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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Nissan Leaf Update I

I took that picture of an oil slick in the street in front of my house left by a car that had parked there for less than an hour. This is another advantage electric cars have. That oil washed down a drain ten feet away and from there into a lake just a few blocks away.

The tar shingles on your roof dump a lot of petroleum products into lakes and streams as well. See Reflective Metal Roofing--Cost Effective Guilt Relief.I didn't drive my Leaf for the three days Seattle was shut down by a two inches of snow (watch that video). I just didn't want to worry about getting stuck somewhere and running low on power. I drove my wife's Prius ; ).

A month ago I made the unspeakably stupid mistake of overextending my car's range. I had programmed the car to charge only to 80%. The next morning my daughter wanted a ride to a nearby city but it turned out that she wanted a ride well past that city into the countryside for a 4H meeting. I didn't have enough to get us home even though I plugged in for the two hours we were there. I had to stop at a Nissan dealer and call my wife to pick up our daughter. I went to a bar to eat, drink, and watch basketball until the car had enough charge to get me home.

Lesson learned ...charge the car all the way. You never know when you will need it.

The Blink 240 volt charger that I got for free for letting the DOE monitor my energy use over the internet craps out fails to perform as designed a few times a month. I have to unplug it to get it to reset and then recalibrate the screen. It has never stopped working during a charge cycle. The problem is that it won't start charging. Don't plug it in and walk away without making sure you have blinking blue lights above your dash.

My local Fred Meyers store has two 120 volt chargers. I use the parking spaces but never bother with the charger because it isn't worth a few cents of electricity.

A few weeks ago both spots were taken up by Leafs. The security guard told me that they regularly park their cars there all day and sometimes all night. Apparently there are some idiots citizens out there with Leafs who didn't buy chargers for them.

The temperatures have been dropping below freezing and of course the car range is dropping, as it does for all cars in cold weather. My range has not been impacted significantly. I may have 20-30 percent left in my battery by the end of my commute and errands on a typical day in instead of 40 percent or so. The car has had no maintenance issues.

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  1. So, you don't have a foldable ebike that you can throw in the back as a backup? Or have a AAA premium membership card for up to 4 200 mile tows a year? But, of course you can ride with the tow truck driver too. :-)

    How are you ebike projects coming?

  2. LOL ...

    You can see the latest iteration of my bike here:
    Electric Bicycles Unite!

  3. Surprised to hear that some Leaf owners don't have chargers and charge at Myers. I imagine that could get kind of incovenient.

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