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Another electric car fail: Nissan Leaf needs 4 charges to go 180 miles

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  • #16
    Re: Another electric car fail: Nissan Leaf needs 4 charges to go 180 miles

    Nissan Altima - purchase was because we drive lots of miles per year - 21,000-22,000 and we keep cars until there is nothing left. The car that our Altima replaces was a 1996 Nissan with 204,000 miles.

    The EPA Highway number doesn't do a good job of considering how advantageous a Hybrid is for East Coast summer traffic jams.

    Having a car with a range of 600-750 gallons (no external tanks required) is simply awesome. Have you ever own a car with this kind of range????

    One summer we headed for Rhode Island and opted to take our conventional i35 instead of the hybrid. This 6 hour journey was full of lots of stop and go traffic, on ramps and off ramps, and lots of city driving when we reached our destination. EPA numbers are as useful as the number put out by the Feds on inflation.

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    • #17
      Re: Another electric car fail: Nissan Leaf needs 4 charges to go 180 miles

      Originally posted by BK
      Nissan Altima - purchase was because we drive lots of miles per year - 21,000-22,000 and we keep cars until there is nothing left. The car that our Altima replaces was a 1996 Nissan with 204,000 miles.
      I certainly hope it works out for you. Unlike the 1996 Nissan, there is the issue with battery pack deterioration.

      More fun with hybrids: besides a class action suit by Honda hybrid owners, this person is suing because her 2006 hybrid's mpg rating was falling already by 2008:

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      • #18
        Re: Another electric car fail: Nissan Leaf needs 4 charges to go 180 miles

        Originally posted by BK View Post
        Nissan Altima - purchase was because we drive lots of miles per year - 21,000-22,000 and we keep cars until there is nothing left. The car that our Altima replaces was a 1996 Nissan with 204,000 miles.

        The EPA Highway number doesn't do a good job of considering how advantageous a Hybrid is for East Coast summer traffic jams.

        Having a car with a range of 600-750 gallons (no external tanks required) is simply awesome. Have you ever own a car with this kind of range????

        One summer we headed for Rhode Island and opted to take our conventional i35 instead of the hybrid. This 6 hour journey was full of lots of stop and go traffic, on ramps and off ramps, and lots of city driving when we reached our destination. EPA numbers are as useful as the number put out by the Feds on inflation.
        I had a Honda CRX HF in college. 50mpg and this was the late 80s.

        I clearly remember a trip down to Florida for Spring Break. A Porsche blew by us on the way down. A few hours later, Porsche blows by again, this time honking as they recognized the car.

        The *third* time the Porsche came up, they drove next to us with some serious stares for some time trying to ascertain if this was the same car.

        I fondly remember that car -- for a poor college kid it was great. I do recall having to use third gear to get up any decent mountains/hills however......

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        • #19
          Re: Another electric car fail: Nissan Leaf needs 4 charges to go 180 miles

          My experiences with Nissan over the last ten years have been terrific.

          When our Infiniti i35 had 135,000 and was 7 years old we had engine trouble - the fix was engine sensors that cost me $500 installed. I called Nissan, faxed the receipt, and they mailed me a check that very week.

          BTW- what was my alternative to buy one of those self accelerating Prius hybrids death mobiles.... ;-)

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          • #20
            Re: Another electric car fail: Nissan Leaf needs 4 charges to go 180 miles

            I got a 2010 Altima... I really liked the CVT, but I wish there were more options like that Honda CRX-HF I just read about. I have a bad habit of accelerating as fast as the car will allow me to and I know that wastes some gas. Oh well, the car is fully paid off and I'm going to hang onto it until the wheels fall off. I do very little driving... 9,000 miles a year so far and that includes a 1,000 mile road trip, several 200 mile round trips to my parents house, and several 100 mile round trips to practice with my band once every few weeks. In my "normal" life, I probably only do 6,000 a year... and I just moved 30% closer to where I work.

