Go Back   EcoModder Forum > EcoModding > Fossil Fuel Free
Register Now
 Register Now
 

Reply  Post New Thread
 
Submit Tools LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 06-17-2012, 11:38 AM   #1 (permalink)
Administrator
 
Daox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Germantown, WI
Posts: 11,171

CM400E - '81 Honda CM400E
90 day: 51.49 mpg (US)

Daox's Grey Prius - '04 Toyota Prius
Team Toyota
90 day: 49.53 mpg (US)

Daox's Insight - '00 Honda Insight
90 day: 64.33 mpg (US)

Swarthy - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage DE
Mitsubishi
90 day: 56.69 mpg (US)
Thanks: 2,471
Thanked 2,537 Times in 1,529 Posts
Got to drive a Nissan Leaf

The other day I had the joy of checking out and driving a Nissan Leaf. A member of the Milwaukee hybrid group mentioned that he was about to take delivery of one, so of course I bugged him about coming out to take a look at it. I had never seen one up close, only on a platform at an auto show. So, we setup a time and I went over to his house the other night. We talked for a while in his driveway going over the car and then we jumped in and took it for a spin.

Now, I've driven and ridden in a few EVs. I have a plugin kit for my Prius and run around in EV mode quite a bit. But, my first and strongest reaction was still 'wow, its quiet'. You hear a bit of whir from what I'm assuming is probably just bearings, and that is it. There is no Curtis controller frequency whine, there is no whine from a gearbox like the Prius has (Leaf is direct drive, one speed), there really isn't even any significant wind or road noise at the top speed of 55 mph that we had the car up to. Its almost like engine off coasting at 25 mph with your normal car, but its like that all the time.

As we strolled around I was shown the instrument gauges and what they did. MetroMPG specifically asked me to tell what does the car gives you for efficiency feedback, aka what kind of mpg gauge it has. It does give you some feedback, but not a ton, and its kind of in an odd metric too. But, it does give you a miles per kWh reading. Its not the normal Wh/mile that most EV guys use to calculate things, but its not too hard to convert over. Our not too long jaunt around I think we had it mostly around 5.4 Mi/kWh which is a pretty impressive 185 Wh/mile. We did not spend much time at highway speeds though so this makes sense.

The next major thing I noticed were the headlights. They do stick up quite a bit and as I mentioned above they really do their job of eliminating rear view mirror aero noise well. I've seen lots of pics of the Leaf, but I never noticed just how far they stick up until I saw it in person up close.



Other than that I saw the normal aeromods done to the car, spats in front of the wheels, stuff like that. It also has a pretty nice bellypan on it as shown above. I do think that the lower grill (there is no upper so thats a plus) is massively oversized. My Prius runs around with less than half the grill opening and does just fine. For an all electric I'm sure that it can be blocked off quite a bit if one is looking to improve efficiency a bit more.



Lets see, other impressions. Ah yes, the trunk. Why did they have to make it so oddly shaped? This is probably my only gripe/dislike about the car. I think they could have organized the batteries a bit better here. While the Leaf does have fold flat seats and I'm pretty sure they fold flat with that fairly large hump (which is made of batteries), its just a weird trunk layout. I prefer what Toyota did with the Prius where it has the battery hump there, but its not quite as high and they put a lid so its all level in the back.

So, lastly but not least. My driving impressions. After asking a million questions, the owner asked if I wanted to drive and I even waited until he came to a complete stop before jumping out and running around the vehicle. I've been working on my self control. So, really it drives great. I didn't push the vehicle or throw it into any corners, just drove it like I normally would a car (maybe a little heavy on the go pedal in one or two places). Its quick off the line, but its hard to tell. There isn't the usual feedback (noise) to tell that you really are accelerating quite quickly. Road feel is great, the power steering isn't too heavy or light. Go pedal doesn't feel odd and its not hard to get a feel for it. Regen braking is as expected superior to the Prius. With the larger pack you can shove a lot more power back into it. But, if you're going faster than you think, which is really easy when you don't have noises to clue you in, you can still engage the physical brakes.

Overall I think it really is a great car. I look forward to a few years passing so I can consider one after the prices have hopefully come down.

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Leaf 003.JPG
Views:	164
Size:	75.2 KB
ID:	11024   Click image for larger version

Name:	Leaf 001.JPG
Views:	136
Size:	65.0 KB
ID:	11025  
__________________
Current project: A better alternator delete
  Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Daox For This Useful Post:
mechman600 (06-17-2012), MetroMPG (06-17-2012), NeilBlanchard (06-18-2012)
Alt Today
Popular topics

Other popular topics in this forum...

