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Nissan LEAF 2014
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

I tested these cars for our electric taxi service and I wrote a piece on it for Electric Vehicle Universe newsletter (check out EVUniverse.io) that I'll also share here.
These below are purely my own opinions and I hope to offend no-one. Happy to discuss any of these more in-depth and would love to hear your opinions too!

Cars in the test: model, (battery size)

  • Kia e-Niro (64kWh usable, 67.1 total)
  • Nissan Leaf e+ (56kWh usable, 62 total)*
  • Peugeot e-2008 (45kWh usable, 50 total)
  • VW ID.3 1st (58kWh usable, 62 total)
* That's our newest addition to our own fleet of 91 Nissan LEAF's

Introduction
I'll keep it as short as possible, so I'll bring out the best and worst of each. Keep in mind, that our point of view for these was the possibility for taxi-usage and really subjective. Since the prices vary, we won't touch on that. You can check the specifications of each car from EV-database.org.

Peugeot e-2008
Best feature: outside looks. It does look stunning when you see it driving towards you. Makes you smile.
Needs improvement: for the life of me, I couldn't find the battery state of charge % anywhere. The objective guess-o-meter (range estimate) is definitely not the best thing to use on an EV, especially if you don't know how it's calculated exactly.
From the 4 cars, we were least impressed by the e-2008, as it doesn't really seem like an EV-friendly car, rather just a gas car made electric. Even Fully Charged said it's a transition car - we agree.

Kia e-Niro
Best feature: inside looks. Overall, it looked a bit more lux than others and it's driver's seat left the best impression to most of us.
Needs improvement: Back seat room. Our 186cm colleague had his head against the ceiling. It's a very 'normal' car overall, that has most of the features LEAF has and some more. Would be cool to see the front get a new facelift like Kona did.

Nissan LEAF e+
Best feature: overall practicality and space. We've had 91 LEAFs so far and comparing it now to the other cars, we realized: Nissan has the most "everything important covered" points so far. It looks luxorious enough, with plenty of room in the back. Also the trunk size is the best from all 4 (although Peugeot's specs were bigger. That's a surprise.).
Needs improvement: the least effective by Wh/km. It is our range test results so it might not be the same on every condition, but so far the LEAF proved to be the least effective.
In general, we saw that LEAF still proves to be one of the best EV-s in this market.

VW ID.3 1st
Best feature(s): it's born to be an EV. Similar to the LEAF, ID.3 isn't based on a gas car - and this gives it an edge. I love the interior design on the infotainment part - it doesn't have a lot of buttons all over the interior, most of it is in the "tablet", much like in a Tesla M3. The rear-wheel drive gives a lot of fun to the drive and boy did we love to ride around with it. Also - there's way more space in the back seat than you'd guess from looking at it outside. The 186cm colleague didn't have any problems in the back of the ID.3.
We see ID.3 as the only real contender to the LEAF from these four.
Needs improvement: The only real nudge towards improvement is the overall looks of the front interior part - it looks like a lot of plastic and a bit cheap. It might be better on a black interior though - we'll see.


To us, the winners here seem to be the VW ID.3 and Nissan LEAF. But of course, the use cases are different - to each their own.

We are still deciding on which cars to go with - do you have any ideas on why some of these would fit or not fit to use in a taxi service?

Cheers
 

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Thanks for your thoughts.
You didn't mention charging, and as a taxi service I thought the charging speed of the ID3 would be a big plus to reduce downtime. Conversely, the Leaf, good as it may be as a taxi, is disadvantaged by chademo at 50kw max (I know it can do more, but there's no infrastructure). Or is it a non-issue because of the range available from both, and the drivers working any charging into their break times.
 

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2018 Nissan Leaf 40kWh Tekna - love it
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I can't really compare all those cars but I would agree that the leaf is the car that you need to measure the others from. I often say its the Ford Focus of EVs.
I found the eNiro to be tinnier than the Leaf and there was noticeably more road noise.
Oddly I also thought the Jaguar iPace was pretty tinny too and was a poor design for everyday use. My wife found it almost impossible to get in and out of it.
I really hate the big info screen or "tablet" as you call it. The buttons in the Leaf control all the functions I need. And as for rear wheel drive - never. We don't get much snow here but it is quite fun to watch all the BMW crawling along at 2mph when we have a couple of centimetres.
 

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Nissan Leaf 24 Tekna '64 reg
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No surprise here really, the 2 better cars are designed solely to be BEV.

Would be interesting to see if you can do efficiency test between Leaf and ID3. Efficiency is king, should be more so with taxi service. I believe ID3 wins WRT efficiency hands down.

Also, thank you for posting on here rather than just put a link
 

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2018 Nissan Leaf 40kWh Tekna - love it
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The main real distinguishing factors that affect the efficiency of EVs are the air resistance and weight. There is very little difference between the efficiencies of different charger/ battery/ motor/ regen technologies. Why would there be?
For city taxis the wind resistance is much less important than for motorway cruisers , so I would look more at size, comfort and life cycle costs.
 

