Saturday, February 17, 2018

2018 LEAF Day ONE!!

As we all know, my preorder was for the SV with tech and weather but Nissan had production issues (as we see Tesla is not alone with this issue!) and I also had an issue  as well which created a major time crunch that involved gassing it EVERY day for a few days short of a month, a 31 day month!  But that ended Friday the 16th as I drove home in a Blue 2018 S with QC and weather from Ray Ishak at Campbell Nelson Nissan in Everett WA!

I knew that this LEAF would be more expensive than previous LEAFs but then again, it was a lot more car.  But quirks in the leasing plan created a situation where the greatest discounts were on the S at $9275 verses the SL at $7900 or the SV which essentially got no discount at $7500 (Nissan as always rightly passes on ALL  the consumer incentive AKA federal tax credit. A rarity in the industry...) So after discussing it with Ray I quickly realized my order submitted to Nissan the first week of September had the sole benefit of qualifying me for a gift...ONLY.  I get that most people would think that the ordering process that involved COMPLETELY configuring the car with all options, colors, etc would imply that that would be the car you get. Well that was not the case! So after reviewing what was immediately available (dealer searches in the region did not get me any better results) and realizing it would be AT LEAST another 30 days, I decided to take Ray's advice and go with the S.  Its hardly a disappointment with possibly hybrid heating and Adaptive Cruise Control being the things I miss most but the standard features of the new LEAF were already very impressive and besides, I doubt I would use the heat anyway. I don't care how much range I have, I hate wasting resources needlessly.  Driving fast (I admit the 30 kwh LEAF probably resulted in an average 7-12 mph faster drive home... ) has benefits associated with time management so not a waste!

But the real reason I passed 12 LEAF dealers to go to Ray is simply because its Ray!  Just over a year ago, taking home a LEAF meant supporting families in 3rd World Countries. This year, its a conservation of resources.  Gone is the mountain of paperwork associated with car buying.  All of it is now a Flash Drive that doubles as a business card!  No trees involved!

The Deal

MSRP; $33,295.00  "Negotiated" price (no real negotiation since price was already settled on a few weeks ago on Facebook Messenger...)  $31,989.  Lease Cash $9275,  Loyalty $1000.

Total discount  $11581.  In the interest of full disclosure, Splash Guards $190 were part of MSRP calc that I didn't order (They don't really work here anyway. Too much mud, rain, etc....)

MF was .00036 which equates to effective interest rate of .854%.  I had thought about putting $3500 down to reduce the rent charge of  $504.45 but even a $3500 down payment only reduced it by just under $50.  So heck with it. Put check back in pocket. Guess I will go to Acapulco instead. (or more likely Michigan/Ohio...)

Lease Terms

15,000 annual miles
Zero down payment
MF .00036 (.854% interest rate)
Rent Charge ($504.45)
35 payments;  $382.94 or  $13,402.90
Residual ; $9,655.55
TCO;  $23,058.45
29.8 cents per mile

Feel like paying it off early?  Save that rent charge

NCTC 3 (The 2 year free charging thing)

Have to add this because after 5 years, it is better but hardly fixed.  Registered with Blink, Chargepoint, AV and Greenlots. Total time; About 3 mins.  Then I get to EVGO.

What the holy H*** are they smoking!  I already knew I could not use any of the 2 previous emails I had but when I get thru the registration, I found I can't use my previous cellphone number which BTW is a new restriction since I did it on NCTC 2. (NCTC 1 was my 90 day assault on public charging due to some range discussion)

Well, I have Google everything so I figured, I will use my Google Voice number (something that works great if you don't want to give out your real number to suspected Spammers. You can configure all calls directly to Voice Mail on your regular number)  So I tried to do that but it failed! and the reason is almost as bad as EVGO's signup process.  It would seem that when I was with Verizon, I could literally do anything with my Google Voice Number but since I changed phones and providers to Project Fi AKA "GOOGLE WIRELESS"  I got an error message that I could not configure my Google Voice number on my Pixel XL 2 because the number was "managed by Project Fi and this use was restricted!"   So I tried using my CenturyLink Landline number that is Internet only and that didn't work either so I just used my Sister's cellphone number and sure enough, it wasn't even use to verify my account or anything else so the reality is I ONLY needed the new email address!!

