Just bought a Leaf!

The web's first forum dedicated to Nissan's groundbreaking electric car, the Nissan Leaf.
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float_6969
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Just bought a Leaf!

Postby float_6969 » Sun Mar 28, 2021 8:15 am

2015 SV w/QC and Bose audio system, 13,500 miles 87.7% SOH.
160267450_3879760068736977_8481202788842860195_o.jpg
I just got a bluetooth OBD adapter and got Leafspy. The 12v battery wasn't doing well, so I just replaced it with a 12v Lithium. Planning on tinting the windows next. Otherwise, I'm just enjoying it! I just changed my rate plan with my electrical company to a variable rate so I can save money charging during off-peak hours. I'm still getting a feel for how many kWh I'll be using a month, but I'm guessing I'll be spending about $5/month in electricity! I was spending easily 5 times that much in the same amount of time.

Any suggestions as to other things I should do? I've heard leaving it plugged in for long periods of time with the main battery full can run the 12v battery dead. I thought about trying to add a trickle charger to the car, but I don't know how long it has to be plugged in like that to run the battery down?


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VStar650CL
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Re: Just bought a Leaf!

Postby VStar650CL » Sun Mar 28, 2021 8:56 am

You might want to consider putting a Plugless on your garage floor:

https://www.pluglesspower.com/

We've installed two units and both customers were very pleased. It's a slick setup that will cut itself off when done and avoids any need to plug in at home. You just park over it like putting your phone in a wireless dock. The install has to be done by a Leaf-qualified dealer but it isn't very difficult and Plugless can arrange it for you. Nice company, very nice product.

As far as the 12V battery, don't let it go dead because jump-starting a Leaf isn't as straightforward as a gas engine. When the 12V batt gets down into "Never-Never Land" around 9V, the charge and motor controllers can throw a hodge-podge of codes that can disable the vehicle till they're cleared. Any old trickle charger is fine for garage use. You'll also need a Leaf-specific code reader if you want to do your own erasures, the Leaf is OBD-exempt and speaks its own unique CAN language.

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VStar650CL
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Re: Just bought a Leaf!

Postby VStar650CL » Sun Mar 28, 2021 9:09 am

VStar650CL wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 8:56 am
You'll also need a Leaf-specific code reader if you want to do your own erasures, the Leaf is OBD-exempt and speaks its own unique CAN language.
Strike that, I missed that you already have Leaf Spy. Enjoy!

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float_6969
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Re: Just bought a Leaf!

Postby float_6969 » Sun Mar 28, 2021 12:00 pm

VStar650CL wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 8:56 am
You might want to consider putting a Plugless on your garage floor:

https://www.pluglesspower.com/

We've installed two units and both customers were very pleased. It's a slick setup that will cut itself off when done and avoids any need to plug in at home. You just park over it like putting your phone in a wireless dock. The install has to be done by a Leaf-qualified dealer but it isn't very difficult and Plugless can arrange it for you. Nice company, very nice product.

As far as the 12V battery, don't let it go dead because jump-starting a Leaf isn't as straightforward as a gas engine. When the 12V batt gets down into "Never-Never Land" around 9V, the charge and motor controllers can throw a hodge-podge of codes that can disable the vehicle till they're cleared. Any old trickle charger is fine for garage use. You'll also need a Leaf-specific code reader if you want to do your own erasures, the Leaf is OBD-exempt and speaks its own unique CAN language.
The car is currently parked outside, but I'm planning on building a detached garage in '23, and I should be able to start parking it inside then. Does the inductive charger have a way to limit charging percentage? I'd like to limit charging to 80% to lengthen battery life.

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Re: Just bought a Leaf!

Postby VStar650CL » Sun Mar 28, 2021 1:14 pm

float_6969 wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 12:00 pm
Does the inductive charger have a way to limit charging percentage? I'd like to limit charging to 80% to lengthen battery life.
The car determines that, the control module in the Plugless talks to it just like a plug-in charger.

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Re: Just bought a Leaf!

Postby float_6969 » Sun Mar 28, 2021 1:38 pm

Mine doesn't have a SOC limit. It's only time based.

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Re: Just bought a Leaf!

