Saturday, February 25, 2017

Shocking Prelim Data On 30 KWH LEAF Pack Temperature Management...Maybe

As mentioned MANY times in the 3 months I have had my S30, I have noticed the pack does not seem to retain the heat as much as my previous 24kwh LEAFs.  Now, it was a very warm Veteran's Day when I picked up the S30 but the weather has been pretty cold ever since. In fact, this Winter ranks as one of the coldest of this Century!

Anyway, me being cheap me (as usual) was avoiding home charging if I was even remotely going to be going by a free fast charger and the other day was no different.  But free was not to be! For one thing, it was very cold in the morning and I had a detour and defrost issues (I forgot my wiper. Took it inside to set over a heat register to dry it and forgot it!) so I basically had to stop at a Blink to gather enough juice before making it to the Tumwater AV so that was 44 cents down the drain!

So to put it mildly, I was in need when I got there. Unfortunately there was already someone there who was at 75% when I arrived but took another 28 mins before finishing.

So I plugged in and did random nothings and after 20 mins, I checked LEAF Spy to see how I was doing and pleased to see I was still over 40 KW charging (Ok, so I caught a temporary dip...)

**NOTE** GIDs = 77.5 wh

Either way, I only had about 30 miles or so for the day planned so decided at this point I would unplug when someone else arrived or when I dropped below 20 KW. 

I then noticed I was at 7 TBs for the first time ever in this car.  The Sun was out so some solar radiation would be contributing but I was only in the 102ºish range so not too bad. A coolish Spring day in Phoenix really... :) 

But the unthinkable happened.  The temperature started dropping! This was completely alien to everything I thought I knew about charging and TMSless LEAF battery packs! I was still charging over 20KW so how was this happening??

The Sun was still out so that wasn't it. I was so engrossed with what was happening I got a near full charge from the Chademo not unplugging until I was at 15 KW charging rate. The temps were still dropping now down to the mid 90's.  So I took off from the charger and about a minute later... I dropped to 6 TBs!

Final Stats (from LEAF Spy Log) GIDs 352,  charging speed; 14.7 KW.  SOC on dash would have been about 97%. I have to say, I am fairly confident I have never seen charging that fast at that high of an SOC!

So again, very preliminary and despite a sunny day, the air temps were still in the mid 40's that day but still VERY interesting observations. 

FYI; Tire rotation #1 in the books which means my new LEAF is "officially" no longer new... 

To clear up some confusion, I am in no way whatsoever implying that my LEAF has TMS. Notice the the title says "Temperature Management?"  TMS is used when manufacturers can't solve the problem.  Nissan chose to tackle the root cause instead. Have they found the answer?  Doubtful, but if the above can be repeated it would be obvious they are on the right path. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Jan 2017 Drive Report

LEAF went 1160.4 miles costing $23.08 or  1.98 cents per mile. NCTC pitched in 105.92 Kwh for the month. A bit too early to start reporting battery stats as far as highs and lows.  Other than one day (in Feb actually) all my stats are still the same as new which is to be expected since I only have 4800 miles on the LEAF.

The Corolla traveled 531.8 miles costing $40.05 or 7.61 cents per mile. Winter range degradation hit the Corolla hard averaging a "career" low under 35 MPG. 

Anyway, in other news, My 2016 is still sucking on the efficiency meter but becoming more and more convinced every day that the previous LEAF instrumentation was simply inaccurate.  LEAF Spy allows me to estimate my range based on my expected performance and I use 3.3, 3.7 and 4 miles per kwh as a guide depending the weather conditions. First thing I realized is those numbers still work. So... pretty much just another reason to ignore the GOM.

I am continuing my data gathering on how well the 30 kwh pack dissipates heat. If you didn't see it earlier, I noticed that the 30 kwh pack simply does not heat up as much nor does it retain the heat when it does.  I have consistently seen the heat from a fast charge completely dissipated in less than a day including several times in roughly 12 hours.  This means at least one temperature sensor is within 2º of my ambient garage temperature.  IOW, no I am not leaving my LEAF out in the cold overnight to help speed the cooling process.  So far the results have been encouraging.  Anxious to see how she does when its over 80º!

For all current LEAF leasers; the deals are still flying! Do not be discouraged when NMAC does not discount your residual!  Although NMAC owns your car and does actually provide any discounts off your residual, you MUST go thru a dealer! Why is this?

Uhh, well, that is actually a very good question and anyone who knows for sure, please chime in but I suspect its done this way because the dealer incurs costs to handle your return and its another way for them to get a little money out of the deal so does this mean that you might not get a good deal on a lease to purchase if the dealer is too greedy?

Well there is very little evidence of that and the reason is likely due to the fact that 2014 was Nissan's best LEAF sales year ever so that means a lot of lease returns due back and Nissan doesn't want them so guessing there is perks for everyone. So what can you expect?

Well again, you simply need to beat feet to your dealer to find out!  Some dealers are very helpful in this regard but the "deal of the week"  a person just bought out their 2014 S with charge package and had 3 months lease payments waived. So total cost to them (without $2500 state incentive that not all of us qualify for) was  $16.7K!! (yeah that means just over $14,000 in real terms!)  IOW, the deals are getting better and better.

Finally; its Winter and sometimes our best estimation of our range might not be as accurate as we had hoped. If you find yourself just a little teeny bit short of a plug, your best bet is to shut the LEAF down even if you are less than a mile away. Look at your power circles on the dash for guidance. Don't go below 5 if you are more than a few hundred yards away.  You run a strong possibility of killing your 12 volt battery and if you do, its tow time!

But if you shut down just before that point, your LEAF may be able to rest up enough to make it that extra mile down the road to the charger.  Your LEAF will shutdown when the weakest cell in your battery pack hits a certain point. Resting the LEAF allows pack balancing (which is pretty much going on all the time) to boost that weak cell and it might just be enough for you to make it.  It might take an hour of sitting and balancing but then again, how likely is it a tow truck will be there in significantly less time?  Not very in most cases!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Public Charging Effectiveness; There Has To Be A Better Way!

The Chevy Bolt trickled into existence last month (December.... This blog was started MANY weeks ago but I was derailed by several life things.  FYI; 98% of my blogs are conceptualized, written, and published in less than an hour...)  but that trickle promises to become a flood as the pent up demand for a 200 mile EV under $40,000 is unleashed to an unprepared public charging network already overburdened by Nissan's fire sale of the remaining 2016 LEAF stock.