The Drive

Ok, so its faster. Don't care. But it is quieter and that is a lot to say about a car that barely made any noise before. Now keep in mind; my experience so far was a 3 hour slog home thru Seattle on a Friday before a 3 day weekend so... anyway, at 15 miles an hour it seemed fine.  But I will say there is no longer that high pitched motor whine and its stability in roundabouts is noticeably better than previous versions.  The car simply feels very solid and well built.

So on to the car!!
Well the big complaint is the lack of digital speedometer.  Not sure why because it is most definitely there ๐Ÿ˜

But we now have 11 screens to choose from so I guess I can see how it was overlooked.  But that is not all.  Previously several settings had "Easter Egg" processes to change them.  Well, Nissan dumbed it down for us giving us a very comprehensive settings menu.  If you are reading this from your cellphone, I would suggest connecting to Wi Fi or waiting till you get home to read this on your Big Screen because this is going to be a long one!

But before we get to all that, we need to explain that big circular thing on the right. Well, unlike the general consensus that its the speedometer, in reality its only purpose is for the power on animation.


Weather Package brings back the steering wheel heater!! But it doesn't work anything like the old one on my 2013. It does not cycle from very warm to luke warm and back. It now stays at a steady heat. The Seat Heaters also don't get as warm as my 2013 did either.  I do have rear heater vents but sadly, there does not appear to be a "rear vent" only option on the air flow menu.

Quick Charge  Gives me Chademo but also adds a dual 120 volt/240 Volt Charger. The 240 volt option goes up to 30 amps so very cool. Now what to do with the 3 EVSEs I have at home??...

The Screens

The Screens are divided into 4 categories with a 5th for settings.  The categories; Battery/charging,  Media, Driving Performance,  and Info.  The dots you see on the left side indicates the categories has multiple screens.  Moving from category to category is done using left/right buttons on the left side of steering wheel while additional displays within each category are accessed with up/down buttons.  Some will have config options that can be accessed by hitting the center button.


The power meter replaces the circles with bars. There are several screens that provide a smaller version in the lower right corner. I think its cute...but mostly useless.

SOC Meter; Again, a "cute" thing.  Hitting the ok button brings up a config screen that allows you to plug in various charging speeds; 50 KW QC,  6.6 KW L2, 3.3 KW L2 and 1.44 KW L1.  It will also display the actual charge speed in whole KW increments.  Nice when checking the ramp down on a DCFC  session.

Battery Temperature Gauge. Bravo to Nissan for burying this out of sight!!

Capacity Gauge AKA "Degradation Meter"  For my thoughts here, see Temperature Gauge. I am guessing there are 12 segments that will disappear at about the same irregular interval as before but wouldn't be great to find out its an analog meter where we could have like 11¼ bars?


Pressing the Ok button cycles you thru the inputs. I guess its a safer way then hitting the applicable button on the center screen.  ๐Ÿ˜‡

Driving Performance

Instantaneous Performance Gauge;  There are smaller versions on other screens. The top which is zero since its still sitting in garage will bring up your aggregate economy which can be reset by accessing menu on Ok button.

Driving History

Anyone who had a Prius will need no explanation here. Its basically an identical copy. The far right bar is the instantaneous reading that will graph your previous hour's performance in 5 minute blocks.  In the settings menu there is additional info to get daily performances as well.


This is where I will live with an occasional visit to the driving history screen.

Automatic Emergency Braking.

No you can't turn this off. But you can disable the warning. Not sure why anyone would want to but its an option.

DIGITAL Speedometer

Apparently one of the most important features on a car...I guess.


Recently someone posted that their TPMS sensor on the dash was on but they didn't have LEAF Spy and apparently didn't have a 2018!!

PSI not your thing?  I am sure you will find something you like.

