LOCAL ELECTRIC NEWS
WE CANCEL OUR LEAF RESERVATION - [sniff, sniff...:( ]
------ Forwarded Message
From: Bryn Deamer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 11 Dec 2010 12:34:45 -0800
To: Nissan Electric Vehicle Customer Support <email@example.com>
Conversation: Letting our reservation go.
Subject: Re: Letting our reservation go.
I found the link and with deep regret cancelled our reservation.
Best of luck to Nissan – I will follow the developments with great interest.
On 12/10/10 9:31 AM, "Nissan Electric Vehicle Customer Support" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Dear Bryn Deamer,
Thank you for taking the time to personally contact us about your interest in the Nissan Electric Vehicle.
Friends, After our test drive at SF, and further discussions with the product expert, it became apparent that the Leaf would not be able to cope with the long distance, high-speed, hilly commute we need it for - especially in winter with the heater/demister on. So I regret to advise that we must relinquish our place in the queue and request our reservation deposit refunded. We sincerely hope that future generations of the vehicle with as yet undeveloped battery technology will allow us to go all electric with you. warm regards, Bryn Deamer, http://www.biofuelsofmarin.com
We are sorry to hear that you want to cancel your reservation for the Nissan LEAF. To cancel your reservation please login to the Nissan LEAF website and click on "my account" to access your reservation information. From there you will see a link that states "how to cancel a reservation". Your $99 reservation fee will be automatically returned to you in about 3 business days from when you cancel.
We appreciate your time, and encourage you to share our contact details with friends and family. For your convenience, we can be reached:
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Nov 27, 2010: Just got our initial sales email from Nissan:
Ralph Palma, Internet Sales Consultant, Hanlees Hilltop Nissan sent me an email. So I responded with a long email outlying my woes as expressed in the exchanges under. I ended by saying that it looks like we'll be relinqishing our spot on the wait-list - unless her is a super salesman and can pull something out of his hat.
But it is not 100% lost yet - Sherna is going to check out the charging situation in Martinez because having the car fully charged for the return trip would go a long way to giving her peace of mind. Of course, she does ask what happens if the power goes out in Martinez during a storm, and she cannot charge it fully.
Nov 20, 2010: Bummer!
I posted this on the Nisan Leaf Face book page last night at 10 pm
We just had our test drive. We are really glad we did - we wanted to be blown away and excited by owning our first ever new car - but in our all too brief time behind the wheel, we learned that Sherna's commute - 64 miles per day with 2/3 of that distance at around 70-75 mph, and 4 miles of long up and down hill with either the AC or the heater on, would drop the range to around 60 miles - when the battery is new. If, as happens every year, there is an accident on HWY 4 and she has crawl along on a hot summer day with the AC on to stay cool she is not going to make it home. Sure, she can turn the AC off and swelter - but at this stage of her life she is not willing to do that. So we have to let it go.. Sigh - She is considered in statistical terms and "outlier" 90% of American commute less than 40 mile a day - 64 mile would be in range at 55 mph with no major mountains to cross and in perfect weather.
So I guess we'll have to keep our old 1985 MB 300D running on Bio-diesel for a few more years until the technology matures for the masses.
I'm sooo disappointed.
And got this thoughtful reply:
Bryn. Saw your comment about the leaf. Just wait a bit before making a purchase decision.
I bet it could do 64 miles + 4 miles of inclines and declines with no problem. If she knew it was a hot or cold day, she could just switch the car into eco-mode so then the climate control system won't take as much energy.
And let me tell you, it takes very little energy to keep the cabin cool in the summer(maybe up to 1,500 watts), versus a whole bunch of energy (up to 5,000 watts or so) to heat the cabin in the winter because it just has a resistive heater, not a heatpump.
So in the summer she wouldn't have to worry about staying comfortable vs range. Its not a big issue unless she is in crappy traffic for a long long time. It would have a drain of around 4-5% battery power per hour of strong AC usage.
But with the heater, strong usage, it would use maybe 20% battery power per hour.
And remember the eco-mode, it not only adjusts the throttle response and regenerative braking but also cuts down the climate control power.
With the hills, if she is careful to not use the physical brakes on the down slopes and purely regen, then alot of that energy will be recaptured. Ecomode would help with that (more default regen with foot off the gas and not on brake) and also the power gauge on the dash.