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            • #21
              Re: Another electric car fail: Nissan Leaf needs 4 charges to go 180 miles

              Originally posted by jpatter666 View Post
              I had a Honda CRX HF in college. 50mpg and this was the late 80s.

              I clearly remember a trip down to Florida for Spring Break. A Porsche blew by us on the way down. A few hours later, Porsche blows by again, this time honking as they recognized the car.

              The *third* time the Porsche came up, they drove next to us with some serious stares for some time trying to ascertain if this was the same car.

              I fondly remember that car -- for a poor college kid it was great. I do recall having to use third gear to get up any decent mountains/hills however......
              In conversations I have with friends about things like fuel economy.....I often refer to the Honda CRX HF.

              I reckon it all comes down to weight.

              Compare the 80's CRX HF with a current Honda Civic hatchback......all that extra weight to carry around can't be an easy mountain for engineers focused on fuel economy to climb.

              It would be great to see a car made out of affordable mass volume carbon fibre with the WEIGHT of an 80's Honda CRX HF, the SAFETY of a current car(at least "one-off" accident safety), and a modern, high fuel efficiency small displacement diesel engine......target 1500 pounds...half the average weight of current cars.

              100 MPG would be EASY.

              We've owned a 2nd hand Prius....good car....great fuel economy....but I don't like it's complexity....mechanical/electrical failures can be incredibly expensive....we sold it before it had an inevitable catastrophic($) failure.

              My wife now drives a Nissan March.....a bit less fuel economy.....but substantially simpler car(and good safety rating)

              I drive a Mitsubishi Triton diesel ute/pickup if I'm not on a motorbike......I get roughly double the fuel economy of a US petrol pickup truck.

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              • #22
                Re: Another electric car fail: Nissan Leaf needs 4 charges to go 180 miles

                and I just moved 30% closer to where I work.
                +1 on that one.

                If we would restore the employer/employee relationship, where we could work long term for a single employer, I would move 3 miles away. (That is the closest affordable housing). Not only does it save gas, it saves a ton of time. I currently live 13 miles away, but will not move closer because you never know how much time you have left.

                If .gov would let housing crash, maybe all the people who moved to ex-urbia because it is the only place they can afford to live, would move closer to their jobs too.

                Cash for clunkers destroyed a lot of vehicles that short commuters would love to own. My cube mate only lives 3 miles away. He could drive a hummer here, and use less gas than a prius drive from my house.
                Think of your aunt Millie who loves big sedans and only drives on Sunday.

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                • #23
                  Re: Another electric car fail: Nissan Leaf needs 4 charges to go 180 miles

                  Originally posted by BK
                  BTW- what was my alternative to buy one of those self accelerating Prius hybrids death mobiles.... ;-)
                  It all depends on what your motivation for buying the Hybrid was.

                  If it was saving the environment, it is thoroughly unclear if the net lifetime energy expenditure of the hybrid is in any way less than a comparable non-hybrid vehicle.

                  If it was saving money via higher mpg - again the equation is rather murky, even with the tax credit.

                  If it was to lock in your fuel costs by pre-paying a big chunk of it up front - the hybrids/EVs are best in this category.

                  And of course, there is fashion.

                  Originally posted by davidstvz
                  I really liked the CVT, but I wish there were more options like that Honda CRX-HF I just read about.
                  The problem I have with a CRX-HF is the same problem I have with riding a motorcycle: your chance of getting killed and/or injured due to other bad drivers or even just bad luck are greatly increased.

                  As I've noted many times, injuries in motor vehicle accidents are a direct function of the energy split between the 2 vehicles. A driver in a gigantic truck which weighs 3x as much as the small economy car, in a collision with same will experience less than 1/4 the energy if 'only' 1/3 the force.

                  For a motorcycle vs. the average car, the energy/force difference is more like 10x/5x.

