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  Reply # 1625320 7-Sep-2016 23:34
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Thanks Scott - just spent the night scanning trademe ads and have pretty much figured out the various options I think. The big one for me is the *S* has the replaceable head unit. The one I drove today was an S with an after-market head unit and it was pretty slick. I think I would find a Japanese unit very annoying. The only other alternative is a UK version but they seem to be a little more expensive and not as common.


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  Reply # 1625450 8-Sep-2016 09:54
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SumnerBoy:

 

Thanks Scott - just spent the night scanning trademe ads and have pretty much figured out the various options I think. The big one for me is the *S* has the replaceable head unit. The one I drove today was an S with an after-market head unit and it was pretty slick. I think I would find a Japanese unit very annoying. The only other alternative is a UK version but they seem to be a little more expensive and not as common.

 

 

Indeed, thanks for that breakdown of the various Japanese models; I'm in the same boat, in that I'm willing to miss out on (most of) the features of the higher spec'd models to gain the ability to have the stereo etc in English, and with NZ maps. Are there S-spec cars with NZ-replaced units that also have reversing cameras installed?

 

Steel wheels also seem a backwards step (aesthetically), but I'd imagine there are also S-spec models with alloys...

 

Does the heat pump heater make a significant difference to range over the standard heater in the S-spec models?

 

My kids will be happy as long as the rear seat is heated - they're jealous of my car in that they miss out on warm seats in the rear.


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  Reply # 1625506 8-Sep-2016 11:07
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@Sumnerboy.
OEMAudio in Sydenham were really helpful when I talked to them about aftermarket head units. They don't have anything specific showing on their website for the Leaf, but are experts on what is possible.




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  Reply # 1626075 8-Sep-2016 21:25
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Thanks @Dingbatt - that is the guy who I took a test drive with actually - he was telling me all about his side business with the head units. Very cool stuff. I am looking into possibly importing direct from Japan (just figuring out if it is worth it) but will definitely be using them if I do.

 

Anyone know if there is anything I need to do in terms of voltages etc when importing from Japan? Is it just a matter of buying a NZ EVSE charger (i.e. one of the JuicePoint 8amp chargers)? Or does something need to be converted in the car itself as well?


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  Reply # 1626798 9-Sep-2016 22:54
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I am the proud owner of a 2014 Leaf Gen 2 *S*. Currently in the garage charging on the JuicePoint charger supplied by the dealer. Pretty nifty little app that comes with that - got it setup to only charge between 9pm-7am when I have cheap rates. I haven't had a chance to play around in the car itself yet but do need to adjust the time. Any pointers on where to attack that?!


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  Reply # 1626807 10-Sep-2016 00:04
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SumnerBoy:

 

Anyone know if there is anything I need to do in terms of voltages etc when importing from Japan? Is it just a matter of buying a NZ EVSE charger (i.e. one of the JuicePoint 8amp chargers)? Or does something need to be converted in the car itself as well?

 

 

The Charger itself is mounted in the car (in the boot of gen 1, and under the hood of the gen2), and is compatible with NZ voltages. (It's a multi voltage unit)

 

 

 

In terms of the charge cords (EVSE), the factory unit for the Gen 1 Japanese leaf's required internal modification (swap out the transformer that generates the low voltage for the pilot signals) or it will fail quickly in NZ. The cord with the Gen2 car's seem to work fine here without any internal modifications.

 

Both of the Factory (japan) cords will tell the car to draw about 13 Amps. Too much for a 10 Amp NZ standard domestic plug. As such the plug needs to be swapped out. A 16A Campground plug is normally used. Avoid 15A plug (looks like normal plug with bigger earth, common on welders), while rated for a continuous 15A load, people have had issues with them overheating.

 

Note that the Japan cords have a temperature probe in plug (to cut out the car if the plug overheats). This will either need to be spoofed with a resistor, or the plug smashed carefully without damaging the probe.

 

Technically the japan cords are illegal to sell here due them being labeled as for 200V. (we use 230V)

 

 

 

Easiest solution is to do as you have, and buy a NZ cord.

