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Nissan LEAF 2014
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all!

I help run an electric taxi company in Estonia that has driven ~ 17 000 000 km (~10.5 million miles) with 91 Nissan Leafs in total. I have also sold ~50 used Nissan Leafs by myself within a few years (not looking to sell here).
My latest project that I hope to go full time on soon is a free newsletter on the world of electric cars: EVUniverse.io. It's a weekly newsletter+resources+community to cover everything interesting happening specifically in the battery-electric cars' (not hybrid) world. The 5th newsletter drops tomorrow, You are all welcome to join. :)

I'm hoping to learn from this community, what are the most touching topics that I should cover on the newsletters.
In turn I hope I can give back to the community by the experiences we've had with Leafs from 2012-2020.

Ask me anything!

Cheers
Jaan

(You can find me on Twitter HERE or write me at [email protected])
 

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Hyundai Ioniq 28
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Welcome Jaan,

It's interesting to hear that your firm focusses on the Leaf and that you also seem to only sell that model. Is there a reason for that Nissan model to be selected? Is it an Estonian thing? Or just caused by a good experience of reliability?
 

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Nissan LEAF 2014
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Welcome Jaan,

It's interesting to hear that your firm focusses on the Leaf and that you also seem to only sell that model. Is there a reason for that Nissan model to be selected? Is it an Estonian thing? Or just caused by a good experience of reliability?
Thanks, Hitstirrer
There's several aspects really. Just to note - I've only sold LEAFs because that's what we have had in our fleet. I sold them kind of as an extra project since we needed to constantly be upgrading our EV fleet. :)

Here are the things to consider:
  1. When starting in 2012, Leaf was really the only one around that was suitable for everyday-driving (except Tesla, but that's another league). At least in our country. :)
  2. The availability for other models were terrible until recently so that made us stick with LEAF, which were easy to get.
  3. The usage was taxi - which meant that the car needed to be spacious enough.
  4. Nissan gave us really good discounts plus other benefits. They saw us as a good project to show people that EVs can also endure through winter etc. They helped us thrive.
  5. Reliability was good - we have had veeeery little troubles throughout the years regarding the 'EV' part of the car. We can confidently say, that we know a lot about these cars comparing to an average service center around here.
It is only now that we are also considering other options. We have preordered 3 Škoda Enyaqs for kind of a premium service, also we're really excited about Nissan Aryia coming.

Last week we did a test of VW ID.3 vs Peugeot e-2008 vs Nissan Leaf e+ vs Kia e-Niro. I will publish the details in the newsletter either in today's issue or next week's.

LMK if you want more details about what have been the issues and/or benefits of LEAF so far. Always happy to chat!
 
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Nissan LEAF 2014
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'd be interested in a list of battery SOH and mileages. :)
This is in my shortlist as a case-study for the newsletter as well. :) Haven't gotten around to it yet, but several have asked. Will do it within few next issues.
Teaser from my last measure of a few 2018-2020km cars:
(km driven) (SOH%)
73983 93.98%
77792 94.80%
73717 96.63%
70300 95.03%
69704 94.67%

We have several at 150k km+ too, but I'll have to pull the data :)

Estonian climate is perfect for EV's, as it doesn't almost ever get hot in here. I guess it's a bit similar to UK?
 

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This is in my shortlist as a case-study for the newsletter as well. :) Haven't gotten around to it yet, but several have asked. Will do it within few next issues.
Teaser from my last measure of a few 2018-2020km cars:
(km driven) (SOH%)
73983 93.98%
77792 94.80%
73717 96.63%
70300 95.03%
69704 94.67%

We have several at 150k km+ too, but I'll have to pull the data :)

Estonian climate is perfect for EV's, as it doesn't almost ever get hot in here. I guess it's a bit similar to UK?
More rain. If you can believe it. ;)
 

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Hi all!

I help run an electric taxi company in Estonia that has driven ~ 17 000 000 km (~10.5 million miles) with 91 Nissan Leafs in total. I have also sold ~50 used Nissan Leafs by myself within a few years (not looking to sell here).
My latest project that I hope to go full time on soon is a free newsletter on the world of electric cars: EVUniverse.io. It's a weekly newsletter+resources+community to cover everything interesting happening specifically in the battery-electric cars' (not hybrid) world. The 5th newsletter drops tomorrow, You are all welcome to join. :)

I'm hoping to learn from this community, what are the most touching topics that I should cover on the newsletters.
In turn I hope I can give back to the community by the experiences we've had with Leafs from 2012-2020.

Ask me anything!

Cheers
Jaan

(You can find me on Twitter HERE or write me at [email protected])
An article describing usage and battery condition of your highest mileage taxi would be very interesting. Also do your Leaves have battery heaters? Do you use them?
 

