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Hello, I'm new to a LEAF 30kw and to this forum so would love some collective advice please on whether I should be worried about the range we just had on a longer journey- bascially we didnt manage a 74 mile journey.

We just bought a 2017 30kw LEAF with just under 6000 miles. It has 12 bars of battery but we dont have a dongle yet so I dont know the exact SOH (dongle purchase is next!- few EV cars near us and due to other car issues we needed the car asap). We were intending to use it as the main car for mainly short commute journeys with our second car being an ICE but that car is now in the garage so after a week of owning it we needed to use it for a longer journey.

We charged the battery fully before we left and it said (I think) 119 miles range but our journey was 74 miles and the range counter went down much quicker than we expected, so much so that with 15 miles left to travel the range said 18 miles so we panicked and had to stop at a 7kw charger to top up a bit to ensure we would get the last few miles. I'm not sure of the exact figures on the return journey as we stopped part way to do a rapid charge as it was clear from the outward leg it would be tight/rather stressful but again it didnt look like it would have managed the full journey.

It was probably 10 minutes of 30-35mph before we were on the motorway and kept at 65mph for most of the rest of the journey, with some hills. I had put it in cruise control for 65pmh as I'd read before this was most efficient speed for motorway, but we took cruise control off about half way as we thought maybe the way it drives to keep at steady speed wasnt the most efficient. We drove it on B mode, with Eco on. Its UK so was cold (5C) but not too wet, we had on sat nav and radio but only just blasts of the heater when the windscreen was misting up. We arent yet used to driving it so probably could have driven slightly more efficiently, but I was still a bit disappointed between the discrepancy between the potential range and what we managed to achieve. Should I be worried about the battery? Or just get used to planning more stops for longer journeys?
Thanks
 

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Hey Kirsty, welcome the the forum. I am sorry to hear about the challenges you recently experienced. As you will figure out, driving a EV isn't an exact science - there are so many different variables at play that long journeys, even for the most experienced drivers, can be challenging (I've been an EV adaptor for just over 4 years) and have driven a number of long milage journeys.

Firstly, as you will figure out - the GOM (the number of remaining miles left) is not very accurate - some EV provide more accurate numbers than others. We would typically use this number with a piece of salt. The number on the GOM is created based on a number of factors - including how the car was driven previously, whether or not the heating is used, if the car is in ECO mode (or not) and the ambient temperature; these are the typical ways the number can very. As the car is low milage, this suggests it has only been used on local drives, so the GOM will be higher.

With regards to driving, in this current time of year, the GOM isn't as high as in the summer. Wet weather, wind and cold temperature all affect the GOM. For a 30kW LEAF, at this time of year one would expect ca. 80-90 miles per charge. I think your journey mileage is likely to be towards the maximum range expected.

Typically, driving on cruise control in a EV isn't a very efficient way to drive. It is more efficient to drive "manually" so you can control the power. For a motorway, I would say 60mph is probably the optimum - you will read that many season drivers would try and "tailgate" a coach or lorry to reduce aerodynamic drag.

The car has a number of safe guards in place to protect the battery but it is recommended not to let the battery drop to the lowest point too frequently (I've had a couple of close calls).

I would suggest that to be safe, and if you have to repeat that journey again, that you factor in a 15-20 min rapid charge en-route to remove any doubt of running out of charge.

Don't worry, you will get used to the capabilities of the car and don't let this recent experience put you off for a long journey drive - just takes a bit of getting used to! :)

Am sure others will comment, but have a search on the forum for other comments :)
Kieren
 

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That doesn’t sound too unusual. Our LEAF 30 (late 2015 almost 50k) would be happy for about 75-80 miles in those conditions. Last long trip similar I had was mostly A road @ 60mph with 20 miles motorway @ 70mph (on dash) was 72 miles with 9% remaining. I expect that to go up to 105-110 miles quite happily in summer.
 

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Have a good search on this forum and you'll find some great advice.
Use manual control and not cruise (use the speed limiter if you like), if you're happy to coast along in neutral where it's safe, that's better than whizzing along and hitting the regen, use regen as a brake, B mode regen as a bigger brake (it's hilly where I am and coasting with a bit of B mode regen where needed does me well). Use windscreen demist on a light breeze to keep it clear (if it's misted the a/c briefly on will dehumidify and clear it) and your seat and steering wheel for warmth. (If you're only doing short journeys like 20-30 mile and charge at home just use it as you like).

Ignore the GOM and watch the %age battery, cold, wet, wind against you and dark are the worst conditions so shortest range, warm, daylight and the wind behind you is the best range.

Drive up to 60-65mph, accelerate gently (watch those dots, the less of them there are, the longer the battery will last, aim for two or three if you can, but don't worry if you need more).

Once you've got Leafspy working link it with A Better Route Planner (ABRP) and it'll grab info from Leafspy on the fly for more accuracy in calculating range and charger stops. ABRP can copy routes to other apps like Google Maps.

