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Another problem surfaces for Leaf owners  (Source: Nissan)
EV won't start sometimes

Green cars are all the rage today, and are being pumped out by auto manufacturers from all around the world. Electric vehicles get their motivation from batteries that can be charged by a power outlet. The catch is that pure EVs of today have limited driving range and can take a long time to recharge making them impractical for many.

Some drivers of the Nissan Leaf, one of the few true EVs on the market today, have previously complained that the vehicle driving distance estimation is often very off leaving some drivers stranded on the side of the road. The Leaf also has a confusing EPA rating of 99mpg despite the fact that it uses no gasoline.

Nisan has announced that it is aware of a new issue in which the Leaf will not start. According to Nissan, the complaint has surfaced in both Japan and the U.S.

Nissan is investigating the cause of the start failures right now and at this time there is no intention of a recall since the issue isn't affecting safety of the vehicle. Reuters reports that Nissan has tracked the problem back to the Leaf air conditioning system.

At this point Nissan isn’t sure if the issue is with a component in the AC system or with the software. Nissan spokesman Toshitake Inoshita said, "When we know the exact cause, we will decide whether to issue a service bulletin, or take other steps."

So far, the Leaf has sold 452 units in the U.S. and 3,300 units in Japan. Exactly how widespread the issue is at this point is unknown. 



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RE: SP1
By Keeir on 4/11/2011 3:07:41 PM , Rating: 2
You know... with gas headed towards 4.00 USD for a gallon of E10 87, the initial purchase price of a car is no longer the most expensive component (Unless you buy a new car every 4 years).

The Versa (at 3.90 USD a gallon) costs ~14 cents of Fuel per mile. After 100,000 miles thats 14,000 dollars.

The Leaf (at 8.2 cents per kWh) costs ~3 cents of Elect. per mile. After 100,000 miles thats 3,000 dollars.

For me personally, I would look seriously at a Leaf if I was in the market for a new car. There are very few cars that after 100,000 miles are likely to be less than 30k-35k TCO.


RE: SP1
By dubldwn on 4/11/2011 3:48:31 PM , Rating: 3
For many people it's a lot more than $.08, and in some places it's tiered, so you pay even more as you use more.

http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/100857/20110113/el...

California rates average about 14-15 cents per kilowatt-hour, the most expensive in the nation. But that can get pushed above 20 cents if the household uses more than a baseline amount.


RE: SP1
By Spuke on 4/11/2011 5:07:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
For many people it's a lot more than $.08, and in some places it's tiered, so you pay even more as you use more.
Ding! Ding! Ding! This was even on the news out here. So go ahead and hookup your EV's and enjoy MUCH higher electricity costs. Oh, and you know how much energy usage tier 1 is? Go outside and shut the breaker off to your house, that's tier 1. Turn breaker back on, that's tier 2.


RE: SP1
By Alexvrb on 4/11/2011 9:31:53 PM , Rating: 2
If you don't use any lights except those powered by disposable alkalines, and you don't run A/C, electric heat, operate a fridge/freezer, TV, PC, stereo system, or video game console, and don't charge an EV or PHEV, you can easily stay tier 1. Most of the time.

"Who charged their cell phone twice today? WHO??"


RE: SP1
By Lerianis on 4/12/2011 12:28:22 AM , Rating: 2
You have got to be kidding? There is no damned way that it could be that low...... exaggeration and hyperbole do not help you in this case.


RE: SP1
By Spuke on 4/12/2011 11:41:01 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
exaggeration and hyperbole do not help you in this case
LOL! I was obviously joking BUT I'm not that far off. It is REALLY low though. Check the following site for the tiers.

http://soullfire.xanga.com/708865195/california-el...


RE: SP1
By Jedi2155 on 4/12/2011 12:57:16 AM , Rating: 2
I know for a fact that many utilities especially those in Southern California offer a special flat rate for EV charging around.

Under SCE your rates could be as low as $0.10/kWh if you charge during off-peak.
Southern California Edison
http://www.sce.com/NR/sc3/tm2/pdf/ce114-12.pdf

If you live in LA and are under their DWP power utility, then your rates could be as low as $0.083/kWh if you charge off peak.
http://www.ladwp.com/ladwp/cms/ladwp013831.pdf

The argument about Tier pricing doesn't work when you're dealing specifically with EV's when many utilities in California encourage those vehicles.


