2011 Nissan Leaf: One Year Drive Report
2011 Nissan Leaf: One Year Drive ReportEnlarge Photo
Park somewhere cool
When you have to park during the day, we know it’s not always possible to park somewhere cool, especially if the mercury is rapidly rising.
However, where possible, try and park in underground parking garages with good ventilation, away from direct sunlight.
Not only will it reduce the temperatures your Leaf’s battery pack is subjected to, but it will give the battery pack time to cool down before you next use it.
If you have to park in an above-ground parking space, try and find somewhere that will be shaded during the hottest part of the day.
And if you’re looking for parking while out and about, park in a space that has just been vacated by another car rather than one that has lain free for a while.
That’s because blacktop that has been shaded from the sun by a car will be cooler than blacktop that has absorbed direct sunlight.
The cooler the blacktop, the less heat energy it will radiate underneath your car, helping to keep the battery pack cooler.
Charge when it’s cool
As we’ve explained earlier, charging the battery pack slowly heats it up.
As a consequence, it is always better to charge your Leaf’s battery pack when it is cooler outside.
This should be fairly easy with the Leaf, thanks to its built-in charger timer feature.
Set the finish time to be a few minutes before you plan to leave in the morning, but leave the start time blank. Your car will then start charging at a time to ensure that it will be finished in time for your departure.
2011 Nissan Leaf SL
2011 Nissan Leaf SLEnlarge Photo
Slow your charging down
Generally, the faster you charge a battery pack, the hotter it gets.
The lower the charge rate, the less heat is generated.
So, whenever possible, favor slower charging over fast or rapid charging.
For most owners, that means using a 16-Amp, level 2 charging station over a level 3 rapid DC charging station.
But some owners in Arizona have reported that using the 110-volt ‘emergency’ charging cable that comes with the Leaf can help minimize the increases in temperature the battery pack undergoes while charging.
That’s because a 110-volt Level 1 charging cable charges the battery pack at 1.6 kilowatts. A Level 2 charging station charges the battery pack at 3.3 kilowatts.
Less power equals less energy wasted as heat. Less heat means a cooler battery.
Do you have any tips?
Do you live in a warm climate? Are you using a Nissan Leaf every day in extreme temperatures?
Perhaps you have some tips we haven’t thought of to help you keep your Leaf happy and its battery pack healthy?
Leave us your tips and thoughts in the Comments below.