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Hi folks,

I'm considering a new Nissan Leaf at the moment (Probably a Tekna to get the wipe clean leather seats, very tempting with two young kids!). I'm pretty much sold on the idea of an electric car, it fits in with my anticipated usage very well etc. But, I've not been able to get an answer out of any dealer of any electric car I have spoken to as yet, regarding the deterioration in battery performance (and life) in cold weather.

By cold, I mean a typical british winter, so down just below freezing, with occasional blasts down to -10°C or so. I know it is likely to impact on the available range, but even getting a rough estimate is proving tricky.

I also know that in that sort of temperature, battery performance can drop off dramatically. Does anyone know if this has any affect on the performance (i.e. acceleration) of the Leaf?

Cheers
Andy
 

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Performance isn't much affected, if at all. However range can drop by as much as 35% in our climate.
Not so with the Gen 2 Leaf which has a much more efficient heat pump heater.People have reported a hit of only 5-7 miles on Gen 2 Leafs in the winter.
 

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I didn't take the OP's query as being about the efficiency of the heat pump, but the overall loss of performance from the battery in cold wintry weather. The heatpump doesn't affect the principal loss of energy and consequently, range.
Even not allowing for the better heater, I doubt the reduction in range is as much as 35% in a Gen 2 Leaf.
 

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Using the "Nissan range estimator" If you take the perfect temp of 22c and compare the range to -15c you can, in theory get a 30% loss. Not sure how much colder it would have to be to get to 35% loss but I won't be going out ;)
 

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Using the "Nissan range estimator" If you take the perfect temp of 22c and compare the range to -15c you can, in theory get a 30% loss. Not sure how much colder it would have to be to get to 35% loss but I won't be going out ;)
I think the OP was asking about typical UK winters i.e. around 0c rather than -15c !
 

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Get the heat pump. Range loss in cool weather can be 10 to 30pc spending on how warm you like it in the cabin and speed (bigger percentage when slow as drain is time based). Water wipers lights have some effect
 

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Get the heat pump. Range loss in cool weather can be 10 to 30pc spending on how warm you like it in the cabin and speed (bigger percentage when slow as drain is time based). Water wipers lights have some effect
I suspect the 30% loss only applies with the Gen 1 type heater on (or Visia).
 

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Hi Bigandy,

As you will have noticed, we all have different thoughts on the problem of cold. For what its worth, I think that unless you are considering a max range journey every day don't worry too much. A point often forgotten, esp by salesmen, and not understood by Journalists, is the possibility of 'top up' charging. My car acts as a family hack, and on most days is on a constant cycle of use and charging. A daily total of 130 miles can easily be attained in those local pop to the '...' journeys. If you are lucky enough to be close to a Nissan dealer the rapid charger can add 60 miles very quickly.
Just go ahead and buy, you will not regret it
 

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I was very agreeably surprised today: a 27 mile round trip on 25% of the battery. The weather was about as good as you can reasonably ask for November: calm, mild (ish) (11°C or so) and sunny. That's almost as good as I was getting in the summer. I have no experience yet of driving in frosty conditions because in these days of advancing climate change we rarely get a frost in my part of the world - at least, nothing as low as -1°C so far this year. I didn't bother to put the heater on. I didn't need to exceed about 55mph on the trip, which also counts for a lot.

Heavy rain, wet roads and strong winds are what knock the mileage, so even in proper winter, if it's not raining or windy, you should be fine for 80-odd miles on a charge, leaving 20% in the battery. As ever, plan your trips.
 

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Not a question, that's why there is no question mark.

The statistics quoted are from Canada and therefore has no relevance in England.

Don't understand the cartoon reference.
 

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I've just checked my weather records (I have a weather station in the garden that writes a web page) and since 1/1/2011 it has recorded 69 air frosts, but only 2 of those have been this year. The lowest temperature I have recorded in that time is -6.5°C on 11/2/2012. That was at 8 am but by 10 am the temperature was around 0°C again.

No doubt this winter will prove me wrong and we'll get some arctic blasts. Every few years Southend seems to drift into Siberia and we get a remarkably cold winter. It's pretty rare though.
 

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Minus 11C, February 2012. At those temperatures it's not only cabin hearing that uses extra energy, the air is denser, your tyres are both stiffer and lower pressure, the oil in your reduction gear is thicker, the roads may be snowy or icy etc etc.

Yes, the heat pump uses less power. However, I find that driving round with a 15 degree delta between cabin temperature (20) and air temperature (5 degrees) the heating only needs about 750 watts, once it's warmed up. Considering I'm usually using about 15kw while cruising round at 70mph 0.75kw to keep me warm is not much to worry about...
 

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(I have a weather station in the garden that writes a web page)
I would be interested to know the hardware. I have owned a number of cheap electronic weather stations but would like to get something reliable but easy to monitor.

I suppose one issue with the original post is whether most of the cold weather starts will be done from being hooked up to the household power. On one of the cold days we had last month I pre-heated the car and noticed the battery temperature was up to normal summer level. Also love the toasty warm steering wheel.:D
 

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However, I find that driving round with a 15 degree delta between cabin temperature (20) and air temperature (5 degrees) the heating only needs about 750 watts, once it's warmed up. Considering I'm usually using about 15kw while cruising round at 70mph 0.75kw to keep me warm is not much to worry about...
This is what I find too. In my mk2 the energy screen only ever shows around 250w-750w once warmed up, and that's set to a balmy 22C when it's 6 degrees outside, and on the motorway. It's peanuts compared to the power used by the motor. This is reflected in the energy screen where it tells you the effect of the heater on your range, and usually it's 1 to 5 miles over a full charge.

This week I travelled Doncaster to Chester 190 miles and next week I'm doing Doncaster to Northampton. Each time it's just a case of planning the journey and stops no more than 65 miles between (with contingencies). Stick to this rule and you can go as far as you want. Grab a coffee in the 20 minutes it takes to charge, CHAdeMO is a play on the Japanese for 'let's have tea' isn't it?!

You'll love your Leaf!
 
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