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@Bikerchickone – I admire your courage in setting off in the expectation of finding public charging. Your LEAF is still a great car – it just that one of the compromises it requires is good route planning in advance, which is seldom wasted.

The best charging infrastructure is the Electric Highway on motorways and A roads. Most BEV drivers will go the longer route via the motorway to be sure of getting a charge. Also, topping up at the last services before heading away from the motorway is a good policy as it maximises options.

Always having the EVSE in the back is a good option – there's usually somewhere where you can blag a quick top up, which can make the difference between being stranded, total panic or being recovered on a flat bed truck. :)

We always coast down hill in neutral instead of regenerating, only using regen to brake for speed limit changes and junctions. It seems to work well in getting us extra range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
@Bikerchickone – I admire your courage in setting off in the expectation of finding public charging. Your LEAF is still a great car – it just that one of the compromises it requires is good route planning in advance, which is seldom wasted.

The best charging infrastructure is the Electric Highway on motorways and A roads. Most BEV drivers will go the longer route via the motorway to be sure of getting a charge. Also, topping up at the last services before heading away from the motorway is a good policy as it maximises options.

Always having the EVSE in the back is a good option – there's usually somewhere where you can blag a quick top up, which can make the difference between being stranded, total panic or being recovered on a flat bed truck. :)

We always coast down hill in neutral instead of regenerating, only using regen to brake for speed limit changes and junctions. It seems to work well in getting us extra range.

Thanks Robwiz, I'll try the neutral coasting! I can't seem to find out if the supposed chargers on the A3 do actually exist so I think I'm going to be planning my route to go up to the M25 J9/10 services for a rapid in the future. That should leave me more than able to complete the 45 miles home without the stress encountered this time. I do still love the car, but it is going to mean a bit of extra time for my meet ups in Guildford!
 

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I realise that it is easy for me to be a smart Alec after the event (sorry - don't mean to be!) but you could have done that trip very easily, without stress and at any time day or night, any weather by going Worthing to Pease Pottage (26 miles) - Rapid charge then to Guildford (25 miles).

Assumes the Pease Pottage rapid is working which unfortunately at the moment is is not :(

Nevertheless... when it is working (hopefully soon!) you can easily visit your Guildford friends but it means going via Pease Pottage :) :)
 

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I realise that it is easy for me to be a smart Alec after the event (sorry - don't mean to be!) but you could have done that trip very easily, without stress and at any time day or night, any weather by going Worthing to Pease Pottage (26 miles) - Rapid charge then to Guildford (25 miles).

Assumes the Pease Pottage rapid is working which unfortunately at the moment is is not :(

Nevertheless... when it is working (hopefully soon!) you can easily visit your Guildford friends but it means going via Pease Pottage :) :)
Isn't Worthing a dealership though? you can't rely on that for evenings or weekends :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
I realise that it is easy for me to be a smart Alec after the event (sorry - don't mean to be!) but you could have done that trip very easily, without stress and at any time day or night, any weather by going Worthing to Pease Pottage (26 miles) - Rapid charge then to Guildford (25 miles).

Assumes the Pease Pottage rapid is working which unfortunately at the moment is is not :(

Nevertheless... when it is working (hopefully soon!) you can easily visit your Guildford friends but it means going via Pease Pottage :) :)
It's fine Paul, I didn't take it that way. I'm actually between Worthing and Arundel, so Pease Pottage is quite a way off the route, I did consider it though thinking it might be closer than home for the round trip, but glad I didn't if it isn't working! In the future I will probably just go up to the Cobham services on the M25 and back down the A24 as it's probably less out of the way.

Isn't Worthing a dealership though? you can't rely on that for evenings or weekends :(
Edd, my home is near Worthing so I'm setting off from there with 100% charge. But you're right there is a rapid at Worthing Nissan. Also a fast charger at Bognor Nissan, and this one is accessible 24/7 so very useful!
 

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t's fine Paul, I didn't take it that way. I'm actually between Worthing and Arundel, so Pease Pottage is quite a way off the route
Yes, I can see that Pease Pottage is not the most direct route but that is a fact of life at the moment... to do long trips in the Leaf you often have to go a very long way round if there are no rapid chargers on your direct route.

For example... until recently I had to go via Southampton to get to Oxford from Plymouth!!!

You will get used to looking for routes that mean you can do it without the stress of running low even if it means a long way round :)

Isn't Worthing a dealership though? you can't rely on that for evenings or weekends :(
Pease Pottage is Ecotricity not Nissan :) :) It is 24/7 - when it works!
 