Add to that, a half dozen promising new EV entrants for the first half of 2017 and I predict we will see a renewed "turf" war emerging between the 100% battery cars and the "half as.." I mean the plug in's over whose need is more important.  I have already seen a few Bolters who have done 2 consecutive 30 min fast charges!

But there is some light at the end of the tunnel. A new wave of announcements for new stations and partnerships to build, propose or encourage private businesses to invest in stations is addressing areas that have had little or no public support previously.

But there is still a basic realization that many providers have not come to grips with and that is how to allow multiple cars to access one charging station?   Too many times I will see 6 chargers occupying 6 consecutive parking spaces.  IOW; unless there is a space at either end of the row, you can't get better than a one to one ratio.

One hurdle is clear. It costs money to trench and install new power equipment especially when the power requirements are this robust so putting the stations adjacent to the power feed saves a ton of money.  This almost always means they will be located on the edge of the parking lot or against a wall which means access on one side only.  So this is a cost cutting move that makes sense.

But what about the process of bunching the stations all together?  How much more money does it cost run to spread the stations farther apart if they are all running parallel to the power feed?  Nearly every station now has a cable that is more than long enough that 3 LEAFs can easily reach one station.

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Above we have the same six stations but instead of being able to charge or queue 6 to 8 cars,  we can now have 18 cars ready to roll, right!  In those rare cases when the stations can be put in the middle, we would have two rows of parking spaces meaning 36 cars can potentially access the 6 stations!

Well this would make the network much more effective but some states have ICEing laws where an EV parked in an EV charging space can be fined if not actively charging.  So this could be a problem... IF the law was actually being enforced.  In most cases, it is not. I am only aware of a handful of incidences at most where a ticket has been issued and all those instances likely only happened thru monumental efforts on another EVer's part.  IOW; if only relying on the diligence of the local constabulary, we be screwed!  So how to sort that out?  How can we tell if a car is waiting to charge or is simply wanting to park 25 feet closer to the entrance? 

SemaConnect stations have LEDs  that provide status of the stations.  Blue means available, flashing Green means charging, Solid Green means charge complete, but more importantly Blue also means the car parked in the spot NEVER attempted to charge.  One thing that is impossible to know is whether someone who is plugged in, ever charged at all. What's to stop someone at another station from simply plugging in the car and not starting a session to avoid a ticket? or at least consternation from the EV community? 

Obviously the ideal solution is each station having 3 cords allowing queuing between the 3 cars in question. This would not be cheap but would be cheaper than adding more stations.  This also opens up the possibility of upgrading the stations to higher outputs and possibly load sharing between the 3 vehicles.  Park and ride situations really need this. The bulk of the traffic in and out happens in the morning and afternoon with little action in between or even possible.  This means cars parked 9-10 hours.  Having 3 cars queued up can mean that all three could be at their desired charge level when owners return.  

But bolstering the network will take time, money and motivation, all of which is in short supply. The other much easier idea is financial disincentives.  But parking fines as mentioned above has not been enforced for the most, can be tough to determine sometimes and simply creates too much hardship for some drivers in park and ride situations.  But one idea that is gaining traction is variable rate billing to encourage sharing and more turnover.

The University of Idaho has installed at least one charger on the Moscow, Idaho, campus The Spokesman-Review (Embree, December 5, 2016) reviews. Charging costs  $2 per hour for the first three hours, after that, the rate goes to $3, 8 to 5 during the day. After hours charging costs $1 per hour for the first 3 hours, then goes to $2 per hour.

It has now been over two months since starting this blog entry and one thing is certain; EVs are gaining a lot of ground. Be it better range like the Bolt, versatility like the Volt or simply crazy discounts like the LEAF,  the battle for plugs will escalate and quickly.  We need to start moving on adding more plugs.

Finally; an interesting situation that I just have to share.  As we all know, fast chargers are the prime time destinations for people on the go. 80% in 30 mins just barely fits in most people's day so a slower option would be completely out of the question, right?...not always.

NRG EvGO at Tacoma Mall, WA

A few months ago, I reported that the L2's at Tacoma Mall were free. I observed people just pulling up and plugging in without scanning their cards.  So I was in need of a charge Friday (Yes, it was one of the 8 GID days!) so I pulled in with the idea of getting my free 30 minute fast charge courtesy of NCTC and then testing the free L2 on the way out.  Well, I got there and these two cars were plugged in and both drivers were in the car. I didn't think much of it. This is a common sight here.  I plugged into the DCFC and headed inside the mall to powerwalk for my usual 28 minutes. I returned and found the same two cars sitting there.  So my test of the free charging had to be put on hold because all the L2's were occupied while the fast chargers sat empty.  I have to say in 6+ years of publicly charging my LEAF, this was a first for me!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Used Nissan LEAF Buyers Guide

2014 was Nissan's best sales year for the LEAF which means the 2nd half of 2016 and most of 2017 will be the best buyer's market for used LEAFs coming off 2 and 3 year leases.

But Nissan has realized the market is saturated so the thought of selling any but the cream of the lease return crop is not looking well in what has become very much a buyer's market. Prices are simply that low. "Too good to be true" is not working!... or is it?

To the uninformed wannabe EVer the market seems to be flooded with "can't miss" deals but not everything is as cut and dried as one would think.  Hopefully I can provide a checklist every used car shopper needs if looking at a used Nissan LEAF.

We all have enough experience with batteries to know that they fade away. Sometimes quickly, sometimes not. We have gotten better at preserving them with smarter chargers, better charging profiles, habits, etc. but that only delays the issue.  Since this is a "used car buying" guide, we will only briefly mention what you need to be concerned with and that is location.

The warmer the climate the car was in, the faster and deeper the degradation will be. Even with this knowledge, the range of user reported experiences can vary widely in just a few miles.  So even location can only be taken as a point of consideration.  For example; Los Angeles varies from moderate near the coast to desert-like 25 miles inland.  This means that not only is the home of the car important but also the area the car likely commuted to on a daily basis.

The Nissan LEAF dash has two gauges that at first glance looks like one.  More commonly known as the "GOM." Guessometer is so named because of the digital representation of range expressed in your unit of choice of miles or kilometers.  The "guessing" part stems from the fact that the LEAF calculates your efficiency over the very driving history assuming it won't change for the remainder of the charge left in the car. It should not be taken literally and it does not account for other uses for accessories, climate controls, etc.  It is basically the "fuel gauge" designating how much of the battery pack is charged and able to provide driving range represented with 12 long bars or segments. 12 bars is "fully charged" and 1 bar is nearly depleted. Like any fuel gauge, these bars are not a linear representation of range or remaining charge. The bars at the top represent more range just as there is hidden range or reserve at the bottom. IOW, just like any gasser gauge.

