v_traveller
Posts: 422
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Location: So Cal

Re: Nissan LEAF owner considering a FFE

Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:40 am

WattsUp wrote: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've seen as high as 50kW regen rate so far on my Volt while braking on a downhill; others on the Volt forum say max is 60 -70 kW (60 kW was apparently confirmed by GM). I suspect the FFE can do the same. So my guess is an FFE can probably regen 20% of battery capacity in 5 minutes or so, given a downhill that's steep and long, AND if that 20% is not the last 20% of capacity to take it to full charge. Anything above 80% charge will probably capture regen at a much lower rate to prevent damage to the battery.

FWIW, Here's an image of a Volt indicating 20kW of regen (not mine, I would not try to take a picture while braking):
http://colbytrudeau.files.wordpress.com ... g_2468.jpg

It's kinda cool having a display that shows instantaneous regen kW, but I'd rather have the FFE's brake coach.
vin
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michael
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Re: Nissan LEAF owner considering a FFE

Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:54 pm

This is gotten off topic. Cyellen was asking whether to get an FFE as replacement for the Leaf.

I say yes...please ask any specific questions.
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
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Richmond72
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Re: Nissan LEAF owner considering a FFE

Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:45 pm

I just replaced a Volt with a FFE, I say yes, replace the Leaf with a FFE.

hcsharp
Posts: 108
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Location: Vermont

Re: Nissan LEAF owner considering a FFE

Tue Feb 11, 2014 5:42 pm

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned one of the main reasons we bought an FFE instead of a Leaf. FFE has a safer crash test rating. That and liquid thermal battery mgmt were the biggest reasons. We also liked the look of the FFE a lot better and my wife likes it that "you can't tell it's electric" when you look at it. She's not very technical and hates it when people ask her questions.
WattsUp wrote:
michael wrote:Leaf provides a means to set charge limits at 80% and FFE does not....I have to walk out and unplug.
...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)...
I'm also quickly coming to the conclusion that the 80% charge limit is "EV folklore." There are benefits to the battery that come from driving at a higher state of charge that I think overcome any tiny benefit you get from regular 80% charging. A recent study of Tesla Roadsters going back long before any Leafs were delivered, indicates that there is no penalty to frequent 95% charging. It's hard to draw conclusions because the data set was small - only a couple hundred cars, most of which charged to 80% every day. But most of them were sampled anonymously so there was little or no selection or reporting bias.

hcsharp
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Re: Nissan LEAF owner considering a FFE

Tue Feb 11, 2014 5:53 pm

Cyellen wrote:...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 forgot you're also looking at the Volt. You will find the Volt uses about 50% more energy per mile (as in higher electric bill) even if you never drive it on gas. There's a price to pay for lugging around all that extra weight. For those of us who are trying to stay within the limits of our own solar panels, the Volt would kill it for us. Doesn't apply to you but around here where it's cold most of the year, the Volt gas engine is on most of the winter.

v_traveller
Posts: 422
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Location: So Cal

Re: Nissan LEAF owner considering a FFE

Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:45 am

hcsharp wrote:You will find the Volt uses about 50% more energy per mile (as in higher electric bill) even if you never drive it on gas. There's a price to pay for lugging around all that extra weight.
I have an FFE and a Volt, and the Volt does not use 50% more energy per mile than the FFE while in EV mode. I see virtually no difference in electric energy consumption between the two during my commute. In current weather conditions, both take around 9 kWh to drive down to work (42 miles). On the way home (39 miles), the FFE uses 11.5-12.5 kWh, and the FFE uses 10.8 kWh + a little less than a pint of gas (average 0.09 gal). I'm interested in where you got that 50% figure from. Oh, and the Volt weighs about 150lb more than the FFE, less than an average male human being. Last I checked, having a passenger in the FFE didn't increase my Wh/mi consumption by 50%.

That being said, there are valid reasons to choose an FFE over a Volt. First and foremost in my mind is value... The base Volt, like what I have, is spartan compared to the base FFE, and with current incentives, the FFE is much cheaper to buy and to lease. The base Volt has no backup camera, navigation, nor heated seats. And a fully loaded Volt will run you a couple thousand more than a fully loaded (i.e. leather+premium color) FFE. Also, the FFE comes standard with an upscale hard cover over the cargo area, the Volt has a cheesy piece of cheesecloth. The FFE has HID headlights, and the Volt has garden variety halogens. The Focus seats 5, and the Volt seats only 4, and has less cargo space.

