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redLEAF
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Delivery Date: 23 Dec 2011
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Prejudice and Range: A Michiganders dilema

Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:31 am

kubel wrote:Our average low in January (our coldest month) is around 15F. It will occasionally dip below that, but very cold conditions typically only occur in high pressure and low humidity, so it rarely snows when it's extremely cold (kind of opposite of what most warm-climate folks think). So I guess we can consider that a blessing that extreme cold and extreme snow don't usually happen together.

I'll have a gas car for longer trips or cases when I expect more than an inch or two of snow, or extreme low temperatures. But I'm hoping to keep it parked most of the year if possible.

I also have the benefit of working a shift that lets me avoid rush hour traffic (my commute time is between 10AM-11AM, and 8PM-9PM), so traffic jams rarely occur, and snow that has accumulated overnight is typically cleared from main roads by that time.

So it looks like it all boils down to whether or not I can convince management to allow me to plug in at work. 8 hours of 120V should give me close to 40 miles, correct?

I think what I need is a demo car. Will they loan them out for a couple days?


+1 with those extra's (2nd car, maybe charge at work) even here in Chicago with about the same conditions we've been fine but only after we mastered using the ECO versus D mode. On really cold days we'll preheat the car while charging in the garage which helps and just about max out the available range on the weekends when we drive the most. Most dealer's in the midwest will typically only have a single demo so doubt they would give you it for more than a few hours; we test drove a CT200h which was in short supply (still is) so had to have the rep with me (if I wanted a RX450h would not have been a problem). Not aware of any LEAF rentals yet out our way, but have heard mention of Volt rentals; would be worth it to check in your area if you're on the fence. This winter has been on the mild side anyway, but we only stretch the range on the weekends so we're not in the same expected usage as you might be. Can tell you that our total gas use has dropped quite a bit -- just got our first full month electric bill and we spent about $12 on electric versus $130 on gas for the vehicle (an '06 Mazda3 which averaged 24 MPG) that was pretty fuel efficient, but the more interesting aspect is that the bigger ICE (VW Routan w/ 4.0 L -- 16 to 17 around town) stays parked even more so total gas use went from $307 to $176 (of course gas is more expensive as well) so who knows how much we're saving; yours would be more.
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lukati
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Re: Prejudice and Range: A Michiganders dilema

Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:02 am

kubel wrote:I'll have a gas car for longer trips or cases when I expect more than an inch or two of snow, or extreme low temperatures. But I'm hoping to keep it parked most of the year if possible.

I also have the benefit of working a shift that lets me avoid rush hour traffic (my commute time is between 10AM-11AM, and 8PM-9PM), so traffic jams rarely occur, and snow that has accumulated overnight is typically cleared from main roads by that time.


I think your commute is eminently doable if you want it to be. I live in a Chicago suburb and drive ~50 miles RT to work with no recharging. Since early December I have charged to 100% exactly three times and experienced "low battery warning" four times. (I have never been even close to "very low battery warning"). On a typical winter day I charge overnight to 80% and set the preheat timer to my departure time. I drive with radiant heat only and arrive at work with ~50% SOC and get home with ~20% SOC. When it was really cold I preheated for about sixty-seventy minutes or charged to 100%. The only day I was struggling was in heavy snowfall and crawling traffic. Melting snow on the windshield uses quite a bit of juice and slow traffic just means that you have to do it for a long time. Now I leave work either early or late when there is heavy snowfall. My advice would be to get to know the car during the spring/summer/fall, practice efficient driving so you know how to do it should you have to, scout out alternative routes and charging stations, and come winter keep you coat on and avoid rush hour traffic in heavy snowfall. I think you might be surprised how little use you will have for your gas car.

thankyouOB
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Re: Prejudice and Range: A Michiganders dilema

Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:27 am

i am doing my taxes and came on the AMEX account that my partner and I use to buy gas.
She spent 2k plus in 2011 on her card.
I spent regularly through April, then not a dime.
I saved at least 1600 bucks.

I look forward to next year.
with PV on the roof, our biggest bill this year with the car was $5.13 for the two-month bill for December and January.
may reserve/delivery 4/30/11
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ECOtality/LADWP/ Blink 4/4/11
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red SL with etec L3
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Volusiano
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Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Prejudice and Range: A Michiganders dilema

Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:54 am

I think if you charge to 100% and pre-heat your car in the morning then your 53 mile commute in the cold should not be an issue. As you know the car better and know how much range is left after your commute from 100% charge for a while, you can then determine whether you can reduce the charge down to 80% or not.

Even if you have to use 100% charge most of the winter time for your commute, when the weather gets milder and in 6 months out of the year, you should be able to do the 80% charge. So it's not like you'll always stuck at doing 100% charge for your commute all year long.

With gas nearing $4 a gallon, it should make your decision to get a Leaf even easier now. Just wait until the end of this year and compare your fuel cost with your dad and see who gets the last laugh.

As for the Leaf being butt ugly, that's just a personal preference, and while I don't find the Leaf looking attractive, it doesn't look ugly to me either. It just looks different, appropriate for being a special and different kind of car. Those headlights are designed that way (bulging out) not just for fun, but to maximize areodynamic.

kubel
Posts: 1609
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Location: Southeast Michigan

Re: Prejudice and Range: A Michiganders dilema

Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:01 pm

Volusiano wrote:With gas nearing $4 a gallon, it should make your decision to get a Leaf even easier now. Just wait until the end of this year and compare your fuel cost with your dad and see who gets the last laugh.