On the right, you see the 47 mile estimate that is the GOM, the 6 long segments is the charge level meter (or gas gauge for those you still early in the conversion process) and the capacity gauge which is the 12 little bars on the far right.  Before you ask, No that is not a gas pump symbol!!

The 2nd gauge is just to the right of the GOM is the "Capacity" gauge representing how much of the original capacity is remaining from the car when it was new and represented by short adjacent bars or segments.  It is also not linear but "somewhat" defined.  In the original iterations of the LEAF service manual, the 12 segments were designated as 15% for the 12th bar and 6.25% for the 11 bars below it.

First thing that we should realize is that only accounts for  83.75% of the capacity.  Part of the 16.25% we don't see is the reserve and part of it is the part of the battery not accessible for use. This is done to increase the life of the batteries. Discharging too much or charging too much greatly shortens the charge life of the cells.   FYI;  The reserve on the GOM is a blinking "_ _ _ " a very disconcerting sight for the new LEAFer which brings us to the next section.

Unfortunately the dash is limited in the information it can give you especially when the first capacity bar represents 15%.  There is also a possible issue that is much less likely now due to a huge awareness campaign by the LEAF community to make the issue known is that the quirk of "capacity bar resetting" that causes lost capacity bars to show back up on the dash. This DOES not bring back any range.

Because of the widely varying rates of degradation from one area to another, a device to provide measurements of the pack is recommended. For the shopper, I would recommend simply borrowing one to check your possible purchase with.  LEAF Spy was developed by an early LEAF owner and provides a TON of information that is vital to know when evaluating purchase options.  It is also an essential tool for the LEAF owner that can be had for under $40.

LEAF Spy is an app installed on your Android or iphone. It works in concert with an OBD device plugged into the CAN port of your LEAF located under the dash just to the left of the steering column.

You will not find a more economical way to get around than an EV. Even in areas with high electricity rates, charging off peak can still save you a bundle of the cost of maintaining and driving a gasser. But it takes time to charge and that can range from a little to a lot depending on your options.

Charging options are generalized into 3 categories; L1, L2 and L3.

L1; 120 volt based charging. Nissan provides a EVSE (Electric Vehicle Service Equipment) cable that you plug into a dedicated 120 volt circuit (dedicated means a circuit that has no other load on it. If you are not sure, best thing to do is plug something into every outlet in the area, turn on all the lights then turn off the breaker observing what goes off with it)  Generally 12 amps is the most you will get.  This creates power to the car at the rate of 1440 watts or 1.44 kwh determined by multiplying the voltage by the amperage or 120 volts* 12 amps.  Do be aware that Nissan BMS (battery management system) takes some of that power to monitor the charging process, keep the AC/DC inverter from overheating, etc.   Generally you can get roughly 4 miles of charge per hour. IOW, not a good option unless you have a lot of time on your hands.

L2; 240 volt based charging and what most public charging stations provide.  Amperage received will be based on the charger in the LEAF. 2011's and 12's only had 3.8 KW chargers capable of receiving no more than 16 amps at 240 volts.  2013+ that had the charge package (generally identified with 2 charge ports instead of one) "generally" came with a 6.6 KW charger capable of up to 27 amps.

The slower charger would give 12-14 miles of range in good driving conditions. The faster 6.6 KW charger up to 25 miles of range but beware several public chargers will not provide this much power. Blinks are common for this with many turned down to prevent overheating.  Most however will give 5.8 KW or higher. For general purposes, 20 miles per hour of charging is a good guideline.

L3; DC based charging. This is the ritz of public charging where the famed "80% in 30 minutes" slogan started. In reality, your charging speed depends on a dozen different things so expect your 80% to take a bit longer than half an hour.

 By far the toughest thing to advise so I can only say you really need to take a look at where you need to go, where you want to go and what kind of support you have available to you.  IOW;  Plugshare!!

Plugshare is an app and website and is THE MOST VALUABLE TOOL FOR ALL EV'ERS!  so as you may have guessed by now, it cannot be over emphasized!  Plugshare is a user supported database of public charging stations in your area. It is FREE!! and shows station locations, pricing, number of plugs and also recent charging experiences. Hopefully I got the point across that you should already be half way to DOWNLOADING PLUGSHARE TO YOUR PHONE NOW!

The Range; There are simply too many good deals out there to take a car that is missing any capacity bars but again sometimes the price is too good.  So things to consider is that as the batteries degrade, not only is the range reduced due to capacity but it will be reduced due to lower levels of regen available. Regen is the process where kinetic energy is transformed into electrical energy and stored back to the battery.  It happens anywhere from a little (constant speed driving like on a lightly used freeway) or a lot (AKA as real life) when there is a lot of speed changes involved. This can add a significant amount of range  back to the car.

The Weather Summer is the time to drive! AC uses a lot less energy than heat does so the hit on range will be much smaller but other factors are involved.  In Winter, cold air is simply denser (which is why your feet are more likely to be cold because they are at floor level where cold air hangs out!) which means more energy needed for your LEAF to push it out of the way.  There is also road conditions. Snow and rain also require more energy so expect anywhere from 10 (for the people willing to bundle up) to 25% loss of range in Winter.  Obviously, this applies to people who have Winter. For those whose seasons consist of Fall, Spring, Summer and Hell,  you have other things to worry about!

In the used car game, its a process of elimination and comparison. By now we should already be armed with our driving needs, locations of public charging we would likely be using and at least an initial evaluation of where and how we will be charging the LEAF at home. So first off;

The Eliminations;

Location; Unless its a super duper unreal giveaway of a deal, stay away from cars from the Southwest. Phoenix, Needles, Las Vegas and any other place that brags "its a dry heat" should be avoided!  How much value should be assigned to this?  Good question and will be addressed again!

Degradation; 12 capacity bars! Remember, its the short ones on the right, not the long ones on the left!

Models; Nissan has a program of continuous battery improvement that has been in place since day one. Generally this means the newer the car, the better the chemistry, longevity, etc.  But there are still some significant points to consider.  Avoid first gen! 2011's and 2012's had the worst chemistry and worse yet, no more manufacturer's warranty and very little (if any) battery capacity warranty left.

Lizard packs; In response to severe degradation in He... er...uhh, I mean Phoenix, Nissan worked on developing a more heat tolerant battery. Well results in Phoenix may seem small but other areas of the country saw huge improvements. Officially Lizard packs started for the 2015 model year but there is strong evidence that many latter 2014's also had them. Considering that the 2014 Model year was one of the shortest in the history of the automotive industry, that does not eliminate many 2014's.

