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duckInferno
89 posts

Master Geek


  #2405632 24-Jan-2020 07:47
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I'm about to own a 2014 leaf (excite!)

 

Sparky's going to install a 16A caravan socket in my garage.  The obvious choice of charging cable to pair with it is something like this

 

But now I'm wondering... is there a better long-term option, given that Type 2 chargers seem to be the future?  Would it be better to get a CCE -> Type 2 cable and then some kind of converter for Type 1, or am I just putting the cart before the horse?

 

Also $550 is a spicy amount of money, but do I really want to trust an aliexpress cable...


 
 
 

Free kids accounts - trade shares and funds (NZ, US) with Sharesies (affiliate link).
jonathan18
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  #2405648 24-Jan-2020 09:01
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The OEM cable you link to is the same one we currently use for our Leaf. My suggestion is to also think about slooooow charging as well as the 'faster' versions, given you may want some insurance if you run out of steam nowhere near a place with a caravan socket or commercial charger - ie, ability to charge at 8A from a standard socket.

 

We started out with a ChargeAmps Ray, the advantage of which is it had selectable amperage (from 16 to as low as 8; can't recall exactly); this enabled it to be paired with an Ampfibian power adapter, that 'converted' the caravan socket to a standard 3-pin plug.

 

The problem with the OEM cable is it has no ability to set the amperage, meaning I don't believe it can be used with a product such as the Ampfibian. This means that, if you want to ever charge your Leaf from a 3-pin plug, you'll need a second charging cable. (I spoke to the owner of OEM a year or more back, and he said we was going to get some made with selectable amperage, but I assume this never eventuated.)

 

Our ChargeAmps cable stopped working (a common occurrence - don't touch them!), so that's when the dealer sent us both the OEM 16A cable and an 8A 3-pin cable. Not ideal having to buy two, and I'm not sure I would have done so if I'd had to pay for them, but at least we're covered for 8A charging if necessary...


duckInferno
89 posts

Master Geek


  #2405661 24-Jan-2020 09:45
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jonathan18:

 

The OEM cable you link to is the same one we currently use for our Leaf. My suggestion is to also think about slooooow charging as well as the 'faster' versions, given you may want some insurance if you run out of steam nowhere near a place with a caravan socket or commercial charger - ie, ability to charge at 8A from a standard socket.

 

 

The car comes with a standard 8A EVSE cable which I plan to leave stashed in the boot for these occasions.  I intend the 16A cable to be the main form of charging and will stay at home.

 

So I guess an alternative, as you say, is to get an adapter and a charge cable with flexible throughput up to 16A... looks like this would be up to 2x the cost anyway, and probably a little redundant given the 8A cable we'll be supplied.   




Dugimodo
168 posts

Master Geek


  #2405663 24-Jan-2020 09:58
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What charger is the Leaf coming with?  it should have one and I don't think a dealer can sell it without. Mine came with the Japanese charger which technically isn't legal but I gave up arguing with the dealer who was either ignorant of the law or pretending to be.

 

 

 

Anyway I have the 200V japanese charger which the dealer fitted with a caravan plug and an 8A charger with a regular household plug. I regret buying the 8A charger and wish I'd got an adjustable one as the previous poster suggests so I could use it from my caravan outlet at home and a regular outlet elsewhere.

 

 

 

Anyway I am using the Japanese charger despite the warnings (voids your insurance if it damages anything or starts a fire for example). It's in my shed which is separate from my house which limits the risk and it doesn't even get warm and well, that's what circuit breakers are for. Follow my lead at your own risk, I measure the voltage in my shed at around 220V which is only 10% over and should be within tolerances in my opinion, but it's quite possible it isn't and I could have a spectacular failure. Got my leaf last june and so far so good.

 

 

 

The Fully charged youtube channel had a video where they suggested getting a fixed wired wall mounted charger with a type 2 outlet and then buying the cable to suit your car. A great suggestion if you want to try and future proof but I haven't found any suppliers of such chargers here and also the wall mounted ones I've seen are all pretty expensive. The advantage is you then have the same outlet as public slow chargers.

