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Bit of advice / thoughts if possible please?

I've toyed with the idea of getting an electric car for a little while now and I'm pretty keen to get one soon and at present my budget can afford a circa 15 plate 24kWh Leaf in Teckna spec (I prefer this spec with the leather, heated wheel/seats and better wheels) with 12 bars of battery.

I am aware of the range limitations of a 24 Leaf but I think I can make it work. However, how I plan to use the vehicle and how it'd fit into my life is (I think) a bit unusual...

I'm a self employed delivery driver based in and around Newcastle and make most of my money delivering fast food through the likes of Uber Eats and Deliveroo (where I can go offline whenever I want, which would be handy when the car needed to be charged), I also deliver parcels for Amazon around the North East when there is work available and more recently I have taken on a multi-drop newspaper contract which has the same route every day (about a 65 mile round trip).

The fast food deliveries I can't see being a problem at all as I can switch the app off whenever I want and go online whenever I want so whenever the car needed a charge I could just go offline, head (ideally) to a rapid charger, get a top up and head off on my way again. Would the car be happy enough with 2 maybe 3 rapid charges through the day on some days? Most of these jobs are within 30mph zones and under 2 miles, what affect would this have on the range?

The Amazon routes can vary from being quite short to being quite long and I would anticipate that every once in a blue moon they'd be outside the range of a 24kWh Leaf and I could either pop home and switch to our other (ICE) car or find a rapid charger half way around the route for a top up and then continue with the route (most of what I deliver for Amazon aren't time sensitive so wouldn't be an issue stopping for a charge).

The multi-drop contract may however be an issue, it's 15 miles to the depot on dual carriageway to get there to begin with and then the rest is just mainly 30/40 roads but it is mainly door to door with a 2-3 min drive on 30 roads between each drop. Most of the time at each drop I'll just leave the car running, jump out, pop the paper through the door and then on to the next one, I only switch the car off probably a total of 5/6 times when I have to walk out of sight of the car. Would the Leaf be okay with this? Generally speaking, how would this affect the range?

I would appreciate any thoughts on any of what I've mentioned above ☺
 

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You are going to be pushing the range in this weather with your paper round - ideally you will need to charge part way around.

Each time you Rapid charge the battery will heat up, on a hot day driving fast you'll get into trouble after three recharges. However, if you drive slower as you describe then you'll be fine.
Short slow journeys are where an EV excels, and apart from the extra drain on the heating of having the door open regularly the repeated halts aren't an issue. It is when you leave the car to cool down significantly (say for 30 minutes) that there is significant reduction in range from the need to heat the car again. I'd expect to get around 60 miles range from a full charge if you drive sensibly, obviously less if you don't or don't charge the battery fully (Rapids taper down significantly over 80%) or need a significant reserve due to a lack of Rapids on your route. Note that you will always need a Plan B and Plan C in case a Rapid is broken or another car gets there first as some people leave their cars for 90+ minutes.
 

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Bit of advice / thoughts if possible please?

I've toyed with the idea of getting an electric car for a little while now and I'm pretty keen to get one soon and at present my budget can afford a circa 15 plate 24kWh Leaf in Teckna spec (I prefer this spec with the leather, heated wheel/seats and better wheels) with 12 bars of battery.

I am aware of the range limitations of a 24 Leaf but I think I can make it work. However, how I plan to use the vehicle and how it'd fit into my life is (I think) a bit unusual...

I'm a self employed delivery driver based in and around Newcastle and make most of my money delivering fast food through the likes of Uber Eats and Deliveroo (where I can go offline whenever I want, which would be handy when the car needed to be charged), I also deliver parcels for Amazon around the North East when there is work available and more recently I have taken on a multi-drop newspaper contract which has the same route every day (about a 65 mile round trip).

The fast food deliveries I can't see being a problem at all as I can switch the app off whenever I want and go online whenever I want so whenever the car needed a charge I could just go offline, head (ideally) to a rapid charger, get a top up and head off on my way again. Would the car be happy enough with 2 maybe 3 rapid charges through the day on some days? Most of these jobs are within 30mph zones and under 2 miles, what affect would this have on the range?