Also - If you lease, the FFE will have a residual value of about $16K, probably less based on posts on this forum. The Volt, on the other hand, will have a residual value of $21K or probably more, which makes it really hard to purchase at the end of the lease or to trade it in before the 36 months is up. This difference is because Ford passes on the $7500 tax credit to us immediately in the form of a rebate. The Volt lessor (US Bank or Ally) does not directly pass on that tax credit to the customer - they keep it and jack up the residual by $7500 to effect lower monthly payments.

Another strike against the Volt is its instrumentation - it's very hybrid-oriented; not what I expected for an EREV. Shortcomings include no Wh/mi display, no brake coach, too much real estate dedicated to gas usage/efficiency, to name a few.

I think the Volt is a great replacement for an ICE (which is what I did) or a hybrid, but probably not a BEV like the Leaf. FFE is a much better choice in my opinion.

As far as Leaf vs. FFE - check out the forum posts on the recent Car and Driver EV comparo, maybe read the article if you haven't already done so... FFE shoulda won instead of being runner-up (my biased opinion). The Leaf came in 4th out of 6. Must be taken with a grain of salt, though... the author seems to be from a very different mindset than the typical BEV owner. Also, it seems like the FFE is more affordable than the Leaf SL considering the current rebates and lease incentives (seems more appropriate to compare with the SL rather than the S since the base FFE is very well equipped). In my opinion, the only reason to get a Leaf over a FFE is if fast charging is really important to you.
vin
2015 B-Class Electric Drive - Cirrus White
2014 Volt - Summit White
2014 RAV4 EV - Blizzard Pearl White
2013 FFE - White Platinum Metallic (2/2013 -12/2015)
http://ev-vin.blogspot.com/

WattsUp
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Re: Nissan LEAF owner considering a FFE

Wed Feb 12, 2014 2:05 am

v_traveller wrote:So my guess is an FFE can probably regen 20% of battery capacity in 5 minutes or so
Hmm, I don't think gains on the order of 20% are going to happen in 5 minutes.

More than once, I've driven my FFE at varying freeway speeds (50-60 mph) continuously downhill (zero acceleration, all regen, in L) for about a 10-minute duration and only gained a few percent. The beginning SOC at the top of the hill was about 25% (so the battery was nowhere near full).

If significant regen doesn't happen quickly at freeway-like speeds, then when/how could it happen? Perhaps 5 minutes of all-regen downhill at 90 mph?! (But that doesn't sound very a smart way to drive.) And, even then, it still doesn't seem like that would quite do it. Based on my experience, that would still probably only net out to a gain of a few percent.

Anybody else have different experience attempting to achieve "massive regen"?
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michael
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Re: Nissan LEAF owner considering a FFE

Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:33 am

Assuming a car weighs 3700 pounds, one could recover a theoretical maximum of 3700000 ft-lbs of energy descending 1000 feet. This is 1.4 kWh.

I would guess a reasonable number to apply would be 1 kWh per 1000 feet or 5%
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

Gigi
Posts: 136
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Location: East Cobb, Georgia

Re: Nissan LEAF owner considering a FFE

Wed Feb 12, 2014 7:56 am

Back to the original topic. . .

There are good reasons for buying an FFE over a Leaf such as interior room, battery management, more horsepower, firmer handling, and more standard equipment.

One of the reasons why I got the FFE rather than the Leaf is entirely subjective - styling. I agree with the descriptions of the Leaf as looking like a frog and as "baggy." I prefer the sleeker, lower, more "normal" styling of the FFE. I think that empirical reasons should be more important in deciding between cars and I think that these favor the FFE. I like these reasons even more when the car I have bought pleases my aesthetic sensibilities.
2014 Ford Focus Electric - Oxford White
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WetEV
Posts: 27
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Re: Nissan LEAF owner considering a FFE

Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:16 am

WattsUp wrote:
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.
Regeneration for the Leaf (and I think the Focus) maximum rate is around 40 kW. Leaf charges at a similar speed with a DC charger, not available for the Focus. Not above 80% SOC, however, regeneration and charging taper off to protect the battery. Regeneration saves on brakes and electricity. Yes, not a huge benefit for most people, few have a hill large enough to matter.
Michael wrote:I would guess a reasonable number to apply would be 1 kWh per 1000 feet or 5%
That might be about the maximum. Usually would be less. Depends on how steep and how fast you descend.

http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=4952

Here is a Leaf descending 8500 feet and adding "4 battery bars" which would be about 6.5 kWh.

http://vimeo.com/47432693

The FFE would be very similar, as far as I know.

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