TBL
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New Owner, first EV, Looking for general suggestions

Thu Apr 16, 2020 2:17 pm

Last month, I picked up a '19 SL plus. I changed jobs recently and the 60-70 mile commute daily was burning up a lot of gas. I live in southwest Tennessee so the summers will get really hot ~90-105 at the peak. Anyway, I bought the Leaf as I was looking for more affordable than Tesla (not to mention the complete lack of service options here) as well as something I could drive with minimal worry. I'm a techie by trade but I don't have any interest in having to focus on squeezing every drop of power out of the car to commute. Thus I upgraded to the plus. I also have a 240v 50A plug in my garage that I installed for my rarely-visiting sister's RV. All-in-all, I'm very happy over the last month. But...
1. Will charging from ~62% nightly be very bad for the battery pack?
2. I wish Nissan had sprung for water cooling the batteries, will this be a big issue in the southern heat?
3. Any other suggestions?

LeftieBiker
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Re: New Owner, first EV, Looking for general suggestions

Thu Apr 16, 2020 2:52 pm

Welcome.

1. Charging to 100% is ok if you time it so that charging ends right before you leave. Don't leave the car sitting for long at 100%, especially if it's hot outside or the pack is hot (see below). Starting from 62% charge is ok, but a lower starting state of charge (SOC) would be better.

2. If you can park the car in shade, and avoid DC Fast Charging it when hot, that will help. L-2 charging at 240 volts doesn't heat the pack much, but it does add some heat. It's the temperature of the pack that matters most, so in Summer I suggest you bring up the battery temp gauge and leave it up. Try to keep the battery temp from reaching the rightmost third of the gauge, by not charging if it's marginal, and by going easier on the accelerator as well. The 62kwh battery in the Plus is less prone to getting hot, in part because of its greater mass, and also because it is stressed less by driving and charging.
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alozzy
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Re: New Owner, first EV, Looking for general suggestions

Thu Apr 16, 2020 2:54 pm

Welcome to the club :-) I'm hoping to own a Plus in a few more years...

You asked:

1. Will charging from ~62% nightly be very bad for the battery pack?
2. I wish Nissan had sprung for water cooling the batteries, will this be a big issue in the southern heat?
3. Any other suggestions?

I assume you are asking if charging from 62% SOC to 100% SOC will be bad for the battery. Any charging to 100% SOC, especially in heat, isn't good for the battery if you do it frequently. I would suggest instead that you try to keep the pack between 20% - 80% SOC most of the time, unless you need the extra range.

The jury is still out on the new 62 kWh packs, but I would guess it's highly unlikely that your LEAF will fair any better than older LEAFs in hot climates. The 2015 pack has so far been the best one Nissan ever produced,

One thing in your favor though, with a bigger pack, is that you will less often do deep discharges compared to owners of 24 kWh packs. If you avoid charging to 100% when it's hot and only charge overnight when it's cooler then that's about the best you can do.
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frontrangeleaf
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Re: New Owner, first EV, Looking for general suggestions

Thu Apr 16, 2020 3:29 pm

Even on the highway, you should be able to keep your charge below 80% and still have plenty of range left in the summer. Set up your charge timer to be home aware, (optional checkbox), and to finish in the morning before you leave. In winter you may want to adjust a bit.

I would think you should be able to routinely stay between 20-80% without difficulty.

See if your local power company offers a time of use billing plan - ours offers rates as low as 8 cents a kWh overnight. Hard to beat that.

Basically, the middle of the battery charge percentage is where it's happiest. I should also note that I've never seen our battery pack temp range drift much above the middle bar, even on the hottest days, but we don't DCFC nor do many highway miles. In town even on hot day, pack stays cool in our climate (hot days, cool nights).

In town, we get 240 miles of range in the summer months without driving it like a baby carriage. It's a fun car. Enjoy.
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DougWantsALeaf
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Re: New Owner, first EV, Looking for general suggestions

Thu Apr 16, 2020 4:47 pm

Agreed with other comments.