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I think the biggest issue / blame for the car's shortcomings is the fact that the Nissan Nav system is useless for finding chargers, I know it's a mish mash of suppliers / charger types / access hours etc but give us a chance! I can sympathise with the situation, I was travelling back from Derbyshire late last night on the M1 and there was a massive accident by Leicester, which would have meant no access to my last and crucial charge point at Leicester Forest East before leaving the motorway and heading into the countryside abyss. Only pure luck meant that I was in my ICE car and not the Leaf, mainly as I'm well over the contract mileage in the Leaf and haven't run the ICE on a long journey for a while. It got me thinking that you still have to be a bit bold to do a long journey in a BEV. Planning is crucial and so is building in redundancy, most folk just aren't ready for that yet. There's no reason why every large(ish) conurbation hasn't got a type 2 or rapid. Last night would have been horrendous if I'd have been stranded and though I carry the EVSE a nine hour 3 pin charge where ever I could beg one from wasn't a prospect that I would have relished.

.....EDIT, sorry forgot to add, I also struggle with data signal where we live and in these 'modern' times it's inexcusable, particularly with the dependence we have on such connectivity and the amount of money mobile operators make. To have such large black holes all over the country is a joke. The O2 site says we have 3 bars in our village ...... yeah right!!
 

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That's just it Sparky, no rapids anywhere to pick up a charge from.
We are in a similar situation. Our closest rapid charger is 70 miles from home. One big hill en-route puts it just out of safe range.

I've done several long trips. The longest I've done so far was a 175mile round trip to Liverpool Airport. We have another 150mile trip planned for early next month. It can be done.

Before setting out, I plan a route and find as many backup charge points as possible. I write out the route and the backups on a sheet of paper, then double check the car's sat nav can find sane routes to them.

I carry a flexible set of charge leads and make sure my cell phone is fully charged. I also keep a book in the car for when I'm sitting at a charge point.


We've noticed that rain cuts down range more than just about anything else. If it is raining, the real range drops at least 10 miles.

The improved heater doesn't use much range in mild weather. I'm seeing 1 to 3 miles in our Tekna.
 

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Regarding the little chef charger, I haven't visited that one recently so I don't know if it is still there.
Surrey council really needs to get their finger out though. There really is no excuse at all, especially with all the funding available.
 

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That's the thing Brooktop, I do absolutely love the car but the infrastructure and the misinformation provided by Nissan's in car navigation is horrendous. Somewhat strangely we do seem to have lots of charging options locally for EVs so I really hadn't expected it to be so much of a problem. There's something like at least 5 fast chargers accessible all the time within about 10 miles and one rapid if you are there in opening hours.
The longer you own the car, the more you'll learn how to work around the limitations - and the less stressed you'll feel.

I managed a couple of weeks of 80+ mile round trips on a single charge last winter - some in horrendous wind and rain, admittedly most of these trips were motorway miles, cruising at an indicated 60 (but slowing down for hills), so no energy sapping stop / start - but it is possible, albeit squeaky bum.

Tyres need to be pumped up to 39 psi all round. Be prepared to slow down on uphill sections. Forward planning techniques to minimize stoppages at junctions, and maintain energy through bends all make a difference. I've never seen you drive so I can't comment on your style (!), but that right foot needs to be gentle; no more than two dots....

I don't ever bother with the Leaf's 'find my nearest charging station' function (sorry Nissan!). If I'm planning a tight trip I'll thoroughly investigate all the options before setting off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Yes, I can see that Pease Pottage is not the most direct route but that is a fact of life at the moment... to do long trips in the Leaf you often have to go a very long way round if there are no rapid chargers on your direct route.

For example... until recently I had to go via Southampton to get to Oxford from Plymouth!!!

You will get used to looking for routes that mean you can do it without the stress of running low even if it means a long way round :)


Pease Pottage is Ecotricity not Nissan :) :) It is 24/7 - when it works!
Yes, I agree. Just makes more sense to me to go to Cobham, assuming that's working of course!

I think the biggest issue / blame for the car's shortcomings is the fact that the Nissan Nav system is useless for finding chargers, I know it's a mish mash of suppliers / charger types / access hours etc but give us a chance! I can sympathise with the situation, I was travelling back from Derbyshire late last night on the M1 and there was a massive accident by Leicester, which would have meant no access to my last and crucial charge point at Leicester Forest East before leaving the motorway and heading into the countryside abyss. Only pure luck meant that I was in my ICE car and not the Leaf, mainly as I'm well over the contract mileage in the Leaf and haven't run the ICE on a long journey for a while. It got me thinking that you still have to be a bit bold to do a long journey in a BEV. Planning is crucial and so is building in redundancy, most folk just aren't ready for that yet. There's no reason why every large(ish) conurbation hasn't got a type 2 or rapid. Last night would have been horrendous if I'd have been stranded and though I carry the EVSE a nine hour 3 pin charge where ever I could beg one from wasn't a prospect that I would have relished.

