Monday, April 04, 2011

LEAF update

Another uneventful month of driving with electrons. Our EV Project-supplied Blink EVSE arrived this month, so now we get all kinds of statistics (see above). The Blink was installed on the 7th, so this is roughly 75% of the monthly total. Mileage isn't shown, but was 650.5 for the same period. Extrapolating for the entire month would put us at 870 miles and 280 KWh, for an average of 3.1 miles/KWh or $0.038/mile. If we were buying gasoline instead (at the current local price of $3.90/gallon for regular), it would be the equivalent of 100 MPG.

But I didn't want to talk about cost. As I said before, if you were buying a car on purely economic grounds, you wouldn't -- you'd get a bicycle or a bus pass. We bought the LEAF because the idea of an electric car was just so cool. We missed out on EVs the first time around, so I wanted to make sure we were part of the renaissance.

Completely unexpected was how much fun this car would be to drive. Nissan really did their homework. Gen 1 electric cars (and golf cars, and forklifts, and drag racers) gave you 100% torque instantly. Kind of a hard shove in the small of the back. But once you've got your torque, that's it. You don't get any more. So you have this sensation of the car running out of steam as the speed increases.

The LEAF builds up torque quickly, but continues to add more even as the speed increases. If you step hard on the accelerator, you think "V6 sport coupe", not "overpriced golf cart". All good things must come to an end, and the torque eventually levels off, but from 0 to 40, it's the quickest car in the morning grand prix.

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