Thursday, October 4, 2018

Sept 2018 Drive Report; Dreams Of A New Warranty Pack Fading Fast!

Fall has arrived which means PUMP UP YOUR TIRE PRESSURES! Remember, they should be set during  the coldest part of the day.  First thing in the morning is best and if you haven't figured it out yet, the TPMS readings on the 2018 LEAF are very accurate.  Realize that as the day warms and you drive, etc. tire pressures will rise and that is OK.  Thinking its OK cause you hit your tire pressure goal after a 75 mile sprint in full Sun IS NOT OK!!

Fall also means cooler weather and a close to the "public charging season" at least for me.  TBH, I kinda like public charging! but only when the weather is good.  I "need" to get out and move around so taking a walk while charging is something I look forward to. Now, I don't lose much weight since its usually a walk to get food but at least the blood is circulating, right! 

All this means my "recent" charging pattern has changed a bit.  Now, I am averaging  2QCs and 2-3 L2 charging sessions a week.  Most of my L2 sessions are still short ones generally done first thing in the morning when I get up on days I work.  My commute is short enough that the 90 mins of charging I get in is enough. The best part is I was able to maintain a reasonable charge level even with heat, Defrost and everything else going since the weather has changed dramatically the past week.

And so far, my LEAF is loving it.  My pack lost .13% SOH in September over 933 miles.  At that rate I will be right at 85% SOC.  Sadly this means no new warranty pack in my future. But September was an easy month all the way around. Only hit 100º battery temps a few times.  Didn't drive to the Gorge as planned as I ended up doing the Triple Whammy.  Drove a SUV which was a diesel which was a Chevy instead. It was painful!

For the month, LEAF went 933.0 miles costing $3.39 in electricity and public charging fees which equates to very little per mile.  Had I charged at home, my cost would have been $18.36 or 1.97 cents per mile.  This figure is low due to still Summer rates and might have to be adjusted. I am still paying 8.5 cents per kwh.  Next month, the cost will be higher since my power usage will be higher. I only missed hitting a theoretically tier 2 rates by 9 kwh!  Won't be so lucky next month.  Oh course my savings was made possible by NCTC allowing me to get 176.24 kwh free!

The Battery
Ok, so lets talk about why everyone is here.  Its all about whether the 40 kwh pack is going to be like the 24 kwh Lizard pack or the pre SW update 30 kwh pack, right? Well above I mentioned that last month, I lost very little as far as capacity and alluded to the fact it might be due to cooler temps but in reality, this is the 2nd month in a row.

In September, I lost .15 ahr and .13 SOH over 933 miles or roughly 14% over 100,000 miles.  But I still have those two days where I saw big drops totaling nearly 2%.  But if we lump September and "not so cold" August together, we have  2413.9 miles and a loss of .4 ahr and .37% SOH which extrapolates to 15% over 100,000 miles.   This very well means I stand a very good chance of rolling 100,000 miles with 12 bars still intact. That is going to be a tough sell for a new pack.

At this point, I am glad I have 3 years and 45,000 miles to evaluate the pack. So far so good.

Fenix Power
By now many of you have heard that a new company will be introducing a LEAF battery leasing program. Details are light so I reached out to John who is one the main components of the company for details. Blog to follow as soon as we sort out the NDAs, etc. so if you have any specific questions, now is the time to ask.  Hope to have the blog out in a few days so don't delay!


  1. $200/month for a battery.
    They should throw in the car for free.

    1. I believe that is the high end of the range. More to follow in the next blog. Pricing details will not be solidified by then but should clear up a few things. Realize this option extends the life of a LEAF already saddled with insufficient range. In that circumstance there are a few choices and no cheap ones.

    2. If a new battery is $8000, as I've heard, it would take 3 years to pay it off at $200/month. Personally I have had my car 5 years and it is missing just 1 bar (still 80miles on GOM), so paying $200/month in perpetuity doesn't pay off.

    3. $200 is the high end and even the manufacturer states it will likely be lower but ok, lets do the $200 thing. So you get a LEAF, drive it 5 years and now it needs a battery. Problem is its $8500 (or whatever, I have heard people getting theirs for $7000ish but we will go with Nissan press guide) So you pony up a LOT of cash or take a loan to add to the car payment you are still making.

      Or put nothing down and get a new pack for $200 a month. How long you going to keep the car? Forever? If so, why?? Its like going online to buy VHS tapes (yeah it can be done!) because you paid $400 for that player and you are bound and determined to get your money's worth.

