it’s probably about time to get a new one.

The LEAF and the Volt

Two EVs in the family now

The best testimony that an electric car works well for us is that we now have a second one! We finally got rid of the Corolla last fall and exchanged it for a Chevy Volt.

My wife drives the Volt now. She was never a car person. She drives one mostly because she has to. But after driving the Volt on a regular basis, she says it’s the first car she actually likes! The silence, the smoothness and the cool looks… she really enjoys it. And I do too.

New driver in the family

New driver

My son got his G2 driver’s license last year and has since been able to drive the LEAF on his own. He learned how to drive on the LEAF, did all the lessons with a driving instructor on the LEAF, and even did his driving test on the LEAF. He’s yet to drive a gasoline car. (Actually, he once started the Corolla on the driveway and moved it a few inches. And that’s about it. 🙂

The LEAF works great for him. It’s a good compromise for all the parts. He doesn’t have to spend any money with gas, and we feel comfortable that he can’t drive it too far away. LOL

Brake pads thickness

Brake pads thickness

Brakes

I’ve been keeping track of how the brake pads are doing since I first took the LEAF for service. As you probably know, most of the braking on the LEAF happens by regenerative braking where the electric motor, not the brake pads, are used to slow down the car. The brake pads are only used when you’re about to stop completely. They’re also used if you hit the brakes too hard, something I try not to do very often. At this rate, the rear pads will last a long time. I estimate that they will need to be replaced at 146,000 km, with the front pads lasting a little longer (194,000 km).

There have been reports of brake issues affecting the LEAF in the coldest days of the winter but it seems to be affecting only cars manufactured in North America. Our LEAF was made in Japan and has not presented this issue.

Warranty

The bumper-to-bumper warranty expired last year after 60,000 km. We actually hit it before the 3 years of ownership. I asked the dealer to perform a service check while the warranty was still on, just in case, but they didn’t really find anything. This winter however, the driver’s power window stopped working. I was hoping it was a cold-related issue that would resolve by itself in the spring (we saw something like this before) but it hasn’t been the case. I’m bracing for how much fixing it is going to cost, but I don’t think the repair will be much different than in any other car.

Capacity

The dashboard still shows 12 bars of capacity but that doesn’t mean 100%. I used an OBDII adapter and an iPhone app called Leaf Stat to peek into the battery data and check how much capacity is really left after all these years. Right now, this number is hovering around 86%, which is fairly inline with the estimate of 80% capacity left after 5 years. It’s worth noticing that the first bar of capacity on the dashboard will go away when the percentage drops below 85%, so I expect it will happen any day now.

First Quick Charge, after 3.5 years

First DC Quick Charge

Fast Charging

It’s been a long time waiting but I was finally able to use the DC Quick Charge port on our LEAF for the first time. However, I had to drive all the way to Montreal in order to do it. I charged at the closest DCQC from Ottawa, a station installed by Azra Networks about 200 km from our house. The trip required an extra stop at a Level 2 charging station in Montebello, which made the trip not very practical, specially because we don’t have the faster 6.6 kW charger available in the newer LEAFs. Fortunately, this is about to change. Hydro Quebec is actively planning to install Fast Chargers along highway 50 between Gatineau and Montreal, which will be a game changer for us. Rumours are that the first DCQC will be installed this year.

Lots of LEAFs

Lots of LEAFs

We’ve come a long way since the first LEAF was delivered in Canada four years ago. Now I see electric cars on the road every day. One morning I even saw two LEAFs on my street, only 5 minutes apart from each other.

One place where EV adoption suddenly had a big spike was at my workplace. For several years, there were only two EVs for the two plugs available for charging at our parking garage: the LEAF and a converted motorcycle. Suddenly, this month, a co-worker purchased a Smart ED, another bought a Tesla, and another placed an order for a LEAF! All in the same month! Now those two spots are no longer enough and we started the process to lobby to have charging stations installed at work. I’ll keep you posted.

National Plug In Day

We had a great EV meetup today to celebrate the National Plug In Day at the Goulbourn Recreation Complex in Ottawa. National Plug In Day draws attention to the environmental, economic and other benefits of plug-in electric vehicles through events staged in cities in Canada and the U.S.