Sorry about the long message but I hope this helps!
to which I just responded:
Thanks Daniel - but I think it is a lost cause because my wife had a gut reaction to firstly seeing the range estimate drop from 105 miles on the dash board to 64 miles when the AC was turned on, then again to the suggestion that eco mode could be used to reduce the power by adjusting the acceleration and top speed. After 26 years of marriage I know her. No amount of cerebral discussion about switching between modes at different parts of the trip will change her mind once the fear factor kicks in.
And what she is justifiably afraid of is having to conserve power on eco mode and not be able to use full power to get out of the way of, and keep up with, the 16 wheelers barreling down into the valley at 70 - 75 MPH in an attempt to get as far up the the 3 mile incline out of Martinez as possible on inertia alone. She has to join that flow at the bottom of the valley having first had to accelerate up a steep on-ramp to join at the top of the overpass, then continue accelerating to merge safely with the 16 wheelers and other traffic on a two lane freeway. The trucks don't want to slow down, and neither does the traffic behind her. (Check out Google Earth and try "driving" out of Martinez from the Western exit heading west on hwy 4.)
The only way she can determine if the Leaf will work for her is for us to wait until they become available for rent one from some rental company like Hertz, or whoever and drive it for a week or two. - or talk Nissan in to a loaner for a week - (unlikely)!
She already feels in danger enough just having to commute 32 miles to work from San Rafael to Martinez along one of the fastest and most dangerous stretches of road in the Bay Area (hwy 4), and despite her long years of environmental credentials (writer and U.S. roving Ambassador for Jacque Coustea C.1975 to 1980) is not willing to further put her life at risk as she helps to keep a roof over our head, just three years before retiring.
Were I doing the commute, I would not hesitate to take the Leaf. I've only just in the last 6 months bought my first car with A/C - a 1995 Subaru Legacy Wagon that I bought off the side of the road for $500, so since 1971 in Australia, Vanuatu, Israel and now Canada I've driven with no A/C - just rolled the windows down on a hot day. I'm lucky in that I can ride my bike the 3 miles to my job. I'd happily suggest we move closer to her work, but we inherited part ownership of her Mum's house in Marin and it would be crazy to give it up. Her '85 MB 300D Turbo has A/C so she has got used to that in the last 3 years that we've owned it.
As for the cold days - If we can get it plugged in to a 110v trickle charger at her work then she could pre-set it to heat while it was on the grid for 1/2 an hour before leaving work giving her a warm car to start out in with no drain on the battery - then use normal mode to get of town and switch to eco mode at the top of the hill down the other 4 mile long slop using regen all the way. Unfortunately, the Nissan "product" expert we spoke to after the drive was too busy and distracted to really listen to her concerns and address them one by one in language she could understand - and I'm just her husband, so what chance have I got! :)
I apologize also for this long post - I'm truly disappointed but it is her decision since she is the one risking her life.
Oct - 2010: A Leaf is on our Horizon.
Back in about May, when Nissan opened up the gates to reserving a Leaf (photo left under), I plonked down my $99 or whatever and jumped on the bandwagen. My beloved 1988 Nissan Sentra (photo right under_ had blown a piston in September 2009, and I toyed with the idea of taking the ICE out of it and making it electric. But to make it able to go 100 mile on a charge so Sherna could get from San Rafael to Martinez and back each day, we were going to have to put about $15,000 into it and yet still have a 22 year old car. So we decided to let it go to a charity, and wait for the Nissan leaf which with all the State and Federal Rebates should set us back about $22,000.
We've had our garage scoped out for the charging station, and have booked out test drive at the San Fransciso Auto Show in November. If Sherna likes it and we make the final decision, we'll go-ahead and have the charger installed in late November, ready for the car's arrival in December. If we really go ahead with this, it will be the first new car either of us have ever owned. If we do it, I plan to write up a blog of our experience with it, and to invite those interested to see it in action, and maybe even have a test drive.
We currently spend some $350 per month on Biodiesel for Sherna's Mercedes for the 1,200 mile per month she commutes to Martinez. The Leaf should cost us about $30-$50 per month in electricity, so the difference will got a long way towards paying the monthly payments on the leaf.