US Nissan LEAF Owner Surpasses 76,000 Miles in 24 months

4 years ago by Mark Kane 16

2011Nissan Leaf

2011 Nissan LEAF

To the best of our knowledge, the highest mileage Nissan LEAF in the US has surpassed 76,000 miles in two years.

2011 Nissan LEAF Battery Pack

That’s impressive for sure, but the owner of that LEAF says the battery pack has suffered some degradation and that it no longer allows him to travel 63 miles on the highway on a single charge.

Who’s this high-mileage champ?  It’s Steve Marsh from the state of Washington, known as TaylorSFGuy on the forum.

Marsh’s daily route is roughly 126 miles—mostly highway—to and from work.

Initially, to commute, Marsh charged his LEAF twice a day (in the night at home, and during the day at work).  The total number of deep battery charges exceed more than 1,200 cycles.

Unfortunately, the progressive loss of capacity that is typical in electric cars, has led to a situation in which it’s now necessary to charge “at least twice a day.  I’m now using QC once a day if not more.”

This Is Not Marsh's LEAF

This Is Not Marsh’s LEAF, But It’s Missing 1 Bar of Capacity

Despite complaints about the declining range of around 20% in January, Marsh’s black LEAF still has 12 segments remaining on the battery status indicator. The loss of the first segment would mean the loss of battery capacity of a minimum of 15% and, therefore, theoretically his LEAF still has a capacity of 85% (if the display is more reliable than the observation of the driver). Unfortunately, we don’t know the exact capacity drop.

Update:  Marsh’s LEAF lost its first capacity bar on June 1st, 2013 @ 78,600 miles.

If we assume that the LEAF has lost 15% of its capacity, the average rate of degradation should be about 2% / 10,000 miles.  The ActiveE, with its significantly larger battery pack (32 kWh vs 24 kWh) and active cooling for its battery, has seen a rate of degradation that averages out to 1.8% / 10,000 miles.

Although Marsh does complain about a few of the LEAF’s less important items—including problems with Carwings— he generally seems to not have lost his enthusiasm for electric vehicles.

Maybe as a mileage record holder, Marsh should get a fresh, shiny new battery pack.  Or perhaps even a big rabat (no…he’s not getting a fortified place…we don’t think) rebate on a Model Year 2013 or beyond LEAF? Why not?

Source: MyNissanLEAF

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16 responses to "US Nissan LEAF Owner Surpasses 76,000 Miles in 24 months"

  1. I have 47,000 miles in 16 months with my ActiveE now so at this rate I’d have a little over 70,000 in 2 years so he’s got me beat with a car than has less range. Kudos to you Steve!

  2. kdawg says:

    So how does he make it to work now? Is he just squeaking in on the last bit of juice? Kinda scary. What if you hit a big traffic jam? Or what if its really cold one day?

    1. Eric Loveday says:

      @ kdawg He uses a quick charger if needed to or from work

      1. kdawg says:

        So mid-trip, he pulls over, charges for x-minutes, then continues? This would be useful information. How much time does all this add to the commute?

    2. Josh says:

      From my two years of 66 mile round trip highway commute with the LEAF and no charging at work, I learned many tricks. Drafting is the most effective. Lost a windshield on that though. Houston highways are littered with rocks due to all the concrete barriers.

      It was easy in the beginning, but after a couple hot summers, I had to drive more carefully. I can always stop at a DCQC, but on my way home from work I rather not take the time. Needless to say I got very comfortable with “very low battery charge, would you like me to search for charging stations.”

      Luckily, I just transitioned to working from home. So the LEAF can go down to 80% daily charging, I can keep my miles under 45k in my three year lease, and most importantly I get three hours of my day back!

    3. Suprise Cat says:

      Well, when a traffic jam forces you to drive much slower than your normal highway speed, the range will increase 😉

  3. Tom K says:

    30,000 in 2 years here… I just lost my first capacity segment a couple hundred ago…

  4. Anderlan says:

    QC, DC fast, L3, Phase 3. Can we just call charging stations by their kilowatt rating, no need to continue making up new jargon?

    All you need is 3rd grade math to figure the charging time, if you have the kW of the station and the kWh of your battery. No guessing about anything.*

    *(Either it’ll be compatible with your car and get you charged that fast, or you won’t be able to use it at all.)

    1. kdawg says:

      Could also rate them in miles per hour. (assuming avg range for EV’s, say 250wH per mile)

      However there are 2 types of plugs for L3 chargers (SAE vs Chademo) and Tesla of course has their proprietary plug as well.

      1. Josh says:

        The Aerovironment CHAdeMOs in Houston that eVgo installed have a sticker on them saying 150 miles per hour charging or something like that. I’ll take a picture next time I stop by.

    2. TonyWilliams says:

      Unfortunately, while third grade math may be necessary, the simple equation of kW to kWh won’t quite get the job done. On a Nissan LEAF, for instance, the 48kW going into the battery with a CHAdeMO charger starts ramping down from 120 amps at about 50% SOC. if the battery is cold, it won’t accept regeneration or charging as quickly as one cold. As the battery degrades, internal resistance will slow charge rate.

      Finally, the SAE has changed the meaning of L3, but frankly, I find their new methodology silly. I will continue to explain it to folks in the simple L1, L2 and L3 series.

  5. Dave R says:

    “If we assume that the LEAF has lost 15% of its capacity, the average rate of degradation should be about 2% / 10,000 miles. The ActiveE, with its significantly larger battery pack (32 kWh vs 24 kWh) and active cooling for its battery, has seen a rate of degradation that averages out to 1.8% / 10,000 miles.”

    To be fair, Seattle, WA area basically results in active cooling for the LEAF battery unless you are performing multiple QCs a day. The climate there keeps the batteries cool and appears to cut the rate of capacity loss in half compared to warmer climates like southern California and one quarter compared to hot areas like Phoenix (don’t buy an EV in Phoenix unless it has active thermal management or extremely temperature durable cells!!!).

    So I’d consider Steve’s results best case scenario – the only way he’d get better results would be if he were able to charge to 80% instead of 100% and instead charged 3x/day instead 2x/day – or perhaps if he lived in Norway or Canada where it’s even colder.

    1. surfingslovak says:

      Well stated, Dave. Another thing to consider that calendar aging can have a disproportionate effect on lithium-ion batteries, at least initially. While degradation per 10K miles driven is an interesting metric, the total amount of projected degradation is not just the result of driving the vehicle. The battery could and would lose capacity even if the car was parked in a driveway at 50% SOC for two years. Just wanted to include this for completeness, so that it does not create incorrect expectations in some readers. I found the article interesting, and I’m sure that others did too.

    2. Josh says:

      Agreed on the analogizing of Seattle climate to active cooling. I will have had my car two years as of this Saturday, with over 36,000 miles, charging to 100% daily. According to my Android app’s guesstimation, I’ve lost only between 4-6% of capacity, and this has not been noticeable in terms of my driving experience.

  6. David Murray says:

    Dang.. with that number of miles he’s probably saved around $10,000 in gas already. So I guess it’d be hard to complain about some capacity loss.

  7. Josh says:

    It would seem that northern maritime areas are the best place for the LEAF, in the absence of active cooling. The proximity to the ocean serves as a climate buffer, keeping ambient temperatures away from the extremes, and within the ideal operating range for optimal battery health.

    As the batteries advance, and battery temperature management advances with it, EVs will only become more durable in differing and more extreme climates.