The Amazon routes can vary from being quite short to being quite long and I would anticipate that every once in a blue moon they'd be outside the range of a 24kWh Leaf and I could either pop home and switch to our other (ICE) car or find a rapid charger half way around the route for a top up and then continue with the route (most of what I deliver for Amazon aren't time sensitive so wouldn't be an issue stopping for a charge).

The multi-drop contract may however be an issue, it's 15 miles to the depot on dual carriageway to get there to begin with and then the rest is just mainly 30/40 roads but it is mainly door to door with a 2-3 min drive on 30 roads between each drop. Most of the time at each drop I'll just leave the car running, jump out, pop the paper through the door and then on to the next one, I only switch the car off probably a total of 5/6 times when I have to walk out of sight of the car. Would the Leaf be okay with this? Generally speaking, how would this affect the range?

I would appreciate any thoughts on any of what I've mentioned above ☺
You might have seen a white LEAF Taxi at Amazon in Gateshead or Sunderland waiting to load parcels in the past - That's me! Both depots have rapid chargers nearby so you can top up the battery easy enough if ever needed. I have also found that updating your vehicle details in the Amazon Flex app to say you have an EV will typically give you shorter routes too. If I get a PN Block and I say I'm driving an ICE I get sent on a magical mystery tour down the A19 or A1 into the southern end of County Durham. If I say I am in an EV it's rare that I ever get sent out of Tyne and Wear.

You can definitely rapid charge a LEAF 2 or 3 times in a day. In fact I have managed 10 rapids in 24 hours with my 30kWh model before! It's important to note that repeatedly rapid charging the battery isn't going to be good for it though and your 12 bars of health probably won't last too long. Lots of rapid charging especially in a LEAF which has no cooling system will heat things up and cause it to wear out faster.

In the bad weather especially, I can't tell you to expect more than about 50 miles of mixed driving. Obviously you'll get more in the summer when it warms up if you are careful but for some of your use cases you are definitely going to struggle with range shorter than your usual driving routes. I'm not saying it is impossible but you definitely need to consider if it will get too inconvenient, and if you might be able to somehow stretch the budget to go for something with an improved range?

The car clubs in and around the area have a fair selection of EVs, some of which I regularly see being used by delivery drivers. It may be worth signing up (message me for a promo code if you want some driving credit to help fund the rental) and trying out an EV for making deliveries and getting used to it all.

Thankfully you are in one of the best regions for EV charging infrastructure so if you do find it is something you can live with, you will at least be able to get charged on the go with minimal hassle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You are going to be pushing the range in this weather with your paper round - ideally you will need to charge part way around.

Each time you Rapid charge the battery will heat up, on a hot day driving fast you'll get into trouble after three recharges. However, if you drive slower as you describe then you'll be fine.
Short slow journeys are where an EV excels, and apart from the extra drain on the heating of having the door open regularly the repeated halts aren't an issue. It is when you leave the car to cool down significantly (say for 30 minutes) that there is significant reduction in range from the need to heat the car again. I'd expect to get around 60 miles range from a full charge if you drive sensibly, obviously less if you don't or don't charge the battery fully (Rapids taper down significantly over 80%) or need a significant reserve due to a lack of Rapids on your route. Note that you will always need a Plan B and Plan C in case a Rapid is broken or another car gets there first as some people leave their cars for 90+ minutes.
Thanks for your reply ☺ - instead of heading to the depot using dual carriageways would I be better off sticking to slower roads to maximise range (which is actually about 4 miles shorter distance as well!)? Ah yes, I never thought about the rapids being taken, hopefully they'll be quieter at the time I do the paper round (between 4 and 7:30 ish).

You might have seen a white LEAF Taxi at Amazon in Gateshead or Sunderland waiting to load parcels in the past - That's me! Both depots have rapid chargers nearby so you can top up the battery easy enough if ever needed. I have also found that updating your vehicle details in the Amazon Flex app to say you have an EV will typically give you shorter routes too. If I get a PN Block and I say I'm driving an ICE I get sent on a magical mystery tour down the A19 or A1 into the southern end of County Durham. If I say I am in an EV it's rare that I ever get sent out of Tyne and Wear.

