barsad22
Posts: 122
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:16 pm
Delivery Date: 17 Feb 2011
Location: Berkeley, CA

Disappointment with battery capacity and "Nissan miles"

Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:20 pm

Leaf owners and future owners --
I am not a Leaf-hater -- I've seen way too much complaining in these forums, so I want to say up front that this is a fantastic, revolutionary car, no matter how much Nissan oversold expectations. We are driving revolutionary vehicles, and we should appreciate it. Yes, the heat takes longer to warm the car, deal with it people!
That said, Nissan really has gone too far in its posted battery capacity and range expectations. They are much lower than advertised.
I drove off the dealership lot with 93 "miles" (owners know what I mean by "miles" instead of miles), but I have not seen that number since. 100 percent charge will get me 75-80 miles in non-Eco mode, and maybe 85 in Eco mode as I drive away from home. An 80 percent charge -- which apparently now is the RECOMMENDED daily charge to keep your battery as fresh as possible (news to me until I bought this thing) -- will only get you 70, maybe a few more in Eco mode.
How, then, can Nissan say that a full charge starts at 100 miles? We have a battery that at full capacity is about 20 percent less than what was advertised. Maybe the car's price should be 20 percent lower also? :)
As far as range goes, I have started to measure this by real miles vs. "Nissan miles." I think this is a more useful measure than detailing five or six different factors that will affect your range (wind resistance, climate control, blah blah). A Nissan mile is the unit that goes down (and up!) on this useless gauge we have in the car. That mile might equal half a real mile, or even .75 real miles, but it is almost never equivalent to a real (or road) mile.
My estimates now, with my limited driving time, is that you have to take your Nissan miles, subtract about 10 or even 20-25 miles depending on where you're driving and how many people you're carrying, and THEN you have a real range to talk about. What this means in practice is that the car has a realistic range of 50 miles on the highway, going real speeds (55 mph for your highway estimates Nissan? come on). One real world example: I start with an 80 percent charge from Berkeley, thinking it is plenty to get me into San Francisco and back. The trip (including all side trips) is only 41 real road miles. I start with 69 on the gauge, I return with FOUR miles, and nearly in "turtle mode." Whew. That's a -24 real miles to "Nissan miles" difference.
To be honest, I'm OK with 50 miles, especially since I get more like 70 when I'm off the highway. But I'm not OK with Nissan's overblown estimates that they are passing through their naive sales people in order to sell more cars. They HAVE people lined up to buy this car -- by overselling this, they are risking severe backlash once buyers realize that they have paid 40K for a car that goes 50 miles, instead of 100.
I would like to hear from other people to see if my battery capacity issues are common or maybe it's just my charger and particular car? I'd also like to hear from anyone who might know how much more battery degradation occurs when you charge at 100 percent every day, instead of the 80 percent recommended charge. I have yet to hear from Nissan about this, even though I've asked. My wife has a 50 mile commute that is too risky to do on an 80 percent charge. Again, real range estimates from Nissan would have made me think twice.

Josh
Last edited by barsad22 on Wed Feb 23, 2011 6:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
2011 red Nissan Leaf SL L3
Delivered 2/17/11
Aerovironment home charger

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mwalsh
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Re: Disappointment with battery capacity and "Nissan miles"

Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:34 pm

I think we need to know some more about your driving before we comment. Using the heater while you drive; driving over 65mph; having adverse terrain (hills) to tackle on your commute; or any combination of the aforementioned would really kill you range-wise. Do any apply?
2011 Blue Ocean SL with 54,400 miles; ~186 Gids; 9 bars; 50-55 miles per charge.
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EVDRIVER
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Re: Disappointment with battery capacity and "Nissan miles"

Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:38 pm

Yes the 80% battery capacity is a bit of a bait and switch and they don't really describe what happens if you don't. It sounds like this is your first EV, if it's not I would think you would not have these issues with the actual range. When this forum started I mentioned these range estimates were unrealistic and would vary greatly with each driver and conditions. No surprises here for those reading the forums and owners of EVs but I do think Nissan has been quite deceptive in some areas and still are with pack capacity life and how their unofficial claims are attained. 50 miles seems a bit off though.

