[Caevlist] 2018 Leaf - First Trip Report

Alan Batie alan at batie.org
Sat Mar 10 21:48:04 PST 2018

I took a jaunt to Portland today to check out the real world range of my 
2018 Leaf with a 40kWh battery.  This trip was at 65mph; I have to go 
back up to Portland Wednesday, and will do that one at 70mph for 

The screenshots/pictures are at:


   * The March 7 picture is the day I got it
   * March 8 screenshots are my first LeafSpy captures
   * March 10, 1:20pm is just before I left home on the trip
     * the 1:53 dash pic is probably from remembering to get
       a dash pic after a stop at the Nissan dealer, who needed
       me to re-sign the lease because of a technicality.
   * 4:40pm is just after I plugged in to charge in Wilsonville
   * 5:33pm is after I got back from Fry's with a
     friend who lives in Wilsonville while it was charging
     (it finished at 5:11)
   * 6:44pm is when I stopped at work (about a mile and a
     half from home) and captured the state right after
     effectively arriving at home
   * 7:15pm is when I actually got home, just before plugging
     it in to charge later tonight, and I discovered some
     leafspy screens I didn't know/remember existed.  The
     elevation/speed graphs are interesting - you can definitely
     see the hill south of Salem ;-) and also see the speed varying
     which in the 65mph section is all the cruise control's doing...


   It's a nice car, and will be a significant improvement over my
   2016 Leaf, but I'm still waiting for the one that will satisfy
   my requirements.


The Good:
   * The display is a lot more usable than I thought it would be, as
     most of the information I thought I'd need to scroll for is actually
     there, just small (range and power/regen level in particular).  You
     do have to scroll to get battery temp, but that you generally only
     care about when stopped and charging anyhow.

   * A big surprise was that the main dash display shows the next turn
     when you have destination set in the nav system!  Very nice!

   * It seems quieter and smoother riding than the previous Leafs, but
     I've been driving my RAV4 for a couple of weeks and that might have
     biased that feeling.

   * Love intelligent cruise control!

   * It's nice to go to Portland and back with only one charging stop

The Neutral:
   * My range estimate was pretty close: I hit 50% going by the Baldock
     rest area (just south of Wilsonville) at 65 miles, making a 130 mile
     range at 65mph.  Or really, just a little less because I doubt you
     can take it all the way to 0% - my previous two Leafs generally gave
     up guessing around 5%, though 5% in this one is rather more miles
     than previous Leafs... On the way back, the serial charging range
     was pretty close too - from 80% charge in Wilsonville, after 67
     miles, was at 25%, making a 73 mile range from 80%->20%, and a 97
     mile range 80%->0%.

The Bad:
   * Battery heating is every bit as bad as I was afraid it would be,
     and not just from charging: I'd never remembered to check at the
     beginning of a charge, but in looking at my leafspy screenshots, I
     left my house with batteries at 57F.  When I got to Wilsonville,
     after 109 miles(*), they were at 82F (though this was after I'd
     started the charging, but *right* after).  When the charging was
     done, to 80% from about 20% (leafspy said 32%, but the car said
     20% - I should have taken more pictures ;-) ), the batteries were
     at 109F!  This car is going to be no more useful for cross country
     driving than the 30kWh was, though that isn't a surprise.

     (*) leafspy said the odo was 54 before I left, and 120 when I
     started charging.  Plugshare said 88 miles to my destination (I
     won't say what it was, but will note that there's no Krispy Kreme in
     Corvallis ;-) ), and the 21 miles back to Wilsonville to charge,
     that's about right, as it's 67 miles from my house to the
     Wilsonville charging station.  So leafspy isn't even reading a trip
     meter right, though it looks like that's what it's trying to do.  Or
     maybe since it was on, it was trying to log via gps?

   * Andoid Auto...may work for music.  I didn't work as a nav system - I
     did a route plan on plugshare.com (a really nifty feature!) and
     sent it to my phone.  My phone got it and I told it to open in
     google maps, and it did.  I plugged it into the car, and it tried
     to take me to work and completely lost the route I'd sent it.
     With the turn display from the leaf nav system showing in the
     display, I'd rather use that anyhow.

   * The seat is rather uncomfortable, in that it curves just wrong and
     makes my back ache from lack of support just below the shoulder
     blades.  I'm going to have to get a filler cushion for it.

   * The 2016 Leaf had a slider in the sun visors that you could pull
     out when you have it swung to the side.  The 2018 SV doesn't, which
     makes it useless when driving in certain directions at the wrong
     time of day.

   * The cup holders have been moved back to the front of the center
     storage console between the front seats.  I had the Leaf metal
     vacuum drink bottle they gave out at the 2018 launch event a couple
     months ago, and it got in the way a little bit for getting to the
     shifter knob.

   * The "bowl" in front of the shifter knob for storage, the start
     button, the 12V outlet and the usb port is going to be a major crap
     collector (as in crumbs, dirt and the like, as well as the crap
     people put in it).

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