You can definitely rapid charge a LEAF 2 or 3 times in a day. In fact I have managed 10 rapids in 24 hours with my 30kWh model before! It's important to note that repeatedly rapid charging the battery isn't going to be good for it though and your 12 bars of health probably won't last too long. Lots of rapid charging especially in a LEAF which has no cooling system will heat things up and cause it to wear out faster.

In the bad weather especially, I can't tell you to expect more than about 50 miles of mixed driving. Obviously you'll get more in the summer when it warms up if you are careful but for some of your use cases you are definitely going to struggle with range shorter than your usual driving routes. I'm not saying it is impossible but you definitely need to consider if it will get too inconvenient, and if you might be able to somehow stretch the budget to go for something with an improved range?

The car clubs in and around the area have a fair selection of EVs, some of which I regularly see being used by delivery drivers. It may be worth signing up (message me for a promo code if you want some driving credit to help fund the rental) and trying out an EV for making deliveries and getting used to it all.

Thankfully you are in one of the best regions for EV charging infrastructure so if you do find it is something you can live with, you will at least be able to get charged on the go with minimal hassle.
Thanks for your reply, I do seem to remember seeing a white Leaf! Interesting point regarding the shorter PN routes, I didn't for one second think Amazon would even care haha.

That's quite reassuring about the multiple rapid charges as I could see me needing to do that from time to time! I think I will keep my eyes peeled for a 30kWh Leaf that isn't a million miles from the budget however I'm quite keen to get one so I might get impatient and go for a 24kWh ha.

Great idea with regards to the car clubs, I'm a member of co-wheels but I don't think they have any Leaf's at the moment, I might be wrong, is there another club you know of that has a Leaf per chance?
 

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I take it you know the per kWh rates of the convenient rapids? They take a bite out of the EV business case when they’re your main supply. A larger battery and more home charging might also be worth running the numbers on.
 

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Personally I'd hold fire until you have a few more £ to get the 30kWh model, even if you go down a grade in spec. Public charging can be problematic for a variety of reasons if you depend on it more than occasionally.
 

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Great idea with regards to the car clubs, I'm a member of co-wheels but I don't think they have any Leaf's at the moment, I might be wrong, is there another club you know of that has a Leaf per chance?
Enterprise Car Club have a 15 Plate 24kWh LEAF Tekna that comes and goes from availability, usually at a bay in Ouseburn. You'll find it doesn't always have the ability to charge at whatever parking bay it has been dumped in though, so you won't always pick it up with a full battery.

Co-Wheels had a 30kWh LEAF In Sunderland but it was removed from the fleet a little while back. Post lockdown there SHOULD be a 40kWh LEAF as well as a MG ZS EV Joining the fleet in the area. Otherwise they have a few BMW i3s and Renault Zoes in the area. I know the Newcastle Zoe specifically is very popular with delivery drivers and is regularly driving around with magnetic plates on for Stuart, Just Eat, or ZMove deliveries.

The above models may not be a perfect match, but you could always hire one of those for a day or two, and start off with a lower battery charge, and only rapid charging back to the equivalent percentage for 24kWh or 30kWh respectively. It should still give you a chance to pay close attention to the usable range, availability of charging, and convenience of living with it.

I never thought about the rapids being taken, hopefully they'll be quieter at the time I do the paper round
No real need to worry around our area about charger availability. Electric Blue, Fastned, Instavolt, Osprey etc. are all examples of charging networks who install 2+ chargers per location so you don't have to do much waiting around. Once you add the other networks to the mix there are plenty of places to plug in so that definitely shouldn't be a concern. It can be in some regions, but not up here in the north east.

Being impatient really won't pay off though. A 24kWh in cold, wet and windy weather, especially in a couple of years when there is even more degradation to the battery likely won't be of much use for your needs. If you can stretch the budget or work out financing to get the 30kWh you absolutely should as it will make your life so much easier.
 