RE: SP1
By Spuke on 4/12/2011 12:45:26 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
The argument about Tier pricing doesn't work when you're dealing specifically with EV's when many utilities in California encourage those vehicles.
Yes, I know about time of use. Yes, you get a lower rate (still not 8 cents) IF you have a separate meter ($1k-$2k IF your city approves it and yes they have to approve it) AND you elect TOU on it AND you only charge at certain hours. SCE still charges at a tiered rate if you share your EV and house meters. To get the most discount, you need the separate meter. This does not include the battery charging system which can cost upwards of $16k.


RE: SP1
By Jedi2155 on 4/12/2011 1:11:56 PM , Rating: 2
If you look at the pricing I linked, the LA DWP offers EV charging rates between 8 PM and 9 AM (13 hours in the day), during the summer season, the TOU rate is only 10.8 Cents/kWh add in the EV discount rate (-2.5 cents/kWh) you do get 8.3 cents/kWh. If its the rest of the year then it goes up 2 cents to only around 10.2 cents/kWh.

SCE's rates include delivery charges at 10 cents per kWh so that is your total incremental cost. A separate meter should not cost more than a few hundred dollars at most as it costs the utility less than a hundred dollars. Although an electrician might be $1000, but the permits themselves for city approval should not be much.

I have no idea where you got the $16k pricing for the "battery charger" as all modern EV's have the battery charging system built into the vehicle. What you're probably thinking of is the EVSE equipment (which IMO should not cost more than $500 otherwise they are ripping you off) which is basically a fancy surge protector.

I would not pay more than 2-3 grand extra at most to convert residence to handle EV charging.


RE: SP1
By Spuke on 4/12/2011 2:11:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What you're probably thinking of is the EVSE equipment (which IMO should not cost more than $500 otherwise they are ripping you off) which is basically a fancy surge protector. I would not pay more than 2-3 grand extra at most to convert residence to handle EV charging.
You are correct, I was thinking of the EVSE equipment but the meter install price is right on plus you still need city approval (it's not guaranteed, people have been turned down). Also, there are even issues with your service being adequate too. Sorry to sound negative but I'm a "boy scout" and all considerations need to be made. It's just not as simple as, hook it up and go and people need to know that.


RE: SP1
By Jedi2155 on 4/13/2011 12:39:15 AM , Rating: 2
Sadly, that is the case for some individuals trying to permit their homes but my local utility (which is also one of the largest in the nations with over 5 million customers) has been very proactive in helping anyone interested in moving to an electric vehicle with plenty of experience in getting people to move. It still is a very new experience for many people so mistakes are still being made in the process.

In regards to just hook it up and go, that is still possible with any of the EV's as it is called Level 1 charging which connects to your standard 120v outlet. There should be no problem charging a Chevy Volt on L1 charging as its small battery pack would allow you to fully charge the vehicle in no more than 6 hours. I wouldn't recommend a full EV to be charging on L1 regularly though...


RE: SP1
By Keeir on 4/12/2011 4:48:15 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, because EVERYONE lives in California.

Even in large portions of California there is better than just the average rate

Apparently if your covered by SCE, you can have metered charging and potentially pay as little as 6 cents per kWh for charging your electric car. The same is true for PGE (though I believe their rate is less than 6 cents but is pretty high for peak usage)

The point remains, TCO is not just initial purchase price.

It includes you know... the fuel to run the car.

Which was my point. Not that the Leaf is a good purchase for everyone.

Though if you live in California, a Leaf and a Versa cost about the same when equiped the same (thanks to the gigantic 12,500 in rebates)... When gas is ~3.90, electricity needs to be at ~41 cents per kWh for equivalent running costs.... thats pretty high even in California.


RE: SP1
By sleepeeg3 on 4/12/2011 5:36:19 AM , Rating: 2
Don't forget that ~10% income tax, ~10%+ sales tax, 1% property tax, license fees, smog fees, etc. you pay to subsidize those electric cars in California. Subsidies don't just magically appear - they come from taxpayer's pockets. Buying electric cars, leads to more subsidies paid out and ever higher taxes. Get the government out of alternative energy and let it develop on its own.


