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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
I'm very interested in getting an EV. It's something I've been considering for a little while. I originally fancied a Renault Zoe with a battery lease to test the waters, however I'm glad I didn't jump I'm feet first as now I've thought about it, I think I would prefer a slightly larger car.
I'm only really considering the 30kw Leaf as I'd like as much range as I can afford but unfortunately I can't quite stretch to the 40kw version. My budget is around 12k, the less I can spend the happier I'd be. I live about 10 miles from Brighton (where I work) so I know I should get a few days use before needing to charge. I'm not that concerned about longer journeys, we do a few long trips each year but having thought about it, it's only ever for pleasure so time to get somewhere hopefully won't be too much of an issue.
What sort of range could you realistically expect from a 4/5 year old 30kw leaf now? Also, what sort of percentage of charge do you typically loose over night? (Understandably temperature will probably heavily affect this)
I was wondering if I were to visit my parents who live 40 miles away, would I be able to get there, stay for 2/3 days, maybe drive about 15 miles locally to them and return home on one charge (85 mile round trip)?
Also, if say in 3 years time when the battery is 8 years old, I don't know what condition it will be in but say for instance I decide to replace the battery, can it be upgraded for a 40kw battery or can they only be replaced like for like?

Many thanks
 

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Range 100+ miles on a single trip without all of the range eaters (heating and air con, wet weather), less in some circumstances. There should be minimal loss overnight for the 2 - 3 days. The killer is your local mileage in the middle of the trip - if you heat the car up each time you'll use a disproportionate amount of charge on those trips and get very close to having range anxiety for the way back.

Replacing the battery is a moot point - it can be done but at the moment is arguably not economically viable as the differential between a more modern greater capacity car and the reduced range original isn't that great. For example, used 24 kWh cars with significantly impaired batteries sell for £5-6k minimum and a newer 30 kWh car with a good condition battery can be had for only £12k, yet the cost to replace and upgrade the battery is around £6-8k which leaves you with a car with less dealer support and the remainder of the vehicle much older. Some are doing it and I applaud their work, but it certainly isn't a no-brainer.
 

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ONTO/Evezy £50 Code: CADA7
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You'd have to look at the condition of the car you are interested in now to get an idea of degradation. The LEAFs have some of the worst levels of degradation especially on the ones that have been abused from the likes of former taxi use, baking the battery pack. Be sure to get one that has a healthy battery that the previous owner has looked after. You can look at the dashboard to see the capacity bars out of 12, but if you want a more accurate view I suggest buying an OBD Dongle and using the leafspy app.

If you have a good battery, you can easily be getting above 100 miles, especially when the weather gets warmer and we lose these strong winds. Even on those longer trips I wouldn't worry too much. I have taken a 30kWh LEAF all over the place. 1%=1 Mile on the motorway with a good battery, and it is very fast to rapid charge back up to about 90% without any of the #RapidGate issues you may have heard about in the newer models.

Losing charge overnight isn't really a thing in these cars. It's only the likes of the Tesla that have a significant amount of range loss. If you park up overnight with 60%, you will probably have 59 or 60% the next morning.

85 Miles would be possible even in the bad winter as long as you don't overdo it with the heater and instead take advantage of pre-heating while plugged in ahead of your journey, and maybe other alternatives like your heated seat and steering wheel instead of blasting the heater all the way. If you really needed the extra range, take a look at Zap Map to see if there are any places to charge in the area, or plug in with the 'Granny Cable' (Regular 3-pin plug charging cable) for a top up. Doing the extra 15 miles, as mentioned in the post above mine, will be pushing it especially if you need to heat/cool the car several times on a single charge, eating into your range.

As long as you buy a car with a good battery to start with, and continue to look after it yourself, you shouldn't be needing a new battery after a few years of ownership. If you do opt to replace it though, you will only get an official replacement to another 30kWh pack. There are some unofficial options if you want to opt for an upgrade however, which may be worthwhile depending on the price and if you no longer have any Nissan warranty remamining anyways.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the great responses, certainly lots to consider but one of the leafs I've been looking at has all of the battery bars so the battery should be in pretty good nick hopefully. Maybe I need to ensure I get a leaf with heated seats/steering wheel so I don't have to rely on the heaters. I do plan on getting a wall box so can make use of pre-heating when it's plugged in.
 