This is a great resource for info on battery usage / charging

Once you get over your initial anxiety you, like me (I've not long had my 1st EV, a 2017 30kWh leaf) will really start to enjoy it.

Oh yes, your range wasn't far off the mark.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you, thats all really helpful and reassuring. As you say once we are used to it I'm sure we will be much happier, was just the unplanned nature of this trip and being so new that we hadnt got used to what it could/couldnt do. I'm sure we will pick up lots more tips on this forum, and the video was really helpful- I'll search out a few more of his.
 

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I second the advice to use the % charge left to calculate remaining range. If you know that in wintery conditions 100% = 80 miles then use 8 miles per 10% showing as a better estimate than the GOM. It has always proved to be more reliable.

Just takes a bit of mental arithmetic. If the battery % shows as, say, 45% left then that's 4.5 x 8 = 36 miles available. If it's showing 28% that's 2.8 x 8 = 22.4 miles.
 

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Hi Kirsty,

As a new owner, albeit with a slightly older 24k Leaf I can empathise. And I am the worlds worse worrier! A recent commute on A/B roads at 30-55 mph from full charge got me 67 miles with 14% charge left.

My low battery came on at 18% and the screen warning put me in panic mode! I got home no probs though.

Now I am a bit more relaxed I'm thinking, whats the worse that can happen if you really did run out of charge?

You'd pull over as close as possible to anywhere with a 3 pin plug and try and scrounge a charge?
You'd ring Nissan roadside assistance and get a free 10 mile toe? (slightly more embarrassing!)

That said if you are at the max of your range and the public charger you where relying on is offline it could be a real showstopper to your plans!

I suspect that @Kieren advice is right, when you get used to the vehicle it gets somewhat less stressful :)

And @Hitstirrer tip is useful when you are out an about!

Elsewhere on these threads have been suggestions about putting a blanket and a book in your boot :) :)

Rgrds

Graham
 

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The Leaf GOM is best ignored. Follow the battery percentage and mileage trip. I think a lot of the running out and range anxiety problems are caused directly by the range meter being so badly out and dropping unwary new drivers right in it.
 

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2 things to consider - ditch ECO (just drive using B), and ditch trusting the range displayed by the car.
Usually I go with slightly less than a mile per percent in winter, and slightly more than mile/percent in summer.
 

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In my particular case, my achieved range increased when i kept ECO off and stayed on B. I do a mix of town/motorway driving (70/30).
I think ECO is designed for drivers with particularly heavy right foot - if you are smoother with the throttle yourself, i think it improves your range.
 

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To be honest i ignore the GOM and work off approx 1% = 1mile and use the battery % screen instead.
Its all part of changing over to a new car i guess :)

On a long drive Eco can help with the AC and B mode does very little until you come to a services :)
 

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Should I be worried about the battery?
No. This time of year, I wouldn't count on much more than 80-90 miles on a single charge.

but we took cruise control off about half way as we thought maybe the way it drives to keep at steady speed wasnt the most efficient. We drove it on B mode, with Eco on.
I have a few suggestions for getting a little more range out of your LEAF 30:

Check the air in the tyres. Add air if they are low.
Set the speed limiter for 62MPH.
Use Eco mode.
Plan ahead. Overtake only when you can do it without changing your speed too much.
Slow down a little when climbing hills. For really steep grades, use the crawler lane.
Before setting off, pre-heat the car while it is still plugged in. If you stop, you can also warm the car up when it is on a rapid charger.


Arriving at your destination with 10% left is nothing to worry about.
 

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I do a lot of motorway driving in my LEAF30 and the range is absolutely appalling TBH.

Yesterday i drove to my brothers, 20miles away. Left with 95% having done some short trips in the morning. Arrived there with mid 60's and got home with 21%.
The day before, i drove to my folks, then to a birthday party (circa 55miles) and arrived with 12%. Rapid charged up to 65% and then drove to my brothers (25miles) and was down to 25%. Luckily he doesnt mind me plugging in to his garage, so i topped up to 50% for the journey home.

I drive at the speed limit, as i would in any other car. "Drive Slower" is not an appropriate response when discussing range IMO. Clearly yes, the car will go further if driven slower, but thats sort of irrelevant when talking about the cars motorway range, and really missleading when talking to new or prospective owners, making out the car will do 100miles, but glossing over that it'll only do that if your drafting lorries.

Eco mode is horrible, makes it feel like i'm driving a snail. Slowing down up hills, again, see the previous point about speed. No-one driving an ICE slows down uphill.

An EV is a car first and foremost. Expecting people to make all these compromises to drive one just isnt useful. My mate bought a model 3 recently. Everywhere claims it'll do >200miles. I told him to expect 3 miles per kwh given his entire commute is motorway driving at 70+, and sure enough, he barely gets 120miles out of it in winter.

The LEAF just seems to be particularly crap at motorway speeds. People quoting 1mile per % is really not helpful in this either. The car wont get near that, unless your driving at about 43mph pissing off every lorry driver on the road. My previous B250e i'm pretty sure had better range than the LEAF30 does, despite being a bigger heavier car with an EPA range about the same as a 24kwh LEAF.
 