RE: SP1
By dubldwn on 4/12/2011 12:03:21 PM , Rating: 1
I'm not familiar with their programs but the one for San Diego sucks.

http://www.sdge.com/environment/cleantransportatio...

Not saying this isn't cheaper than gas; the point is the math changes when electricity is double or triple the .08 cents quoted. Yes, the subsidies offered level the playing field a lot, but I have a philosophical problem with those.


RE: SP1
By Spuke on 4/12/2011 2:39:24 PM , Rating: 2
See my posts above, there is no 6 cents in at least SCE, PG&E, and DWP's areas.

quote:
The point remains, TCO is not just initial purchase price.
That's my point. TCO is everything not just cents per kWh or initial purchase price or meter installations costs or service upgrades. It's everything. If it's MORE money than it's MORE money. With all of those extra potential/actual costs, how the hell is owning an EV cheaper than a cheap gas car considering TCO (you know....cents per kWh or initial purchase price or meter installations costs or service upgrades etc)?


RE: SP1
By Keeir on 4/12/2011 9:52:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
With all of those extra potential/actual costs, how the hell is owning an EV cheaper than a cheap gas car considering TCO


See, this is where I think we don't see eye to eye.

IMO, an electric car doesn't have to be the cheapest possible option in the market. It needs to be average.

For instance, lets consider a California purchaser today. He can buy a Leaf at ~33.5k in initial price - 7,500 Federal Rebate - 5,000 California Rebate for 21,000. Lets throw 2k of Financing charges on that for 23,000 aquistion price. After 10 years/150,000 miles lets consider the EV -worthless- without a battery replacement.
At 25 cents per kWh, 150,000 electric miles takes 12,750 dollars in electricity.
Fuel + Depreciation = 35,750
A comparable Versa MSRPs for 20.5k. Lets assumes 19k + 1 k in Finance charges. After 10 years/150,000 miles, lets aslo assume a residual price of 2,000 dollars. I am going with 4.00 a gallon for gasoline which is a lark IMO, but why not. After 150,000 miles thats 21,500 dollars of fuel.
Fuel + Depreciation = 38,500

Leaving you 2,750 for a one time upgrade of the charging and metering system in your house.

Of course, if you the -Average- American, you only pay ~12 cents per kWh right now. Fuel + Depre for the average non-5,000 dollar California credit is 34,100

So to drive an electric car instead of a gasoline one will "cost" ~250 dollars a year more without the rebate than the comparable gasoline car... first gen tech.

A BMW 3 series Fuel + Depreciation over the same 10 year/150,000 miles is more like 56,900 for an increased cost a year of ~2,500+.

Yet people are okay with others choose the BMW 3... hmmm

(Note: I did this extremely crudely. But I have run and rerun the numbers for the Volt and the Leaf with varying assumptions and -without the federal subsidy- and -with extra installation charges- both cars are acceptable in terms of cost in that come in around the Versa - Mazda 3 over the 10 year/150,000 mile time frames...)


RE: SP1
By Jedi2155 on 4/15/2011 4:08:31 AM , Rating: 2
I like the way you think.


RE: SP1
By JediJeb on 4/11/2011 5:50:58 PM , Rating: 2
Not bad, but for me I like to visit my parents about once a month and they live 120 miles away. So I would have to either figure in the cost of a second vehicle or a rental plus fuel into that, so the Leaf would probably not be a break even deal versus the Versa. Also how much difference is the price of a Versa compared to a Leaf? Of the $11K saving in fuel, how much is left over after the price difference?


RE: SP1
By C5Rftw on 4/13/2011 1:41:46 AM , Rating: 2
Not to mention the cost of the maintenance for a ICE/transaxle/CV joints/battery and emission control devices, should a catalytic converter fail, etc. I wont pretend to know the life of the electric motors/batteries/capacitors that the leaf uses, but if its as good as the Prius(cant believe I just said "as good as the Prius") then in 100,000 miles, the Leaf with no major problems should easily be cheaper than a Versa with the tax credit and the way gas prices have been/headed. Although after 100k miles, if any catastrophic failures were to happen on either, the Versa would be much easier to fix and cheaper and a lot of things on a ICE, a lot of people can do them selves. Where as I wouldn't want to go anywhere near that high amperage that I imagine the Leaf uses


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