leaf-no-charge-home

In January of 2015, my Nissan LEAF ran out of charge 400 meters from my house — and I had to run a long extension cord into someone’s kitchen window in order to charge it enough to get home. It has been my only car for three years now.

So, there’s a conversation going on on Facebook on the Nissan LEAF Owners Page about the 2018 Nissan LEAF, set to be unveiled to the public in just about a week on Sept. 8.

Much of the conversation is about the anticipated range of the 2018 LEAF. Many people are writing that a 40 kWh battery pack and 150 miles will be “enough”. Others are writing, ‘No way, 150 miles is NOT enough!’

I agree with the latter group. And I’m annoyed with the former group, because I am willing to bet 99 percent of this group lives in a TWO-car household — with one of those two cars a LEAF “with enough range” except, oops, “when I want to go on mid-to-long-range trips. Then, I hop into my SECOND car, a stinky ICE — fill in the brand name here — and I get there, no problemo!”



They get “there” not because the LEAF has “enough range” (for blah, blah, blah, 90 percent of their driving, blah, blah, blah) but because it does NOT have enough range to cover 100 percent of their driving needs, which, of course necessitates their second car, almost invariably an ICE (or Volt, or Model S in far fewer households).

It’s just plain ANNOYING to read these two-car household LEAF owners write endlessly about how 84 miles, or 150 miles with the new “improved” LEAF — is “enough.”

No, not really. Not even for the advocates is it enough — or they would be living in a one-car LEAF household, not an EV/ICE household. The EV, single car only, household is fundamentally different than the EV + ICE household. I know: I’ve been living in a LEAF only household for the past three years (and I’ve run out of charge twice in my “enough range” LEAF during that time, btw 😉 )

The people in EV + ICE households ought to admit as much when they comment about an EV “having enough range”. Yes, it has “enough range” —when I have a gas car as well that I can jump into to take trips that, ahem, the LEAF in fact does NOT have enough range for me to do in it.”

So, please, qualify next time you assert that a LEAF with 84 miles or 150 miles, or even — I hope! — 200+ miles has “enough range”. Yes, it has enough for SOME people (with two cars, one of them an ICE) in SOME places and for SOME (maybe even all, but also NOT necessarily all) of their driving.

Thank you 🙂

6 Responses

  1. Patrick C

    Everyone’s statements are qualified with an implicit “for me”, as in “it is enough range for me”. There is no reason for you to be annoyed with either group. This is why the market needs more options, so people can buy the car that meets *their* needs. For some the 24 kWh pack was enough. The bigger the pack is the more people can call it enough, but generally that costs more, so people find a way to make it work in the few cases where it isn’t enough. You list one way people may deal with these cases, but maybe they take a bus, or use Tesloop, or use Uber Electric, or borrow a relatives Tesla for the day… If you want to be an advocate then I think “annoyed” is not the emotion to go to. Try curious, concerned, or helpful.

    Reply
    • SolarChargedDriving (@solarcharge_it)

      Good points. But I don’t think “everyone” embeds the “implicit” “enough range for me”. Some people might but not everyone. It is a very unique issue that never comes up with gas cars: You would never have someone in a single car gas household asking “Does this ICE have enough range to be a car in a single household.” That only comes to the fore for electrics, especially those with less range. The more range the car has, the less most people (some people can get by with 84 miles of range) will be forced to combine a pure EV with a second gas car. A much better charging infrastructure — one that mirrors the Supercharger approach by Tesla — that actually extended low(er) range EVs into mid to long-range cars would also change in a big way. That infrastructure is missing in large swaths of the USA, and globally. As long as households rely on 1 EV + 1 ICE, EVs will not be taken seriously as a true threat to replace ICEs. Just sayin’…

      Reply
      • Patrick C

        A “one EV and one ICE” household might be a great solution for many households today given the state of the tech and the infrastructure (as you point out there are some big gaps). Similar issues do some come up with gas cars, just in other ways. The same car that you would want to take to the track or for a weekend driving on a winding road is not that same one that would be good for moving furniture or hauling lumber.

        I don’t think a “one EV and one ICE” household means that EVs won’t be taken seriously. We started out in that boat and it was the gateway drug. There are more longer range EV options coming each year.

  2. Tabot (@AzZenCyclist)

    I agree with you! 2 points, 1) We are a 1 car family and that is why we have waited for the Tesla Model 3. 2) If the rumors are true the leaf is supposed to offer a 60 kWh battery pack around the beginning of the year.

    Reply
    • Christof Demont-Heinrich

      So, now that Nissan has announced the 60 kWh pack won’t be out for another 15-18 months, just curious about what you will do. I have abandoned Nissan, and have just started leasing a Chevy Bolt. 3 1/2 years without good solid range is enough for me. I don’t want to wait any longer. That said, I will miss the interior of my LEAF in particular, as it is relatively spacious, comfy and well-designed. The Bolt is a nice car, but interior does not measure up to the LEAF in my mind.

      Reply

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