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I do a lot of motorway driving in my LEAF30 and the range is absolutely appalling TBH.

Yesterday i drove to my brothers, 20miles away. Left with 95% having done some short trips in the morning. Arrived there with mid 60's and got home with 21%.
The day before, i drove to my folks, then to a birthday party (circa 55miles) and arrived with 12%. Rapid charged up to 65% and then drove to my brothers (25miles) and was down to 25%. Luckily he doesnt mind me plugging in to his garage, so i topped up to 50% for the journey home.

I drive at the speed limit, as i would in any other car. "Drive Slower" is not an appropriate response when discussing range IMO. Clearly yes, the car will go further if driven slower, but thats sort of irrelevant when talking about the cars motorway range, and really missleading when talking to new or prospective owners, making out the car will do 100miles, but glossing over that it'll only do that if your drafting lorries.

Eco mode is horrible, makes it feel like i'm driving a snail. Slowing down up hills, again, see the previous point about speed. No-one driving an ICE slows down uphill.

An EV is a car first and foremost. Expecting people to make all these compromises to drive one just isnt useful. My mate bought a model 3 recently. Everywhere claims it'll do >200miles. I told him to expect 3 miles per kwh given his entire commute is motorway driving at 70+, and sure enough, he barely gets 120miles out of it in winter.

The LEAF just seems to be particularly crap at motorway speeds. People quoting 1mile per % is really not helpful in this either. The car wont get near that, unless your driving at about 43mph pissing off every lorry driver on the road. My previous B250e i'm pretty sure had better range than the LEAF30 does, despite being a bigger heavier car with an EPA range about the same as a 24kwh LEAF.
Erm its the same in anycar, you want the fuel to last longer and the car to go further then dont sit at 70mph so not sure how its irrelevant to the topic :)

You want range, go slower, you want short time, nail it and charge when you get there :)
 

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Lots of great tips above.

Another one is to limit how much regen you use (ideally none). Regen is probably about 50% efficient, so the best answer is not to take electrons out of the battery you won’t need. That is why I never used B.

You will find as you get used to the car, you will get better at this and therefore see some more efficiency gains.
 

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Its funny because I really like BEco round town, virtually never using the brake pedal at all. And I have gotten a lot better at reading the road ahead, trying not to slow down (or speed up again) if I can at all help it!

EV's arent for everyone especially not business drivers doing mainly motorway and having a tight schedule.

Round town and the odd longer trip where time isn't too much of an issue they are great!
 

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Erm its the same in anycar, you want the fuel to last longer and the car to go further then dont sit at 70mph so not sure how its irrelevant to the topic :)

You want range, go slower, you want short time, nail it and charge when you get there :)
Sure, but for most drivers, coming from an ICE, they might get 30mpg around town and 45mpg sat on the motorway doing 70. That they might have got 50mpg sitting at 60 is sorta moot, they wouldnt have done that in their ICE and the ICE was already significantly more efficient on the motorway than it was around town, so they drive at 70 and dont really think about it.

An EV turns that almost completely upside down, which is a big shift that most dont expect, and its made worse by a huge number of people quoting silly range figures that are only achievable by using the car drastically differently to how a typical car is used. Saying "A LEAF will do 100miles on the motorway" is not really the same as saying "A LEAF will do 100miles on the motorway if you draft lorries, but driven normally will do about 75miles"

The number of times i read that i'd easily get 100miles out of a LEAF30 in summer before i bought it, has left me fairly pissed off at the actual achievable range. And thats coming from an EV that already had very short range, and being fully aware of how the advertised figures are nonsense.
The EPA range of the B250e was 87miles, and i would usually get 80-85 in summer and 60-65 in winter, driving it like a normal car, driving at the posted speed limits, using the heating normally etc etc. Far less than the UK advertised figure of 124miles, but thats fair enough. I did 25k in that car over 2 years and despite its foibles it did what i expected of it and i was overall pretty pleased with it.
The LEAF has an EPA range of 107miles, and an NEDC figure of 155miles so i expected i'd see a nice boost over the B250e, that extra 20miles often being the difference between having to stop and charge, or making it home, however infact its not really any better at all, as the figures posted previously highlight, i'm barely scraping 60miles out of it in winter. Its only saving grace is it has rapid charging.
 

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Having covered a lot, and i mean a fair lot in leafs over the last 3 years from the 24kwh to the 40kwh units i've never had issue with it.
Before that my cars ranged from V8 Jeeps, Diesel Range Rover and old citroen and all got treated the same. if i wanted range i slowed down. if i wanted to get somewhere quicker i went quicker and sacked fuel economy off.
The citroen could range from 60mpg down to 30mpg easily, the Jeep would nudge 25mpg on a long run at 55-60 and under 20mpg at 75ish.

Its all horses for courses and if you want to not faff about and not just scrape by why not just slow down? Slowing down on a trip means less rapid charging, less cost and mostly to me, a shorter trip time than razzing around....
 
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