Sunday, March 28, 2021

Things I Wish I Knew Before I Bought My Leaf

So this is by no means a complete list because there are still some things out there I do not know, and things I do not know that I do not know. That being said, I am still thrilled with my Nissan Leaf, but I really wish I had better understood when I bought it.

Battery State of Health is really important, but 30KWh battery packs have an 8 year warranty.

I passed up a really cheap Leaf with a severely degraded battery. It was a 2017 and would have qualified for the free replacement, and since Nissan no longer makes the 30KWh pack, I would have gotten a free 40KWh battery instead.

The Capacity of the Battery in KWh (Kilowatt hours) is King!

Your range is going to be determined by how many Kilowatt hours the battery can hold. You need to know what the car originally came with, and how many Kilowatt hours of storage are left. Sometimes (like on my Leaf) you have to use a Bluetooth OBDII reader and a mobile app and some math to figure it out. Make the effort and DO THIS.

Your Driving Habits and Conditions are Queen!

I actually kind of knew this, but I had no idea just how drastic the range difference can be. Driving down the interstate at 70MPH with the heat on is going to use up the battery more than 3 times faster compared to driving down a country road at 45MPH on a sunny day with the windows down.

Just Leave it in ECO Mode.

At first it was fun zipping in and around traffic, but I have since cooled my jets. Because these types of cars are so quiet and smooth, it can be very easy to turn into a jerk on the road. Put it in ECO mode and drive with the flow of traffic around you.

Pay More Attention to Your Miles per Kilowatt Hour

If you really want to get the most range out of your vehicle, don’t fret over the battery percentage level gauge and ignore the GOM. Watch that Mi/KWh bar. Make it into a game to see how high you can get that bar without driving like an idiot for the conditions you are in.

Unless it Qualifies for a Warranty Replacement, You Will Never Replace Your Battery.

There are a lot of YouTube videos showing electric cars getting replacement batteries and even upgrades. These are in the extreme minority and will never be mainstream. Make sure that the car you are getting has more than enough range for your current driving needs. Your battery capacity WILL degrade over time, and it is simply not practical to replace the battery once the range has dropped below the level that can meet your needs. Your best option will be to get a newer used car.

Certain Problems are Nigh Impossible to Fix

This is a bitter pill for me to swallow, but unless the cause of a problem is something blindingly obvious, do not expect any dealership to be able to figure it out and fix it. The heater in my car STILL has an intermittent problem, and of course it always works fine when I take it into the shop.

EV Haters Will Never Get It (So don’t bother trying.)

Some people will never be OK with EVs. There is no argument you can make that will change their minds. Gasoline could cost $10 per gallon and new battery electric vehicles could be half the price of an internal combustion engine, but they would still try to justify why they think electric cars are a bad idea. {smh} I should have told those guys it was a 3 cylinder that got really good gas mileage.


Our submission page remains open for any and all contributors like my good buddy Darin. Thanks old friend!



Just a quick addendum, I’m still posting these side bars late Sunday / early Monday, so don’t let the post dates fool you.

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