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loserone

L1's fleet - Leaf+legacy, pug shenanigans

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I'm not anti the bloody things by the way, just that one must be aware when doing the maths that things can change, and whilst there isn't so much to go wrong as a modern Diesel, when the batteries and motors/controllers start to fail they ain't going to be pocket money fixes.

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Shame we don't live north of the border as there's a top up grant available to cover the whole cost.

 

 

 

 

And an interest free loan to purchase, workplace charging grants, shitloads of free public charging etc.

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Earlier in the year I was close to signing up for one of these on some sort of TCP nonsense, luckily MrsN vetoed the idea.

Why luckily?

Well , at the time MrsN and 2 of our offspring worked in the pretty much the same place , the parking was £5 per day but free for plug ins. Since then the 2 daughters have changed jobs and now work miles away and Mrs N has been promoted which means at least 2 or 3 days a week visiting other towns, today she's in Wolverhampton , tomorrow Maidstone , for example, 80 and 120 miles from us respectively.

All of which would mean the Leaf would only get used for trips to the shops a couple of times a week. Obviously I couldn't use it for work and I wouldn't use it for local running about ,because as a fully grown 53 year old male, I couldn't be seen by anyone that knows me driving a little Japanese hatchback regardless of what powers it.

 

I still like the idea of one as free* commuter, although whoever it is that thinks public charging points are free is likely to get a shock if he buys an EV.

 

 

 

Edited to add: outside of Sotland and Norway ( which is pretty much the same place) anyway.

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I'm not anti the bloody things by the way, just that one must be aware when doing the maths that things can change, and whilst there isn't so much to go wrong as a modern Diesel, when the batteries and motors/controllers start to fail they ain't going to be pocket money fixes.

 

 

 

Nissan report a 0.01% failure rate in europe on batteries, independents can strip, replace a dodgy module and then balance the pack for around £1500.

There's an inverter/charger stack which would be £1600 or so to replace and then the motor which is non contact and only has one moving part, a single speed reduction gearbox and then driveshafts.

 

If you spring for a newer Leaf, it has an 8year/100k mile warranty on all the HV bits.

Tesla, VW and BMW also give you a similar warranty with the French stuff lagging behind.

 

Gen 1 Leafs do have electronic handbrakes which seem to be the weakest bit of the entire car, I believe that L1's potential purchase is newer and doesn't have this.

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Obviously I couldn't use it for work and I wouldn't use it for local running about ,because as a fully grown 53 year old male, I couldn't be seen by anyone that knows me driving a little Japanese hatchback regardless of what powers it.

 

 

And therein, I think, lies the problem for most.

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I was offered some pretty amazing add-ons to this, including 'what we used to call gap insurance', and a warranty that would cover all mechanical parts except brakes and battery - 'so if the clutch went, for example, that would be covered' said the saleswoman.

 

'Or the timing belt', I added.

 

Cue a realisation that the warranty probably covered very little, but she still included it in the quotes, since it was only £650

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Obviously I couldn't use it for work and I wouldn't use it for local running about ,because as a fully grown 53 year old male, I couldn't be seen by anyone that knows me driving a little Japanese hatchback regardless of what powers it.

 

Have you seen one in the flesh parked up to normal vehicles? Small they are not!

 

I personally much prefer the Zoë. There are quite a few electric cars buzzing around Bristol now. Mostly Zoë, Leaf and surprising amount of Teslas.

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Picked it up this morning.  Had to go back after taking my dad round the block as the sales girl had forgotten to put a charger in it, and it then took her 20 minutes and what appeared to be a couple of manager approvals to get one, presumably from another leaf in stock.

 

Dashboard said 72 miles to empty, 30 minutes to full, so I drove 10 dual carriageway miles to work, where it said 71 miles left.  Decided not to borrow a fast charging cable and instead to see how far I got.

 

Drove home; 23 miles, now shows 41 miles remaining, 4:30 to full.  Likely to be nipping out tonight, so I've stuck it on the trickle charge with the cable hanging out the garage window, in the absence of a proper charging pod.

 

I now have a receipt for the car so can continue the order for a pod point, which is the next 'big' thing.

 

Despite not having signed anything yet, it's registered and taxed in Mrs_L1s name.  We've been asked to return in eight days time - the next convenient time for us - for Mrs_L1 to sign the invoice.  Currently debating whether that's necessary to do a 40 mile round trip in order to sign the invoice for their records, though I agreed to it when the alternative was to delay picking up the car for a week.

 

Couple of pics:

post-4015-0-07197600-1510940262_thumb.jpg

post-4015-0-60425000-1510940283_thumb.jpg

 

Yeah, it looks like a leaf.

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The guy at work with one says the heat exchanger is pish and has to use the electric heater most days so I don't think you've lost out too much there. How does it display the battery charge without the tellybox in the dash?