                  Of course, if we really needed to conserve gasoline, all we have to do is driver slower: http://www.itulip.com/forums/showthr...022#post219022
                  Last edited by c1ue; 01-05-12, 05:10 PM.

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                  • #24
                    Re: Another electric car fail: Nissan Leaf needs 4 charges to go 180 miles

                    While it's not worth debating the physics of ACCIDENTS...it's also not worth debating the physics of ENERGY REQUIRED to move a vehicle weighing 2 tons compared with a vehicle that weighs only 1 ton.

                    Private vehicle sizes/weights have yo-yo'd in the last 40 years...up, down, up.

                    Motorcycles, on average, have exploded in size/weight and displacement/power as well...to the point where a "small" motorbike today is roughly the displacement/weight/size of the largest motorbikes made in the 1960's.

                    Vehicles like the Ford Excursion and Hummer are like species that went extinct because they failed to adapt to a changing environment.

                    I suspect those two models are much like canaries in the coal mine....and will be followed by possibly quite a few other less fuel efficient models over time.

                    While I agree that safety is a BIG issue for many in choosing to go with a larger, less fuel efficient car over a smaller, lighter more fuel efficient car.....I think that cost/benefit relationship will change, substantially for many by the end of this decade.

                    Motorcycling is still mostly a leisure activity in the west...it could potentially return as a genuine means of transport again for a small but fast growing minority.

                    But I suspect the "answer" will be lightweight carbon fibre uber efficient diesels(at least outside the US where large private fleets of diesel vehicles exist).

                    I think it ties in really well with what's been discussed on iTulip with inflation via declining quality/quantity.

                    In the case of private cars and motorbikes, I believe it will include a big chunk of lower quantity/weight.

                    We are already seeing a distinct change in consumer behavior within the industry as they shift down a gear economically.....and design focus moving forward is focusing increasingly on developing market/smaller displacement vehicles.

                    I think the safety concerns will fade a bit with decreasing discretionary income and transportation afffordability....people will suck it up.....what choice will they have?

                    I can easily envisage a LOT of 1-2L diesel cars and 500-750cc commuter motorcycles.........electric motorbikes are an interesting field.....I would agree with EJ it is likely to gain far more traction far more quickly in motorbikes than in cars.

                    Unfortunately, the motorbike industry seems to be shining a bit too much light on things like lightweight motorbikes powered by scuba tank compressed air...I reckon that's a dry hole if I ever saw one.

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                    • #25
                      Re: Another electric car fail: Nissan Leaf needs 4 charges to go 180 miles

                      Originally posted by lakedaemonian
                      Vehicles like the Ford Excursion and Hummer are like species that went extinct because they failed to adapt to a changing environment.
                      I dunno about you, but I still see quite a number of these on the road. And more importantly, I still see huge numbers of SUVs like Explorers, personal vans, F250 and above type pickup trucks with no dirt on them anywhere, and so forth. This ignores all the delivery trucks, the 18 wheelers shipping to warehouse stores, etc etc.

                      Don't get me wrong - I would love to be able to drive a small, fuel efficient car. My first car, a Datsun 210 station wagon, was an eggshell with a hamster under the hood. It was great fun, was reliable, had excellent gas mileage (for the time), but I'd never drive something like that today. Put in a modern diesel engine and no doubt the fuel economy would increase 50% or more.

                      Before that happens again, I'd want to see some type of segregation by vehicle weight and/or speed on major roads where speed becomes a deadly factor.

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                      • #26
                        Re: Another electric car fail: Nissan Leaf needs 4 charges to go 180 miles

                        Originally posted by c1ue View Post
                        I dunno about you, but I still see quite a number of these on the road. And more importantly, I still see huge numbers of SUVs like Explorers, personal vans, F250 and above type pickup trucks with no dirt on them anywhere, and so forth. This ignores all the delivery trucks, the 18 wheelers shipping to warehouse stores, etc etc.