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Another possibility might be to get an Ampera hatchback. You need to have a specialist Vx dealer around to support these, and Bristol Street Motors in Newcastle, and Pentagon Sheffield used to be on the list of specialist dealers. No idea if they still are though! And no idea how they're rated by other Ampera owners here.

Lots of info in the Ampera section under GM Motors, but it's an EV with 10.4 kWh battery of which you can use the lot safely, as there's a petrol engine backing it up. So zero range anxiety, use the leccy in the towns & cities & switch to petrol when in countryside, your choice. 4 seater hatchback, 300L boot (lots more with back seats down) so not huge, but it's a useful shape, e.g. takes a typical granny wheelchair no problem. Range in summer is up to 50 miles if driven gently at <60 mph, more like 30-35 in winter when cold & heating takes its toll. Can be preheated using key fob to deice & warm the cabin before you set out. Charging is at 14A max, around 4.5 hours when plugged into 16A EVSE with a type-1 plug, same as the Leaf 24s. No Rapid charging though. Assuming you can charge overnight, you can think of it as a petrol car with a gallon of super-cheap petrol supplied every night!

Unlike Phevs which are really a petrol car with electrical additions, this one's a range-extended EV, as the main power is electrical motors. So you never need to use petrol at all, while there's electricity left in it. That said, there are a couple of occasions when it will insist on starting up the ICE; firstly of you haven't used any petrol for 6 months, it likes to check the ICE still works & the fuel's ok, and secondly when temps are around 0C like now, it may start the ICE first thing to get some heat into the battery asap. Battery degradation is almost unknown on these cars, as they're very over-engineered to begin with.

Closest Phev to this is probably the Ioniq Phev, which has 9.8 kWh so a bit less battery less range, but being newer may have some warranty left. Ampera was sold from 2012-2015, so very little if any wty left, depending on reg year. But Ioniq will fire up the ICE for e.g. if you want it warm in the cabin as it's really a petrol car at heart! You have to play a few tricks to stop the Ice firing up, I gather.
 

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Thanks for your reply ☺ - instead of heading to the depot using dual carriageways would I be better off sticking to slower roads to maximise range (which is actually about 4 miles shorter distance as well!)? Ah yes, I never thought about the rapids being taken, hopefully they'll be quieter at the time I do the paper round (between 4 and 7:30 ish).



Thanks for your reply, I do seem to remember seeing a white Leaf! Interesting point regarding the shorter PN routes, I didn't for one second think Amazon would even care haha.

That's quite reassuring about the multiple rapid charges as I could see me needing to do that from time to time! I think I will keep my eyes peeled for a 30kWh Leaf that isn't a million miles from the budget however I'm quite keen to get one so I might get impatient and go for a 24kWh ha.

Great idea with regards to the car clubs, I'm a member of co-wheels but I don't think they have any Leaf's at the moment, I might be wrong, is there another club you know of that has a Leaf per chance?
Do the clubs allow hire & reward use?
 

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Bit of advice / thoughts if possible please?

I've toyed with the idea of getting an electric car for a little while now and I'm pretty keen to get one soon and at present my budget can afford a circa 15 plate 24kWh Leaf in Teckna spec (I prefer this spec with the leather, heated wheel/seats and better wheels) with 12 bars of battery.

I am aware of the range limitations of a 24 Leaf but I think I can make it work. However, how I plan to use the vehicle and how it'd fit into my life is (I think) a bit unusual...

I'm a self employed delivery driver based in and around Newcastle and make most of my money delivering fast food through the likes of Uber Eats and Deliveroo (where I can go offline whenever I want, which would be handy when the car needed to be charged), I also deliver parcels for Amazon around the North East when there is work available and more recently I have taken on a multi-drop newspaper contract which has the same route every day (about a 65 mile round trip).

The fast food deliveries I can't see being a problem at all as I can switch the app off whenever I want and go online whenever I want so whenever the car needed a charge I could just go offline, head (ideally) to a rapid charger, get a top up and head off on my way again. Would the car be happy enough with 2 maybe 3 rapid charges through the day on some days? Most of these jobs are within 30mph zones and under 2 miles, what affect would this have on the range?