Last time I filled up my tank, I paid $3.99/gal. $70 total. And it wasn't even on E. That will last me less than a week with my car since it's a gas guzzler (Ford Crown Victoria). This may sound strange to some people (particularly environmentalists) and may sound stupid to everyone else, but part of the reason why I allowed myself to buy this car was because I knew that it would be the last gas car I would own, and that as soon as gas started going over $4/gal, the transition to an EV would be so much easier for me to accept.

I spoke with my dad again today. He said, "So, are you seriously thinking about buying that LEAF". He then went on to explain that since GM stopped production of the Volt, that it shows that demand for EVs may be dying, and that plugin stations might die off and I would be left with a car that I can't plug in. (wut?) My response was something like, "Well, even if all public charging stations got bulldozed, I would still just plug it in at night, use it during the day, and plug it back in when I go to bed- just like a cell phone."

I don't know if he gets it. I'm totally ready to accept the change. I'm sure I could suffer with just heating the seat and steering wheel. Plus I'm planning on buying a house closer to work this spring or summer, which would help out immensely. :)
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hellraiser79
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Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:33 pm
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Leaf Number: 7142

Re: Prejudice and Range: A Michiganders dilema

Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:44 pm

Do not let anyone discourage you. I have had my Leaf since Jan 19th and have over 3000 miles on it already. Not once have i not made it to my destination. I have had several 100 mile plus trips on one charge. My commute to work and back including lunch is always 65-80 miles and I use the heat and drive on the highway. I was worried when i got the Leaf because it has a much smaller battery than the MINI E I had before, but it has worked perfectly. The preheating function makes it so nice to leave for work in the morning with a heated interior, seat, and steering wheel. Alot of people are haters on electric cars and they have never even driven one. I say Fine, more for us. I feel like we are in the know and we know some big secret that not many people know. Ive put 10k miles on my Geo that i converted to electric and 23k miles in one year with the MINI E, and i already have 3k miles on my 2012 Leaf. Buy your Leaf and your dad will be begging to use it when gas goes up. My dad says he will go to his grave knowing that everything we were told by the media about EVs was totally false and my MINI E and my Leaf were the two best cars he has ever driven!

KennyLewis
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Leaf Number: 18467
Location: Western Ohio

Re: Prejudice and Range: A Michiganders dilema

Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:02 pm

I just drove 70 miles at 32 degrees F in ECO mode from 100% charge. There were only a few stops to allow for regen. 35 miles were interstate at 55 mph. No climate control, with the vents closed, no seat heat. The LED headlights were on the entire trip. I am experienced driving a hybrid and trying to get the most out of it. I pulled into the garage with 4 miles showing on the GOM. My legs were cold but I made it. I probably should have stayed off the interstate to do more regen. I would not recommend trying to go any farther.
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adric22
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Re: Prejudice and Range: A Michiganders dilema

Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:09 am

kubel wrote:I'm an imminent LEAF owner, and my dads opinion on the car is the only thing causing me to give it a second thought from a range perspective. "I think it's a mistake, big inconvenience running around looking for a plug, you're not gonna like it." He also doesn't like the looks. "Ugly, bulgy headlights...". It almost feels like I'm in a different era, where my dad is some racist and I'm about to marry a girl that I'm in love with, but is of a different skin color. While there's not a hint of racism in my dad, I think he is prejudice against electric cars.


I'm not going to comment on the cold weather range, since I'm from Texas. But I just thought I'd chime in that most of my family thought I was insane for buying an electric car, especially my Dad who is in his late 60's. However, now that I've had it nearly a year without incident things are a bit different. In fact, I've hauled some of those very same skeptical family members across the metroplex in my Leaf with no incidents. My dad has even changed his mind and said he wouldn't mind having a Leaf, but since my parents only have one car he couldn't possibly make the switch because about 4 times a year they take a trip to Abilene to visit family which is like 200 miles.
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coqui
Posts: 257
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Leaf Number: 15024
Location: Charlotte, NC

Re: Prejudice and Range: A Michiganders dilema

Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:30 am

It appears your speeds/stoplights are perfect for Leaf driving; I would recommend purchase/lease of the Leaf, but would change your options a bit. Use the steering wheel heater and the seat heater freely, pre-heat while still plugged in, in the morning, and leave that car heater alone. You should be fine.

Cold weather cuts range, slush on roads cuts it some more.

Admittedly, however, as a resident of North Carolina, the coldest I've seen this winter is 18F; even then I still had 4 battery bars. You might get better advice from someone in, say, Ontario or Quebec, being a bit further north than you are. There are some Canadian Leaf'ers on this forum.

I do not have the opportunity to charge at work either, nor does my employer plan on ever installing one.

Gas just hit $4 per gal here in the Charlotte SouthPark area (popular shopping/upscale residential area), and all these Expedition drivers at work here are complaining about OVER $100 to $130 to fill up and that's assuming they can find a gas station that doesn't cut them off at $50 or $75!

Go for it!
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HighDesertDriver
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Re: Prejudice and Range: A Michiganders dilema

Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:11 am

kubel wrote:... "Well, even if all public charging stations got bulldozed, I would still just plug it in at night, use it during the day, and plug it back in when I go to bed- just like a cell phone."...
If you conclude that a Leaf will work for your commute, and have have a back-up ICE for longer drives, I think the purchase is viable. Commuting and local driving are the majority of most people's mileage and are viable with home charging. Expanded public charging would eventually be nice, but it is not required for the Leaf to make sense. In almost 6 months, our total driving has remained unchanged, but 7200 miles have been in the Leaf, 1200 in the Avalon. Aside from one tire replacement (pothole), maintenance costs have been zero.
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