 

The 8A cords are fine, you can charge at any outlet (avoid ones with really old wiring). It will restrict your car to a 1.8kW charge rate, half of what the japanese cars are capable of. (still fast enough to charge overnight, so no problem for some people)

 

Some people choose to have a fixed charge cord (EVSE) installed where they park, either for convenience, or for faster charging rate. (often in addition to a portable cord that lives in the car)

 

 

 

The Nissan Leaf's have a built in charge timer (set target finish time to something like 5:45am, and the car will work out it's own start time based on battery state), they also have a cabin precondition / preheat timer so you can have your car warm before you get in in the morning.

 

 

 

SumnerBoy:

 

I am the proud owner of a 2014 Leaf Gen 2 *S*. Currently in the garage charging on the JuicePoint charger supplied by the dealer. Pretty nifty little app that comes with that - got it setup to only charge between 9pm-7am when I have cheap rates. I haven't had a chance to play around in the car itself yet but do need to adjust the time. Any pointers on where to attack that?!

 

 

 

 

Re the clock in the dash, Check out this video

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VU4QBfZ3NA

 

Try out real time google translate on your smartphone for the japanese on the screen.

 

 

 

Let us know how you like the car.


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  Reply # 1626853 10-Sep-2016 08:37
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Is there any way to get the Japanese display switched to English?




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  Reply # 1626858 10-Sep-2016 09:01
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SumnerBoy:

 

I am the proud owner of a 2014 Leaf Gen 2 *S*. Currently in the garage charging on the JuicePoint charger supplied by the dealer. Pretty nifty little app that comes with that - got it setup to only charge between 9pm-7am when I have cheap rates. I haven't had a chance to play around in the car itself yet but do need to adjust the time. Any pointers on where to attack that?!

 

 

Cool - enjoy! What's the SOH on it? The range on mine in the past week feels like ~10-20% less with the cold weather (daily commute mostly on Wairakei Rd/Fendalton Ave), let us know if you notice a difference later this week when it's meant to be warmer.


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  Reply # 1626882 10-Sep-2016 10:01
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CYaBro: Is there any way to get the Japanese display switched to English?

 

In the Japanese "S" leaf it is easy to swap out the stereo head unit for an english one. After that is done the only japanese remaining is on the screen in the dash (instrument cluster screen), it is fairly minimal, Once you have the clock set, (and if wanted - the preheat & charge timers set), there is not much text here (just a notice to put foot on brake to start, and two levels of low charge state warning)

 

It is possible to convert to english by swapping out all the screen's, and a bunch of buttons with one's salvaged from a USA wreck. A user here (RUKI) imported a set (for the higher spec leaf's which have headunits integrated with climate control etc.), and listed it on trademe (since expired) - I think the cost of parts runs around $2k. I don't think anybody has managed to do it in software for the leaf, everything is locked down hard by nissan.

 

 

 

Easiest route to get a car all in english is to get one originally from the UK, not from japan, seems more people care about slightly lower cost for the car's from japan than having everything in english.

 

 

 

[EDIT] Watch out for "G" and "X" spec Leaf's where dealers have swapped the integrated screen for a NZ head unit. You completely loose functionality including charge timer, and car preheat timer (only "S" spec level handles these functions in the instrument cluster, allowing the stereo head unit to be swapped without any loss of functionality)




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  Reply # 1626992 10-Sep-2016 14:32
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SumnerBoy:

 

It was still at a full 12/12. The guy had replaced the head unit with an after-market unit - has NZ radio, NZ maps, reversing camera, BT etc. Climate control is all by dials and knobs below. The only Japanese you see is in the dash display in certain screens.

 

 

NZ nav was added? Nice touch. Who is doing that? (Car vendor, I mean - a one-off or some one importing and adding value?) 





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  Reply # 1626997 10-Sep-2016 14:42
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jonathan18:

 

 

 

Indeed, thanks for that breakdown of the various Japanese models; I'm in the same boat, in that I'm willing to miss out on (most of) the features of the higher spec'd models to gain the ability to have the stereo etc in English, and with NZ maps. Are there S-spec cars with NZ-replaced units that also have reversing cameras installed?

