Rick and Linda SantAngelo with the 2011 Nissan Leaf at 96,000 miles
Rick and Linda SantAngelo with the 2011 Nissan Leaf at 96,000 milesEnlarge Photo
The reserve capacity of our new pack is about 3.5 kwh, according to Leaf Spy Pro (more on that later).
Since the reserve capacity of any pack is a fixed number, the percentage of total capacity it represents rises as capacity decreases.
Then there's this: we live on a hill, so the last leg of any trip we take includes an 800-foot climb. I think this is very bad for an electric car, for a few reasons:
2017 Nissan Leaf
2017 Nissan LeafEnlarge Photo
New Leaf vs battery replacement
Mechanically, the Leaf is a very sound car. At 94,000 miles, we are still on our original brakes and the wheel alignment is perfect.
There is basically nothing in the drivetrain beyond the battery and the electronics that could go wrong, and I have never heard of the electronics failing.
With a new battery, our 2011 Leaf is even better than it was new—and I expect to put another 100,000 miles on the car.
How to monitor your battery in real time
I don’t know why Nissan gives us so little information on battery condition, but I believe it's hugely helpful to monitor your battery condition in real-time.
The Leaf Spy smartphone app with an inexpensive Bluetooth On Board Diagnostics (OBD) Bluetooth connector does the job.
The following diagram points out statistics that are available in the Leaf Spy free edition.
Old and new battery condition, 2011 Nissan Leaf electric car, per Leaf Spy [images: Rick SantAngelo]Enlarge Photo
The two figures illustrate the differences between a new battery and a deficient battery. The red lines indicate cell pairs that have been shunted, which I assume is to keep the power evenly distributed over the cells. The most important statistics are:
For $14.99, you can purchase Leaf Spy Pro, which adds several features that I found worth spending the money.