Nissan Leaf...Reserved! Now for a dose of Range Reality

Wednesday, April 21, 2010
I did it...for $99, I reserved my place in history.


We're at T-Minus 7 Months before electric Leafs start to fall in Orlando, Florida...and one of them will be mine.

It took me 5 minutes to complete the reservation process...which started with an overview video describing the process...and ending with my Visa card number.  The only thing I missed was getting a receipt mailed to me, but I suspect that's a glitch.

As someone who is in the EV infrastructure business, it will be a good test to live with range anxiety first-hand.  This way, I can understand what it's like living with a car that only has a 100 mile range in city that isn't exactly what you would call "compact".



From my home in Lake Mary, FL, it's 40 miles to the airport, 45 miles to Disney, 25 miles to downtown, and 21 miles to the University of Central Florida...so the scary trips are to the Airport and Disney since I'd only have a 15-20 mile range margin if I could not get a charge at my destination.

I've already talked to the Facilities director at the Orlando Airport and they are interested in being ready for EVs this year (I present my formal plan to them on 4/30).  Since a trip to the airport for a flight lasts a minimum of 12 hours, it is more than enough time for a full charge at Level 1...so I'm not too worried about trips to the Airport at this point.

Trips to the Disney area might be more challenging since I don't know their EVSE plan (yet!)...but they ARE Disney (usually progressive)...which means they probably will install EVSE before the end of the year.  Given that the 45 mile trip would use half my range, I would need access to a Level 2 EVSE for an hour to get me home with a comfortable margin of range.  This would add approx 27 miles to my range (using the EV Charge Calculator that I built) which would leave me with 40 miles of range when I arrived home.

Since I have no clue how much battery life the A/C, lights, and wipers will use on a typical Florida afternoon thunderstorm, more leftover range is better until the unknowns are known.  But I suspect that I'll start shaving that overage down as I get used to owning an EV...I can't wait!

Nissan Leaf Website: http://www.nissanusa.com/leaf-electric-car
Nissan Leaf Press release with prices and options: http://www.insideline.com/nissan/leaf/2011/2011-nissan-leaf-pricing-purchase-options-released.html

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