 

 

My 2015 Model S has a reversing camara installed. It's very "fisheye", which is good because you can back up to within 15-20cm of another vehicle and see that you're not touching. Watch the corners of your vehicle, of course.....they poke out. :-)  





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  Reply # 1627001 10-Sep-2016 14:47
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SumnerBoy:

 

Thanks @Dingbatt - that is the guy who I took a test drive with actually - he was telling me all about his side business with the head units. Very cool stuff. I am looking into possibly importing direct from Japan (just figuring out if it is worth it) but will definitely be using them if I do.

 

Anyone know if there is anything I need to do in terms of voltages etc when importing from Japan? Is it just a matter of buying a NZ EVSE charger (i.e. one of the JuicePoint 8amp chargers)? Or does something need to be converted in the car itself as well?

 

My Japan EVSE was modded and it charges at 16amps. This makes a real difference vs 8 amps as it cuts charging time in half. That may not matter over night, but it makes a difference on the weekend when you go out to a local "country market" in the morning (or whereever) and they go home (on about 25% remaining) for a couple of hours to do other stuff..... before heading out for kids sports or whatever....and in that 2 hours a 16amp  EVSE can add 25% to your battery, but an 8amp will only add 12%. I know you might think "Oh, I won't really need to do that...." but once you're driven the LEAF for a while you tend to find you don't want to drive anything else.......and being able to give the car quick boost and head out again just makes life simpler.

 

 





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  Reply # 1627003 10-Sep-2016 14:50
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CYaBro: Is there any way to get the Japanese display switched to English?

 

I saw a Facebook post a couple of weeks back that showed you how to flash your Japan dash firmware with a US version. There will probably be cautions and caveats....I'll see if I can find the post (ie: Google it). :-)  





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  Reply # 1627005 10-Sep-2016 14:55
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SumnerBoy:

 

I am the proud owner of a 2014 Leaf Gen 2 *S*. Currently in the garage charging on the JuicePoint charger supplied by the dealer. Pretty nifty little app that comes with that - got it setup to only charge between 9pm-7am when I have cheap rates. I haven't had a chance to play around in the car itself yet but do need to adjust the time. Any pointers on where to attack that?!

 

 

Great! I'm sure you'll really enjoy it. It's a different way of driving and I've found the brain and related habits need some re-training. :-) 

 

I've learned a few things about driving to conserve power. Let me know how you go and what you see for yourself....and I'm more than happy to share. I won't dump it on you now though. Get your head around it. It's a great experience learning how to work both your car and how to re-wire your own driving habits.

 

 





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  Reply # 1627024 10-Sep-2016 16:22
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On Thursday I drove my 2015 Model S LEAF from Auckland -> Thames -> Tauranga -> Rotorua -> Hamilton -> Auckland.....on the same day. The opening of the new fast chargers in Thames last week and Rotorua this week meant it now possible to do this trip on the same day as you can charge up fast enough between each leg to keep moving in a timely way. 

I left just after 5am. It was about 9C in Auckland. I arrived in Thames, at the public library, just after 6am on about 16%. The nominal distance is 108km. It was 5C in Thames.

At the new charge.net.nz fast charger in Thames, I charged up to 95% (35 mins) and headed to Bayfair Mall in Tauranga. It's 119km. But by the time I got to Kopu, only 6km later, my battery had dropped to 90%. Hmm. So I stopped in at the Kopu Cafe and they have a 30amp charger you can use for $2.50/hour. My Model S can only use 16amp of that (3.3-ishkw AC charger), so to get from 90% to 98% should only take me about 40 minutes. The flat white was great. On 98% I took off for Tauranga. It was light by then....and the traffic was very light as it was still only around 7:30am.

