I wore short sleeves & no jacket this morning; as I type this it's 38F outside (southeast Michigan, 9:20 AM).
42F is cold weather? No wonder electric vehicles aren't catching on - none of the (mostly Michigan based) executives or engineers involved would want to take one home for a test drive, at least in the winter.
"Cold weather" around here means low 20's or below. I've rarely seen it get below -10F, though. I hate to think what the range would be on a day like that - you might not make it out of the parking lot.
"And to all critics I have one word that should be popular in an engineering world: PATIENCE!!!"
Yeah. I'm still waiting for that flying car I read about in Popular Mechanics in the 1950s. And the rocket back-pack...
Notwitstanding the solar charge option, isn't the Leaf really powered by coal, nuclear and natural gas using steam? (Sure you can throw in some hydro and wind but not much.)
Limited range all-electric cars exist for one reason and one reason only: To limit your mobility and free movement.
Well , we are still fighting for things that are NOT important.First projection TVs were horrible, but look at the flat panels now!!! We always have to start somewhere.For simplicity and quality Leaf beats Volt many times over.Price? I would buy Leaf tomorrow , but I live in Michigan which has an insane climate that would destroy batteries fast.For now we have to understand that Leaf is NOT marketed for cold climates and hot weather will not hurt batteries to the extend of needing a replacement.I did have an occasion to drive Leaf in Texas for a few weeks and I love this car.It is simple, elegant , very responsive and gives you a feeling of safe vehicle. I will not go into politics of oil moguls and differences of quality between different brands.Like I said ,if I had a choice of EVERYDAY go to work car there is no other that I would choose ,but Leaf.We have an ultra-efficient solar batteries available now, that can be incorporated into a body and help with trickle charge.....and you cannot charge any car in 30 minutes.Choice for now is clear LEAF!!!!And to all critics I have one word that should be popular in an engineering world: PATIENCE!!!
This article is similar to articles about diesel cars, written in the past, oh, 20 years or more. Every time a new diesel engine comes out, the car magazines tell us how smooth and quiet, and really no different from gasoline engines this new one is. But then, after the initial hype, when perhaps a newer diesel comes out, the one they were gushing over previously is smelly and clattery, and won't get out of its own way.
I've yet to experience a diesel that isn't a diesel. Even turbo diesels are still what they are.
Sounds like the Leaf is an electric whose range is in the same ballpark as all previous battery-powered electrics. For the time being, hybrids are the more practical altenative.
I remember reading about some electric car that covered the hood with solar panels to help power the air conditioning on hot days. (I don't remember which one was doing this).
It could even be used to keep your car charged up if you park at an airport to take a trip (but don't park in the garage!)
An owner of a Nissan LEAF would preheat the cabin while the car was plugged in, then used the heated seats to maintain the temperature.
The driving range estimate relies much more on driving style than temperature control. So it would be difficult to duplicate the numbers that you reflect from your driving experience.
The bottom line is that someone new to driving a Nissan LEAF cannot give it a proper review bcause it takes at least a week of daily driving, using all of the energy-saving features to learn the actual range performance of the car.
I have over 15,000 miles on my LEAF after seven months of ownership. I know my usual routes and am very pleased with the car.
Hot weather at night with lights on is a similarly big challenge.
Nissan's own simulations (discussed on livingleaf.info):
Stop-and-go traffic averaging only 6 miles per hour in 86 degree temperatures with the climate control set to max cool. Range = 47 miles.
Cross-town commute averaging 49 miles per hour on a 110 degree day with the air conditioning on. Range = 68 miles.
So Phoenix commuters who can avoid the worst of rush hour and live less than 30 miles or so from work can probably make it to work and back on a charge without having to shut off the A/C and suffer. If they guess wrong about the traffic congestion and need to shut off the A/C to avoid getting stranded, perhaps its best to keep a change of clothes in the car!
Cold weather, at night with lights on--that's got to be a real challenge for this type of vehicle. Maybe there will be a planning app where you can enter outside temp, time when you'll be traveling and other factors, the app checks the charge status, and it gives you a best estimate of range?
NASA's Orion Flight Software Production Systems Manager Darrel G. Raines joins Planet Analog Editor Steve Taranovich and Embedded.com Editor Max Maxfield to talk about embedded flight software used in Orion Spacecraft, part of NASA's Mars mission. Live radio show and live chat. Get your questions ready.
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