I've done a bit of digging but I still don't know how to find out whether a Leaf has a heat pump or not by looking at the car. Is yours a Tekna, Accenta or Visia spec ?NewcastleFalcon wrote: ↑18 Nov 2019, 23:00Don't know if it has a heat pump, this is all I know so far. We did a Chademo charge (for free) today and as our friend the taxi driver pointed out we could have the heater on full blast while charging, which I stopped at 85% and we were there maybe 30mins. When driving with the heater on it took the eco "!tree!" indicator down a notch.
Without a heat pump heavy use of the heater in an EV has about a 30-40% range penalty. With a heat pump its more like 10-15% penalty so the difference is quite significant.
I was going to ask you how you're finding the car although it's still early days of course...Driving it currently on eco mode and "B" which maximises the regen braking, and very much in relaxing pootle mode.
In particular what do you think of the characteristics of an electric drivetrain after being used to ICE ? In low performance models like the Ion and older Leaf I wouldn't say they are "exciting" to drive as such but the instant response and smooth pickup is quite enjoyable, even addictive, especially in the city where you can pull out of turns at junctions quickly and effortlessly.
After driving the Xantia all last week on a boring work commute I was reminded that even an automatic gearbox is a bit of a chore in stop start city traffic as the gearbox is always "busy" changing up or down a gear locking or unlocking the torque converter etc....each with it's little lurches and dramas whereas the EV is smooth, silent and unruffled with no transitions.
There's no eco mode in my car as such (just don't press the go pedal as hard ) but I do tend to drive in B mode all the time for increased lift off regeneration. EV drivers seem to be split between those who like strong lift off (the accelerator) regenerative braking and those who prefer to press the brake pedal only for braking with minimal accelerator lift off regen.
Some models allow you to customise the regen to your liking (Hyundai and Kia are especially good for this with flappy paddles on the steering wheel to increase and decrease regen) while others have their own take it or leave it characteristics or maybe just two modes.
I am totally used to moderately strong lift off regeneration now especially in the city where you're slowing to take a junction etc, where you just lift off the accelerator the right amount to slow to turn then press further to pull out of the corner never having removed your foot from the pedal. When I've tried driving in C mode (very little lift off regeneration) it just doesn't feel right. I do occasionally drive in C mode on the motorway though, as my reflexes to lift off the accelerator every time I see a potential situation ahead are hard to temper and this causes me to slow down unnecessarily, so being able to switch modes easily on the fly seems like a desirable feature in an EV.
Don't get too hooked on free charging, I doubt whether it will be free for too much longer. I've always considered any free charging I might find to be a bonus for being an early adopter but I don't expect or rely on it and fully expect it to go away in the next few years. In fact I tend to use Instavolt units when I do need to rapid charge because despite being 35p/kWh they are very reliable, usually in pairs and most importantly located where it is beneficial to me.There is a 7kW charger public charger at the local hospital again free to use so I will plug in the "normal" charging lead (not the 3.3KW one with the plug on) so I presume I have the 6.6Kw charger which should charge up in 4 ish hours.
As long as it doesn't cause the battery to get excessively hot, I don't think rapid charging harms the battery per-se. Keep in mind the Leaf has no battery cooling system either passive or active. So if you do multiple sessions in a row of fast motorway driving and rapid charging with no breaks, in the summer, you can push the temperature of a leaf battery pretty high, I've seen over 50C reported online. Do that occasionally and it's not a problem but if you were a road warrior doing that all the time it would be harmful as heat accelerates the ageing process of the battery. The Leaf is not a car for a road warrior who regularly does hundreds of miles in a day primarily due to the lack of any battery cooling system.I will have to dig around some of your old posts Simon where you cover the optimum charging routine for battery longevity. I take it that frequent rapid charges on The DC Chademo are not recommended, but I am sure you will have covered these points before.
In general ageing of the battery is minimised by staying between about 30-80% charge most of the time. Age related degradation occurs mainly above 80% as the high voltage potential accelerates the undesirable side reactions in the battery chemistry that cause loss of mobile Lithium Ions, and these side reactions go faster at high temperatures, so a combination of high temperatures and >80% SoC causes the most ageing of the battery. However in a short range EV like an early Leaf (or my Ion) you often need all the range you have, and they don't provide a way to automatically stop charging at 80% anyway, so I wouldn't stress too much about it.
Cycle related ageing (eg based on mileage) depends on depth of discharge. Discharging the battery from 100% to 20% then charging it again causes more degradation than the same mileage driven by discharging from 100% to 60%, charging to 100% again, discharging to 60% then charging to 100% again.
The upshot from this is that it's best not to routinely run the battery down very low. In fact I think in hindsight running my Ion down to 20% or less day after day all through the winter out of necessity was one of the contributing factors to 3 of the cells going a bit iffy. I have no proof of that but it's a hunch based on comparing data from other Ion's and their driving patterns.
Running it down low now and then is not an issue (aside from the risk of running out completely and needing a tow...) but you'd want to avoid routinely going below about 30% if you can.
If you're just paying for the car on PCP and will hand it back after 3 or 4 years then I wouldn't worry too much about any of this (it's someone else's problem then!) but if you want to keep it for the long haul then there's certainly things you can do to maximise the battery's longevity, and keeping it between 30-80% most of the time and avoiding situations where the temperature is regularly in the red would go a long way towards that.
Unfortunately you have it a bit rough down in England - lots of different competing charging networks with disparate coverage, different prices, different cards, apps, "memberships" etc. A bit of a nightmare to be honest and something that is impeding the adoption of EV's. To charge everywhere you would need an American style wallet full of all kinds of cards! One of the worst for reliability is Ecotricity, who unfortunately have a near monopoly on motorway services!The other element of new EV ownership is the "joining" of a scheme, or a few schemes of chargepoint providers. All the more straightforward if you have a smartphone and the appropriate apps. This is something I havent got and frankly dont want, if I can avoid it. I would be happy with a "card".
In Scotland the situation is a bit better - Transport Scotland funded councils to install chargers under the umbrella of "Chargeplace Scotland" for which you can get an RFID card (or use a phone app, but I prefer the card as its quicker and more reliable) and that one card or app will let you use about 80% of all the chargers in Scotland, and many are still free.
However some of them are not well maintained because although the councils were funded to install them it seems they forgot to budget for timely maintenance and repairs! Not sure what's going to happen to the CPS network if they don't pick up on the maintenance...
The other network I tend to use is Instavolt - there are quite a lot of them in Scotland now and I think they're all across the UK. They are 35p/kWh which is on the higher price end but.... they allow use with a contactless debit card with no memberships, no signing up for anything, no phone apps etc... just walk up, wave your card, plug your car in, press go all in under 30 seconds. Just the way it should be!
And they are super reliable. I've been let down a few times by Chargeplace Scotland units being out of order or unreliable however I am yet to be let down by Instavolt, and because they're not free they are not hogged by cheapskates (no offence intended ) getting a free charge. So they're nearly always available when you need one especially when they're in pairs. Most of them seem to be installed either at service stations or Banatyne Health clubs. (!)
So if you ever find yourself needing to get a charge to get somewhere and you don't want to be let down Instavolt is worth keeping in the back of your mind.