Build Dates; You can determine the build date from the inside plate on the driver's door. It will be listed in 2 digit month/2 digit year.  This is critical for the 2013 Model year since there is strong anecdotal evidence among owners that later build (May 2013 and newer) had better, more robust batteries.

The usual; Its always a good idea to check Carfax for not only location of previous owners but for accidents.  Unlike other EVs, Nissan has the most secure battery storage system in the Universe.  Yes, Tesla's do occasionally wreck and the batteries crisp the car.  This is not a Nissan issue! There have been some LEAFs in horrific accidents including one less than 10 miles from me when a LEAF was sheared in half when the driver hit a bridge abutment.  Despite not be recognizable as a car, the battery pack remained intact. Say what you want about Nissan's decisions on battery management but one thing that is completely unassailable if the level of safety designed into the car.

Shopping; Ok, so now we are browsing online and see a car that might work. Problem with used LEAFs especially if not at a Nissan dealer is that you probably know more about the LEAF assuming you read my previous blogs (shouldn't take more than a few weeks!) than they do.  So this is where you need to tread carefully.

Most have found that insisting on testing the battery with LEAF Spy  has scared several dealers into thinking they are going to walk out to see their car in parts scattered across the parking lot.  My take; Don't tell them what you plan to do.  It takes all of 20 seconds to plug in the OBD and get a reading. You will be done before the salesman even knows what you are doing. When new, 24 kwh LEAFs read about 67.36 ahr.  The values you want are this, Hx and SOH  both displayed as percentages, which are all conveniently located on one screen. (GIDs are useless if the car is not fully charged)  Best part is after the read takes place (about 3 seconds) you can freeze the screen. unplug the OBD and you are done. As mentioned, you can do it in 20 seconds. (FYI; if you are interested in a competition, call me when you have cut this time in half because that is where you need to be!)

OBD I use

Probably not a bad idea to familiarize yourself with the CAN port location. I can now easily locate and plug in OBD without looking. Benefits of a "3 LEAFer" I guess.

Ok so you got the basic foundation to make and informed purchase decision right?  LOL!! Cmon, we all know life is not that easy! 

Nissan, under pressure added a capacity warranty (FYI, don't bother comparing theirs to others in the EV World) which states they will replace pack if your capacity gauge drops to 8 capacity bars in less than 60,000 miles or 5 years from the original in service date which means my advice above to not consider LEAFs that don't have 12 capacity bars remaining stands, BUT....

Sometimes if the price is right and the car has suffered a lot of degradation and still has a ways to go to hit 60,000 miles and its 5 year in service date, you might be better off to get the car, put up with the now pathetic range and work towards losing that 9th capacity bar. 

Ok, so there you have it. Strongly recommend browsing the links provided in the blog or at least seeing what they are about. The best weapon you have in the used car market in knowledge.  Posted below are other links to blogs that you might also want to consider as well

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Dec 2016 Drive Report

First full month in the 2016 and this month, I actually have gas usage to report!!... well, a little anyway.

First off, EVs are not the only cars that do poorly in very cold weather. My Corolla which has a lifetime average of 38 MPG PLUMMETED in its short stint this month to 33 MPG which is even lower than its usual 36ish MPG during our normal Winter weather.  But it did travel 46.9 miles costing $3.75 or roughly 8 cents per mile.  There is an outside possibility that it might be old gas since the gas in the tank is from Oct 20th. Well shall see on the next fill up which I am determined to have happen sometime later this month. (filled up Jan 5th)

And the biggest reason I will be using the Corolla more is because my LEAF has already exceeded 3000 miles and its not even 2 months old yet!  In December, it traveled 1618.7 miles costing $31.81 or 1.97 cents per mile. This was helped by just under 100 kwh courtesy of NCTC. I did incur a $2 public charging fee. It was at the location I needed to be but a change in plans caused me to only get 35 mins of the hour I paid for. Another reason I like per minute billing!

Other than that, my recent extensive experience with fast chargers has me realizing that "you just never know what you're going to get!"   3 times, I have plugged in to get half speed charging presumably because of the cold battery pack.  Now, I was told (several times) that as the pack warmed up, the speed would increase however, I have seen ZERO evidence of that.  So what I tried once (since I was in a bit of a time crunch) is after charging just over 10 mins at 28 KW on a 50 KW AV charger, I unplugged and restart the charge and boom! straight to 48 KW!

But that has only happened one time and despite a lot of cold weather and a cold pack, I have had limited chances to charge and reproduce these results. I thought I would yesterday with only 3 temperature bars when I saw my batteries at 33.5º!

But it was not to be. Although it was still only 27º, the Sun came out and was VERY bright which meant the additional radiant heat helped to heat my pack up so by the time I got to the charger, my pack was up to 4 TBs with batt temps in the mid 40's and the NRG started me at full speed and yes, this was the same station that started me at half speed just a week prior! But I am sure I will have more opportunities to try it again, so stay tuned.

Other projects I am working on is I am starting to sense that my 30 kwh pack sheds heat better than my previous 24 kwh packs. It could also be the fact that we are in the middle of our coldest Winter in over a decade but we shall see.  I do know that my pack is nearly always within a few degrees of ambient temps of my garage every morning. I did not see this with my previous LEAF which sometimes took more than 2 days to cool off after a vigorous QC...

Case in point; Yesterday did a full speed charge of 30 mins finishing almost exactly 24 hours ago. I then drove home, going out a few short stints but mostly in garage with door closed so stored in moderate temperatures that generally run in the mid 40's with the weather we are having now.

Now, unfortunately, I did not plan this well since I plugged in a few hours ago and would think that some heating up would go on but just checked both garage and car and got this (garage was 2º colder when I got up)


But again, even after heating to 5 temperature bars (first time seeing 5 in a month!) the car is still cooling down overnight. (ignore the similarity in readings, there is more than a 50 mile difference from the two pix)

Again, the real proof will happen come Summer time when it could take 3-5 days to cool off from a fast charge but so far, everything is looking very promising!

Finally; after nearly two months, an update of LEAF v. 3 is appropriate. First off, love the faster quick charging, longer range and simply the new car smell!

But (and there is always a but if you are being honest)

getting dark blue was a HUGE mistake. A car wash barely lasts 2 days.

Really miss the steering wheel heater

My mileage efficiency still sucks so its kinda like getting a 27 kwh pack...sort of.