Postby VStar650CL » Sun Mar 28, 2021 4:06 pm

float_6969 wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 1:38 pm
Mine doesn't have a SOC limit. It's only time based.
That surprises me on an SV, I thought only the early S models lacked the charge cutoff. But here in Little Rock we have fewer than a dozen Leaf customers, so I'll hardly claim to have seen everything. It wouldn't surprise me if the Plugless had that capability, it's an extremely clever system. I'm sure the people at Plugless support can answer you about it, they're quite nice and the ones I spoke with were all very knowledgeable.

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Re: Just bought a Leaf!

Postby PapaSmurf2k3 » Sun Mar 28, 2021 7:44 pm

Yeah if you get a feel for how quickly it charges, I'd imagine you could just put it on any old timer, as long as its using the 120V charger and not something with more balls.
Also, could use one of those little solar panels to keep the 12V guy up if you're parking it outside.

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Re: Just bought a Leaf!

Postby VStar650CL » Sun Mar 28, 2021 9:08 pm

PapaSmurf2k3 wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 7:44 pm
Yeah if you get a feel for how quickly it charges, I'd imagine you could just put it on any old timer, as long as its using the 120V charger and not something with more balls.
Also, could use one of those little solar panels to keep the 12V guy up if you're parking it outside.
The solar trickle charger for the 12V is a great suggestion, Papa. Now that you mention it, I installed a lighter socket connected direct to battery on a '13 for just that purpose, the owner got frustrated after being towed in for "duh" codes after an unsuccessful jumpstart. He just parked it with a south facing and tossed the panel up on the dash, as far as I know it worked well for him.

Regular appliance timers will work okay with the 120V charger, but the timer needs to be a good one that can handle the high current draw. Nissan even posted a bulletin specific to the 120V chargers about people burning up the plugs with poor connections to the house socket. Not that it's fatal to the charger, any good electrician can cut off the bad plug and put on a new one, but Nissan won't warranty that. Still, the SOC cutoff is much less hassle for vehicles that have it. I did think about building a gizmo that would cut off house juice to the charger by optically monitoring the flashy-lights on top of the dash, killing it about an hour after the third lamp went blinky. Trouble was it would have needed UL approval to interface with house wiring. It could have also been done by interrupting the security circuit that tells the car the charger plug is fully seated, but that could have had product liability consequences if it failed and stranded people with an unchargeable car. So I never built it.

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Re: Just bought a Leaf!

Postby float_6969 » Mon Mar 29, 2021 5:41 am

An appliance timer wouldn't be needed as there is time based charging with the Leaf (ie; charge only between 11p-6a). But I can't tell it to charge to 80% and then turn off. I know there is some 2-way communication with the L2 charger, but I didn't know if SOC was in that data so the charger could shut off at a certain level. Anyway, I'm not hugely worried about it, was just curious.

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Re: Just bought a Leaf!

Postby PapaSmurf2k3 » Mon Mar 29, 2021 5:57 am

Yeah, I would think you can get pretty darn close though, right? Within 2 or 3 percent.

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Re: Just bought a Leaf!

Postby VStar650CL » Mon Mar 29, 2021 6:08 am

float_6969 wrote:
Mon Mar 29, 2021 5:41 am
I know there is some 2-way communication with the L2 charger, but I didn't know if SOC was in that data so the charger could shut off at a certain level. Anyway, I'm not hugely worried about it, was just curious.
SOC is always available on CAN and I think the Nissan Connect interface allows you to start and stop charging, so I wonder if you couldn't adapt Leaf Spy for that and have it notify you when SOC hits 80%. I'll be surprised if no one has come up with a workaround, it isn't like the available data, communication and switching are different on models with and without SOC cutoff.

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Re: Just bought a Leaf!

Postby float_6969 » Tue Mar 30, 2021 8:19 am

I've done some digging and that kind of information isn't available over the J1771 protocol. Basically the only information sent over that protocol is that it's plugged in, and how many watts the station can supply. So any charge termination would need to happen on the car side of things.

I thought I found a charger that would communicate with the vehicle over the cell network, but it looks like it's only available in the UK. So the technology is there, it's just not in the US yet.

Someone else said there was a way to tell the car what time you wanted it full and it would decide when to start charging. They found out that it almost always hit right around 80% 2 hours before it finished. So he set his EVSE to shut off 2 hours before that. So his example was to tell the car to be full at 8am, but he'd tell the EVSE to stop charing at 6am. He would very reliably have right around 80% charge doing that. I THINK his was a ZE1 though, and I'm not sure if I have that kind of charge timer on my AZE0. I'm going to do some digging later and find out.


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