Living with the Leaf. Part one

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 Well, at least for a week…

I got a Nisan Leaf to test drive this week. And I thought I would try to write a little bit about my daily experience with it.
I am not the perfect candidate to own one since I do not live in a house. ( As I used to…)
My building in Hollywood does not have parking, so I rent a space in a nearby lot.
But as far as I know, that lot does not have anything to plug in an electric car.
I am also working free lance these days, so can’t “plug it at work” either…
So what to do???

I was considering plugging it overnight at a friend’s place. But the car would still be too far from a plug.

On that note, after going on a few EV forums, I found out that quite a few people are actually using extension cords to plug their cars.
Something Nissan is telling people NOT to do. So I guess I won’t…

 This was the status this morning. The car was delivered with 64 miles left on the battery.
Did a few small things in the neighborhood, and now it’s 53. (Although it does say I did 13.8 miles since I got it…)
The beginning or range anxiety…

Should I go to the Grove, get lunch and a movie while the car is plugged in?

 Some strange little thing I noticed. This seat heater switch on the side of the front passenger seat.
It actually controls the heater for the rear seat.

Kind of a weird location…

Just found this on the lot. Hope it works. Not sure if it is 120 or 240…

It was kinda cold when I got up this morning…

Conversation 6 comments

  1. This planets First ever all electric, mass produced car. Awesome Nissan. No tailpipe. No emissions.

  2. The Leaf is not a real car. Its a failed science experiment. The Volt proves that this type of car only works if you strap an ICE to it. Or spend real money and get a Tesla that has a decent range and performance.

  3. We got rid of our minivan and sedan for a Leaf and a Prius. Not to mention I live in Georgia and got an additional $5,000 from the state to lease the Leaf for 2 years. Sure you can always add additional range, but at a price. The Leaf was designed to meet the daily needs of the typical city commuter all while being able to use a regular 120v 20amp outlet. Sure 240 is nice, but it's not necessary for the target Leaf driver. All the critics and nay-sayers are not the target market. It has a real trunk and has more torque than any regular compact car out there. We have a Prius for when we do need range. For Lowes or Home Depot large purchases, we rent their truck for $20 or pay for delivery. For long road trips where we need space, we rent from the local rental car place 2-3 times a year. The whole idea is that most people use their cars by themselves for 90% or more of their normal trips and need a minivan or SUV on an exception basis. The issue is that most individuals can only afford one car at a time. But for a family with multiple vehicles, this is an ideal vehicle to have.

  4. I don't think there's any question that there is a market for this type of car. But the Leaf in particular has underperformed, and does not have the usable range that really works without constant oversight. An architect/contractor friend who gets tax incentives for driving green cars, traded in his Prius (which he hated since day one) for a Leaf. We never could make the Leaf fit in to our routine because the range was too unreliable and didn't provided the net range that was advertised. A Tesla was too extravagant and too expensive for a work vehicle. Having had a bad experience in the 80s with Chevy, he begrudgingly sold the Leaf bought a Volt. Even though he swears he'll never buy another Chevy, he loves the Volt and doesn't really consider it a Chevy. The logos are even painted black because he thinks gold looks trashy. And the gas engine very rarely ever has to run. But it's infinitely more flexible should he need to make unexpected site visits. When we drove in his Leaf, we were constantly tethered by the limited range that it delivered.

    I'm glad that the evolution of these vehicles is continuing, and that these electric and electric hybrid vehicles are getting better all the time.

  5. I don't get how the gas engine could never turn on yet your worried about range anxiety in the leaf??

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