I have been following the Chevy Bolt forum and sadly its really looking like not waiting for the Bolt was the right choice. The lease options are insane. Two people have posted lease details and both are over $500 a month in real costs, with very limited annual miles and a crazy 25 cent per mile penalty! I did the bleeding edge, pay premium prices to be first, thing with my first LEAF and not going to be doing that again!

At the same time, I am really considering getting rid of the gasser and getting the Bolt. But looks like that option is likely a year out. Part of the reason the Bolt leases are so crazy right now is because Chevy's leasing arm is pocketing all of the Fed tax credit. Now there are a few Chevy fans who are using Chevy's lease cash of $2500 (which is only available in a very select area currently) as a partial federal credit but that is not how it works. Nissan gave me the full $7500 credit PLUS $4125 lease cash, so one is not the other people!

Either way, if any of you out there have any info to share on the fast charging or the cooling rate of the 30 kwh pack, respond below!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

30 KWH; Bigger, Faster, Hotter??

Anyone who says the LEAF's 30 kwh pack is not an improvement simply does not have a 30 kwh pack. Yes, its still on the borderline of what a road warrior would need.  Yes, it still must rely on a reasonable public charging network and yes, it will probably degrade faster than a TMS battery pack would, but...

I have yet to realize just how much more freedom I have because I got mine at the end of November so its been cold, rainy, snowy, and even windy...VERY windy!  But a few things are already obvious; I now do what I couldn't dream of doing with a 24 kwh pack.

I am not talking about those Wintertime 80 mile trips that I made in my 24 kwh LEAF with VERY careful planning that I now do without even thinking about how much charge I have left. Typically, on the way home, I am in a hurry so previously I drove as fast as my remaining range and weather conditions permitted me to do, which was usually 55-60 mph.  Now, even at 70+, I am barely hitting LBW by the time I get home.

I am also not talking about the 163 mile trip I took the other day which included an unexpected detour to pick up my Sister when BiL's near new Chevy Truck went DOA on the highway.  This was an unplanned 52 mile detour.  I had already planned on getting a quick boost on the way home since I would still be near 110 miles in Winter but now it was a full blown 30 min charge on the way there.  Thankfully, the 30 kwh pack takes a charge at near full speed at much higher SOC's.  This allowed me to get enough so that I did not have to stop again on the way home. Again, not possible in the 24 kwh pack especially when the charging speed starts to drop before 50% SOC!

In a nutshell, the 30 kwh pack not only provides roughly 20-25 miles of extra range (5.4 kwh) its ability to charge faster means a much greater flexibility in planning a drive that may include charging stations not in the ideal position along the route.


There is a catch. The 30 kwh pack has been available since the beginning of the 2016 model year in the SL/SV trim with the S Trim getting it mid Fall.  There was a lot of reports of "2nd Gen" LEAFers who claimed their 30 kwh pack heated up much faster than their previous 24 kwh packs despite less fast charging sessions.

Well this was a concern! What good is getting extra kwh's on the road if it heated up your pack so much that it rendered the car nearly unusable?

Now, initially I had some doubts. Hot weather was probably part of it.  I figured people were just Kwh crazed, driving 75 mph,  zipping from one station to the next only because they could.  But then I saw some reports in mid Fall from an Oregonian when the weather was in the mid 40's. Wow, that is not hot weather at all!

So I decided to heat up my pack to see just how bad it was.  But 3 stops at fast chargers this past week didn't seem to do much heating at all. As always the weather was completely uncooperative being much colder than normal. So might have to repeat this experiment when we get back to normal.  For some background, at this time of year, I usually had 4 temp bars and a fast charge would bump me to 5 or 6 temp bars and I would almost always have at least 5 temp bars the next morning.  But that is not happening with my 30 kwh pack and because I park in my garage, the colder than normal temps are not really a factor since the garage temperature swing is only about 4-5º even on the coldest days.

So, I purposely did not charge the night before, got up yesterday morning, OAT was 33º, garage was 50.2º and batt temps were 50.2/49.8/49.2.  So did a bit of driving around and then hit the Tumwater DCFC

Time Stamp 12:15
As you can see, the driving around we did hardly changed temps at all. In fact, the last number went down. This one I am guessing is at the end of the pack or more exposed because it always quickly diverges from the other two always being cooler than the top 2.  I also suspect that it might not be as accurate since its usually reading lower than the garage temp. (or I need to change battery in garage sensor...:) )

Time Stamp 12:38
So I charged for 21 mins to get to 80% (There was also a car with Campbell Edmonds Dealer plates who pulled in...) cutting it a bit shorter than planned but still ok.  AV says I got 12.05 kwh and as you can see LEAF Spy counted 11.558 kwh to the pack adding 12.6 kwh as "available" so the heatup worked. OAT has dropped to 32º and it starts to snow.

We then went home to wear out the Xbox which was 10 miles and FOREVER to get there. People seem to lose their ability to make rational decisions behind the wheel when flakes appear. Its almost as if they are auditioning for that scene from "The Wizard of OZ" or something...

Time Stamp 14:05
We get home and park in garage cause its snowing like crazy now and I don't want that stuff on my car but we leave garage door open (which is pretty normal for me during the day anyway) Later we dash off to get something to eat.  We picked a bad day to be out driving. It literally took us longer to drive the 3.4 miles to the restaurant than it took us to order, eat our food and leave.

We go home and car is in garage with door shut, OAT warms up to 25º, Garage is 45º. (left door open too long).  A few hours later, car has to give up its spot for Kayak (another story) but just for an hour.
Car returns to garage, door shut.

Time Stamp 20:46
LEAF put to bed with no dinner. (She was not bad or anything like that. Just another sacrifice for pseudoscience!)

Time Stamp 08:02  12/24/16
I got up, crank on heat (overnight temp is generally set to 55-58º), drink coffee and checked LEAF.  As always, all 3 are back to near ambient temps. I guess I should have checked before I turned on heat. But in reality, I probably don't want to know how much my furnace is heating up the garage. Sometimes a bit of ignorance is... well, you know.

In conclusion; my experiment did not go as I had planned cause I wanted to heat the pack up a bit more but even in the times I did it earlier in the week, I was still seeing the same results the next morning. The pack always returned to near ambient temps.

Another thing to keep in mind is most of what I was doing during the week was charging at Tacoma Mall, spending 25-40 minutes to drive home and immediately parking in garage with door shut so even with a somewhat climate controlled garage that never got below 46º even during the colder days, I was still seeing all the heat generated from fast charging dissipated overnight.

