Leaf 2.Zero 600 miles In

I’ve now had my car for a week and a half and have clocked up 600 miles. It’s been an interesting week since I wrote the last post and there’s a few things I’ve noticed with the car over that time…

The drivers sun visor is seriously small compared to the one I had in my 57 plate KIA cee’d! I drive North in the morning and South on the way home from work, so the sun is always on the right side of my face. The sun visor in the Nissan Leaf 2.Zero is so short when pushed around to the driver’s door side that it doesn’t even reach my forehead and therefore is effectively useless. I’ve had to “Blue Peter” style myself a workaround (a.k.a cut a box apart and stuff it into the sun visor holding strap – see below!).

I tested out the anti-lock braking for an Audi driver on the way home at a roundabout this week… I wasn’t going very fast when the Audi driver decided to try and go across the roundabout in front of me when he shouldn’t have. I’m guessing the ALB kicked in because of the weight of the car and the fact that I put my foot right down on the brake to stop the potential collision that was about to happen.

I got the TCU fixed by the dealer last weekend, but still couldn’t get the NissanConnect website to verify ownership. Sat in my car on three occasions and waited over 10 minutes with the whirley-gig saying checking, but no luck. Ended up emailing NissanConnect on Saturday and had to send them a copy of the V5 inside page but by Wednesday evening they’d verified I owned the vehicle and the service was activated. It’s not the greatest of apps – partly because it’s incredibly slow to send / receive requests from the car – but it’s useful to see remotely how much battery charge the vehicle has left and on the odd occasion switch the heating on.

When I took the vehicle to the dealer at the weekend, I also got them to check the faulty tyre pressure monitor. They reset the monitor from the car dashboard – not exactly what I’d hoped for and I thought it wouldn’t cure it. On the way home the warning re-appeared, so the car has to go back for a new sensor in April.

The adaptive cruise control is incredibly useful – I’ve used it on every journey I’ve made this week. It did take a bit of getting used to. The main thing was wondering why the car was going slowly one morning, only to remember it was matching the speed of the really slow car infront. I have found that on my long journey to and from work, when the cars in cruise control mode there’s nowhere to rest my right foot. The gap between the accelerator and the side of the car is too small to put my foot between. It’s therefore a little uncomfortable when driving for long periods of time on cruise control as I’m not sure where to rest my foot. If I move my leg towards the chair (as if I’m sitting at a table), I feel I’m not close enough to the pedals to react in time if there was a problem.

Scheduling the car to be warm when leaving work is awesome!! Not only is the company paying for my lovely warm car by way of the free electricity, but getting in a car preheated to 23.5C when it’s 5C outside is so nice 🙂

That’s it so far this week, but if I notice anything else in the coming weeks/months – I’ll be sure to put another post up.

Ordered Home Car Charger

Follow on to my post yesterday about my Leaf 2.Zero.

I’ve ordered my home charger. It’s a Rolec, black with grey inserts, 32A tethered type 2 device. I researched a number of devices and companies when looing for a home charger and landed on this device because I liked the look of the device and the terms and conditions suited my needs.

So why didn’t I order a Pod point or chargemaster given that Nissan were offering them as part of a deal when order a Leaf 2.Zero?

For starters, it wasn’t clear if I was entitled to a free charger with my leaf? The Nissan T’s and C’s indicated that I needed to have ordered it by mid December 2017.  I may have been wrong and potentially entitled to a free device, but…

The chargemaster looked too bulky and quite expensive, so I didn’t look too far into this product.

Pod point I found too pestering. I received at least three emails (+ the phone calls!) from when I signed up for my car until when I finally got the message through to them that I wasn’t going to purchase their product. The wording in their emails I thought was a little misleading too “Your Pod Point Order” – what order? I never clicked order… And there’s never a clear indication of how much things are going to cost.

I also turned the Pod point down because of a particular part in the Terms and Conditions: “All our charge points are supplied with Carbon Sync capability. Carbon Sync allows us to briefly pause charging on instruction from official bodies (for example the national grid) for the purpose of balancing or maintaining stability of the local or national electrical generation or distribution grid. Under normal circumstances, we don’t expect Carbon Sync to have any material effect on charging, however, you agree that Carbon Sync may lead to pauses in charging.”

Given that I need my car to be charged to get to work, this particular feature of the Pod point was the deciding factor in ruling this product out. If I plug my car in, I expect it to charge.

I’ve now got a bit of a wait until my charger is fitted as it’ll be installed at the same time as another product, by the same electricians.

I’m soooo looking foward to the “other product”, far more so than getting my leaf!!

More to be revealed soon 😀

Nissan Leaf 2.Zero

I bought myself a new car this year and after two years of looking at electric cars, I’ve finally bought one! As of Tuesday, I now own a Nissan Leaf 2.Zero in black.

Car Front

Why did I buy an electric car?

I’m a fan of green tech, so at some point I had to put my money where my mouth was and purchase a car that was significantly cleaner than my petrol car.  My previous car was 10 years old and the brakes aren’t quite what they used to be… so I was contemplating fixing the vehicle or passing it on to family and getting a new one.

My commute to work is 40 miles each way and it costs me about £50 a week to run my petrol car. At work, we have free charging points (enough for 8 cars and increasing) – so the temptation to save some money on fuel finally got too great. Plus the new leaf that came out early this year had enough range for me charge the car to 100% at work, then drive home and back to work, using works free charger again 🙂

So what’s it like?

Well like I said above, I’ve only had it since Tuesday, but at first it was really odd… My previous KIA cee’d, I could feel the road through the steering weel and pedals – I almost felt connected to the road. This new car is “fly by wire” as in, the steering wheel isn’t connected directly to the wheels, so there’s no feeling in the steering wheel or pedals. The first day I took it to work, I must admit it made me quite anxious. Luckily I spoke to someone who told me this was quite natural to feel anxious and that it’d take time, but I’d get over it! The second day I took it to work was a lot better – I’d taken the drive assist off (that helped a lot!) and it just felt more natural.

Teething problems

The first day I took it to work the tyre pressure warning came on half way to work and then on the way back. Not sure if it’s a faulty sensor, but it didn’t reappear on Thursday… This weekend I’ll take it to the petrol station (haha) to check the tyre pressures.

Nissan EV Connect – can’t get it to work at all… Reading the http://www.speakev.com/ forum, it requires a TCU reset because the car has a greyed out car icon with a red cross through it.  So if you’ve bought this car and see this (below in the red box)… you’ll have to go back to a dealer to get it fixed.

I got in the back of the car on Wednesday at work, closed the door and then found that both doors had the child-lock on!! Haha!

The Handbrake is nifty. During the test drive, Derek (sales guy from Cambridge) mentioned that it was possible to put the handbrake on and then drive off with it on. This does work and is one of the reasons I decided to purchase the car, but the manual says not to do it… He’s hopefully going to find out for me why the manual says you shouldn’t do it.

Things I’ve found out

Don’t put the handbrake on if the car is moving (even at 5mph which is the speed I tested it at)!! It makes a hell of a noise!

I can drive from work to home doing 70mph (where possible) with the heater set to 23.5C and back again to work and still have 50 miles on the guess-o-meter (GOM)!  Cool!

(Picture above shows battery percentage after the test run)

The blind spot warning is really useful!

What’s next?

Well I have to get a home charger at some point – just trying to get a device that I’m happy at the moment, so will write another post when I’ve got it 🙂

Other than that – just keep driving it as much as possible to find out all the new features and get used to the ride.