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P-hack 12-18-2014 11:52 PM

test drove a leaf
It was interesting, 100hp and heavy, but all electric, merging and acceleration were perfectly adequate, and it held on in the corners just fine. The experience was very much like an oversized golf cart (that can do 90mph with lots of creature comforts). It took a while before I stopped treating the throttle as an on-off switch, without the angry engine sound there is less restraint initially, and your indicated speed can catch you off guard. But otherwise quiet is very nice, just a relatively minor rpm dependent high frequency whine from the motor, NVH is pretty far down on my list of priorities though. Gas is probably still to cheap for it to make economic payback sense, so I'll probably keep on the diy beer budget+ path for now, but now I have a feel for that power/weight data point anyway.

P-hack 12-19-2014 12:11 AM

tesla S looks like more than twice the power to weight, and my el-cheapo bike conversion is hopefully 3 times the power to weight (with rider), so that is encouraging :)

mechman600 12-19-2014 10:30 AM

Economic arguments aside, inside a Leaf really is a nice place to be. It is so relaxing/care free to drive that it becomes just another appliance. If I was silly enough to have a longer commute, it would be my appliance of choice.

Daox 12-19-2014 10:50 AM

I was amazed by the lack of noise. It is SO quiet, all I heard was the crunch of rocks under the tires. And, I'm used to EV mode in the Prius which is already pretty darn quiet.

P-hack 12-19-2014 11:53 AM


Originally Posted by mechman600 (Post 460573)
Economic arguments aside.

Yah, if I was in actual need of a car, it would have come home with me (and I could get a new hobby). Easily would fill the bill for 99% of my driving and the minivan can handle the rest. Otherwise it is back to EV as hobby.

NeilBlanchard 12-19-2014 01:30 PM

The things about living with an EV that you can't get from a test drive:

It is fully charged every morning and you never have to go to a gas station.

It doesn't have to warm up, so short hops are fine.

I think the (seemingly) effortless acceleration is much better than "adequate". Passing a vehicle is much easier and more rapid than anything I have driven before.

P-hack 12-19-2014 01:43 PM


Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard (Post 460589)
Passing a vehicle is much easier and more rapid than anything I have driven before.

That is what my v65 sabre is for (0-60 in 3 seconds) :). But pretty sure even my prius would take the leaf in 0-60 or 1/4 mile (at least according to google and my own experience)... Acceleration isn't really a selling point here, but the leaf is a perfectly practical car for almost all my errands (I'm happy with a clutch and 3 cylinders for that, or 1, or even 50kw).

NeilBlanchard 12-19-2014 01:47 PM

It is the 0-35MPH of most EV's that is confidence-building. I rode a motorcycle for close to 100K miles, and even then - you have to be in the right gear.

P-hack 12-19-2014 01:51 PM


Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard (Post 460594)
and even then - you have to be in the right gear.

That's never been a problem for me, it is automatic muscle memory after day 1.

Also worth noting that the prius puts 67hp of electric power to the wheels through mg2 (fed from engine torque->mg1 and the battery), and has the engine spooled up for the rest of the power split to the wheels (and weighs 500lbs less) so it can get moving pretty well too.

P-hack 12-31-2014 04:24 PM

fyi, a 2012 leaf followed me home :) When gas is $2/gallon is actually a good time to buy an EV! It does take a lot of finesse to get good miles/kwh numbers though, still learning. The occasional tromp for merging doesn't seem to hurt too much, but the heater does (need to get a better charger and climate timer sorted).

Would like to figure out how to emergency quick charge it with the prius...

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