This experiment is not done but the initial results are interesting.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Winter Time LEAFing AKA How I get 100 Miles In The Dead of Winter!

Despite the calendar saying Winter is not arriving for a few weeks, Our Winter officially started a few days ago when the Mercury went below freezing.  This afternoon we are expected to get our first significant snowfall in nearly 2 years (or longer. Its been so long, not sure when it snowed and stuck around for more than a day...)

All this means reduced driving range on our EVs.  So a few tips for any EVers and also some great gift ideas for an EVer on your Christmas list!

First off; lower tire pressures reduces efficiency and tire pressures drop as the temperature drops.  What I do is set my tire pressures in the Fall to 44 PSI.  This generally means pressures no lower than roughly 42 PSI during the coldest of  Winter weather.  The rule of thumb is to expect a drop of one PSI for every 10ºF drop in temperature.  Another thing to remember is to set your tire pressures during the coldest part of the day.  First thing in the morning is usually the most convenient for me.

2nd;  Maintaining safety.  Here in the Pacific Northwest, temps in the 20's are rare but wet, rainy weather is not. So being able to see clearly is a huge concern. Making sure your windshield wipers are in good shape and maintaining the inside glass will reduce the need for using defrost to clear the glass.   One of the things I found that works best is this.

Mine has a two part handle which allows you to reach the entire windshield from the driver's seat. The handle comes in two parts so can easily fit in the glove box for storage. The microfiber cloth acts as a glass polisher which does a great job of not only drying the glass but cleaning off the tiny particles and junk that tends to gather on the glass. Gillian from the Seattle LEAF owners group;

"PM auto expert Mike Allen explains that the hazy buildup common to interior window surfaces comes from gaseous vinyl chloride, a plasticizer added to soften vinyl components, which slowly off-gases as a filmy fume. On a hot day, Allen says, the stuff just sublimates right out of the dashboard. Allen could see a use for the tool reaching across anything from steep-raked muscle car windshields to those long-dashed early '90s minivans that looked like DustBusters. Even if the windshield is clean, he might use the microfiber cloth to wipe interior condensation before defrosting "
I did verify this to be accurate. My first version of this I got last year and when I first used it, the streaks were very easy to see and I found that eventually I removed the streaks and the associated distortion.   Also keep in mind. The fog on your windshield is actually millions of water droplets condensing  on the glass simply because the glass cools down much faster than the rest of the car.  Water vapors need something to attach to.  Removing the slimy film along with dirt (most likely diesel particles btw... :( )  makes it that much tougher for water droplets to find a place to form which reduces the need for defrost as well.


Its currently on Amazon for $9 for a two pack!! So give one, keep one! FYI; fogging issues happen on every car.

Keeping moisture in check helps as well. The drier the car (and contents) the less fogging. Now in an area where the humidity runs high nearly all Winter, that can be a challenge.  I do have a pair of desiccant cans which helps I'm sure but I decided to bolster the drying power (Plus I need something for the Corolla) so I ordered a pair of these.  These plug in to regenerate via USB or regular power.  The "333" is the size of the area they should cover. Guessing that is cubic feet.

Thirdly and the most subjective is maintaining comfort.  Now this is the toughest since some people can handle cold and some cannot.  I find that its easy to be "heatless" in the morning than on the evening trip home.  Now part of it is hot shower, hot coffee and a lot of commute left in the morning verses  commute target in sight and extra range to burn!! (well... sometimes)

But the real takeaway is dressing for the weather! I had a video of a lady wearing a few sheer dress with a light weight sweater impatiently waiting for a tow truck driver to jump her disable vehicle (yes it was a gasser!) in Michigan and I can only guess she was not comfortable. So hat, gloves and coat is the minimum!

Now I am heading into my first Winter with my 2016 which does not have steering wheel or backseat heaters! both of which was in my 2013. I have blankets for both front and back seats including a Seahawks wrap thing that has arm holes!  The blankets helped trap the heat so my passengers actually felt very comfortable.  But I decided that a 12 volt blanket for the backseat was in order and got one large enough for both people on Amazon for $27.

For the cold hands issues,  I generally wear Seahawks Gloves during Winter all the time even on warm days but on the colder days, they fall short especially if my hands were already cold when getting in the car (A common issue with my job) so a bit of help was needed.

This I picked up at Shopko for $7 for the two pack. The warming pads are small enough that I can slip them inside my gloves so they sit on the back of my hands and are very effective in keeping my hands toasty!  They are reusable so should last a long time. One thing I did find out is that they need to be reset so they are good for one trip (or two if you are ok with one cold hand. :) ) but as mentioned before, in the morning I am generally pretty comfortable. You can also get an 8 pack on Amazon right now for $24. This is probably the way to go. This allows you to not get caught unprepared.  For $35 they have hand warmers that also provide duty as a flashlight and portable power pack for your electronics.

Finally, the biggest thing you can do is simply slow it down a bit.  Not only does it increase your range but its also all about safety. wet, snow, black ice, etc. all increases our risks on the road. Cold air is denser so your LEAF must work harder to push that heavier air out of the way.  There is no getting around that basic reality of physics other than reducing your speed.

In conclusion, the most important issue that needs to be understood is you. We all have limits to compromise, comfort, etc. and thanks to Global Warming, most of the time it simply isn't that cold here.  So if you think all this is my using any excuse I can to show Seahawks Pride, you might be on to something!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Nov 2016 Drive Report; Gasser Ignored

Another month is in the can and this month's statistics will involve 3 cars instead of the normal 2! If you are familiar with my previous blogs, you will realize that this is the first report for my new 2016 S30 which also means that my 2013 S24 will make its final appearance on the monthly drive reports so without further ado (personally not sure why that word works here. I prefer "to do" but whatever...)

For the month end November 30, 2016 the Corolla went 11.6 miles at a cost of...uhh, hmmm? ok, I guess that "3 car" report isn't working out...

The 2013 LEAF traveled 610.6 miles at an estimated cost of $12.87 or 2.11 cents per mile. For the last 10 days of its life (for me) its low water stats for GIDs, kwh available, ahr, Hx were 257, 19.9, 58.47, 88.69, On the high end;  260, 20.3, 60.30, 92.42%. I did turn it in with about 160 miles remaining of its 45,000 mile lease so plenty left for a test drive! Call Ray now!

The 2016 went 1318.2 miles (in 20 days... already blowing up my lease miles  *sigh*) at a cost of $28.02 or 2.14 cents per mile. Now that figure does include $3.05 in public charging fees but in reality, my costs would be much higher.  Without NCTC  I would be over 3 cents per mile.  Thus far, my new LEAF is struggling to average 3.6 miles/kwh.  This a huge drop in performance from my 2011 and 2013.

