Print 45 comment(s) - last by Jedi2155.. on Apr 15 at 4:08 AM

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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By Spuke on 4/12/2011 12:45:26 PM , Rating: 3
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.

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.

By Spuke on 4/12/2011 2:11:05 PM , Rating: 2
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.

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...

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