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Leaf lover
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Discussion Starter #1
When someone knocks on my front door and makes the mistake of asking about my Leaf, I really must put on a jumper. The conversation always starts with range, then I take it from there.
And yet for a good many Leaf owners I suspect the decision to buy was more an exciting one rather than a cold calculation. I have likened it to a proposal for marriage, you know it’s the right thing for you but it’s still not easy to say.
You probably accepted the range as a secondary issue and now being a proud owner want better from the manufacturers for a future purchase because as we say, “there is no going back to the ice-age”.

So now we want Real Life comparisons, not manufacturers or anyone else’s say so.
This means a control test from a source like Transport Evolved where a benchmark can be set and each different model shown against it.
A test circuit in T.E.’s locale where realistic legal consistent laps can be made.
If they start off with a current Leaf and show that x number of 10-minute laps on a full charge can be achieved. Then on another car’s review show that y number of 10-minute laps on a full charge can be achieved, we should then, have clear thinking. Plus the reviewer can say just how comfortable or not they felt achieving those 10-minute laps in that car.
Choosing a suitable circuit that is worthy of the ev community’s approval is the difficult thing, but of course, they can show a video(s) of a lap so that we can judge for ourselves.
 

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Without closed roads there will always be variables, traffic wind, temperature... Kind of makes it relatively pointless.

** edit **

Not so much pointless, but too inconsistent and therefore of less value than it could otherwise be.


I think for "real world" data it has to be real world, for standard tests we already have government figures in controlled environments. To get the real world data I think perhaps the best way would be to pool real world information from owners and drivers as far and wide as possible, crowd sourcing if you like... How to gather and verify that data, not so sure!
 

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I like the sound of this suggestion and at first reading it seems a sensible idea... which it is. Except that I also agree with Paul that the variables would make any comparisons difficult. Range can vary so much on a single route with the same car... not just model of car but the same actual car.

Mind you... I do agree with the sentiment of Richard's suggestion. We really do need something that can give prospective buyers something other than the official figures.

Not sure what the answer this one is though :)
 

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Leaf lover
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Discussion Starter #4
Without closed roads there will always be variables, traffic wind, temperature... Kind of makes it relatively pointless.

** edit **

Not so much pointless, but too inconsistent and therefore of less value than it could otherwise be.


I think for "real world" data it has to be real world, for standard tests we already have government figures in controlled environments. To get the real world data I think perhaps the best way would be to pool real world information from owners and drivers as far and wide as possible, crowd sourcing if you like... How to gather and verify that data, not so sure!
I have my own circuit here in Maldon Essex that is 4.7 miles.
On A414 approach Fullbridge Roundabout entering 30 limit turn right and proceed up Market Hill, turn left into the High St., down into Mill Road, left into Park Drive, follow round into Limebrook Way exiting 30 limit, cross 3 roundabouts, up Wycke Hill, down the by-pass, turn right to complete circuit.

This 10 minute lap gives a seemly modest 28 mph average speed but on a Saturday afternoon even getting into double figures through the 30 limit is an achievement, so you have to drive the rest of the circuit at a fast pace.
But it is not a race.
It is just an interesting circuit that if negotiated within the speed limits at 10 minutes per lap reflects well-mannered driving.

After doing three laps and well into my fourth I felt that 10 minutes per lap was comfortable and went home.

You don’t actually need to do two or more hours of driving, you just have to be clearer than I am at understanding how extract from the car info on the energy used in doing those 3 laps and dividing that into what the car holds when full.

A professional ev enthusiast reviewer driving such a circuit that other ev enthusiasts felt gave us a good performance and range guide, to my mind has to be useful.
 

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How would you expect them to drive? As I do most days, short 60-70 mpg roads for a few miles and shorter 30 at each end, heavyish right foot? A long 50 mpg drive, light right foot? Mostly 30mph with traffic lights? Motorway? For economy, for speed, for comfort

I guess my point is "real world" for you is different to me is different to someone else

The various standard measures and testing methods do a decent job of simulating different conditions, consistently, that's still probably the best way to get a level playing field to compare one to another.

I do think some kind of "pooled average" is going to be the only alternative meaningful "real world" economy measure, but how you'd gather that data I can't even imagine!

I do agree though that as part of reviews it would make a lot of sense to provide what range the test drivers get, to enable people compare one to an another (or at least the energy efficiency achieved) and to manufacturers' quoted figures. It'd also be good to get real world performance and such too.
 

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I'm finding that I need two data points to get a feel for range. "65 miles at 70mph or 90 miles at 40mph". That's certainly how I mentally picture my experience. A single figure for range is doubleplus unuseful.

As range is so dependent on route and roads, the nav system is incredibly valuable for journey planning. Do all EVs integrate nav and range info as well as the i3 does? You tell it where you're heading and you can choose routes for eco-ness, speed or other - and the available range on the dash changes depending on which you pick.

For day-to-day pootling and errand running range doesn't really matter anyway (assuming you haven't stuck your neck out and bought an EV for a commute on the edge of capability).
 

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Yes, the same system exists in the leaf with an estimated battery left indicator as well. Very useful feature for the non-normal longer trips. I'm not sure if it also computes the effect of altitude gain and loss in the calculation. Perhaps others know more on this.
 

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Leaf lover
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Discussion Starter #8
For me it is about watching or reading a review and having a meaningful comparison on range. Same reviewer, same circuit, same lap times. What did car A achieves verses car B.
I am married to my lovely blue Leaf but I really fancy an affair with an i3. The i3 feels really good to drive and I like to think that although is has a smaller capacity battery because it is lighter it will have a better range. But reviewer, show me please.
If the ev community looks to one or two reviewers who adopt this approach as part of their reviews, as I say it has to be useful.
 

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I would never, ever buy a car based on someone else's reviews or opinions though, or is that just me? I try to take a wide range of reports onboard, but I need to know it's right for me, as an emotional and practical choice and nobody else can tell me that.

For example to get your answer, I would borrow an i3. BMW are generally very good in my experience at weekend, two day or overnight loans to potential customers. Then you can make the right decision for you, which is what really matters. "Suck it and see".

I spent about eight years driving and reviewing cars alongside many motoring journalists from the national and international media. The one thing it taught me is they're just the same as you or I (motoring photographers is a whole other story, some of the nicest, most unhinged people you'll ever encounter). They are mostly obsessive about "motoring", but their views like mine and yours are totally subjective and prone to emotion, bias and human error, like all of us. Many aren't even that into cars (shock horror) and it's just a job. As mad as that sounds!

Anyway, my point is that I agree to a certain extent and do think it'd be good if reviewers, including Transport Evolved, added in more details and numbers from their own experience. I would suggest that's to raise with them directly *waves towards @Mark Chatterley and @aminorjourney* as a suggestion to add value to their output for you. :D
 
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