Two LEAFs charging during the NPID 2012

We had 10 EVs in total:

  • 5 LEAFs
  • 2 Volts
  • 1 Tesla Roadster
  • 1 Via Motors VTRUX
  • 1 Electric Ford Ranger (custom converted)

Volt charging during the NPID 2012

The event was organized by the Electric Vehicle Council of Ottawa. We also received support from the City of Ottawa, which provided the parking space and free electrons during the event. The City is also planning to upgrade two of the 120 V stalls to Level 2 charging stations.

Via Motors VTRUX Electric Truck

Kent Rathwell, president of Sun Country Highway brought the VTRUX, an electric pickup truck built by Via Motors.

We also had a Tesla Roadster, the first EV officially registered in Ontario, “Sparky” the Electric Ford Ranger, converted by Allan Poulsen.

Not enough EV parking spots 🙂

We actually ran out of EV parking spots during the event. The recreational complex has 9 charging points and we had 10 EVs.

 

“Extreme Cold” Range Data

Last month, I ran a range performance test to help Tony Williams validate extreme weather range data. He basically needed someone to drive the Leaf from fully charged to zero under an outside temperature of at least -10C. The car had to be charged at 100% and left outside (“cold soaked”) for at least 4 hours before the driving test. Terrain should be mostly leveled, with a mostly stable temperature and no extreme power used. He also provided a list of performance data required to be collected during and at the end of the test.

I drove the LEAF around the neighborhood (40 Km/h speed limit) and through quiet roads (70 Km/h). I thought I would run out of juice after two hours or so but the test actually lasted 3 hours and I drove 125 Km at the end, which is quite impressive given the low temperature (-13C at the start, -10C at the end).

I kept climate control at minimal though. The heated seat and steering wheel was on all the time, keeping the driver warm, but I kept the air temperature in the cabin at minimal, with the fan at low speed, mostly to avoid fogging the windows.

I drove all the way down to “turtle mode”, which basically means one kilometer left of range. I reached that point very close to my house, just in time to pull over the driveway and into the garage for a good recharge.

As a reward (yes, there was a carrot to this :)), Tony sent me a nice “Love My Leaf” t-shirt, available for purchasing at his web site, lovemyleaf.com.

So here are the full results.

Fully charged at start: –:–
Assumed battery temperature: -13C (soaked for 4 hours)
Final Dash Km/kWh: 7.0
Total distance traveled: 125.1 Km

Distance traveled at Low Battery: 15.8 Km
How many fuel bars showing: 1
120V to 100% Charge: 21:00
Temp: -10 C

Distance driven at Very Low Battery: 4.4 Km
How many fuel bars showing: 0
120V to 100% Charge: n/a (The “low level” warning covered the charge estimate, should’ve closed it…)
Temp: -10 C

Km driven at Turtle, if applicable: 50 meters, before pulling over my driveway.

Heater power use:
– Climate control = 0.5 KW average (windshield only, minimal temp, minimal air flow)
– Other systems = 200 W (incl. heated seat, heated steering wheel)

Raw data:

      Outside Battery         Charge  To 100% Charge
Time    Temp(C) Temp    Km      Bars    240 V   120 V   CC (KW)
12:28   -13     3 bars  0(6657) 12      --:--   --:--
12:29                                                   3
12:29                                                   3.7
12:30                                                   4.6
                        1.1
12:31                                                   4.5
12:32   -12                                             0.75
12:33                                                   0.7
                        4.7
12:35                                                   0.5
                        5.9     11      0:50    2:00
                        6.3     11      1:00
                        7.0                     2:30
                        8.0             1:30    3:00
12:50                                                   0.2
                        9.9                     3:30
                        11.3                    4:00
                        11.4    10      2:00
12:58                                                   0.75
                        13.7                    4:30
12:59   -11
                        16.1                    5:00
                        18.1                    5:30
                        19.8    9
                        21.5            2:30    6:00
                        24.0                    6:30
                        26.9                    7:00
                4 bars  27.1
                        28.9    8
                        29.1                    7:30
                        31.3            3:00   
                        32.4                    8:00
1:26    -10
1:27    -11
                        36.0                    8:30
1:31    -10
                        38.3                    9:00
                        39.2    7
1:34                                                    0.5
                        41.7                    9:30
                        42.4            3:30
                        44.6                    10:00
                        47.1                    11:00
                        49.3    6
                        52.7                    12:00
                        53.3            4:00
1:51                                                    0.75
                        58.7    5
                        59.0                    13:00
                        63.4            4:30
                        64.9                    14:00
                        67.2    4
2:09                                                    0.5
                        70.4                    15:00
                        73.8            5:00
                        75.8    3               16:00
                        81.9                    17:00
                        84.9            5:30
                        86.9    2               18:00
                        92.5                    19:00
                        95.5            6:00
                        98.4                    20:00
                        100.8   1
                        104.2                   21:00
                        104.9   1 Low
3:00                                                    0.75
3:04                                                    0.5
                        120.7   0 ---
                        125.1   Turtle
3:30    -10     4       125.1   Turtle  n/a     n/a     0.5

