New LEAF handed back.

My final journey with the new LEAF was the longest.  From Fife, to Glasgow then on to Inverness via Fife, returning the next day after the e-cosse forum on Rural Electric Mobility.

With about 150 miles real world range on the trunk roads, at a steady 63 mph, I only needed the one charge en-route in each direction.  The presence of two eVolt units at Pitlochry made it the obvious choice.

On the way up I made use of the adaptive cruise control.  Aside from the adaptive function, something I will miss, I found the current incarnation of LEAF cruise control is a significant improvement on the older version.  It seemed far more adept at conservation of energy.  With adaptive function, driving in traffic on the A9 was a very relaxed experience.  As with all technologies, there is a learning curve, vehicles pulling off ahead can result in acceleration that a driver just wouldn’t engage.  Roundabouts with bypass slips, please disengage the cruise as you approach them.  The system is occasionally confused by bends in the road on dual carriageway, seeing vehicles in adjacent lanes as hazards.  Drivers should always be aware of these possibilities.

On arriving at Inverness, I put the car onto its second #JourneyCharge of the day.  The battery temperature was above median, with the starting charge at 40kW.  As the car reported over 2 hours to charge completion from 18%, I went back to the hotel, returning 1 hour later.  I arrived just as the unit timed out to find the battery at 96%, but not really any warmer.

Without LeafSpy I have no idea what the actual temperature were, which would be more revealing.

After the forum, the journey home was less pleasant than the journey up, with wind and rain demanding more effort from the car.  On reaching Pitlochry this was reflected in the 14% remaining in the battery, as well as a higher temperature again.  The charge rate started at 37kW and had dropped to 27kW at 80% when we returned.  (Mackays Chipshop, nice, but tourist prices).  While that was comfortably enough to complete the journey, we stayed longer as a colleague who had also been at the forum pulled up in his 24kWh LEAF.  This was for his second charge of the journey.  (I left quite a bit later as I had been chatting to PlugInAdventures in the car park).  He had arrived with not much left before the tortoise came in to play, so was very happy to start charging.  On his journey home he would still require one additional charge to reach his destination, while the 2018 LEAF already had that range available.

As I mentioned before the 2018 LEAF seems to transmit far more of the imperfections   in the road to the driver.  The A9 had a broad mix of surfaces, which made this quite exaggerated at times.  The transition from new surfaces to heavily wintered ones was occasionally  very pronounced, but without any undesirable side effects.  Handling was constant, which was very reassuring.

Three things I’d like to bring over to the old LEAF:  The instrument binnacle (which has to include the steering wheel), the bigger battery and Android Auto. (or Apple Car Play if that is your platform).

Three I wouldn’t refuse: Intelligent Cruise, e-Pedal and the bigger luggage space.

Three I like but don’t actually need: More motor power, Type 2 inlet and parking sensors.

Three I would leave:  The ride comfort, halogen headlights and the trip button.  (The trip button is the single worst placed item of switch gear on the car.  Awkward, hidden by the wheel and not entirely intuitive)

Three I missed on my Tekna while driving the Acenta: Birds eye view, heated seats and power folding mirrors.

Would I continue to recommend the LEAF? Yes, it is a very capable car, one that would suit almost every driver’s needs,  The larger battery adds a significant level of range confidence, such that an entirely new driver will be far more at ease in this car than either the 24kWh or even the 30kWh capacities.

Would I buy one?  If I didn’t have my 30kWh one already, yes.  I do like the quirky looks of the old one though, so maybe if I could just fit the new tailgate arrangement…………

LEAF 2018 rear quarterwp-image-953379478jpg.jpg

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Charging ahead.

I’ve spent a little effort recently watching charge rates on LeafSpy.  Rates for Screenshot_20170720-185900#JourneyCharge are set by the car and communicated to the charger.   Continue reading Charging ahead.