As i often do when going somewhere I've never been before that's over 100km away, I drove very conservatively along SH26 to Paeroa. I've worked out a "one dot" mode that seems to be extremely efficient with battery power. Basically, to get moving you press the accelerator just enough to get power use to one dot right of the mod-dot. On a flat or slightly inclined road this will get you to about 75kph...slowly, but surely. Say within about 45 seconds. Not traffic around, it doesn't matter. If it's flat, you can carry on to the point where the growing wind resistance matches the power being added and you stop accelerating.....but still only drawing one dot. The road may dip....and you'll go faster than one dot....and that's gravity being your friend. When the road rises again you'll be doing maybe 95 kph....and stay on one dot and your momentum carries up up the incline...some or all of the way. I kept just doing this. On that road, this got over most of the rises and falls while drawing minimal power. The actual distance travelled plus the GOM (Guess o meter on the dash) kept creeping higher and higher. At one point it looks like I would be able to do well over 200km on a charge if I carried on like that. But NZ isn't flat, so occasionally I'd hit a higher hill or steeper incline and have to increase the power to two dots to maintain a safe highways speed (75kph or higher, IMHO). Two dots actually get you over 90% of the smaller hills....and even on the bigger ones you'll get a long way up before your speed falls to 75kph (unless it's pretty steep)....and you then have to go to three dots......and no more......I very rarely had to go to 4 dots on that highway.....one or two was enough with the occasional 3.

From time to time someone roars up behind and, if possible, I would pull over at the crest of hill to let them pass. I can then see in front and behind to resume...and starting is more efficient as I'm going downhill to get up to speed. Even just a little bit helps.

 

By the time I got to Paeroa, my GOM plus actual was just over 180km....and I only needed 119km. So I relaxed a bit. There wasn't going to be a problem here. I did keep applying the one-dot method, but also wasn't a pest on the road by driving slow.

 

There are caravan chargers (16amps) in Paeroa, Katikait and Te Puna, so had I found myself short of power I could have pulled over in any of those and charged for 30 mins or an hour - whatever might have been required to fill the gap. But there was no gap. This was just as well because the chargers in between Thames and Mt Maunganui open in reverse order when coming from Thames. The Paeroa public charger doesn't open until after 08:30am. The motel in Katikato doesn't open until after 09:30am. The Te Puna charger opens at 8am....but it's the furthest away.

I needn't have worried. I arrived at Bayfair Mall on 22% and my actual + GOM was 119.5km + 41km for a total of 160.5km. The trip was only 119km....so I had loads to spare.

I charged up to 95% at Bayfair Mall and then went to mother-in-law's house in Greerton. It was the the day before her 91st birthday, so had bought a wee cake and some biscuits at the Mall. Driving from Bayfair Mall in Mt Maunganui eats about 10% of your battery for some reason. I arrived in Greerton on about 85%. 

 

I was there about 90 minutes and during that time I charged up from a normal power point in her garage. That got me to 98% for my trip to Rotorua.

 

The distance between Bayfair Mall (if you don't have an alternative power source in Tauranga) and the Haupapa St Carpark Rapid charger in Rotorua is about 68.4km. Easily do-able in the Gen 2 LEAF almost no matter how you drive...so I hoofed it a wee bit. No worrying about dots on this leg. I had more than double the amount of power needed.....and I could charge up again on arrival.

There are two steep gorge roads on SH36. The Mangorewa and the Mangapouri. They eat your battery for a while as you go up, then when you come back down again the regeneration gives a lot of it back. On this leg, no worries. Power to burn. 

When I got to Rotorua, I didn't really note where my battery or GOM were. I went the Whakarewarewa "Living Village" tourist attraction. I'd been to the geyser end of it several times, but had not been back to the village since the big falling out a decade or so back and the two became separate attractions. I thought I would charge up for the leg to the WEL charger at Te Rapa on my way out of town after I had seen whatever I wanted to see. 

I got to the Haupapa St Carpark around 4pm. I drover past it a couple of times trying to spot the new fast charger, but trees and tall SUVs and signs (and my desire not to run into anything) meant I had to go by a couple of times to work out where the entrance was....and then having entered, locating the charger. It's obvious enough once you're in the flat, open carpark....but not so obvious from the street.