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Nissan LEAF 2014
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for your thoughts.
You didn't mention charging, and as a taxi service I thought the charging speed of the ID3 would be a big plus to reduce downtime. Conversely, the Leaf, good as it may be as a taxi, is disadvantaged by chademo at 50kw max (I know it can do more, but there's no infrastructure). Or is it a non-issue because of the range available from both, and the drivers working any charging into their break times.
Cheers, Blurb.
Charging is an interesting question for us. As we have our own solar panels installed with accompanying battery bank (that is composed of ~4,5 of LEAF batteries) that power our own fast and slow chargers, we won't be adding a lot of power (say 150kW) to it anytime soon anyway. And using the public chargers for ultra-fast charging isn't good money-wise. So for us, 50kW DC is effectively enough when talking about fast charging.
What we'd love, however, is to have as big of an onboard-charger as possible. Really sad that no one else has done it well except Zoe (which isn't fit for taxi). Because with 11-22kW onboard charger, we could power our fleet fully without any use of the DC 50kW+ chargers, as we could arrange our shifts that way. The key there is also of how efficient the car is of course. But overall it's a tremendous cost difference for our base, if we buy 50kW DC chargers or we buy AC chargers that handle 11-22kW each. We're talking about around 15-20k€ per DC charger and ~2k€ for the other...

Our average shift is around 200km, so the 22kW charger could provide a shift's work with around 2hrs (if not taken into account any losses etc and ~20kWh/100km, which LEAF more or less has). We can easily factor this in with our cars, having them charged between shifts and maybe pump it up while in a carwash from DC also.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I can't really compare all those cars but I would agree that the leaf is the car that you need to measure the others from. I often say its the Ford Focus of EVs.
I found the eNiro to be tinnier than the Leaf and there was noticeably more road noise.
Oddly I also thought the Jaguar iPace was pretty tinny too and was a poor design for everyday use. My wife found it almost impossible to get in and out of it.
I really hate the big info screen or "tablet" as you call it. The buttons in the Leaf control all the functions I need. And as for rear wheel drive - never. We don't get much snow here but it is quite fun to watch all the BMW crawling along at 2mph when we have a couple of centimetres.
Thanks for your thoughts! I'd say the Peugeot e-2008 also had this weird thing with back seats that made really hard to get out of the car. It's like you sit really into a hole and it's really difficult to get out of the back seat because of the small door opening and a high "step" out of it.
 

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I believe thare are some medium-ish power DC Rapid chargers available, probably made in China, maybe around 22 Kw-ish. These have been mentioned occasionally in here when people have queried having their own Rapid at home, and what's involved. Might be worth investigating, if they're a lot cheaper than full-blown 44 Kw ones, I think the idea is they'd run off a domestic-type 3-phase supply.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
No surprise here really, the 2 better cars are designed solely to be BEV.

Would be interesting to see if you can do efficiency test between Leaf and ID3. Efficiency is king, should be more so with taxi service. I believe ID3 wins WRT efficiency hands down.

Also, thank you for posting on here rather than just put a link
Sure, wouldn't want to just drive people to elsewhere - this here is a place to discuss. :)

We did compare efficiency, as it really is a great metric - efficiency IS king. Didn't want to include it in the post as it's very subjective to conditions, driver, etc. If we round it out a bit, then on similar driving style on similar conditions, we got around 17.5kWh/100km for ID.3 and ~19.5kWh/100km for LEAF. Note, that it had some driving with 100+km/h as well. Looked like ID.3 is definitely about 10-20% more efficient, will have to conduct more test to be sure (never trust what the car's own computer tells ya).

What I did note, is that LEAF seems to start losing a lot more on efficiency on the high speeds (110-130km/h or 68-80mph) comparing to ID.3. I only had the chance to test it on ~30km stretch, but that's what I saw.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The main real distinguishing factors that affect the efficiency of EVs are the air resistance and weight. There is very little difference between the efficiencies of different charger/ battery/ motor/ regen technologies. Why would there be?
For city taxis the wind resistance is much less important than for motorway cruisers , so I would look more at size, comfort and life cycle costs.
I dunno man - our tests show a different picture. If you compare around 19kWh/100km for a LEAF with around 14kWh/100km with an Ioniq, you'll start to wonder ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I believe thare are some medium-ish power DC Rapid chargers available, probably made in China, maybe around 22 Kw-ish. These have been mentioned occasionally in here when people have queried having their own Rapid at home, and what's involved. Might be worth investigating, if they're a lot cheaper than full-blown 44 Kw ones, I think the idea is they'd run off a domestic-type 3-phase supply.
Yeah, probably. But it's definitely not as cheap as putting up about 1k-2k€ wall charger. :) We have our own colleague built out some 6,6kW chargers for us for as little as 350€.
Plus, Type-2 is universal for all platforms, right now we run on ChaDemo for fast charging but that will render itself out in the near future in Europe (even Nissan is using CCS on their Aryia).

But I will still look into it as there might be smth useful - thanks for the idea. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Does the rear wheel drive give you smaller turning circle, quite important for city taxis.
Not by much, Ken. It seems that LEAFs turning circle is 10.6m; ID.3's is 10.2m.

The most fun experience on a turning circle has been for me with the Honda E. It shows 9.2m, but it sure feels like 4m... REALLY fun. :)
 

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Thanks that is a really helpful comparison. Would be interested to see how the two MG’s compare for your taxi use.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks that is a really helpful comparison. Would be interested to see how the two MG’s compare for your taxi use.
Thanks, Lilies. Sadly I think we won't be able to compare the MG's anytime soon, as we haven't heard them entering the Estonian market at all :(
Would love to check them out, seem like great cars so far.
 
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