BEVs, Best and Worst of living with one!

  • 12 November 2018
  • 7 replies

Userlevel 4
I have a 2018 40kWh Nissan Leaf. The car is great to drive, being comfortable and fuel cost effective. One of the benefits is the ability to pre heat or cool the car using an app on my mobile phone.

THE big drawback for me is the lack of battery temperature management. On a long journey one can get on rapid charge without problems but once the battery heats up, the charge rate is choked off causing excessive waiting time for a decent amount of charge. For many, this will not be a problem but I specifically bought the car for long journies as I am retired.

7 replies

Userlevel 6
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Owning an EV (Mine is a BEV, a Battery Electric Vehicle as opposed to a PHEV, Plugin Hybrid Electric Vehicle) is great fun. I have a 40Kwh, 2018 Nissan Leaf Tekna.

First of all it is fun; the torque available at the wheels is instant, absolutely no delay so I can beat off most boy racers from a standing start (although I'm not in the habit of doing that.) Secondly it is quiet, no engine noise! Worst feature on mine, nothing to say the washers are nearly empty so I carry a spare 1L of screenwash in the boot.

There's lots of stories about range anxiety, perpetuated by Jeremy Clarkson's rather badly planned test drive of the Nissan Leaf but as long as you plan your journeys there shouldn't be any issue. I'm about to take my longest journey tomorrow to Plymouth to see the Grandchildren, 223 miles with two charge points planned at Michaelwood and Exeter Services.

I normally charge up to 80% at the fast chargers at the service stations as this only takes between 20 and thirty minutes. If I arrived with 20% charge and charged to 80%, that would cost me about £7.20 which would give me around 125 miles range. However, there are lots of free chargers around at Supermarkets and other places which I frequent regularly. Having solar PV panels also helps keep charging costs down.

I have a special home charger, a zappi which optimises charging from solar but also can perform as a 6.6Kwh charger which would take about six hours to charge my car from zero to full although the car is rarely charged to less than 20% when I put it on charge

The display on the Leaf is very functional, the main thing to keep your eye on is the aptly named "Guess-o-Meter" which estimates your mileage remaining based on your style of driving, speed, acceleration, weather, temperature etc. this is the thing you use most of all.

There is a battery gauge, similar to a fuel gauge on an ICE car (ICE is a term used by EV drivers for Internal Combustion Engine drivers) hence the common term "the charging space was ICED" when an ICE parks at an EV charge point as it's nearer the supermarket door!

There is a host of other information such as economy statistics, tyre pressures and too much to mention. The car manual is about two inches thick!

So, to summarise, EVs are brilliant, would I go back to an ICE car?......NO WAY HOSÉ
Userlevel 7
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Great post @Absolute Zero and @PeterR1947, love that you have the ability to pre heat or cool the car from an app!! That's awesome!!

Also love that @PeterR1947 enjoys burning other drivers off at the lights!! 🙂

@ITGeek123 do you have that feature with your leaf? Any other tricks or options that are super cool and another great benefit of owning an EV?? @Fred Rick and @Dan W both have BMW's they must have some pretty cool features??

Userlevel 7
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I do have the capabilities for turning the heating on my car before getting into it which helps in the winter 😛 The app has improved over time but still needs work doing to it. When it comes to the charging issue (Rapid gate) @Absolute Zero is experiencing is the reason why I haven't upgraded to the 40kw. It is a known issue and Nissan are doing nothing to resolve it. I know a few people who went back to a 30kw due to this reason.

Search result for Rapid Gate -

Google Rapidgate and you can see this is a known issue, yet Nissan still wish to sell the cars.

I am hoping they resolve this in their 60kw model and that will be the point when I move away from my 24kw. Bit if a disappointment as I loved the test drive.
Userlevel 6
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@Absolute Zero

Last week I did my longest journey so far, down to Plymouth from Nuneaton, 223 miles.

We arrived at Michaelwood with 16% charge (from 100% at start) having travelled at 70mph most of the way. Left charging whilst we had coffee, came back after 45mins charged to 90%.. Continued at 70mph.

Stopped at Taunton Deane for lunch, arrived with 30%, left after about 40mins charged to 83%, continued to Plymouth at 70mph, dropped wife off to pick up kids from school and went to Nissan Dealer for a charge. By this time battery was at 51.5 degrees and charging was slow so rapidgate had arrived. Put in 40 miles then waited 'till next day for a free charge at LIDL up to 96% whilst I bought essentials like beer & wine.

This isn't a problem for me as its the longest journey I will make; our recent holiday in Norfolk was about 200 miles, driving much slower, charging twice on the way, no sign of rapidgate at all.
Userlevel 7
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@PeterR1947 But it's the principal. The issue is there but Nissan Can't be bothered to fix it. I am not happy with their response. I will keep my 24Kw for the meantime until they resolve this issue hopefully with their next model.
Userlevel 2
Worcestershire to Dundee and back in our BMW i3 95-AH BEV.
The plan was not to use Ecotricity whilst the CCS problem was unresolved and not charge other than when asleep, eating or on coffee stop.
Diverting off the motorway was not as time consuming as we feared.
4 Polars, 3 Instavolts, 2 Charge Place Scotland (using CYC card) and overnight on a Rolec
Userlevel 3
Picking up on PeterR1947's comment....Would I go back to a petrol only car? NO WAY HOSÉ

During the 2 years I have had my BMW 330e PHEV I have covered 17,000 miles and just had to replace a couple of tyres. In that time its computer tells me I have saved 1500l of buying and burning petrol. ALL of my public car park charging is free and overnight economy 7 from OVO using renewable sources is cheap as chips!.

Its' a delight to drive. The on board computer sorts everything out without any intervention, it goes like a rocket or is mild as a lamb and it puts a smile on my face every time I sit behind the wheel.

Most of my journeys are 12 miles each way or less and often my destination has a (free) charger so I am able to operate purely on electric power whenever I'm in town. Overall I manage about 80 mpg. Several hundred mpg (really yes) on electric powered short journeys and about 45 mpg overall when using petrol. I never ever suffer from range anxiety as the petrol tank holds about 8 gallons.

Realistically the electric range is about 16, less when freezing, more in the summer. Then I do live in the hills and climbing them using electricity does soak up the power. Incredibly the electric motor has the power to climb the steepest hill in Bath rather faster than the law allows. (Not that I have ever done that you understand...have been told by others)

I do have a negative comment. Its BMWs claim the electric range is 25 miles. Really...I do wish they would present an expert driver to show me how to achieve it! I have asked them but no response. However that said its brilliant technology, and for my driving patterns its not an issue.

So overall....its a 9 out of 10. Love it!