   
Old 06-17-2012, 11:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
(:
 
Frank Lee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: up north
Posts: 12,761

Blue - '93 Ford Tempo
Last 3: 27.29 mpg (US)

F150 - '94 Ford F150 XLT 4x4
90 day: 18.5 mpg (US)

Sport Coupe - '92 Ford Tempo GL
Last 3: 69.62 mpg (US)

ShWing! - '82 honda gold wing Interstate
90 day: 33.65 mpg (US)

Moon Unit - '98 Mercury Sable LX Wagon
90 day: 21.24 mpg (US)
Thanks: 1,585
Thanked 3,546 Times in 2,215 Posts
I'd disable the power steering!
__________________


  Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2012, 11:50 AM   #3 (permalink)
Administrator
 
Daox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Germantown, WI
Posts: 11,171

CM400E - '81 Honda CM400E
90 day: 51.49 mpg (US)

Daox's Grey Prius - '04 Toyota Prius
Team Toyota
90 day: 49.53 mpg (US)

Daox's Insight - '00 Honda Insight
90 day: 64.33 mpg (US)

Swarthy - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage DE
Mitsubishi
90 day: 56.69 mpg (US)
Thanks: 2,471
Thanked 2,537 Times in 1,529 Posts
That kind of brings up another thing I saw. The Leaf uses 205 wide tires vs the Prius' 185s. The owner had his Leaf parked right next to his 2nd gen Prius in his garage and you can see that the Leaf is just a little taller and a little longer. Overall the cars are quite comparable in size. Surprisingly, the Leaf doesn't weigh a horrible amount more either @ 3350 vs the Prius' 2900 lbs.
__________________
Current project: A better alternator delete
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2012, 02:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
Batman Junior
 
MetroMPG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: 1000 Islands, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 22,209

Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
Team Metro
Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

MPGiata - '90 Mazda Miata
90 day: 53.56 mpg (US)

Winter beater Metro - '00 Chevrolet Metro
90 day: 61.98 mpg (US)

Fancy Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 58.72 mpg (US)

Even Fancier Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 70.75 mpg (US)
Thanks: 3,790
Thanked 6,623 Times in 3,435 Posts
Did you remember to try coasting? How easy/difficult is it in this car ?
__________________
Honda mods: Ecomodding my $800 Honda Fit 5-speed beater
Mitsu mods: Oops, I did it again! Bought another cheap, 3-cylinder Mirage. Mods in progress...
Ecodriving test: Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown



EcoModder
has launched a forum for the efficient new Mitsubishi Mirage
www.MetroMPG.com - fuel efficiency info for Geo Metro owners
www.ForkenSwift.com - electric car conversion on a beer budget
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2012, 03:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
Administrator
 
Daox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Germantown, WI
Posts: 11,171

CM400E - '81 Honda CM400E
90 day: 51.49 mpg (US)

Daox's Grey Prius - '04 Toyota Prius
Team Toyota
90 day: 49.53 mpg (US)

Daox's Insight - '00 Honda Insight
90 day: 64.33 mpg (US)

Swarthy - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage DE
Mitsubishi
90 day: 56.69 mpg (US)
Thanks: 2,471
Thanked 2,537 Times in 1,529 Posts
Coasting is the same as the Prius. If you let off you get a small amount of regen. So you have to reapply the go pedal a little to get a coast. The nice thing about the Leaf is it has a power/regen display kind of like a 3rd gen Prius. So, you have some visual feedback to help you coast.

The Leaf dash is shown below. The indicator is the top display with the bubbles. The bubbles fill up as you accelerate or brake. As shown would be the coasting position. If you let off the go pedal completely the regen bubble to the left fills up with a dot.

Keeping it in that area is IMO very easy, but I'm used to driving a Prius which acts the same way.

__________________
Current project: A better alternator delete
  Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Daox For This Useful Post:
MetroMPG (06-18-2012)
Old 06-17-2012, 07:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
Administrator
 
Daox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Germantown, WI
Posts: 11,171

CM400E - '81 Honda CM400E
90 day: 51.49 mpg (US)

Daox's Grey Prius - '04 Toyota Prius
Team Toyota
90 day: 49.53 mpg (US)

Daox's Insight - '00 Honda Insight
90 day: 64.33 mpg (US)

Swarthy - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage DE
Mitsubishi
90 day: 56.69 mpg (US)
Thanks: 2,471
Thanked 2,537 Times in 1,529 Posts
I almost forgot to mention. There is an eco mode on the Leaf too. In that mode I believe it does the usual stuff like A/C isn't as aggressive and the pedal is essentially reprogrammed so you have to push it farther to get the same amount of acceleration. However, one thing it also does is increase the amount of regen you get when you let off the pedal. I'm not sure why they do this as coasting is obviously more efficient, but that is what happens.
__________________
Current project: A better alternator delete
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2012, 07:51 AM   #7 (permalink)
F8L
EcoModding Apprentice
 
