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
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...
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.
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.