Cyellen
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2014 7:02 am
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Nissan LEAF owner considering a FFE

Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:48 am

Greetings!

First gen/2011 Nissan LEAF owner (actually leasee!) here, now considering a Ford Focus Electric for when my lease runs out in June. I was keen to lease a new BMW i3, but I think the financing and availability questions about that car will take it off the table for me. I'd love to stay pure electric, so my choices are pretty limited - another LEAF, FFE, or get a Volt and drive very carefully :)

I'd love to get some current owner perspectives - and if there is a former LEAF owner like me who has already made the switch, I'd love to hear what you think!

Here's a bit about me:
My commute is about 30 miles, but I also like to be able to use the car on the weekends. I'm looking forward to heated seats in my next car, and I love all the bells and whistles I get with the LEAF (bluetooth audio, charging timer, backup camera). I live in AZ, so cold isn't an issue, but the heat has already claimed my LEAF battery (thankfully it was covered under the "new" capacity warranty).

Ok...so I'll hush and let you brag on about the car - what do you love? what makes you crazy? what should I know?

Thanks in advance!
2011 Nissan LEAF, Polar White, VIN #xxx613

jmueller065
Posts: 2386
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:36 am
Location: Southeastern MI
Contact: Website

Re: Nissan LEAF owner considering a FFE

Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:30 am

We have a few people in AZ on here so they can give you a perspective about having an FFE in AZ.

:shameless plug: I have a whole blog devoted to driving the FFE around. Lately most of my posts have been about slogging through the snow in the Midwest but I do have other tidbits about it.

http://jamiegeek.myevblog.com/

(You'd want to start with the "Helpful Posts/How to get Stuff Done/Start Here" posts listed on the right in the blog.)
2018 Cajun Red Chevy Bolt
2016 Magnetic C-Max Energi (lease returned)
2014 Sunset Escape
2014 Thor Axis (V-10)
2013 Focus Electric (lease returned Jan 2016 for the C-Max above)
https://spareelectrons.wordpress.com/

michael
Posts: 1113
Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:55 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Nissan LEAF owner considering a FFE

Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:39 am

I encourage you to look favorably at the FFE. Before leasing mine, I rented a Leaf for a few days, so I'm able to give some comparisons.

In Phoenix, the thermal management system is a big plus, but remember it only works when you are driving or plugged in. I think the handling and interior setup in the FFE is much nicer than the Leaf's, plus I much prefer a car that doesn't advertise it's oddness.

I drive 80-100 miles a day, 10,000 miles in six months and the FFE has been trouble free, a real pleasure. The weakness is in the data display...Leaf provides a means to set charge limits at 80% and FFE does not....I have to walk out and unplug. Leaf has the ability to add aftermarket data displays into the obd connector, but I've found no such accessory for the FFE. The myFordmobile app and web site don't work well. Possibly some day they will be fixed, but I'm losing hope.

The lack of high power charging is a non-factor. So few stations available, and 6 KW does the job fine for me.

On balance, for me the FFE is an easy choice. I can't image you'll be disappointed. Hopefully one of our forum participants in Phoenix can help you with an extended test drive.
2013 FFE Returned after 3 years with 52,000 miles and battery down to 15.2 kWh
2014 Volt returned with 43,000 miles
2014 Volt 26,000 miles
1967 Corvette 427
1962 Corvette 327
Awaiting a Bolt

WattsUp
Posts: 2113
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:58 am
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: Nissan LEAF owner considering a FFE

Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:05 am

michael wrote:Leaf provides a means to set charge limits at 80% and FFE does not....I have to walk out and unplug.
Fwiw, it is pointless to "manually manage" the FFE charging, IMO. The FFE battery only charges to 90-95% of its capacity to begin with. And, if you make use of GO times, the battery will only reach a full charge just before you're about to use the car anyway.

IMO, "don't charge past 80%" smacks of "EV folklore" to me, likely does not have universal application (maybe it's good for Leafs, I dunno), and is probably not worth doing. It may also be harmless, but personally I don't waste my time with it -- I just plug in and charge whenever I have the chance. Since I use my FFE every day, normally charge at work, and then drive home, my car spends the majority of its time sitting with less than a 100% charge anyway.
2013 FFE, Platinum White, Delivered January 2013
2017 MS, Midnight Silver Metallic, Delivered February 2017
Use my referral code (http://ts.la/matt4377) to save $1000 on your next Tesla AND get free unlimited Supercharging!

jmueller065
Posts: 2386
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:36 am
Location: Southeastern MI
Contact: Website