                        Don't get me wrong - I would love to be able to drive a small, fuel efficient car. My first car, a Datsun 210 station wagon, was an eggshell with a hamster under the hood. It was great fun, was reliable, had excellent gas mileage (for the time), but I'd never drive something like that today. Put in a modern diesel engine and no doubt the fuel economy would increase 50% or more.

                        Before that happens again, I'd want to see some type of segregation by vehicle weight and/or speed on major roads where speed becomes a deadly factor.
                        I'm in the US a few times a year...and admittedly, unnecessary big vehicles still seem to be in huge abundance up there.

                        Way down here in NZ, where incomes are relatively lower and fuel prices are relatively higher.....the number of unnecessary big vehicles is far lower in my opinion....lots of reasons for that....but it could be a VERY rough indicator of where the US could be a bit down the track when it comes to personal transportation.

                        There was some limited niche media attention on the rising resale values of those old/small/fuel efficient cars like CRX HF, Geo Metro, etc. that are still road worthy....but I would guess it's all bottom of the market stuff.

                        I reckon most folks feel the same as you(I do as well...as soon as our first child was born I went out and bought a 2nd hand Merc S Class..the epitome of big/safe).

                        Terrible fuel economy, but we could afford it....what got us was the difficulty for my wife parking in "shrinking" parking spaces and the increasing comments she received about the car and what people perceived of her in driving it.

                        But as people get squeezed between rising energy prices and little to no wage inflation....some choices will have to be made....and I think those choices will include less consideration for perceived safety and more consideration towards fuel efficiency, affordability, and total cost of ownership.

                        You can't argue against the laws of crash physics......but you can't escape average future family finances either.

                        The one thing I do expect to see is some bigger commercial vehicles.....I doubt fuel efficiency of rail will be able to be leveraged TOO much moving forward as so much track has been irreparably removed...so I think we will see a push for greater economy of scale/fuel efficiency with commercial road vehicles pushing boundaries for lowering the cost of moving a KG/kilometer or pound/mile.....more cantilevered road trains.

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                        • #27
                          Re: Another electric car fail: Nissan Leaf needs 4 charges to go 180 miles

                          Be careful, EJ. Oblivious "cage drivers" abound. My husband wore a reflective green safety vest when he rode and they still didn't see him. Twice. My scooter gets 88 mpg, but I don't dare ride it anymore.

                          Why can't we get the same high mileage diesel engines in the U.S. that they have in Europe? I got a 2012 Hyundai Accent hatchback. It gets about 38-40 hwy and 33-35 mixed city/hwy. I hear there are diesels in Europe that get over 50 mpg. I would love something like that. The only diesel cars here that I'm aware of are the VW's, but they're expensive and prone to expensive engine repairs.

                          I miss my '86 Crown Vic. After Cash for Clunkers parts got hard to find.

                          Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

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                          • #28
                            Re: Another electric car fail: Nissan Leaf needs 4 charges to go 180 miles

                            Originally posted by shiny! View Post
                            Be careful, EJ. Oblivious "cage drivers" abound. My husband wore a reflective green safety vest when he rode and they still didn't see him. Twice. My scooter gets 88 mpg, but I don't dare ride it anymore.

                            Why can't we get the same high mileage diesel engines in the U.S. that they have in Europe? I got a 2012 Hyundai Accent hatchback. It gets about 38-40 hwy and 33-35 mixed city/hwy. I hear there are diesels in Europe that get over 50 mpg. I would love something like that. The only diesel cars here that I'm aware of are the VW's, but they're expensive and prone to expensive engine repairs.

                            I miss my '86 Crown Vic. After Cash for Clunkers parts got hard to find.
                            I THINK the reason for the lack of diesel powered cars compared to Europe/Australasia/elsewhere might be partly due to refining infrastructure/capacity?

                            There are some great cars available in Europe/Australasia that supposedly get 70+ MPG(depending on how you measure fuel economy)....but at least an honest 60MPG...all baby diesels.

