Even on the coldest night of the year I have never come close to the stated amount of time to re-charge the car. I’ve arrived home with 4 miles and by the next morning (less than 14 hours later) been back up to 80%. I had noticed that the first cold night or two it seemed to take longer but that was not true last night. The stated time to re-charge was 18 hours when I came home. 12 hours later I was back to 80% and ready to go. Maybe it’s having a dedicated 110 line that helps.
When I dropped the car off to get snow tires put on I made sure to mention that it was an all-electric and I may need to explain how to drive it. Carol responded, “oh we’ve had plenty of those.” I was somewhat incredulous until she went on to say, “you won’t believe the number of Prius’ we’ve had and Highlanders.” Realizing the common confusion between a hybrid electric which generates all it’s power from a gasoline engine and a plug-in vehicle I said, “this one is all electric, there is no gas.” She quickly shouted back to her husband, “John this one has no gas.” He poked his head out and I explained how it got put in gear (just tap the shift to the gear you want and it will slip back to the middle) he repeated my instructions and seemed to think, “no big deal.”
When I picked it up at the end of the day John was there and said it took him awhile to get it started. I suggested it was the lack of sound because all you do is push the button while you’re foot is on the brake. I mentioned how great it was not to buy gas and how much money I saved, choosing not to mention that I wouldn’t be needing any oil changes. But, I concluded, “it still needs tires.”
And, time to get snow tires put on. It was wonderful to pre-heat the car before taking it to John Leo’s to get snow tires put on. While the driveway got plowed I still had to get through some snow – no problems. The traction on the Leaf is fantastic, must be that 600 pounds of batteries right down the middle. No need to put sand in the trunk with an EV. I drove to Leo’s with the heater blasting. I do love the heated seat and heated steering wheel. I do wish they had heated mirrors though. While the heater certainly drained the battery, just like the ac I still had plenty of juice to get there and home at the end of the day with plenty left over. So, when folks ask me how it handles in the snow my answer is, “way better traction than any ICE car I’ve owned.” When asked how it handles in the cold I can say with pre-heating, heated seats and steering wheel it gets quite toasty. It certainly doesn’t compare to the heat generated from burning fossil fuel but is more than adequate even at 1 degree.
Things have settled in with my LEAF. The encounters with the EV curious have become more predictable; how does it work, where do you charge, how long does that take, how does it handle in the snow, how much electricity does it use, how much does it cost. Really cold weather has yet to set in so there’s not much to report beyond the Car Wings statistics:
Distance Traveled: 3,252.6 miles
Average Energy Economy: 3.9 miles/kWh
Electricity Consumption: 847.4 kWh
Travel Time: 100.5 hours
CO2 Tailpipe Emission Reduction*: 2103 pounds
My Car Wings standing has dropped to “Bronze” meaning I’m not driving as efficiently as other LEAF owners. I think I know exactly which trips put me under. And, of course there was the time my husband took the car and he wanted to see how fast it could go up French Hill (pretty fast he said).