 

 

 

Incidentally I also have a type 2 to type 1 cable so I can use said slow chargers, but I've never needed it so probably could have saved the money.

 

My 8A charger and the type 2 cable stay in the boot in case they are needed, the 16A Leaf charger stays in the shed for charging at home.


duckInferno
89 posts

Master Geek


  #2405783 24-Jan-2020 12:47
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Dugimodo:

 

What charger is the Leaf coming with?  it should have one and I don't think a dealer can sell it without. Mine came with the Japanese charger which technically isn't legal but I gave up arguing with the dealer who was either ignorant of the law or pretending to be.

 

 

It comes with an 8A NZ charger.  I doubt these guys would dick me around as they specialise in EVs, but I haven't received the car yet so I have plenty of leverage if they do.

 

The Fully charged youtube channel had a video where they suggested getting a fixed wired wall mounted charger with a type 2 outlet and then buying the cable to suit your car. A great suggestion if you want to try and future proof but I haven't found any suppliers of such chargers here and also the wall mounted ones I've seen are all pretty expensive. The advantage is you then have the same outlet as public slow chargers.

 


Yeah our sparky's going to fully upgrade our garage's circuit so that it can support a 32A wall charger, but for now we're just chucking in a caravan socket.  I think it's a good compromise between future proofing and hedging bets against what our future EVs will require.  I did consider a Type 2 wall charger w/ Type 1 adapter though.


huxtable
107 posts

Master Geek


  #2405791 24-Jan-2020 12:55
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Ok, so I'm about to take the plunge and get an EV for the first time. Just after a city runabout for the wife, who is getting increasingly eco-conscious... After initially looking for a Prius/Hybrid, a dealer talked us into taking a Leaf for a test drive, and we instantly fell in love with it.

 

So now we're just waiting for the right option to pop up in the lower South Island that ticks all of our boxes (ideally 2015, lowish km's / high SOH, 10SRS, reversing camera, nice colour, etc). There seem to be enough coming into the country that we shouldn't have to wait too long...

 

Anyway, I've had some contradictory opinions from otherwise helpful dealers, in regards to SOH.

 

One confidently told me that all Leafs batterys will degrade at an almost identical level (around 3.5%pa I think it was).

 

Some listings however will show higher SOH - say 93% for a 2014 model - and some of these listings even state the SOH is "overreading".

 

What should I be placing more importance on - age of car, or km on the speedo?

 

Any thoughts appreciated thanks!


duckInferno
89 posts

Master Geek


  #2406068 24-Jan-2020 14:07
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Km has almost no bearing on an EV compared for an ICE vehicle. They just don't wear the same way. A far better measurement to compare by is battery SOH.

In terms of battery degradation, there's a lot of FUD and anecdotal evidence that goes around. The only sure thing is that the first 10-15% will degrade at a somewhat faster rate before exponentially slowing down. But even that fast rate doesn't seem to be consistent. It could be anything from 1 to 4% per year. Extreme temps may be a factor in this.



jonathan18
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  #2406070 24-Jan-2020 14:10
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Well, SOH is clearly more complicated than solely being related to age. A perfect example: we have a 2013 Leaf, as does my sister; hers had done significantly more mileage when purchased compared to ours, yet her SOH was also significantly higher. This difference remains today, and indeed the gap's probably grown (ours lost a second bar towards the end of last year, after losing the first a few weeks after purchasing it a year prior; a few months ago hers was still on 12 bars).

 

A key difference between these two cars was the dominant method of charging: hers had been nearly all slow charges, whereas ours was nearly all fast charges. Whether that's the sole or primary contributor I don't know, but it's something to be mindful of.

 

The other thing is, given the purpose the car is going to be put to (you say 'a city runabout'), I wouldn't get too obsessed about this. Sure, our car is at 10 bars, and at full charge claims a range of 135 vs 150 when first purchased, but in the real world that affects us hardly ever (noting ours is used in a similar way - around town). I used to regularly check LeafSpy, and get somewhat depressed about any drop in SOH, but soon learned the best way to deal with it was to follow some basic principles of battery management and ignore the rest; it makes for a much more enjoyable ownership experience I find.