F8L's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 152

F8L's 2012 Prius - '12 Toyota Prius Three with Solar Roof
90 day: 62.14 mpg (US)
Thanks: 15
Thanked 34 Times in 25 Posts
I really like that car. If my living situation was different I would have considered one but the limited range and lack of charging at my work made it not feasible. Someday.....
__________________
2012 Prius Three with Solar Roof - Blizzard Pearl w/dark gray interior: Prius Plug-In 15" Wheels | Michelin Energy Saver A/S 195/65/15 tires | TRD Lowering Springs | WeatherTech FloorLiners | Scangauge II | Morimoto/DDM HIDs 5000K | Clazzio Leather Seat Covers | Best Tank: 71.7mpg@702miles | Best Trip: 95.9mpg@233miles
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2012, 09:49 AM   #8 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
 
NeilBlanchard's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Maynard, MA Eaarth
Posts: 7,884

Mica Blue - '05 Scion xA RS 2.0
Team Toyota
90 day: 42.48 mpg (US)

Forest - '15 Nissan Leaf S
Team Nissan
90 day: 156.46 mpg (US)

Number 7 - '15 VW e-Golf SEL
TEAM VW AUDI Group
90 day: 155.81 mpg (US)
Thanks: 3,404
Thanked 2,904 Times in 1,821 Posts
I hope that Nissan learns from us ecodrivers and from the Honda Fit EV, which have free-wheel coasting when you lift your right foot off the accelerator pedal. In Eco mode the Fit EV only has regenerative braking on the brake pedal, and none on the accelerator.
__________________
Sincerely, Neil

http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2012, 09:54 AM   #9 (permalink)
Batman Junior
 
MetroMPG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: 1000 Islands, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 22,209

Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
Team Metro
Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

MPGiata - '90 Mazda Miata
90 day: 53.56 mpg (US)

Winter beater Metro - '00 Chevrolet Metro
90 day: 61.98 mpg (US)

Fancy Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 58.72 mpg (US)

Even Fancier Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 70.75 mpg (US)
Thanks: 3,790
Thanked 6,623 Times in 3,435 Posts
(Insert broken record here...)

Customizable controls would be best, like the upcoming Tesla Model S sedan:

Quote:
Customized regenerative braking
Unlike its previous electric car, the 2008-2011 Roadster, Tesla has decided to offer customers a way of adjusting the amount of regenerative braking their Model S gives on accelerator lift-off.

This means that those new to electric cars can customize their Model S’ accelerator lift-off regenerative braking to mimic the engine braking found on their previous car, or perhaps opt for none at all for maximum coasting potential.
BREAKING: 2012 Tesla Model S Deliveries To Start June 22 - The Washington Post
__________________
Honda mods: Ecomodding my $800 Honda Fit 5-speed beater
Mitsu mods: Oops, I did it again! Bought another cheap, 3-cylinder Mirage. Mods in progress...
Ecodriving test: Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown



EcoModder
has launched a forum for the efficient new Mitsubishi Mirage
www.MetroMPG.com - fuel efficiency info for Geo Metro owners
www.ForkenSwift.com - electric car conversion on a beer budget
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2012, 10:37 AM   #10 (permalink)
F8L
EcoModding Apprentice
 
F8L's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 152

F8L's 2012 Prius - '12 Toyota Prius Three with Solar Roof
90 day: 62.14 mpg (US)
Thanks: 15
Thanked 34 Times in 25 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
I hope that Nissan learns from us ecodrivers and from the Honda Fit EV, which have free-wheel coasting when you lift your right foot off the accelerator pedal. In Eco mode the Fit EV only has regenerative braking on the brake pedal, and none on the accelerator.

Agreed! I would hate to be stuck without the ability to glide now that I have grown so accustomed to it after 6 years in a Prius.

BTW, just saw your appearance on some news channel along with Hobbit. Congrats!

__________________
2012 Prius Three with Solar Roof - Blizzard Pearl w/dark gray interior: Prius Plug-In 15" Wheels | Michelin Energy Saver A/S 195/65/15 tires | TRD Lowering Springs | WeatherTech FloorLiners | Scangauge II | Morimoto/DDM HIDs 5000K | Clazzio Leather Seat Covers | Best Tank: 71.7mpg@702miles | Best Trip: 95.9mpg@233miles
  Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to F8L For This Useful Post:
NeilBlanchard (06-18-2012)
Reply  Post New Thread


Thread Tools




Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.5.2
All content copyright EcoModder.com