The Amazon routes can vary from being quite short to being quite long and I would anticipate that every once in a blue moon they'd be outside the range of a 24kWh Leaf and I could either pop home and switch to our other (ICE) car or find a rapid charger half way around the route for a top up and then continue with the route (most of what I deliver for Amazon aren't time sensitive so wouldn't be an issue stopping for a charge).

The multi-drop contract may however be an issue, it's 15 miles to the depot on dual carriageway to get there to begin with and then the rest is just mainly 30/40 roads but it is mainly door to door with a 2-3 min drive on 30 roads between each drop. Most of the time at each drop I'll just leave the car running, jump out, pop the paper through the door and then on to the next one, I only switch the car off probably a total of 5/6 times when I have to walk out of sight of the car. Would the Leaf be okay with this? Generally speaking, how would this affect the range?

I would appreciate any thoughts on any of what I've mentioned above ☺
I deliver food for my business for a living in a 40 Leaf for 8 hours a day.

On a really busy day in this weather I can leave home with fully charged battery and arrive home with 15% left, I only switch the car off when out of sight and leave the heater on on the lowest fan setting and 19’c / heated seat / steering wheel on all day.

A 24 Leaf will not cut it unless you plan on rapid charging for at least an hour a day or more likely 2 rapids for circa 30 minutes if you arrive at a rapid and find a queue this has the potential to seriously mess up your day.

On heavy rain days you would have to choose between being freezing cold or having to charge more than this, this is not fun.

The battery on every 24 leaf is very likely to have lost around 20% of its new capacity by now so you have more like 18 to play with and this usage pattern is very hard on the battery.

My average overnight recharge at the moment is averaging 32 - 35 kWh that is 2 100% charges on a 24 leaf today, it’s not the right car for the job, even a 30 would need a rapid every day.
 

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Do the clubs allow hire & reward use?
Well considering Co-Wheels regularly retweet posts like this they are clearly aware of what their EVs are being used for on a daily basis. If it wasn't acceptible I'd have thought they would put a stop to it. As I said I see them flying around the city all the time with various delivery company logos stuck to the sides.

 

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On heavy rain days you would have to choose between being freezing cold or having to charge more than this, this is not fun.
I forgot to add to this on heavy rain days you will have to run the a/c and heat on low to stop the screen from fogging, you may not be aware of this in an ICE with the heater on high all day but getting in and out all day in the rain with wet clothes makes an EV mist up and a/c is the only way to stop this.

This uses a lot of electric, I have had range anxiety in my 40kW leaf on such days.
 

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I did pizza delivery in my leaf for two years. In winter with heating on 16.5 and fan speed 1, feet only, passenger side blocked off, I realistically only got 45 miles per charge.
 
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Well considering Co-Wheels regularly retweet posts like this they are clearly aware of what their EVs are being used for on a daily basis. If it wasn't acceptible I'd have thought they would put a stop to it. As I said I see them flying around the city all the time with various delivery company logos stuck to the sides.

The point is about insurance. If the cover they provide doesn’t allow it then prepare for the car to be taken if stopped with a load of food orders on board.
 

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So I kept a proper tally today having read this thread yesterday.

I fully charged my 40 Leaf last night at the current temperature when fully charged the battery holds about 36kWh according to LeafSpy.

It wasn’t too busy today so I covered 60 miles in total, with the heater on low as well as seat heater / steering wheel I arrived home with 30% SOC so I averaged about 2.4 miles per kWh and it took 25.44 kWh to fully recharge again.

The temperature was between -2 & 1’c all day.

If it had rained I would have used about another 3kWh extra because water on the road causes more resistance.

had I have been in a 24 leaf it probably would likely have had 17kWh available in this temp when fully charged, with the heater on you would have only managed 40 miles on a full charge, in the rain you would be lucky to do that.

My next EV will have at least a 50kW battery, more likely a 60!

The 40 leaf just about manages to do my days driving in a full charge with 25-30 miles to spare mid winter, in a couple more years when the battery has degraded a bit more I will upgrade as I start to run close to the wire.

I’m too busy and time dependent with my deliveries to spend 20 mins a day at a rapid charger.
 
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