The latest on the Leaf thus far, is that Nissan worked really hard with us to get the payment back down to where we were more comfortable and so YAY we have a Leaf! I admit I am still very apprehensive about our new purchase and really hope it will make a huge difference in a lot of things. I’m pretty sure this very apprehension is why most Americans don’t take that leap to look more into electric cars.
The following are a few things to note about our/my experience so far….
I think I mentioned before that it only comes with a trickle charger. This means this particular power source to charge it is a lower voltage and takes a lot longer to charge -we’re talking 12 plus hours to charge. This is why it is imperative to purchase the actual wall charger and have it installed. We checked both Home Depot and Lowes and they don’t carry them in store so it will have to be purchased online. This was kind of a bummer as we really wanted to check our options on the chargers in person. In fact they looked at us like we had grown an extra head when we asked. For now we are still charging on the trickle and it works good enough for now. If you don’t let it get the full charge you may only get 45 to 50 miles which may seem like a lot but it really depends on how your going to drive it. Which brings me to the next point.
How it’s driven:
If your main commute is all highway and your going more than 20 miles one way it’s going to be always best to have a full charge, at least it is in my opinion based on my personal comfort. The hubs says he does fine going back to work even on a partial charge. When it is at a stop it gets a recharge for a few more miles. It’s actually fantastic for stop and go and we drive it on the weekends for errands.
One must also look at the amenities of radio, air conditioning and all the extras that use power. It’s another one of those things you have to take into account and adjust to. This kind of adjustment maybe an inconvenience for many as who wants to turn the AC off if power is getting too low? We really haven’t made that much of an adjustment and don’t feel it’s too big a deal. I’m just a little paranoid so I watch the power gauge like a hawk and if I feel like the miles are dropping too much for my comfort than the A/C goes off.
We have done a lot of research and apparently extreme temperature cold or hot also has a lot to do with its charge. This is something we are planning to really test, as Oklahoma is the epitome of one extreme to the other for weather. When I say “we” I mainly mean the hubs, as this whole Leaf thing is his big picture science experiment.
The drive is no different from any other car it’s just a big adjustment on getting used to the get up and go from stop to start.
All 3 boys actually fit just as comfortably as they do in the back of my Toyota, so the roominess is decent for a smaller car. I admit I feel like we’re a bunch of clowns getting out of the car when we get out but the youngest hasn’t complained and he is not one to hold back on his discomfort.
This whole power concept instead of gas is a completely different way of thinking. You plan your trips accordingly. If absolutely necessary, the Nissan dealer near us has reassured us that even if we need a charge on a Sunday when they are closed, they will open the gate for us if we call security ahead of time.
The plan is to try to keep you guys up to date on our findings at least once every two weeks. The hubs is actually starting up his own blog based on our experience as well.