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The guy at work with one says the heat exchanger is pish and has to use the electric heater most days so I don't think you've lost out too much there. How does it display the battery charge without the tellybox in the dash?

 

The heat pump saves loads of power unless it's 0C or below outside.

 

What might be confusing him is the power utilisation display showing the heating drawing a lot of power when first selected. It does for a minute or two until the water in the heating circuit is up to temperature. After that it can usually keep me comfortable on just the heat-pump drawing 100W or so. Using recirculation mode and the a/c on helps a lot.

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LEAF MINER UPDATE

 

We did a few miles round and about in this over the weekend, and it was comfortable and quiet.  I plugged it in on Saturday evening and played with the two-button menu to configure the climate control timer.  It was the only car in the street with no frost at 8AM.  ODB2 dongle thingie arrived and the batteries are at 92%, so I'm fairly happy with that.  I may yet buy the full version of LeafSpy.

 

Today Mrs_L1's other car, the K11C, was with Scary for an MOT, and I took the Picasso to work full of bits of lexus in order to hand back the discourtesy car after five months.  

 

The Leaf was used for a trip into town, back via the animal feed store for layers pellets, a run down the track at the allotment, home, and then back out to take M-i-L to the doctors in Sacriston (because she still hasn't registered at the one 16 meters from her front door.)  Sounds like it was fairly flawless except for a minor issue involving not remembering which key fits the garage.  

 

K11C passed with four advisories (two elderly CV boots and two horrible looking brake disks), and with any luck Nissan can demonstrate again that they can make some incredibly boring appliances which just go on and on and on.

 

We've now got a date for the <brand> charger fitting, so I'll make sure that the garage has a clear run for where I'd put the cabling, and hope that no comments are made on the SWA/TT/CU.

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On the UK Leaves page on facebook  - no, nothing to do with BREXIT - there was a chap extolling the virtues of his local independent garage, which have been on a TRAINING COURSE and have CERTIFICATES so he's having them service his leaf.

 

Someone pointed out that this would/could cause the end of the world, and a couple of points were raised.

 

  • In order to maintain the (5 year) warranty on the battery, a shit A4 printout of the battery status must be acquired each year, complete with professional advice on how to maintain the battery.  Cost is 0.3Hrs labour, Nissan dealer only.
  • In order to benefit from Nissan Breakdown (which I assume isn't a guarantee, rather a recovery service), one must maintain main dealer servicing.
  • A gentleman pointed out that the AA have joined forces with POLAR, and will flatbed a flat leaf to the nearest POLAR fast charger, whereupon they will swipe the AA RFID card and provide you with free electrons.  Cost is only AA membership.

The battery health printout is pretty shit - the free version of LeafSpy tells you much, much more.  I have 18 months of warranty left, so if the battery health drops by ~30% in the next 12 months perhaps I'll invest in another piece of paper.

 

The breakdown question is interesting, and I contacted AS's favourite breakdown insurance provider, AutoAID to see what they would do in the event of a flat leaf.  I have been advised that they would recover me (or the Mrs) to the nearest available charging point, which seems pretty reasonable.

 

I've been to work and back today, showed up a Fiesta ST at the lights with the result that they overtook at 90+, had the wipers, lights, heating and A/C on, went the long route, and got back with 1/3 charge left.  

 

Mrs_L1's commute is a few miles longer, and it's her car, so I'm in the K11C until Saturday.  I presume by now, no-one cares to hear more repetitive tales of leaving?

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I am interested in tales, just using the thing as a normal car without OMGCHARGECHAOS is a nice counterpoint to the general predictions of doom when these things are mentioned.

 

Also harbour a medium want-on for one of these, if the 171k ex-taxi one was £500 there would be an extension cable dangling out of my kitchen window right now.

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I am itching to buy one but doing the sums is quite hard. Missus Moog normally drives to her office and back which is 8 miles each way. 

 

She likes autos and loves acceleration, hates putting in fuel. I think these would be ideal for her.  Sadly the shitest ways have given her a suspicion of paying anything more than £600 for a car.  I keep meaning to get one of these for a weekend which I think will convert her. 

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The sums for us were fairly straightforward - tax and fuel on one side, electric and depreciation on the other.  Commute is a 50 mile round trip, therefore the petrol offset (which we assume is >8p/mile) takes up a lot of depreciation.  We've made the assumption that the car will be worth £0 after three years, but that the battery will be commute-able for that long.  That might be dangerous.

 

There was a similar one at Western Nissan in Edinburglar for £5k, with £1k off for taking Nissan PCP and another £1k off for trading in anything with an MOT.  However, it was a Flex, which means another £79/mo - but at least that way you have a guaranteed minimum battery capacity.

 

Still haven't tried a public charger, maybe we'll manage it this weekend.

 

Question for the jury: Would you go back and sign the invoice (30 mile round trip, minor pain in the arse) when you've had the car a week, have a receipt, and the V5 is in the post anyway?

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