1. Battery temp, even in hot weather rarely is an issue, unless you are doing back to back fast charging, or doing long distances above 80 mph.
2. There is some anecdotal evidence that the hot weather is less bad on the new packs vs. the previous generation packs.
3. Range gets better as temperature goes up, though not linearly. I have done over 240 miles on a charge at moderate highway speeds on warm summer days. 300 miles is doable on a charge in summer on <45mph streets if you can handle gentle acceleration and stopping. 240 is very doable.
4. Fast Charging on the Plus is significantly improved, and many of the Electrify America and new EVGO chargers will allow the plus to charge at speeds at or slightly above 75kW/hour for the first half of the charge.
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TBL
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Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2020 2:09 pm
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Re: New Owner, first EV, Looking for general suggestions

Sun Apr 19, 2020 3:21 pm

So the upside is that I have DCFCed once, when I was transporting the car home when I bought it from the next city over. However, attempting to manage the battery charging to keep it <=80% seems like a chore. For instance, I'm writing this on a Sunday. The car is parked in a garage, plugged in. It charged Sat morning. I wasn't sure of the need Sat or today, so, unfortunately, it's just sitting, fully charged in my garage awaiting need. Does the EV app allow you to set a max charge?
I do want to preserve battery life, but at the same time, I just want a car that works when I need it to.
It's a bit frustrating to think that I cannot just get home, plug it in, and unplug to use the next morning.
I do have the charging set to start at midnight for no particular reason, and one morning, it wasn't fully charged, but plenty to get me through my next day. As I bought new, I figure I'll need a new battery pack before the 8yr warranty expires.
And where I live electricity costs between $0.072 and $0.073/kWh no matter what time, it only changes if you go over a certain kWh per month. I think it goes to the lower $0.072 at a certain usage, but I don't recall exactly as the variance was so low as not to matter.

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jlv
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Re: New Owner, first EV, Looking for general suggestions

Mon Apr 20, 2020 6:58 am

TBL wrote:
Sun Apr 19, 2020 3:21 pm
I do want to preserve battery life, but at the same time, I just want a car that works when I need it to.
It's a bit frustrating to think that I cannot just get home, plug it in, and unplug to use the next morning.
You bought the wrong brand of EV to leave fully charged in the hot TN summer climate, because of the lack of thermal management in the LEAF's battery pack.
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Learjet
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Re: New Owner, first EV, Looking for general suggestions

Mon Apr 20, 2020 7:30 am

The car will show you how long to charge to 75%

the numbers are missing on my pic below...because it is fully charged...you can also set the rate of charge...6.6 kw etc so the displayed estimate is correct for the intended charge level.

Image

so if it show 5 hours needed to get to 75%....just set the timer for 12:00 am to 5:00 am and tweak as necessary.
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Learjet
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Re: New Owner, first EV, Looking for general suggestions

Mon Apr 20, 2020 7:31 am

jlv wrote:
Mon Apr 20, 2020 6:58 am
TBL wrote:
Sun Apr 19, 2020 3:21 pm
I do want to preserve battery life, but at the same time, I just want a car that works when I need it to.
It's a bit frustrating to think that I cannot just get home, plug it in, and unplug to use the next morning.
You bought the wrong brand of EV to leave fully charged in the hot TN summer climate.
WOW! from a moderator?
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WetEV
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Re: New Owner, first EV, Looking for general suggestions

Mon Apr 20, 2020 7:32 am

TBL wrote:
Sun Apr 19, 2020 3:21 pm
So the upside is that I have DCFCed once, when I was transporting the car home when I bought it from the next city over. However, attempting to manage the battery charging to keep it <=80% seems like a chore. For instance, I'm writing this on a Sunday. The car is parked in a garage, plugged in. It charged Sat morning. I wasn't sure of the need Sat or today, so, unfortunately, it's just sitting, fully charged in my garage awaiting need. Does the EV app allow you to set a max charge?
I do want to preserve battery life, but at the same time, I just want a car that works when I need it to.
It's a bit frustrating to think that I cannot just get home, plug it in, and unplug to use the next morning.
I do have the charging set to start at midnight for no particular reason, and one morning, it wasn't fully charged, but plenty to get me through my next day. As I bought new, I figure I'll need a new battery pack before the 8yr warranty expires.
And where I live electricity costs between $0.072 and $0.073/kWh no matter what time, it only changes if you go over a certain kWh per month. I think it goes to the lower $0.072 at a certain usage, but I don't recall exactly as the variance was so low as not to matter.
One of the failings of the LEAF (after 2013) is the lack of a maximum charge level setting. The timer can often be used in place of this.

Batteries have two wear out modes, calendar life and cycle life. To slow calendar life loss, the charge level needs to be lower over long periods of time. Going above 80% is OK, as long as you don't stay there long. To minimize cycle loss, avoiding low charge levels (~30%) is key, and time below a given charge level doesn't matter much.

I used to commute in my 24kWh LEAF, and would charge to about 80% by having a timer set to charge for an hour. If the car was near or below 50%, I'd plug in when I got home and unplug the next day. You might do the same thing with a three hour window, assuming a 6kW charge rate and a 60kWh battery.
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