Podcast number 8 EV20Q – Rapidgate

Rapidgate and Nissan Leaf buying decisions

Since I made my last video where I may have mentioned Rapidgate I went go to the Hyundai garage to check out the Ioniq. I also sat inside a Hyundai Kona. I was impressed with the Ioniq with its level of trim generally of high quality inside the car. I didn’t like the layout and finish of the dashboard as there was some shiny silver on the steering wheel which looked very cheap. I didn’t get the warm and fuzzy feeling I got from sitting inside the Nissan Leaf. It did look a really good car though and I was half tempted. The salesman at the dealership rang up the following day with a very good deal which was almost too good to miss. The only problem is the car will come with a 28 kWh battery. This would give a range of about 30 km less than I’d get from the 40 kWh battery in the Nissan Leaf. With the state of play of chargers in Spain at the moment that 30 km could make a big difference. Will I arrive at the next charger or end destination or not? I liked the inside of the Hyundai Kona, they had a petrol version in the showroom. The shape of the car and the inside of it was top-notch. The fully electric version is not yet available to the public. There are just one or two only available to the motoring press at the moment. I don’t know when it will be available, but if it came before the Nissan Leaf of mine arrives at the dealers and it was well priced I could possibly jump ship.

RapidGate

State of play for my electric car predicament

I’ve calmed down since my last video I put on YouTube about the non-arrival of my Nissan Leaf. You have to admit it’s very disappointing when you are told one thing and you get your hopes up, only to have them dashed the following day. The salesman has given me a definite date of May 31st and when you think of it as two months away does seem a like a long time to wait. If I think about it as about seven weeks it doesn’t seem so bad and time does tend to fly by. Perhaps time doesn’t go quite so fast when you’re waiting for something, but still!

Is Rapidgate going to affect my buying decision?

A previous podcast guest called James – Lemon Tea Leaf has done tests regarding the effectiveness of charging at rapid chargers with the Nissan Leaf. It seems to confirm the findings of the guy called Jonathan who was driving in a 40 kWh Leaf from Leicestershire to the top of Scotland. His journey was three hours longer than two other drivers driving an Ioniq from Hyundai and the old 30kWh version of the Nissan Leaf. The Nissan Leaf owner Peter has also tested his Nissan Leaf to see if it’s affected by the rapidgate problem. Even though he’s generally happy with the Nissan Leaf he’s very disappointed to find the car does dramatically slow down the level of charging on the third rapid charge of a journey. The car will charge up about half as fast as it should do in order to protect the battery. Nissan have said this is a design feature and not a fault with the car.

Nissan Leaf Interior

After finding all of this information and seeing how far drivers can go in a new Nissan Leaf of 2018 I’m not worried at all. I don’t drive long distances and I’m not in a hurry to get to places either. A place I go to regularly for vacation is about 300 km away and I could get there with one-stop or possibly two stops. The reason I might need to make a second stop is because the last third of the journey is driving up a mountain. According to the Nextcharge app I would arrive there with 4% battery left if I did it with one stop in Perpignan. That assumes I will only charge up to 80%, but if I put more in I will have a bit more of a buffer. When I’ve driven 300 km I am most definitely ready for a long rest.

I could possibly drive as far as 400 km and that would surely be as much as I would want to drive in one day. This is well within the range of the Nissan Leaf 2018 with the 40 kWh battery and the Rapidgate limitation. With a full battery at the start of my journey I could drive up to 240 km although you’d want to keep it to 200 km to give yourself a buffer. With a rapid charge up to 80% the second leg of the journey would give another 192 km maximum or maybe 160 km if you work with a buffer of 30 km. So that in theory would give a journey length of between 360 km to 392 km with just one rapid charge. That’s within the range of kilometres I’d want to drive in just one day.

Nissan Leaf Rapidgate

If I did want to go further and extend it to one more rapid charge I’m still not going to run into the Rapidgate problem. Unless the warmer ambient temperatures say otherwise. If I can do a second rapid charge at the same speed as the first one I could add another 160 km which will take me to just over 500 km and again is more than enough driving for one day. Even if the second rapid charge was slowed down by the battery management and took twice as long it still wouldn’t bother me. I would be ready for a longer break from driving even if it was twice as long as some people would expect.

So it is for these reasons why am keeping my options open regards the Nissan Leaf. I have a countdown app on my iPhone and it’s telling me today I have 53 days to wait for delivery of the car. There is always the possibility that Nissan will under promise and over deliver. I’m forever optimistic and hopeful! There is still the chance at the end of May the Hyundai Kona will have announced prices and delivery dates. Today I heard that the Spanish government incentive money for electric cars will start again in June. If the price was right for a 40 kWh Hyundai Kona I could possibly consider it and change my mind. Try again to get the incentive money discount. As things stand at the moment I would still be very happy to have a Nissan Leaf to drive here in Catalonia.

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