 

I don't know how much the market has changed since we bought ours, but I recall there were relatively very few Leafs with the full suite of airbags; noting it's two years on, and you're buying a car two years newer, it may be better, but if not you may want to think about which of those criteria you're flexible on. We weren't willing to compromise on that (airbags), as this car usually has the kids in it, so settled for a colour we didn't really love (another silver car!) and paying a slight premium for the additional airbags.

 

Another way of opening up your options is to be flexible as to where the car comes from; some companies will provide 'free' delivery, and even if you have to pay for delivery the savings from buying in a larger market (particularly Auckland or, if in the SI, Christchurch) can be significant (I think this applies across all cars, not yet EVs).


huxtable
107 posts

Master Geek


  #2406072 24-Jan-2020 14:12
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duckInferno: Km has almost no bearing on an EV compared for an ICE vehicle. They just don't wear the same way. A far better measurement to compare by is battery SOH.

In terms of battery degradation, there's a lot of FUD and anecdotal evidence that goes around. The only sure thing is that the first 10-15% will degrade at a somewhat faster rate before exponentially slowing down. But even that fast rate doesn't seem to be consistent. It could be anything from 1 to 4% per year. Extreme temps may be a factor in this.

 

Cheers. So how much faith/reliance would you place in the reported (verified from LeafSpy) SOH? Should I not concern myself too much by trying to compare two otherwise similar vehicles that have quite different SOH?


lowlyworm
26 posts

Geek


  #2406082 24-Jan-2020 14:31
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huxtable:

 

duckInferno: Km has almost no bearing on an EV compared for an ICE vehicle. They just don't wear the same way. A far better measurement to compare by is battery SOH.

In terms of battery degradation, there's a lot of FUD and anecdotal evidence that goes around. The only sure thing is that the first 10-15% will degrade at a somewhat faster rate before exponentially slowing down. But even that fast rate doesn't seem to be consistent. It could be anything from 1 to 4% per year. Extreme temps may be a factor in this.

 

Cheers. So how much faith/reliance would you place in the reported (verified from LeafSpy) SOH? Should I not concern myself too much by trying to compare two otherwise similar vehicles that have quite different SOH?

 

 

We have a 2014 LEAF.  It came to us with a 94% SOH, but settled on 96%+ once we'd had it for a while.  Weird. NB: We don't ordinarily fast charge at all.

 

2 years and 23,000kms have gone by and it's still at 96%.

 

Except that we went on a North Island road trip over Christmas/New Year just gone.  With lots of fast charges the SOH got up to 99.03%.

 

Anyway... These days I would talk stats (from https://flipthefleet.org/) to the dealer and agree what would be an unacceptable SOH fall over the first 6 months or year, etc.  I'm not sure how that would go of course.

 

PS:

 

I know we outliers with our SOH.  Maybe the extra airbags we have are to blame. ;)


Dugimodo
168 posts

Master Geek


  #2406088 24-Jan-2020 14:37
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I bought my leaf from a regular ICE car dealer, but I wish I had got it from the guys at Hamilton EVs. They have been really helpful to me and showed me all the things to watch for. They also updated my dash to english and sold me an english user manual and stickers and a spare wheel and all very reasonble in price too.

 

 

 

So to pass on that wisdom:

 

Check you have a NZ compliant charger

 

Check the front Suspension bolts are not rusted or swimming in water, get a cover for them if not supplied. (under the bonnet, plastic grills snap out at each side near the corner of the windscreen) This is a minor design flaw but can become an issue if not dealt with.

 

Consider getting a spare wheel if you will travel out of town in it (trust me you use it once and it's paid for itself)

 

Get the current battery SOH 

 

If you can live with shorter range set the charge limit to 80% and your battery should last slightly better over time.

