Sunday, October 4, 2015

Sept 2015 Drive Report; Its Time To Adjust Your Tire Pressure!

As mentioned before, I have to start reducing the usage on the LEAF to insure I do not exceed my lease mileage and Winter is coming on so I naturally with the shorter range that cold weather brings, its just convenient to start now so the Corolla wins the mileage crown this month going 1202 miles at  $68.79  or  5.7 cents per mile.  Part of the expense includes gasoline purchased July 6th. When tanks last from the 6th of July to Sept 10, estimates is as good as I can provide :)  FYI; I have to go back even farther for the same $68.79 in electricity for the LEAF but interestingly only a few days more to July 2nd.  The only difference is that was 3,680.2 miles ago despite very low gas prices and the Corolla's  40.22 MPG during the month.

The LEAF went only 901.5 miles costing $18.49 or   2.05 cents per mile.  I forgot to mention a few months ago, Puget Sound Energy had a change in their rebate amounts so despite the fact that my rates did not go up, my effective cost for power increased just about a penny per kwh to 8.7 cents.  I had no public charging events this month which is probably the reason I broke the 2 cents per mile mark for the first time in months.

As always; The LEAF thrives on exercise and I have to admit my LEAF is probably getting a bit "pudgy."  I had a 4 day stint where the LEAF averaged 13 miles day and another 3 day stint when it averaged 18 miles a day which means my battery stats plummeted.  Low water marks for ahr, Hx and Kwh available were 59.13, 90.32 and 19.9.   But this does not worry me.  It is pretty well normal and I do know a fellow Washingtonian, Josh who had similar stats but then he took a road trip to Canada which naturally included a handful of fast charges and his ahr jumped over 65 ahr! It almost seems like the LEAF senses when you need a few extra miles and provides you access to capacity that is normally hidden. Maybe its to help with longevity under normal uses?  Don't know if that has any basis of truth, but it sounds good!

Other than that, September 2015 has to considered "announcement" month.   The 2016 LEAF specs were finally announced along with prices and surprise! (not for us) the SV/SL will have a new 30 kwh battery complete with a 100,000 mile capacity warranty. Says a ton about the implied technology upgrade for the new chemistry!

The 2016 Volt was also announced boasting a 53 mile EV range along with a jab  at Nissan's "old" range.   But I think its more pay back in response to Nissan's "What If Everything Ran on Gasoline" ad. In the battle of "effective" advertising its basically a repeat of Super Bowl between Seattle and Denver.  Nissan pretty much nailed it in the first few seconds...

And finally, the long awaited Tesla X SUV.  So all in all, a great month for Electric Vehicles.  But they gained much more than that with the Volkswagen TDI scandal. VW admitted they rigged certain TDIs (about half a million) to cheat the emissions test giving them a much better rating then they deserved. How much better?  In reality; there is likely no standard poor enough for them to qualify.

The fix will be expensive but the damage is done. Now there are several reports suggesting the additional pollution caused anywhere from a few dozen to hundreds of deaths.  VW lost billions in stock value so guessing it will be a few years before we know the entire impact of their actions. Either way, diesel is definitely not the way to go right now and the only question that remains is how many disgruntled TDI owners will convert to electric?

And Finally; the season is in the middle of change which means its time to adjust your tire pressures! I bit the bullet and did not change mine and now I am getting up in the morning with tire pressures ranging from the high 39's to the low 40's.  I normally run at 44 PSI. Its not even Winter yet and I have lost 4 PSI already!  Keep in mind; you want your tire pressures to be "cold" pressure. Now there is no temperature specific to this because it varies from region to region but basically you "want" to set your pressure during the coldest part of the day. So if you set your pressure to 44 PSI (VERY recommended) then it is perfectly normal and accepted to see 44-48 PSI during your driving day.  This is NOT dangerous IN ANY WAY and FULLY accepted safe practice.

A reputable tire store will verify this.