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Nissan LEAF 2014
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
An article describing usage and battery condition of your highest mileage taxi would be very interesting. Also do your Leaves have battery heaters? Do you use them?
Good idea, Freddy! I'll add that to the SOH% overview of the fleet then. If I remember correctly, I sold one of our 2014 Leafs at 330k km and I should still have the data. One of my friends has the very first 2012 model we ever bought that has 2nd round battery now, with around 440k km. He's a modder and has done all kinds of crazy stuff like solar panels on the roof, heat elements etc. I'm thinking of doing a DIY section to the newsletter as well.

I have a few 2014 LEAFs in the 250k km range left, including my own 2014 Leaf at 230k km with ~75% SOH. :)

If by battery heaters you mean the "winter-package" that stops the battery from freezing, then yes - it would be unacceptable not to have it here, as it can get up to -30 degrees Celsius.
 

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LMK if you want more details about what have been the issues and/or benefits of LEAF so far.
Thanks for that summary. We are always interested in evidence from fleets like taxi companies which could easily reveal any weaknesses in an EV but invariably do the opposite. Here in the UK there are a few taxi companies that use the Leaf and have also racked up impressive trouble free miles so your own experience matches theirs. Your local Nissan dealer will obviously be keen to retain your business by offering good deals but now that there are a few more cars available perhaps even better terms can be found from the Koreans or even Chinese OEMs.

To add to our knowledge base is it possible for you to expand on the lifetime service costs of the fleet compared to a similar ICE operation because we are frequently challenged by Anti-EV people and such information would give us valuable ammunition to rebut some of their negative claims.

In particular one common negative we get is the upfront cost of an EV compared to an ICE car and it's hard to get them to focus on the total cost of ownership over say eight years rather than the initial cost. Do you find that a combination of purchase price plus running costs and eventual value still make an EV a good long term financial bet?
 

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2018 Nissan Leaf 40kWh Tekna - love it
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@jaanjuurikas - Great thread. Some of the questions I have have already been asked and answered. Do you have any data on the most common major mechanical failts and also the most common faults in the electrical drive train side? Also, where do you charge your taxis and how much does it cost to charge?
Good luck with all your endeavours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for that summary. We are always interested in evidence from fleets like taxi companies which could easily reveal any weaknesses in an EV but invariably do the opposite.
Sure thing.
We have calculated the lifetime costs of the fleet with ICEs in the past, but I really don't have relevant data to give you right now (other than start calculating it with today's info about our fleet). That's because the usage of EVs in our fleet isn't the only thing that's different about our firm. Our whole business model is different, it just started with EVs as we were looking for where the usage of EV's would make the most sense. So our average € earned per every km driven is waaaaaay more effective comparing to other taxis in Estonia's streets and that's where the real win comes from. We're just happy we can implement as many EVs and show them to as many people as possible.

So to answer to your question - we are sure that EVs are a better financial bet long term for a fleet user (getting a discount for EV is important too), but haven't got the data. We have calculated about an 60k-80k km /year to be the tipping point before, comparing to CNG for example, but it was a while back and depends on the infrastructure you use for charging, EV price, subsidies etc.
Our situation is also a bit unique comparing to a regular person, as we drive around 100k km per year with one car, as opposed to ~20k km per year for a regular EV-buyer.

The thing is - for us - it doesn't need to be financially better to use an EV. Because we know that we are different. And we strive for that difference. We'll win it back on other aspects (quality of service, effective driving, better emotions etc). The EVs themselves offer SO MUCH more than just financial cost-effectiveness and I never think of it as the main objection - there will always be a cheaper alternative to everyone (drive a bike lol). It's mainly used when they haven't bought the whole thing yet, probably never driven one etc.


That said, I've made a "MYTH BUSTER" section to counter the naysayers in my newsletter (I'll keep tagging it so ppl know what I'm talking about. Love it if you join, but absolutely no obligation), that tackles objections like that. I'll add the cost-effectiveness to the list, so far I've covered:
  • Myth #1: "The battery will need to be replaced after five to 10 years." Readable here.
  • Myth #2: "The grid will crash if millions of EVs charge at once." Readable here.
I'll make sure I give you some ammunition for that one sometime later on. Need to do some calculations. Also, It's always a bit subjective so it needs some input, what to compare a LEAF to etc. Any ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
@jaanjuurikas - Great thread. Some of the questions I have have already been asked and answered. Do you have any data on the most common major mechanical failts and also the most common faults in the electrical drive train side? Also, where do you charge your taxis and how much does it cost to charge?
Good luck with all your endeavours.
Thanks, EdH!

We do have data on the common faults, but they differ a bit for 24-30kWh cars and 40kWh cars (the build has been changed a bit). I can give you ideas from the top of my head if you point me in the direction you want to hear. Both mechanical and electrical.

We charge our taxis both on the public infrastructure (Estonia was the 1st country in the world to have a nationwide fast-charging network of ~160 DC chargers at the ~ year 2013) and now we are moving towards charging in our own 'base'. This is what it looks like, 33kW right now, scaling it up to 50kW. We have 3 DC fast chargers and a bunch of 16A connected to it, PLUS a battery pack for the solar made of old Nissan Leaf batteries, about 100kWh. :)

Solar energy Vehicle Car Solar panel Technology


Cheers
 
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