 

 

 

The bars on the dash can be reset back to 12 by dodgy importers or dealers but won't stay there long if it's not the real reading. Using leaf spy is more accurate. Mine was on 11 bars and 82% when I got it 6 months ago and is now down to 80%. Does around 120km city driving and about 100km on the open road. I charge it once a week and commute 20km a day round trip to work and back . Probably fast charge too much because it's hard to pass up free power at the supermarket.


huxtable
107 posts

Master Geek


  #2406110 24-Jan-2020 14:49
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jonathan18:

 

Well, SOH is clearly more complicated than solely being related to age. A perfect example: we have a 2013 Leaf, as does my sister; hers had done significantly more mileage when purchased compared to ours, yet her SOH was also significantly higher. This difference remains today, and indeed the gap's probably grown (ours lost a second bar towards the end of last year, after losing the first a few weeks after purchasing it a year prior; a few months ago hers was still on 12 bars).

 

A key difference between these two cars was the dominant method of charging: hers had been nearly all slow charges, whereas ours was nearly all fast charges. Whether that's the sole or primary contributor I don't know, but it's something to be mindful of.

 

The other thing is, given the purpose the car is going to be put to (you say 'a city runabout'), I wouldn't get too obsessed about this. Sure, our car is at 10 bars, and at full charge claims a range of 135 vs 150 when first purchased, but in the real world that affects us hardly ever (noting ours is used in a similar way - around town). I used to regularly check LeafSpy, and get somewhat depressed about any drop in SOH, but soon learned the best way to deal with it was to follow some basic principles of battery management and ignore the rest; it makes for a much more enjoyable ownership experience I find.

 

I don't know how much the market has changed since we bought ours, but I recall there were relatively very few Leafs with the full suite of airbags; noting it's two years on, and you're buying a car two years newer, it may be better, but if not you may want to think about which of those criteria you're flexible on. We weren't willing to compromise on that (airbags), as this car usually has the kids in it, so settled for a colour we didn't really love (another silver car!) and paying a slight premium for the additional airbags.

 

Another way of opening up your options is to be flexible as to where the car comes from; some companies will provide 'free' delivery, and even if you have to pay for delivery the savings from buying in a larger market (particularly Auckland or, if in the SI, Christchurch) can be significant (I think this applies across all cars, not yet EVs).

 

 

Thanks for this detailed response. I think it confirms my line of thinking, which is really not to get too caught up in the SOH number.

 

We'll likely just be slow charging it in our garage - it will probably be averaging around 20km per day,  (I'veseen conflicting debates about whether to simply charge to 100% every night, or always keep it in 20-80% range, or just charge every ~3rd night...) We do want to make an effort to maintain battery as well as we can over the next few years, although again I don't want to get too obsessive about something that might have negligible impact over time.

 

Yes, only around 15% of Leafs listed seem to have full airbags, but there's still enough around that we could pick one out straight away if required. We just got it a little good with the one we took for a test drive, that was a fully kitted out G model including full airbags, at a price that was about $2k cheaper than comparable listings - alas, that car sold later that afternoon!


paulchinnz
Circumspice
780 posts

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  #2406115 24-Jan-2020 15:02
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Per jonathan18, the history of type of charging is probably important e.g. I'd stay away from a Leaf battery that has been quick charged every 80 km, even if the reported SOH is 90%. Amount of QC is not the only thing that's important re battery health, but something to keep in mind.


kelly42
44 posts

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  #2406122 24-Jan-2020 15:21
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I'm curious: what is roadside assistance like for EVs if you run out of charge? Is there anything the AA can do, or do they just tow you (on a flatbed)?


Ge0rge
1764 posts

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  #2406129 24-Jan-2020 15:24
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kelly42:

I'm curious: what is roadside assistance like for EVs if you run out of charge? Is there anything the AA can do, or do they just tow you (on a flatbed)?



Diesel generator towed behind their diesel ute - you get to decide if you want to stand by your principles to not use fossil fuels, or get a quick charge

;)

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