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Jimmydreams
Posts: 1500
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Leaf Number: 0175
Location: Oceanside, Ca.
Contact: Website

Re: Disappointment with battery capacity and "Nissan miles"

Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:40 pm

barsad22 wrote:Leaf owners and future owners --
I am not a Leaf-hater -- I've seen way too much complaining in these forums, so I want to say up front that this is a fantastic, revolutionary car, no matter how much Nissan oversold expectations. We are driving revolutionary vehicles, and we should appreciate it. Yes, the heat takes longer to warm the car, deal with it people!
That said, Nissan really has gone too far in its posted battery capacity and range expectations. They are much lower than advertised.
I drove off the dealership lot with 93 "miles" (owners know what I mean by "miles" instead of miles), but I have not seen that number since. 100 percent charge will get me 75-80 miles in non-Eco mode, and maybe 85 in Eco mode as I drive away from home. An 80 percent charge -- which apparently now is the RECOMMENDED daily charge to keep your battery as fresh as possible (news to me until I bought this thing) -- will only get you 70, maybe a few more in Eco mode.
How, then, can Nissan say that a full charge starts at 100 miles? We have a battery that at full capacity is about 20 percent less than what was advertised. Maybe the car's price should be 20 percent lower also? :)
As far as range goes, I have started to measure this by real miles vs. "Nissan miles." I think this is a more useful measure than detailing five or six different factors that will effect your range (wind resistance, climate control, blah blah). A Nissan mile is the unit that goes down (and up!) on this useless gauge we have in the car. That mile might equal half a real mile, or even .75 real miles, but it is almost never equivalent to a real (or road) mile.
My estimates now, with my limited driving time, is that you have to take your Nissan miles, subtract about 10 or even 20-25 miles depending on where you're driving and how many people you're carrying, and THEN you have a real range to talk about. What this means in practice is that the car has a realistic range of 50 miles on the highway, going real speeds (55 mph for your highway estimates Nissan? come on). One real world example: I start with an 80 percent charge from Berkeley, thinking it is plenty to get me into San Francisco and back. The trip (including all side trips) is only 41 real road miles. I start with 69 on the gauge, I return with FOUR miles, and nearly in "turtle mode." Whew. That's a -24 real miles to "Nissan miles" difference.
To be honest, I'm OK with 50 miles, especially since I get more like 70 when I'm off the highway. But I'm not OK with Nissan's overblown estimates that they are passing through their naive sales people in order to sell more cars. They HAVE people lined up to buy this car -- by overselling this, they are risking severe backlash once buyers realize that they have paid 40K for a car that goes 50 miles, instead of 100.
I would like to hear from other people to see if my battery capacity issues are common or maybe it's just my charger and particular car? I'd also like to hear from anyone who might know how much more battery degradation occurs when you charge at 100 percent every day, instead of the 80 percent recommended charge. I have yet to hear from Nissan about this, even though I've asked. My wife has a 50 mile commute that is too risky to do on a 100 percent charge. Again, real range estimates from Nissan would have made me think twice.

Josh


Josh...

I think your expectations and Nissans are different, I'll grant you that. But you need to examine your driving behavior before you can say Nissan is "overblowing" their estimates. They freely admit at highway speeds your range is 60-70. I have over 2700 miles on my leaf and that's very accurate.

Highway speed kills range, so does hills. I commute 63 miles rt each day on 100% charge and make it just fine......but I ALSO don't drive my Leaf like I would an ICE. I drive 65mph max, and use regen whenever possible. I do NOT use ECO mode because I've trained myself to drive just as efficiently without it. Have you tried using ECO mode for an entire trip? My guess is no, you drive your Leaf like an ICE, and wonder where the numbers went. I routinely get in my car at work with 40 "miles" remaining, drive 32 miles home, and pull into the driveway with 20 "miles" remaining. That math doesn't add up, but its in my favor. It's all in how you drive the car. When I drive it locally with limited or no highway miles, the "miles" number and real miles are very close.