.....EDIT, sorry forgot to add, I also struggle with data signal where we live and in these 'modern' times it's inexcusable, particularly with the dependence we have on such connectivity and the amount of money mobile operators make. To have such large black holes all over the country is a joke. The O2 site says we have 3 bars in our village ...... yeah right!!
I think that's my biggest bugbear of all. That in this day and age of connectivity there just isn't anything reliable out there. I had both my personal phone on Vodafone and my O2 work phone. At points neither of them had enough signal to even call for help if I got stuck. Seriously considering getting a third network's PAYG sim so I can at least try to call out if stranded!

Finally, to my mind 72 miles really isn't a long journey. I regularly do west Sussex to Kent alone and also used to commute to London by motorbike. This reduced range thing makes me feel a tiny bit like I'm going backwards. Then of course, there's the concern of being female and out late on your own sitting charging in a car. How safe is that? I don't know. However I don't think I'll be doing that journey in my Leaf again late at night.

We are in a similar situation. Our closest rapid charger is 70 miles from home. One big hill en-route puts it just out of safe range.

I've done several long trips. The longest I've done so far was a 175mile round trip to Liverpool Airport. We have another 150mile trip planned for early next month. It can be done.

Before setting out, I plan a route and find as many backup charge points as possible. I write out the route and the backups on a sheet of paper, then double check the cat's sat nav can find sane routes to them.

I carry a flexible set of charge leads and make sure my cell phone is fully charged. I also keep a book in the car for when I'm sitting at a charge point.


We've noticed that rain cuts down range more than just about anything else. If it is raining, the real range drops at least 10 miles.

The improved heater doesn't use much range in mild weather. I'm seeing 1 to 3 miles in our Tekna.
I think the rain was what totally scuppered me. I've been lucky in that I've not really needed to drive in wet conditions before so I really wasn't prepared for the effect it would have. I'm quite happy to plan a route when doing longer journeys and have successfully used the Ecotricity motorway rapids to get me home safely, no stress!

Regarding the little chef charger, I haven't visited that one recently so I don't know if it is still there.
Surrey council really needs to get their finger out though. There really is no excuse at all, especially with all the funding available.
No worries, thanks anyway. I'll take the petrol car next time and check it out. Would solve a lot of problems for mw if it is there and working! My ice skating days may not be numbered yet!

Surrey council definitely need a rocket. Sadly I doubt a complaint from me would help since I'm not a local though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
The longer you own the car, the more you'll learn how to work around the limitations - and the less stressed you'll feel.

I managed a couple of weeks of 80+ mile round trips on a single charge last winter - some in horrendous wind and rain, admittedly most of these trips were motorway miles, cruising at an indicated 60 (but slowing down for hills), so no energy sapping stop / start - but it is possible, albeit squeaky bum.

Tyres need to be pumped up to 39 psi all round. Be prepared to slow down on uphill sections. Forward planning techniques to minimize stoppages at junctions, and maintain energy through bends all make a difference. I've never seen you drive so I can't comment on your style (!), but that right foot needs to be gentle; no more than two dots....

I don't ever bother with the Leaf's 'find my nearest charging station' function (sorry Nissan!). If I'm planning a tight trip I'll thoroughly investigate all the options before setting off.
You're right CJM, but that right foot was incredibly gentle. I did most of the route there on 2 dots and home on 1! It was definitely too tight for comfort. Unfortunately there really aren't any motorway routes that take me there without going miles and miles out of the way, and even if I had, hearing that Pease Pottage was out of action, there's no way I'd have made it either way :(
 

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Getting home counts as a win. You will look back on the stress as bad at the time but more satisfying for having come through it despite the conditions (hopefully).

Of a more practical note I notice that there is a new Sainsburys with charging listed on Pod Point at Godalming. If you are late in the evening then hopefully there is less chance of it being Ice'd.

I charged at Pease Pottage at 7am this morning. Still shown as out on the Ecotricity and Zap Maps.

We need more people to sign up on Plug-Share or similar. I bet there were dozens of EV owners near your route if only there was some better communication.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Getting home counts as a win. You will look back on the stress as bad at the time but more satisfying for having come through it despite the conditions (hopefully).