      The real benefit of the open end leasing is that its open ended. So lease a pack for 2 years. By then, EVs will have progressed to make it downright foolish to keep that short range car. Buy the pack you have payments (around $200) for just about 4 years.

    4. Your response above raises a question - what happens if the car is sold? If the purchaser doesn't want to continue paying rent, does the battery get repossessed?
      If the owner goes on extended vacation (e.g. military sent overseas for 6-12 months) is there a reduced fee while in storage with no driving?

    5. There will be more info including answers to the "sold" question. As far as going out of town? Expect the same discount any bank would give you on a lease or car loan.

  2. I look forward to hearing more concrete details about what Fenix Systems will be doing for aftermarket battery replacements. And I wish we would see more companies do this sort of thing

  3. I don't think SOH reading in LeafSpy is accurate. I lost 0.17% in the first 2 weeks of ownership, with 830km on ODO. Basically I loose 0.01% every day, sometimes 0.02%. That means 3.65-5% every year, making 8 year degradation between 29.5% to 40%. That is really bad if I beleave the SOH indicator of LeafSpy. But since the consumption indicator is also not matching with values read from the car, I think this SOH is also some false value.

    1. Agreed in that single readings should hold minimal weight at best but you state SOH is not accurate then turn around and use your SOH readings to predict long term degradation that well beyond what others are seeing after several months?

      The debate over how accurate LEAF Spy is is something I am not going to get into simply because...its not relevant. What is relevant is that LEAF Spy uses the same formula to provide its readings to you EVERY DAY. So whether the SOH is accurate or in the ballpark does not matter because every day, its in the same ballpark.

      Finally; I realize that even after 8 months, I do not have a clear enough picture to say anything definitive about the battery and my comments imply this. So my choice is to wait until I have more definitive data and spring it all on you at once or not. This is the reason why I standardized the monthly report so its easy for one to just run thru the entries here (there are 400 so anything that eases the search should be welcomed) to find battery specifics.

      In reality; YMMV. Your LEAF can easily hit 100K miles with all bars intact if you drive it enough. We have a LEAFer in Phoenix who is over 30,000 miles at 94% SOH. Hot pack?? That is a given. You can't drive that far that fast without a LOT of QCs.

      So its all about how much value can we expect in that 8 years. Well, she will obviously get a lot more value than you or me.

  4. Much wisdom in that second to the last sentence. Hard to come up with an objective data point for the value, As they say YMMV. Cheers and charge on ☇😎

    1. Too true. Its becoming quite obvious that "babying" any EV is not going to pay dividends. Batteries degrade whether you use them or not so just drive it! The more you drive, the more you get out of the car!

  5. Dave -
    I am starting to get worried about my 2018 Leaf. I picked it up in March 2018 and have been checking AHr and SOH about once a month with Leaf Spy Pro. It now has about 8500 miles on it now. About every 2-3 months it has had a sudden drop of 1.5-2% SOH that is not coming back and it's down to 93% SOH now. What is going on here? It sounds like the problem you experienced but I hoped it would go away eventually. Is it possibly a Leaf Spy problem or a Leaf software problem like with the 30 kWh Leaf? At this rate I am losing 10.5% SOH per year. Also Hx is going through the roof and I don't even know what that means.

    Date AHr SOH SOH chg Hx
    3/17/18 115.02 99.64% 97.86%
    4/3/18 114.89 99.52% -0.12% 104.21%
    5/2/18 112.61 97.55% -1.97% 106.27%
    6/1/18 112.32 97.30% -0.25% 109.71%
    7/1/18 112.03 97.05% -0.25% 111.55%
    8/27/18 110.25 95.50% -1.55% 113.53%
    9/28/18 110.06 95.34% -0.16% 114.55%
    10/30/18107.52 93.14% -2.20% 115.44%

    1. By the way, I live in Seattle, so shouldn't be having much thermal degredation. I have only QC 9 times and I try to keep it between 40-70% SOC at all times.

    2. Gary I feel your pain and a few things I am working on. I think that BMS is losing track of capacity of pack but get recalibrated on full charges which is the reason you would see large drops on full charges. I experienced the same thing while charging same as you (except for QCs which I did a lot of all Summer long) right now charging roughly 1.5 hours a day with SOC running between 25 to 65% roughly.

      But what I am not really seeing is a loss of range. Right now the only thing to do is to wait until I have 10%+ loss and check the range again. Should see definitive results by then.