                            As far as riding motorbikes goes......meh.......nothing fun or worth doing in life comes without some degree of risk.....you can mitigate the risk of riding motorbikes thru the aforementioned hi-viz clothing......new safety gear.....defensive rider training...and constant situational awareness.....learning how to quick stop/evade risk on a motorbike is a critical skillset.....especially in the wet.

                            I believe riding a motorbike makes you a better(or at least more cautious/respectful driver) car/truck driver.

                            I'm a believer in motorbikes making a BIT of noise as well(but nothing obnoxious).....I would disagree with EJ that a noisy motorbike impairs the rider's hearing or distracts other drivers.

                            One problem I would have with the electric motorbikes is their NOT making enough noise......I would NOT want to be riding one and sitting in a driver's blindspot.

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                            • #29
                              Re: Another electric car fail: Nissan Leaf needs 4 charges to go 180 miles

                              Originally posted by lakedaemonian View Post
                              I THINK the reason for the lack of diesel powered cars compared to Europe/Australasia/elsewhere might be partly due to refining infrastructure/capacity?

                              There are some great cars available in Europe/Australasia that supposedly get 70+ MPG(depending on how you measure fuel economy)....but at least an honest 60MPG...all baby diesels.

                              As far as riding motorbikes goes......meh.......nothing fun or worth doing in life comes without some degree of risk.....you can mitigate the risk of riding motorbikes thru the aforementioned hi-viz clothing......new safety gear.....defensive rider training...and constant situational awareness.....learning how to quick stop/evade risk on a motorbike is a critical skillset.....especially in the wet.

                              I believe riding a motorbike makes you a better(or at least more cautious/respectful driver) car/truck driver.

                              I'm a believer in motorbikes making a BIT of noise as well(but nothing obnoxious).....I would disagree with EJ that a noisy motorbike impairs the rider's hearing or distracts other drivers.

                              One problem I would have with the electric motorbikes is their NOT making enough noise......I would NOT want to be riding one and sitting in a driver's blindspot.
                              Yeah, I want one of those 60+ MPG diesels.

                              When it comes to bikes, the problem with car drivers is they don't "see" what they aren't looking for. I've talked to numerous motorcycle cops who all tell me the same thing: many car drivers simply don't "see" bikes even when they're looking right at them. They're looking for other cars, and the bikes just don't register in their brains. Add to this unawareness cell phone usage, medications, loud radios and other distractions, and it's very dangerous.

                              If you have a bike, get a LOUD horn.

                              Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

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                              • #30
                                Re: Another electric car fail: Nissan Leaf needs 4 charges to go 180 miles

                                Originally posted by lakedaemonian View Post
                                I THINK the reason for the lack of diesel powered cars compared to Europe/Australasia/elsewhere might be partly due to refining infrastructure/capacity?
                                I think it's due to tax policy. My unscientific observation within Europe is that diesel is always cheaper at the pump than unleaded. Not a lot cheaper, EUR1.40 instead of 1.50 per liter. Since fuels are taxed so heavily in Europe I've always assumed the difference at the pump is a policy decision to tax diesel slightly more lightly than unleaded, creating demand that manufacturers supply. In the U.S. it seems that diesel is always twenty cents or so more at the pump.

                                In France my Ford Galaxy TDI minivan, seating seven, gets 44 MPG on the highway once all the conversions are made from kilometers to miles, Euros to Dollars, liters to gallons. In the U.S. my Honda Odyssey gets 21 MPG on the highway. I often bemoan the fact that Ford doesn't offer the Galaxy in the U.S., let alone a TDI version. Next year they'll bring the C-Max over from Europe, but rather than offer a diesel version, as they do in Europe, they will introduce it as a hybrid. Fortunately automakers, particularly the Germans, are slowly beginning to introduce more diesels into the U.S. market (the Audi Q3 is one that I'm keeping an eye on).

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