Re: Nissan LEAF owner considering a FFE

Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:18 am

WattsUp wrote:IMO, "don't charge past 80%" smacks of "EV folklore" to me, likely does not have universal application (maybe it's good for Leafs, I dunno), and is probably not worth doing. It maybe also be harmless, but personally I don't waste my time with it -- I just plug in and charge whenever I have the chance. Since I use my FFE every day, normally charge at work, and then drive home, my car spends the majority of its time sitting with less a 100% charge anyway.
I completely agree and my situation is reversed: I charge at home overnight, drive to work, drive back, and plug in--it almost never gets charged at work (there is a chargepoint within walking distance in nice weather if its needed). It charges really late so that it is fully charged before I wakeup--thus it also sits the majority of its time not at 100% (except for the weekends).
2018 Cajun Red Chevy Bolt
2016 Magnetic C-Max Energi (lease returned)
2014 Sunset Escape
2014 Thor Axis (V-10)
2013 Focus Electric (lease returned Jan 2016 for the C-Max above)
https://spareelectrons.wordpress.com/

WetEV
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu May 03, 2012 7:04 am
Location: Near Seattle

Re: Nissan LEAF owner considering a FFE

Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:37 am

I've bought a Leaf, and will soon be buying another, however I've driven the FFE a fair amount.

80% charge is nice if you live at the top of a hill, as I do, as you get regenerative braking from the start, however the new Leaf no longer has an 80% option.

Both cars have a similar range and feel. My personal opinion is that the Leaf is a little better fit for me, but the FFE is a very close second. If I lived in a hot climate I'd swap that.

michael
Posts: 1113
Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:55 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Nissan LEAF owner considering a FFE

Mon Feb 10, 2014 3:07 pm

Coincidentally, someone posted this on the Honda FIT forum just today....

I also own a Leaf that just turned 60,000 miles. I was #11 to pick up in the USA.
My range has dropped quite a bit in the Leaf. My commute is 38 miles each way. I charge to 100% every night and trickle charge at work to 100% each day. Car is garaged every night. My commute to work is slightly downhill most of the way but mostly uphill grade on the way home. I get home with one white bar or into the first red bar each night. I get to work with 2 or 3 white bars each morning.



This guy had just picked up a new Honda in Santa Monica, so presumably he lives somewhere in SoCal and has a reasonably moderate climate.
2013 FFE Returned after 3 years with 52,000 miles and battery down to 15.2 kWh
2014 Volt returned with 43,000 miles
2014 Volt 26,000 miles
1967 Corvette 427
1962 Corvette 327
Awaiting a Bolt

michael
Posts: 1113
Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:55 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Nissan LEAF owner considering a FFE

Mon Feb 10, 2014 3:09 pm

WetEV wrote: however the new Leaf no longer has an 80% option.
That's true and it amazes me. The car with the worst battery degradation problem has removed the "easy on the battery" option just so that they could claim increased range.

Per EPA rules, they had to claim a range based on the average of the 80% and 100% values. Now they can claim the 100% value.
2013 FFE Returned after 3 years with 52,000 miles and battery down to 15.2 kWh
2014 Volt returned with 43,000 miles
2014 Volt 26,000 miles
1967 Corvette 427
1962 Corvette 327
Awaiting a Bolt

jeffand
Posts: 441
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:26 pm
Location: WI

Re: Nissan LEAF owner considering a FFE

Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:26 pm

The Leaf uses a different chemistry than FFE battery. Nissan manufactures it own battery. While Ford has LG chemical manufacturer the individual cells, and has another company assemble the battery packs. We already know that the Leaf has issues with heat. Since the batteries don't like any thing hotter than 90 degree.
Unfortunatly Nissan went with air cooling system. Ford went with a liquid cooling system that is tied into airconditioner. This makes it possible to cool the battery below the air temp.
2013 FFE, Ingot Silver
Delivered September 2012

WattsUp
Posts: 2113
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:58 am
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: Nissan LEAF owner considering a FFE

Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:36 pm

WetEV wrote:80% charge is nice if you live at the top of a hill, as I do, as you get regenerative braking from the start, however the new Leaf no longer has an 80% option.
Yeah nice perhaps... for your brakes mostly. ;) Not a huge charging benefit.

Unless you live at the top of a very long hill road, you're not going to regenerate the remaining 20% charge during your commute (so I'm not sure why you'd want to stop charging at 80%). Even if regeneration could sustain the maximum charging rate of 6.6 kW, you'd have to be continually coasting downhill, at maximum regen, for close to an hour!

I could see maybe wanting to stop charging at 95% and hope to gain the last few percent (at most) with a (significant) downhill drive.
2013 FFE, Platinum White, Delivered January 2013
2017 MS, Midnight Silver Metallic, Delivered February 2017
Use my referral code (http://ts.la/matt4377) to save $1000 on your next Tesla AND get free unlimited Supercharging!

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