Of a more practical note I notice that there is a new Sainsburys with charging listed on Pod Point at Godalming. If you are late in the evening then hopefully there is less chance of it being Ice'd.

I charged at Pease Pottage at 7am this morning. Still shown as out on the Ecotricity and Zap Maps.

We need more people to sign up on Plug-Share or similar. I bet there were dozens of EV owners near your route if only there was some better communication.

Ah, good to hear that Pease Pottage is up and running again! Thanks!

Strangely the first thing I did when I got back was look at doing Plugshare. Such a simple idea and could get lots of us out of a hole really easily. The only think I did think was at the time of night I would have been returning, it may have been an issue to get the key to turn a home charger off.

Does anyone know if anyone on here shares their home charger? I'd be willing but not sure how it would work, especially since we aren't always around at the same times each week.
 

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I don't share it on Plug Share, but have made occasional offers in private. No one has taken me up on it.

There isn't much public charging on Anglsey, so I'll sometimes offer to help people visiting the island.
 

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I have chosen not to share my home charger. I realise that it is probably not a popular decision but I feel very uncomfortable sharing my personal details publicly in that way. I also feel that using charging pods in a stranger's home is not the way to promote and grow confidence in EVs. What message does it send out to prospective EV owners when they see that to do long trips you have to rely upon the goodwill and generosity of strangers.
 

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@Bikerchickone I'm sorry the Leaf's range is not communicated better by dealers and the wider EV community. Clearly we need to do more to help prospective owners so that the reality of a 70 Mile trip in the Leaf is better understood today.

Personally I think the PHEV is a better solution for most people today. Eventually increased BEV range and/or more reliable charging infrastructure will provide a realistic ICE alternative but that's years away IMO.

Good luck :)
 

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I'm a little surprised that people are saying a 70 mile (112 km) trip is too optimistic. I do a round trip like that every day, and have never come home with less than 20% charge left (20% was left after driving 110 km/h on crise control for most of the way).

Most of the time, real range seems to be between 150 and 160 km (95-100 mile). Not even really trying to push it.

I also have had the LEAF for only a few weeks and have driven in mostly favorable weather (low teens at ) worst. But turning on the airco didn't really seem to have much impact on range (car says -4 km or something like that). In my case the route is almost all highway, in that very flat country called Holland.

I'm counting on being able to make my round trip even at the end of my 4 year lease and allowing for bad weather. But fortunately in Holland there are plenty of opportunities for charging for the occasional time I need it.
 

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Well done for making it and learning the hard way, tuff at the time but a great lesson.
We bought our car last year same time as you, just before the temperatures dropped and weather turned.
The 7 miles GOM range with 4% left is an insight in to your hypermiling ability!
Most folks find it hard to get 1 mile per percent.
If you kit up with Leafspy you will soon know how far you can really go. After 4 miles on the GOM you get three dashes to scare you. You are now in to the dark side. However it will still have that 3 miles range plus another 8 or 10 at the rate you were using the power at the end. If you get close in behind a horse box even more than that;).
There is about 1.5 usable Kw/h it hides form you in addition to that which you can't use. Try a local test until the turtle appears indicating reduced power. Assuming no hills it will still do another half a mile but if you stop it won't go in to drive again so pull in somewhere safe in that last half mile. I have 2 extensions using household 16 amp cable with the lead running through a sawn off plastic bottle as emergency waterproofing at the join.

Oh and don't forget to turn aircon off after it is demisted.

20K miles in a year and no worries now:)

Hope that helps.
 

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I'm a little surprised that people are saying a 70 mile (112 km) trip is too optimistic.
Driving patterns and terrain have a considerable impact on range just as much as ambient temperature does. If you have the misfortune to need to stop at numerous intersections this will cost you range. If you need to drive over hilly terrain this will also cost you range. Likewise, turning on the heater will cost you range as will driving at speeds where wind drag becomes a significant factor.

Truth is that actual range can only ever be accurately predicted once it has been established. If you've never driven from point A to point B before, and if the number of stops or the terrain is unknown then it's impossible accurately say whether or not point B is within range unless point B is dramatically within the limits of the predicted range that there is little risk of any problem. The tough drive is the first one - when you're trying to determine whether or not point B is within range. Once you've made that drive you can then reproduce that drive very predictably under similar conditions.

It's why having a range extender on an EV with a short (<100 mi) all-electric range is so attractive and pragmatic at the present. You don't experience anxiety over whether or not point B is within range. When the public charging infrastructure (and especially destination charging - imagine if the OP had been able to charge while parked on the street in Guildford) is more prolific then range anxiety is much-less pronounced.
 
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