First road trip on our LEAF


Driving the Nissan LEAF in the city is a no-brainer in terms of range. We rarely need to drive more than what the LEAF can go on a full charge, and we’re always relatively close to places where we can recharge during the day (home, work, even the dealer). But on road trips, this scenario changes significantly.

I recently had to drive to Ogdensburg, NY in order to pick up a set of snow tires. Not that we can’t find snow tires in Canada — we certainly can, but for some strange reason, tire manufacturers impose much higher prices north of the border so buying the same tires in the US can save us several hundred dollars (about $300 in my case).

A round trip from Ottawa to Ogdensburg is about 165 Km, which is right at the limit of the advertised range of the LEAF, so the trip would have to be very well planned.

On a side note, I did have the option to drive our “range extender” (my wife’s car) instead of the LEAF on this trip, but that would take away all the fun, wouldn’t it?

Dry runs

The Ottawa-Ogdensburg route

There’s a 75 Km highway connecting Ottawa to the US border called the 416. That would be the obvious choice if I was driving a gas-powered car, but driving an electric car at highway speeds significantly reduces the total range. I decided to take LEAF for a spin at the 416 to see how much that would be, and these were the results:

Highway Test:
– Cruise control set to 90 km/h
– 14C, dry road, windy
– Climate control off
– 100.3 Km driven (11 Km/bar)
– Ended with 3 bars left (31/35 Km)
– Estimated total range: 133 Km

Obviously, that wouldn’t be enough for a round trip to Ogdensburg, but the result falls very closely to what the Nissan LEAF Range Chart predicts.

According to the range chart, I would need to lower the target speed down to 70 Km/h in order to achieve a safe 177 Km range. However, this range estimate assumes an outside temperature of 20C, which is quite rare around here in November! Lower temperature means I would have to lower the speed even more, so it became clear that taking the highway would not be a practical option.

The Spencerville Mill, in Spencerville, ON, was my 62 Km checkpoint

With the highway out of the picture, the next step was to find a good route over country roads. Luckily, there are a lot of quiet and well paved roads that can take me to the same destination. These roads are quite pleasant actually, going through small towns like Spencerville, ON and beautiful farms.

Country road test:
– Max speed 65 Km/h, down to 40-50 Km/h in city areas
– 9C, dry road, no wind
– Climate control off
– 124.5 Km driven (13.8 Km/bar)
– Ended with 3 bars left (44 Km)
– Estimated total range: 168 Km

At this pace, I would be able to go all the way to my destination and back on a single charge. In addition, the place where I was buying the tires from (Bill’s Tire) would let me trickle charge while in there, and even a bit longer if I needed to. This would give me some comfort room. I also contacted a friend who lives in Kemptville, right on the route and 40 Km from my house, in case things didn’t work as planned and I needed to make an emergency stop for a recharge at his house.

One final factor to consider was the extra weight of the tires I would be bringing home. I would also be riding on snow tires, which have more rolling resistance than the original Ecopia tires. I didn’t have any data to estimate the impact on performance. The extra weight would add 2.5% to the weight of the car, but the snow tires I would be buying were also low rolling resistance tires. I assumed the drop in performance to be within the margin of error of my estimates, and that I could compensate by monitoring performance and adjusting my speed accordingly on my way back home.

First attempt


I started the drive to Ogdensburg on a Saturday morning. I woke up early and started on the same route I had done previously. Only that this time, conditions were quite different. Early in the morning, the temperature was -7C. Yes, negative 7. I lost the first bar very quickly, with less than 10 Km. Reducing the speed didn’t help as the second bar went out fast too. After 50 Km, my average was 10 Km /bar. I figured at that pace, I would get to my destination with only 4 bars left, and require at least 4 hours of trickle charging to get me back home. So, it was tough decision to make, but I had to turn back and try another day.