I'd just pulled up and then a another LEAF pulled up next to me at the charger. I hadn't even had time to turn my car off. The other driver was "Kenya", who posts in the NZ EV Owners Facebook group sometimes, and she lives locally. She had at least one child in the car with her...and her Gen 1 LEAF needed to charge up so she could get home. No problem....we talked about LEAFs and chargers and other stuff during the 20 minutes it took her to charge up, then off she went I started charging. I was on about 46%, I think, so it wasn't going to take long. I waundered off and got a coffee and found a toilet. I also got some gold coins as I noticed the fast charger was free (until February) but there was nothing saying the parking was free. I needn't have bothered as the parking ticket vending machine was broken anyway.

While I was there finishing my charge (the last 20% is much slower) some people (Nigel, Ethan, Alex and Danny) arrived from Unison Power (It's their charger) with a camera and another LEAF. They were going to do a promo video and asked if I'd mind being interviewed as part of the video.

 

No Problem. They took soe photos, asked some questions about my trip underway.....and we talked for a few minutes until I reached 95%. Talking to others who are passionate about EVs is a great way to pass the time. :-)  

 

Then I left. By now it was about 5pm and it hailed briefly as waited to pull out of Tutanakei St. It didn't last long and I headed north toward SH5 to go to Tirau to join SH1. The distance to WEL at Te Rapa is 116km. 

This is where it got a bit interesting. My GOM showed me as having 165km. Great. I only need 116km. 

But the road from Rotorua to Tirau rises quite a bit as it goes...and just keep going up and up. After only 17.5km, my GOM showed 99kms remaining. That's 116.5km total....and I needed 116 absolute-battery-dead-mimumum. The hill was still climbing. I'd only just started out! 

I dropped back to 75kph and pulled over for everything that came along. I stuck to the one or two dot 'rule' as much as possible. I was doing everything I could to climb that hill using as little power as possible. I'd done my homework and knew than Rotorua is 280m above sea level and Hamilton is only 40m above sea level...so at SOME point the road go downhil instead of uphill. So I carried on......but with care. 

 

Eventually, I reached the summit of the road...and it flattaned out a bit. The one-dot rule began to see the GOM 'stick' on 99km remain as I carried on. The actual+GOM total was slowly rising....and moving steadily away from the jaw-clenching 116.5. I pulled over to let a few car pass who had been approaching from behind...and behind them was a BIG truck. Awesome....something to break the wind for me. From here, the road started to fall steadily and I was trailing the truck at a safe distance....and the GOM kept going up and up while my battery fell very, very slowly. At one point I realised I had done over 15km for only 2% of battery.....a rate that would see my LEAF doing an incredible 700km per charge if I was able to drive downhill for all of that way behind a big truck. :-)  

Life isn't that good....but it was good enough. 

The truck turned off toward Tauranga just before Tirau. I had a pie and a rest in Tirau and waited for a big truck to pass. It was now about 6pm. The Sun was getting very low. 

A few minutes later a big truck slowly went by...and I pulled out behind it toward Hamilton. Our speed was such that the one-dot rule served me well as I rolled along about 40m behind the truck. That's about 9-10 car lengths...and certainly safe enough. I can stop a lot faster than the truck can if I need to. 

I arrived at WEL in Te Rapa at 6:43pm. The distance covered was 116.8km and the GOM showed 35km (total 151.8km) remaining with 21% battery. That was MUCH better than the miserable 116.5km A+G total on the way up the hill from Rotorua! 

 

It was dark now and very windy from the south. There are no open cafes (or any other thing) near the fast charger at WEL, so I just sat in my car for half an hour. I know from several trips all I needed to get home form there was about 85%. I charged to 90% and left. 

The southerly seemed to really help me as I headed north toward Auckland. The one-dot rule was easy to follow most of the time....though I did throw all caution to winds from Hill Rd in Manurewa, where the 80km limit ends after the roadworks underway there. I got home on about 16%.....

 

Job done! Auckland, Thames, Tauranga, Rotorua, Hamilton and back.....in the same day in my LEAF. Plus I wished my Mother-in-law a happy 91st and visited the Living Village at Whakarewarewa. 

Last week, this wasn't possible to do on the same day. At risk of being a bit melodramatic, I felt myself at the dawn of new era of fast(er) EV travel around NZ - even in a humble Nissan LEAF.   

 





  


   





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