Drive Computer

This will take up about 95% of my screen time. Best part of this is its an easy access to for my daily driving log. The only thing missing is Power usage by category.  The Soul has it! I want it too! But then again, we have yet to investigate the settings menu ๐Ÿ˜‰

Above I said there was 4 categories. That is actually not true. There is a 5th but hopefully I will never see that one.  Its the one between the "i" and the gear.

So thems the basics!

I got up this morning and LEAF Spy'd it and got

491 GIDs
38.1 kwh available
Ahr 115.09
96.5% SOC
99.26% SOH
99.17% Hx.

What does that mean? Well, its only ONE observation but it is a GREAT preliminary picture into what I can expect with my BMS process.

I have long contended that one of the (many) factors causing advanced degradation on 30 kwh packs was a high DoD.  DoD is Depth of Discharge or in layman's terms; How much of that battery is available to move the car.

24 kwh Pack DoD;  93.6%
30 Kwh Pack DoD; 94.8%

So going back the LEAF Spy numbers.  With an ahr of 115.09, the nominal capacity of the pack is 41.432 kwh or about 534 GIDs.  This works out to a DoD of roughly 92%  IOW.


If you get absolutely nothing out of this blog, that is ok as long as you understand this single point!
Now, realize I have a database of ONE so its possible (probable) that my numbers will puff up a bit after I start abusing my NCTC but even if I get to my estimated 38.5 kwh available, that is still a DoD of 93%.  A very very good sign. 

The Settings Menu

This blog is already too long and putting THE most important part at the end ensures most won't see it.  So for the settings menu; Stay tuned for part two! 


  1. If Nissan really "got it", they'd have come out with the Long Range 60 kWh battery to better, compete with the Chevy Bolt and the Model 3. - 2015 SL owner

    1. Well, we need to look at what the biggest issue facing Nissan was. You claim range when in reality most were happy with 100 miles and even more didn't use that much. But when its 100 miles this year, 90 miles next year and 80 the year after that? Sorry but I contend the TWO biggest factors Nissan faces is 1) Affordability and 2)Battery longevity.

      Range is important but its nowhere near the biggest issue for me.

  2. Thanks for sharing your Day 1 experience. Questions: 1. Does the 2018 LEAF have the ability to stop charging at 80% SOC? 2. Are you able to see data about how much energy is restored to the battery during driving?

    1. Much more to follow in next blog when I go over the settings menu but prelim look says no custom charge settings. As far as a energy usage screen? Nothing. I would be good to get a breakdown of usage by motive power, climate controls, regen and systems like some other EVs do but not in the cards as of yet but I still have some settings to go thru so you never know but I don't see it likely.

  3. Thank you. Excellent review.

  4. Nice report! What sort of headlights on the S? Auto ON switch for them? We had LED's and auto switch on our 2013 SV, were quite disappointed to see those features removed on our 2016, and the newer (xenon, I guess) headlights are pretty poor by comparison.

    1. Standard HIDs. The auto function is actually VERY cool. It has high beam assist which switches to low beam when it senses oncoming cars (I don't use it because I have been on the blinded end of those and they react way too slowly) But the really cool feature is that auto headlights can be set to come on at dusk or when its darker. It also has custom "on time" on how long lights will stay on after you shut off car, etc.

  5. Yes.. Thanks. Looks like the Lo and Hi beams are seperated bulbs on the new 'S' I seeing that right? Would really like to see a close-up of the 'S' housing for Headlights.

    1. Interesting thought. I will add pix in part 2!

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  7. Great stuffsas per usuau Dave and congrats again on turning over yetyanoyeta Leaf. I really admire your dedication and discipline with your blog and am
    looking forward to your upcoming reports.

    I am curious if there a non-scary way to test the auto brake feature?

    1. Not that I can tell. I did get an audio warning once but that is because I pulled up to stop sign and car was at stop turning left and I had enough room to squeeze by him on the right.

  8. Thanks for the informative info Dave; I appreciate it.

  9. Hi and thanks for your blog much appreciated! Can you compare the LeafSpy miles per kwh to the onboard stats? I am of the opinion that they are overly optimistic.