Failed attempt:
– Max speed 60 Km/h, lowered to 40-50 Km/h
– -7C, dry road, no wind
– Climate control off
– 99.5 Km driven (10 Km/bar)
– Ended with 2 bars left (38 Km)
– Estimated total range: 138 Km

Second attempt

The weather forecast was calling for much better weather during the week. Wednesday was promising a high of 15C so I planned to leave work early and head to Ogdensburg, taking advantage of the higher temperature. Leaving from work would only add 4-5 Km to the round trip, and thanks to IBM, I was able to top off the batteries back to fully charged at the parking garage before I left.

Charging while changing tires

The trip to Ogdensburg took 86.3 Km and arrived there with 6 bars left. That was about 14 Km/bar, which was really really good. The estimated range left was 95 Km, and I needed only 82 Km to get home. To be extra-safe, I asked the guys at Bill’s Tire to plug in my Level One charger as soon as they parked the LEAF in one of their service bays. They had absolute no problem with that. The service only took 30 minutes — the tires were already mounted on the rims when I arrived, but they let me continue the charge until I got at least 10 Km of extra range for safety. I ended up plugging in for 70 minutes which raised my estimated range from 95 to 106 Km.

With the snow tires on and the original tires tucked away in plastic bags over the folded back seats, I was ready to head back home. Over the border, I had to stop at customs to declare the purchase and pay the Canadian sales tax (13% HST). Tires made in North America are duty free.

Once on Canadian roads, I started to monitor the car performance. Driving at 65 Km/h, I was averaging 13 Km/bar, which was good. I drove through Kemptville, where my friend lives, with about 60 Km of estimated range, and I needed 40 Km to get home. I didn’t see the need to stop for an emergency charge so I stayed on course.

At this point, range anxiety turned into temperature anxiety. With the sun about to set, the temperature outside started to drop quickly. First 14C, then 13C, now it was 12C. For safety, I changed to a quieter back road that allowed me to reduce the speed to 40 Km/h for about 17 Km, while also shortening the distance that I still had to get through.

The final 12 Km were fairly easy, even though I had to go on regular 80 Km/h roads with only one bar left. The “guessometer” was estimating a range of 29 Km so I could safely raise the speed to 65-70 Km/h without any problems. When the estimated range dropped to 20 Km, the last bar started to blink and the center display changed to “battery level is low”. Fortunately, I was only 5 Km from home. I arrived there safely with 15 Km of range to spare.

Back at home with 15 Km to spare.


Final report:
– Max speed 65 Km/h, down to 40-50 Km/h in city areas, 40 Km/h for 17 Km.
– 15C, dry road, no wind
– Climate control off
– 166 Km driven
– 1:10h level-one charge (extra ~10 Km)
– Ended with 1 bar left, low battery alarm, 15 Km range
– Estimated total range, without the level one charge: 171 Km

LEAF on snow tires


Additional notes:
– Back at home, recharging from less than 10% to 80% took exactly 4 hours. I know for a fact that charging from 80 to 100% takes 1.5 hours, which brings the total to 5.5 hours. I really don’t know where the advertised 7 hours recharge time comes from.
– The tires I got were the Michelin X-ICE XI2 205/55R16.
– The name of the tire store is Bill’s Tire Center, 1000 Patterson St, Ogdensburg, NY (315) 393-7660. Great people and great service. Cost per tire was $133, $50 rims, $10 installation, plus a $2.50 waste tire mgmt fee. Total with taxes: US$836.04. Same service in Ottawa would cost C$1150 + HST.
– I didn’t install tire pressure sensors inside the snow tires so now I get this yellow alarm on the display. Not sure if there’s a way to disable the alarm. A set of pressure sensors costs $290 at the dealer. Maybe I’ll get some next winter.
– Crossing into the US, I got a *lot* of questions. Not about me, but about the car!

Meeting the Tesla, the Volt and another Leaf!