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one of the leafs I've been looking at has all of the battery bars so the battery should be in pretty good nick
The first bar is lost at 85% SOH which whilst not the best measure represents a fairly high rate of degradation in a car as new as a 30 kWh LEAF. I note your budget and suggest that you invest in LEAFSpy and a suitable dongle (search on this Forum for details) and get as good an example as your budget allows - otherwise you'll not be able to tell between 85% and 100% (OK, unlikely to be that high but you take the point) and all of the other data. Go for a higher mileage vehicle if it has a better battery than a low mileage vehicle with a worse battery for the same price. Also search on the BMS update for LEAF 30's on this forum and check which version the car has before comparing it to another - the update can increase it by 4% and can be done to all LEAF 30's so check that you are comparing like with like.
 

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I live about 10 miles from Brighton (where I work) so I know I should get a few days use before needing to charge.
I've helped a number of people in my workplace into getting their first EVs, and I hear this one a lot.

Why is this important to you? You're far better off simply giving it an hour or two top up (2 hours on 3.3kW approximates 20-25 miles range, driven without regard for efficiency) daily. Draining the battery further down then filling it further up merely increases batter wear and degradation without good reason. When I had a Leaf 24 I would charge for 2 hours each day at work (25 mile round trip daily) and that kept the battery typically between 40% and 80%. As a result the SoH on that car reduced only from 88.4% to 87.99% over the course of 19 months that I had it.

I was wondering if I were to visit my parents who live 40 miles away, would I be able to get there, stay for 2/3 days, maybe drive about 15 miles locally to them and return home on one charge (85 mile round trip)?
That would be distinctly marginal in winter, even in a Leaf 30. Are you not able to get a few hours on the granny lead at your parent's place? Otherwise best bet is to grab 10-15 minutes rapid charge on your way to their place, (to top you up for any local errands), then again 10-15 mins rapid on your way home.
 

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My 30KW Leaf is 4 years old and still manages 85 miles in winter 100+ in summer if I want it to.

There is s choice, you can eek out the range with careful driving and limiting your top speed, or you can relax, drive normally then stop and charge.

Charging away from home is really not a problem. In the case of your regular visit to parents - why not just plug it in to a 3 pin socket when you get there?
Or stop at a rapid charger.
You will hear people complaining that there aren’t enough chargers, but while we all want more, lots of chargers do already exist in the UK and you can use them.
 

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Leaf e+ 62kwh https://share.octopus.energy/quiet-puma-274
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Have you looked at the Kia soul?
These seem be better for battery longevity & range & start at around 12k + longer warranty..
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Have you looked at the Kia soul?
These seem be better for battery longevity & range & start at around 12k + longer
Thanks for the Soul recommendation, I'm going to add it to the list of cars to research.

I have just driven to my parents and I tried just using the heated steering wheel and heated seats in my Astra to see how warm I stayed... Needless to say, I was warm enough however the windows steamed up quite a lot. When you drive an EV and just used the heated seats/heated wheel do you periodically turn the windscreen blower on from time to time? Or do they have heated screens that you can pop on just to keep them clear from mist?
 

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Thanks for the Soul recommendation, I'm going to add it to the list of cars to research.

I have just driven to my parents and I tried just using the heated steering wheel and heated seats in my Astra to see how warm I stayed... Needless to say, I was warm enough however the windows steamed up quite a lot. When you drive an EV and just used the heated seats/heated wheel do you periodically turn the windscreen blower on from time to time? Or do they have heated screens that you can pop on just to keep them clear from mist?
Most don't have heated windscreen. You can use the climate controls as and when needed to clear it, or just set it to a fairly low temperature.

Pre-heating the car while plugged in before you set off should help with both comfort and condensation issues too.
 

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Thanks for the Soul recommendation, I'm going to add it to the list of cars to research.

I have just driven to my parents and I tried just using the heated steering wheel and heated seats in my Astra to see how warm I stayed... Needless to say, I was warm enough however the windows steamed up quite a lot. When you drive an EV and just used the heated seats/heated wheel do you periodically turn the windscreen blower on from time to time? Or do they have heated screens that you can pop on just to keep them clear from mist?
When I needed to eek out the max range with my 1st couple of EVs I turned heat on to clear screen then turn heat off, then just used heated seat/steering & a woolly hat to stay warm, then just blower to keep screen clear, worked 99% of the time.. Occasionally the conditions require a bit of heat to keep screen clear but I just left it on low if needed.. I found the difference between heat on & off was between 15 & 20% range..
The e-Golf has an element heated front screen but these are a bit more expensive.. I think Kia & Hyundai has most efficient heaters that don't impact range as much..
 
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