Video: Nissan LEAF Mountain Driving – Blue Ridge Mountains

MAR 27 2014 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 10

The ups and downs of mountain driving in an electric vehicle.

Route Map

Route Map

“Ride along with me on a 300 mile drive through the Blue Ridge mountains of Western North Carolina in my 2012 Nissan LEAF SL.”

EV owners tend to love (regen!!!) and loathe (loss of range on inclines) mountain driving.

This video, at nearly one hour long, takes us on a detailed trip of a Nissan LEAF mountain driving adventure in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  At the end of the video, you’ll find all sorts of data (similar to the screen cap featured below).

As the YouTube uploader says:

“I do not work for Nissan, I just love my LEAF and want to educate others that are interested in EV ownership about live with an EV.”

Do you often take your EV into the mountains?  If so, how’s the experience been?  Loving the regen?  Or does the lack of uphill range make it a struggle?

At the End of This Video You'll Find All Sorts of Trip Data Like This One on Charging Time and Speed

At the End of This Video You’ll Find All Sorts of Trip Data Like This One on Charging Time and Speed

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10 Comments on "Video: Nissan LEAF Mountain Driving – Blue Ridge Mountains"

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East Tennessee has an epic Chademo network. Now if they could just continue it further up I81 into Virginia to the DC suburbs that’d be greeaat (for me in particular).

Scary on a sub 100 mile range vehicle…

I wouldn’t want to go Caving in West Virginia with this unless the Caves I go to are owned by really nice people who would let me plug in.

This story really shows two major flaws in the Nissan Leaf and Charging stations. The first flaw is the car’s bad range in that if it was a 150 miles you could have at least saved half the time at the Charging station or living in terror that you wouldn’t find a plug in station in the middle of the rural Blue Ridge.

The next thing which could cut this trip in half even in the same existing 80 mile range EV is DC fast charging stations. Such as if there had been say three or four of them it would have knocked a few hours off of having to look for a charging station.

The good news though is the guy who drove the Leaf had everything planned around it and it’s charging station.

I had an interesting trip with “Brian” that regularly visits here. We went skiing and had to be very careful how the Leaf was driven for fear of running out of range (we went through a lot of hills to get there).

In the end we had a fair amount of range remaining when we got back, but without care, it could’ve easily been a scenario where the battery ran out before we made it back.

It seems like an improved range estimate could go a long way to alleviate some concerns.

That was a cold, slow trip. But we returned with 2 battery bars showing (between 26 and 31% charge). If I knew then what I know now, it could have been a lot more comfortable.

I’m now contemplating a 225-mile one-way trek this summer (450 miles round-trip). But my max charging rate is 3.3kW (2012 Leaf), so it would require an overnight stay in both directions. It’s technically doable, although it’s a hard sell with two young kids (3 & 5 years).

I live in NC. However, we’ve always taken our SUV to the mountains due to being stuffed with camping supplies and people that wouldn’t fit in our Volt. If you ever go there, check out the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and a little town called Bryson City.

I also agree on scary for a Leaf. There are few charging stations and currently no public CHAdeMO in that area.

“So yeah, electric cars give you more time for life.”

Very well-said!

I’ve heard the following:
Coast when possible and use the regen in ECO mode for braking and controlling your speed down hill. I’m thinking it’s also faster and you gain on charging time by getting to the charger earlier. This may not be legal is some states.

On the West Vriginia Turnpike it’s all mountain driving and the speed limit is 70 miles on hour.

Did you have any further problems with the tire pressure sensor being fouled with the “SLIME” which has been reported on mynissanleaf.com Curious? I think I saw a price tag of $150 to replace just the sensor. Have you given any thought to getting a spare tire to strap down in the back floorboard at a junk yard? Like the video, Loved the country, music TOP Notch. That’s where us Gulf Coast folks go for vacations. East TN and Western NC. Thanks for the “trip”