Nissan freely admits their mileage numbers are based off of the LA4 driving scenario. Try charging to 100% and driving around between 30-40mph. I'll bet you see real range numbers at 80-90 or better.

If you seriously drive the car like it needs to be driven and have taken every precaution to maximize your range, then you have legitimate complaints with Nissan. If you haven't, then I would argue that you're not giving the car enough of a chance.
JimmyD
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smkettner
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Re: Disappointment with battery capacity and "Nissan miles"

Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:53 pm

My F150 is the same way. If I load it to rated capacity with an RV trailer it only gets half the expected EPA mileage.
I have to drive it real nice including lower than the speed limit on the freeway to get the mileage stated on the sticker.

Leaf may well be more sensitive to inefficient driving syle. And with less range it gets to be an issue quickly.
I am not sure this should be unexpected.
1 bar lost at 21,451 miles, 16 months.
2 bar lost at 35,339 miles, 25 months.
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malloryk
Posts: 616
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Leaf Number: 226
Location: Santa Monica, CA

Re: Disappointment with battery capacity and "Nissan miles"

Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:55 pm

Because I had done a lot of research ahead of time, I was fully expecting to get between 65-100 miles of range depending on driving behavior. I also took into account my actual driving needs. For me, it's still the perfect car out there. But it's not for everyone.
Previous Leaf SL w/QC Owner
Current CMAX Energi (302A Package) Owner
Santa Monica

Reserved 4/20; ordered 8/31; took delivery on 1/8/11, returned on 11/26/13; purchased from Fontana Nissan and returned to Gardena Nissan

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GeekEV
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Leaf Number: 0308
Location: NorCal, USA

Re: Disappointment with battery capacity and "Nissan miles"

Wed Feb 23, 2011 3:26 pm

I've also found it helpful to focus less on the stated miles than on the rate at which its dropping. Or just look at the "gas gauge", much like you would in an ICE car. Even ICE cars that estimate miles remaining are sketchy. There's just so many variables. Though, like others, I've found it to be pretty accurate on surface streets with the climate control off.

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Ready2plugin
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Re: Disappointment with battery capacity and "Nissan miles"

Wed Feb 23, 2011 3:27 pm

On Monday morning after a full charge, my range stated 106 "nissan miles". On Tuesday my starting range was 92. I drove 60 miles that day and returned home with 4 bars and 30 "nissan miles" remaining. On Tuesday after the same 60 miles I had 4 bars and 30 "nissan miles" again when I got home. The 106 was overstated because I do short, slow trips around town during the weekend. My 60 mile commute is probably 50% freeway speeds (65), I preheat then leave my Climate set at 71 in the morning. Climate control is usually off on the way home. I'm doing pretty much what I expected range wise with my LEAF. I expect my battery capacity will cause this to go down in the future, but hopefully my skill at driving an EV will increase in maximizing my range, so I don't think it will be a factor for quite some time. I'm very happy with my LEAF...

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turbo2ltr
Posts: 1360
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Leaf Number: 185
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Disappointment with battery capacity and "Nissan miles"

Wed Feb 23, 2011 3:39 pm

While I agree with you about finding out they recommend 80% charge, I think they published range figures are accurate.

http://www.nissanusa.com/leaf-electric- ... imer/index
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Essiemme
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Re: Disappointment with battery capacity and "Nissan miles"

Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:16 pm

Dear Josh, I'd do this simple test:

Use your favorite ICE car, let it drain out it's fuel almost completly, then put the same ammount of fuel into it, equivalent to an electricity full-charge in the Leaf. How many $ do you spend there for a full electricity charge ?

Take that ICE out and drive it the very same way you drove the Leaf.

Tell us how many miles you were able to travel.

Thanks.
Essiemme
Portugal /Europe

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