Now, part of that is more range for a lot of trips that are not further in distance, new tires and "unusual" weather.

On that unusual weather part, you might know that I advertise the Pacific Northwest Winters as being 6 solid months of humid misery. Fairbanks Alaska gets 10X more Sun at this time of year! And yes, I admit I do it to discourage people from relocating here. We already have enough people here and now working on ways to get rid of a few we already got so more people coming in is not going to work. After all, Olympia is the foggiest city in the US!! (and that part "is" true!)

But the truth is that Chicago, Detroit and New York gets more annual precipitation than Seattle does. But this year, our Winter has lived up to my (somewhat exaggerated) billing.  We set all time records for rain in October and since I got my 2016, the weather for the end of November has hardly been better. On the last day of November, we exceeded the average rainfall for the year.   So thinking I either had a very smooth rolling LEAF before or maybe need an adjustment on this one for alignment or something.

A quick check on the early days of both my 2011 and 2013 (received in Jan and Dec so similar weather) shows an average just over 4 miles per kwh (mpk).  This is normal since on wetter days, I get 3.5 to 3.7 mpk while drier days I am in the low to mid 4's.   I have only hit 4.4+ mpk mark 3 times.  And yes, that is just slightly less than the number of good days we have had lately.  This eliminates the new tire possibility.  Using the same old Ecopias.

Another test involves 2 down slopes I drive nearly every day. The one is Northbound I-5 into the Nisqually Flats.  I shift to neutral at a certain point (marked by a sign) and even during crappy Winter weather, I can normally get up to 62-63 mph (70 mph in Summer)  but not able to maintain 60 mph now and even tried hitting the sign a few mph faster...still didn't work.

The other one is much less gradual and South of the Cabela's roundabout. Here I shift to neutral as low as 30 mph and am able to hit 50 mph.  Now, barely hitting 40-42  mph.

In looking at other differences, it became obvious that cruise control maybe nice but its not efficient. So I have gone back to my old style of feathering the pedal and varying my speed a few miles per hour to take advantage of short down slopes or minimizing the penalties of short up hills. This seems to benefit my performance about .2 or .3 mpk.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Is LEAF Braking Breaking? Or Is It A "Regen Penalty?"

Waaaay back in the day when the 2011 LEAF was the only version around, there were some people that had grabby brakes. This seemed to happen the most in heavy, slow stop and go traffic.   A fix was issued and the results covered the entire range of possibilities. Some people reported it was fixed, others reported it was better, and a few reported it started out better but went back to bad within a few days to a few weeks. IOW; the fix did not address the cause of the issue.

Fast forward to 2013 and again the same braking issue.  A few differences here and there but basically the same symptoms. One would be gliding to a stop, feathering the pedal with the goal of getting the maximum regen with only enough friction braking to accomplish the stop and all of a sudden, the full braking force of the car kicked in causing a screeching stop.

Now during all this, I never experienced the issue.  I got the recall done because that is how I am. I pretty much never make a special trip to get any of these things done instead electing to do all of them on a random visit to the dealership. Now this all worked out well (except for AC issue on the 2013 when it decided to stop working on a record breaking day in April. Considering Global Warming, you can guess which end of the records spectrum we are talking about!)

Now, many claimed they could reproduce the issue at will.  I followed their process several times and it didn't happen. Not sure why. It just didn't. I chalked it up to the variances all products had despite the fact that this was not an isolated incident.  It actually became easier to ignore because the 2013 fix seemed to be much more effective and the sad fact that LEAF degeneration levels of the 2011-12's meant not that many surviving 2011's out there unless they were part of the small few who got replacement batteries.

But then Kelly Carmichael from BC Canada who still had his 2011 had the issue reappear.  He stated the change to colder weather seemed to aggravate the situation but the problem is that being in the Pacific Northwest, we rarely get that cold especially if hanging around at or near sea level.  So why was this happening? Why was the fix not working for him but working other people?

As always was a great resource to find out what others were experiencing.  Many echoed the sentiment that the fix was at best temporary for quite a few.  Others mentioned some workarounds that seemed to work including one person who disabled traction control, depressed brake pedal to the floor, held it a few seconds, let go and re-enabled traction control and the issue disappeared immediately.   Kelly tried this and it worked for him.  But again, some reported the workaround had to be repeated on a regular basis.

All this got me to thinking. I never had the issue and never disabled traction control with the one exception. The following is a distraction completely unrelated to the topic at hand but was fun doing it!

With all this in mind, I took off for work and as always, got stuck in traffic and realized that I was subconsciously pressing the brake pedal way beyond the point I needed to complete the stop. It was sort of a stretching exercise that I realized I was doing because it also seemed to relieve a tiny bit of stress. This was actually in the Corolla (which had been sitting 5 weeks and needed to be driven) so my first thought was I had to get my LEAF and try this.

So I jump in my 2016 LEAF and a few things I need to remind you of first.  Eco B is nearly 100% effective for one foot driving.  I have only touched the brakes more than a tap one time and that was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving when exiting I-5 North at Sleater-Kinney/College St which was a good thing because I could see that the traffic was backing up a few hundred yards ahead. Well a truck (diesel no less...) didn't realize it and cut from the far left lane across 3 lanes and into the medium, across it and off on my exit causing me to have to brake pretty hard to miss him. If my car had not been shiny, I would have rammed him, but... anyway.

I drove around and at the first stop, I depressed the pedal and was immediately surprised the pedal became firm almost immediately making the distance from the onset of friction braking to the floor much farther than I had remembered.

So back to my 2011 and what I remembered.  The 2011 had the best user controlled regen. Now, maybe it was my imagination but I could ease on the pedal and max the regen and I could feel the boundary where friction braking would start.  But that level of control was short lived because the brake "fix" took away a lot of that feeling.  Now, anything beyond the very lightest touch resulted in a mix of regen and friction braking. I could no longer light up the last regen circle with the brake pedal without some friction braking.  I spent a lot of time experimenting before resigning myself to the fact that Nissan simply took that ability away from me.

My 2013 was the same way. Regen simply was not as easy as before and it was also tougher to fill that last circle especially at lower speeds. This was disappointing especially when there were too many times a tiny bit of pressure on the pedal was needed in heavy traffic and the thought of using even a touch of friction braking really kinda pissed me off.  A LOT!