I went to my second EVCO meeting last night. I knew a demo Volt from a local GM dealer would be there, and maybe the Tesla, owned by Doug George (the first Tesla in Canada), but I was really surprised to finally another privately owned Nissan LEAF nearby, the second one delivered in Ottawa!

The first two Nissan LEAFs delivered in Ottawa


Darren and his wife took delivery of their nice looking ocean blue Leaf about a week ago. Having the two LEAFs side-by-side was a great sight.

The LEAF and the Tesla side-by-side. Wanna race? 🙂


The star of the night was really the Tesla. I had never seen one “in person” and it’s beautiful. Doug George, who I knew from a previous life, as a member of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, was kind enough to give me a ride. And what a ride it was. It accelerates from 0 to 100 Km/h in about 4 seconds. The best way to describe the feeling is like going down hard on a roller coaster. First a big punch pushes you to your seat, then it keeps you there, and it keeps you, AND IT KEEPS YOU THERE. The acceleration never seems to end and you start feeling your heart pulling out of your throat.

The LEAF and the Volt.


Another first for me was also seeing the GM Volt for the first time. A local GM dealer brought a brand new one to the meeting and gave rides to the members of the EVCO. The salesperson was fairly knowledgeable about the car, but he was surprised when I asked him if he had heard the gas engine kicking in on the highway, even with the batteries still charged.

Volt under the hood: 5 Watt 30? No, 5W30 -- that's the oil cap!

I also teased the dealer about the oil cap under the hood of the Volt. I asked him what SAE 5W-30 stood for… “It must be 5 Watts, right? But what’s the minus 30?” He explained that was where the oil for the gas engine went. Oh! Oil? 🙂

Two weeks, 1,000 Km later

Time flies and it’s already been two weeks since we’ve taken delivery of our Nissan Leaf. We’ve just passed the 1,000 Km mark a couple of days ago. And not a single drop of gas!

Here’s an update of some of the events from the second week with the Leaf:

– Measuring consumption with the smart meter alone turned out to be a bit of a pain. You can do it during the week if you program the timer late at night, where you can clearly see the consumption from the charging station, but over the weekend, when you charge during the day, things get mixed up with the consumption from the rest of the house. So I threw the towel and decided to install a KWh meter right before the charging station. I contacted AeroVironment and they recommended the same manufacturer Bill Clendinning is planning to use (link below). I ordered the one with remote access, just for the fun of it. It shipped during the week, just hoping it doesn’t get stuck in customs…

http://www.kwhmeters.com/EKM-25IDS-N_v.2.html

– I got an offer for my old car, which I’ve been trying to sell for about a week. The most frustrating part is having to take the old car to work some days to do things like safety inspection and minor repairs, and not being able to drive the Leaf! If everything goes well, the sale should go through before the end of the week. (already got a deposit).

– Yesterday I was tempted to take the Leaf on a range anxiety adventure, but we decided it would be too risky, so we took the Corolla instead. The drive was from Kanata to the Lusk Cave Trail at Lac Philippe, 70.5 Km each way, about half over highways (417 in Ontario and 5 in Quebec). We could have avoided the highways turning it into an 80 Km trip each way. That would have been much more reasonable in terms of range, but it would have added at least an extra hour each way, a problem since we were travelling with other friend driving their (cough) gas-powered cars. If only we had charging stations at the park…

– I sent some feedback to Nissan about the Carwings notification. The unplugged reminder is nice but can be annoying especially when it starts crying wolf. For example, today I unplugged the Leaf in order to open up some space in the garage. The Leaf was fully charged. Nevertheless, Carwings sent me a notification saying the Leaf was “currently parked near a preferred trickle/normal charging station but not plugged in to charge.” Clearly, the software should be a bit smarter to realize it’s ok to keep a fully charged car unpluged. I sent the feedback to Neetika Sathe and she promptly forwarded it to a resident expert on Carwings.

Some ballpark cost numbers I was able to gather so far:
– It costs us $2 to drive 100 Km with the Leaf.
– To drive the same distance in the city, our Corolla would need 8 liters of gas, or $10.
– That means we save $8 for each 100 Km we drive.
– Or $80 per 1,000 Km
– Or $800 per 10,000 Km.
– We’re on our way to drive at least 20,000 Km per year. Our Corolla would need at least 3 oil changes to drive that much, at $50 a pop. In total we’ll be saving $1,750 each year, which is quite impressive.