    1. The overestimation of range is normal for me because I live on side of hill so coming home from the North (its actually mostly East) I am descending a hill so my GOM is always a bit inflated but other than that, I can assure you, only extreme driving will prevent you from getting 150 miles on a charge. This morning, I started out at 24ยบ and drove 65 mph, picked up passenger, then dropped by office then made trek to Seattle. Arrived with 67 miles on trip, doing 60-70 mph with heat and still had estimated range of 148 miles

    2. Thanks Dave, Don't get me wrong, I do believe that the range is very achievable. What I am not understanding is how the onboard numbers come up with the miles per one video on youtube, the leaf owner did 102.1 miles and consumed 86% of the battery (travelled 70+ mph) and the onboard consumption number was 3.4 miles per kwh. If the useable battery is 38.2 kwh, should that number be closer to 3.1 miles per kwh? I am wonder if that number would be found in LeafSpy, hence my original question.

      Thanks Don

    3. Actually a good question as I also have questions on just how accurate the GOM on the LEAF is compared to "real life" or even on LEAF Spy. It would seem the GOM is a bit conservative when getting down to the bottom. Yesterday, I was at 15% and it was stating a range of 21 miles and there was a charging station that was convenient easy off, easy on from I-5 (AAA in Lynnwood) so stopped there and after loading LEAF Spy, it said I had 115 GIDs left which is closer to 35 miles!

      So naturally, one thins I will be investigating is running the charge down lower to see how the GOM reacts cause I think I might be in for some surprises!

    4. Thanks! Last question, could you recommend an ODB2 that works with the new leaf? I'm getting mine in a couple of weeks and want to be prepared! lol

    5. When you download LEAF Spy, the help menu will have recommendations. I would recommend checking that out as the list has changed. Newer batches of good OBD devices have not worked out due to minor changes in manufacturing process.

  10. Hello again Dave, and thanks again for your valuable insights over these past few years. I don't drive as much as you and I am curious if you know how much of your payment would be for the more standard 12k per yeay lease.

    1. Total additional cost for 15,000 miles over 12,000 was like $400? So not a lot of difference. The big change is the residual

  11. Dave,
    Do you have anymore information on the production issues Nissan is having? I also pre-ordered my 2018 Leaf SV with tech package back in October and put a $500 deposit on it. Since then the dealer has pushed my estimated delivery date from end of January, to end of February, and now mid-March. Has anyone in the US received a 2018 Nissan Leaf SV with tech package yet?

    1. You might want to look at my "one week" entry that details some of the hiccups I have encountered. Now did they play a part in the delay? Hard to say. But Nissan has never been open to the internal workings of their company. Even as a LEAF Advisory Board Member, we were not told a lot concerning engineering challenges Nissan faced.

      Their decision to go without TMS (which is the battery end game goal for EVERYONE) from the onset has created monumental challenges that they are still working on and the changes in the 2018 reflect that. Slower DCFC charging with ramp down current happening earlier, etc. Now that "could be" weather related so can't make any real conclusions till the weather warms up but it does appear to be the case, initially.

    2. Gary; if you remember, my first choice (I ordered in Sept) was SV with tech and climate. That combo has proved rare thus far. I have seen SV with tech but no climate which in my area is completely shocking! EVs without seat heaters do not sell well here. Its all very strange

  12. I just read an article from Quebec that is congruent with your experience related to the charging rate. The authors experienced a does drop substantially from a rate starting at 120A and decreasing to 70A at the 80% SOC.

    Article if interested:


    Thanks again for your blog!


    1. Yep seeing similar. Trying to insure cold weather is not playing a part so did it by driving 40 miles first so batt temps ~ 22ยบC. started at 124 amps and ramp down started at 57% SOC
      100 amps @ 62%
      30 KW @ 75%
      20 KW @ 89%

      Will test again in Summer but not expecting a change. Batt temps peaked at 95ยบF so not too warm at all

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