So imagine my surprise at how well Eco B worked. I loved it! The dozens of complaints from both the LEAF and Prius forum about "too sluggish" "like driving underwater"  I simply couldn't understand that attitude at even the very basic level. After all, I could punch the throttle and the  car took off just fine! Not $100,000 acceleration mind you, but I know me well enough to know I want to continue living so not having all that acceleration is a good thing.

So the days of slowly easing on the brakes was all but done.  Most of the time I could get down to under 10 mph before touching the brakes. So at the point, I didn't care what percentage of braking was regen verses friction because at roughly 8 mph, its all friction!

Then it hit me...

With a 2 mode braking system, an algorithm is needed to insure a safe stop in all situations.  This means both pedal position and pedal position acceleration have to be in concert with each other.  In a slow controlled stop situation, most of the top positioning is going to be primarily regen. In the 2011, I probably could coax close to 50% of pedal travel to regen only.

In an emergency stop, sensors detect greater pedal acceleration which charges the ABS system and friction braking kicks in much sooner as in almost immediately. After all, when 15 feet behind a bumper and closing fast, regen is not the priority any more!  IOW, almost all of the pedal positioning is now primarily friction braking.

I began to realize that the workaround of pushing the pedal to the floor was possibly a reset of the pedal positioning sensor. I seem to recall some people not liking the pedal going nearly to the floor in gradual stop situations but to be honest, can't remember if it the Prius forum or the LEAF forum or both

So we go back to Kelly's car and why his issue only happens in Winter but when only experiencing "Fall-like" weather?    Part of the 2013 brake fix was cycling the brake or ABS charge cylinder or something more frequently to keep it from freezing up.  Well as mentioned above, it aint freezing here and its not really even close. But its apparent that temperature is a factor at least for Kelly...

But Kelly has a 2011 with degradation and we do know that cold batteries do not regen as well which means even at lower SOC's sometimes regen simply either cuts out or is much lower than normal. IOW, can't light up that last circle!  Degradation multiplies that issue.

All this got me to thinking that the sudden braking was being caused by the shutdown of regen at 8 mph so when the friction brakes take over, they are overreacting to the pedal position not realizing it was the new boundary  of sorts for mostly regen verses mostly friction.

To clarify; normally the threshold between regen and friction braking moves depending on the driving circumstances, right?  We can "create" pedal play which allows us to vary the regen to get the most regen we can based on how much space we have and what speed we are traveling at. It would almost appear that the regen system is not talking with the friction braking system or at least is losing some of the information the two systems should be sharing.

Now does any of this make sense?

Lets look at the 2011 owners who had pretty much every possible solution to the brake fix. It ran from "fixed it!" to "a complete waste of my time"  So why the results so different in mostly identical cars?  What is the variance here?

Its the driver.  We all drive differently and we all pretty have our own ideas of how to maximize range.  Look at MNL discussions on regen verses neutral verses drive verses eco verses the day of the week! Everyone has their own ideas of how to get that last mile.

So I am looking for someone who has a 2011 and a 2013+ or one with B mode.  Is their a significant difference in brake pedal travel. Does your pedal slowly sink when you are braking primarily in regen mode?


Ok getting a lot of confusion so guess I need to clear up my muddy thinking a bit.  As mentioned the braking system is two parts regen and ABS or friction brakes.  Now the key thing is in an emergency stop detected by a fast change in pedal position, the ABS kicks in quicker.  Now we know regen cuts out at about 8 mph. So what happens if the regen pedal position is out of whack and it reports a position of 20 but when the ABS takes over under 8 mph, its sees 30? This ABS will read this as an emergency stop and you know the rest!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Fast Charging Info On LEAF Spy

On my last blog I mentioned I would be using a 50 KW fast charger to see how differently it reacted and as expected, it was better than the 40 KW charger proportionally which means more power in the same amount of time.  Average intake on 40 KW for 30 mins (NRG auto shutoff time)  14ish kwh.   AV on 29 mins; just over 20 kwh!!... I think...


The numbers bounce around a bit but was trying to
 show that it was charging at 32 KW over 80% SOC!

I used 50 KW AV DCFC yesterday for the first time (keeping in mind NRG is a 40 KW charger for the most part) and some "interesting" numbers.
LEAF Spy read 62 GIDs 4.8 kwh available and as always I reset the energy counter just before charge started. 

Charged for 29 mins (AV does not automatically shut off at 30 mins under NCTC) hitting as much as 47.7 KW (never seen 48 btw). Finished the charge and received 20.05 kwh per AV display, 19.42 kwh per LEAF Spy counter, 332 GIDs 25.7 kwh remaining.

My question; how does this add up?
Charge received 19.42 to 20.05 Kwh but available kwh increased 20.9 kwh ?
GID increased from 62 to 332 or 270 which is 77 wh/GID if using the 20.9 figure.
Now wondering if I have an errant LEAF Spy setting?

Checking LEAF Spy logs I can get a fairly good power calculation by summing the power found by multiplying the power on OBC out by the epoch delta (which I think is in seconds) and dividing by 3600 to get a watt-hour approximation. This verifies LEAF Spy readings (why wouldn't it?) and did see a brief hit at 48.6 KW! (so much for that never over 48 KW theory) 

shown from left; line number, GIDs, epoch time, OBC out,
 GPS Status (anyone know what it means? strange to see different 
numbers when car was parked?) and kwh calc

Kelly Carmichael proposed an interesting theory on the Seattle Facebook Page
 I dont know the answer, but I would suspect that the gids is tuned to the lowest cell voltage and if you started with an unbalanced pack then you could get access to some energy you already had but wouldn't have been able to use if you had kept driving.

Interesting theory especially when considering the pack will only give based on the lowest voltage cell so an out of balance pack would leave a lot of GIDs unused among the higher voltage cells and generally the voltage delta among cells widens as the SOC drops and the opposite happens when SOC rises.

Now its well established that balance is good but not necessarily critical for longevity when needs are met in without hitting low SOC.  But the question; Is Nissan's BMS that sophisticated?  Because if it is, this does explain a few things.

I reported a few years ago having additional range below the "zero kwh remaining" level. In fact it was this extra mile or so of hidden range that allowed me to make it home on what appeared to be a "GID on steroids"

Will be doing this again to see if the results are repeatable but for those Electrical Engineers out there; Does this seem plausible?  I understand balancing happens all the time but without a "ceiling" to slow the higher voltage cells, it was my understanding the balancing current was simply too low to be "quickly" effective.  Since the SOC peaked at 92% SOC, am I to think that some cells had already reached their peak voltage?  That sounds like my pack needs a lot more balancing?