Are You A Charging Station?

Discussion in 'BEV or Battery Electric Vehicle' started by rhwinger, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. rhwinger

    rhwinger Well-Known Member

    My coworker Ken started a 39 month lease of a 2012 Nissan Leaf last fall. He got rid of his Ford Taurus that was costing him over $200 a month in gas, plus major quarterly maintenance, when it was speared in the hood by a windstorm driven tree branch. I think God was trying to tell him something. So now he drives a brand new car, spending about $100 less a month, AND buys no gas!

    Ken has a 60 mile daily commute and so over the last few months, he has managed to adjust his routes, driving habits, and dresses appropriately to maximize his vehicle range.

    Ken's patened cold weather EV range extension system​

    As far as I can tell, he's a fairly respectable hypermiler in his Leaf, with a 5 month continious Platinum rating.


    He has also learned where he could snag a quick sip of juice while he goes about his daily errands, especially when he has to add a leg or two to his return trip. He hasn’t been left stranded yet, because he plans his route and drives conservatively to make sure there are no problems. Last night, however, things didn’t quite go so normally. And not in the way you might expect:

    This morning Ken came up to me and said: “Yeah, last night I saw a 2013 Leaf.” I’m thinking like, OK, that’s nice Ken. Thanks for sharing that with me. “Cool, where did you see it?” Ken said: “Well, it was kind of in my driveway - at home.” “What - did the dealer lend you a new one while yours was being worked on?” “Well, no….”
    And then he told me this story. I couldn’t have done better myself:

    I was home getting ready for bed about 10 PM. I had just finished plugging in ‘Sparky’ (his 2012 Leaf) for his overnight charge and I was getting ready to turn out the lights when there was a knock at the door. I was somewhat startled, like most of us would be at that hour, so I went to the door and peeped out the window to check it out. I also thought of my wife upstairs waiting for me to come to bed, just as part of assessing the whole situation at this point, you know? When I looked out the window I saw a rather large man, about 6 feet two inches tall, standing at my door?” What the…?

    The man was neatly dressed and didn’t seem to be agitated, drug crazed or armed, so I rather cautiously cracked open the door:

    “Yes, can I help you?”

    To which the gentleman replied, rather sheepishly: ”Please excuse me sir, but are you a charging station?”

    Taken back a bit, the first thing that flashed through my mind was “how did this guy find out that I had a charger here at my house?!” After a bit, I cautiously replied that, yes, I had a charging station for my Leaf?

    The guy on the porch was quite visibly embarrassed, and his expression pretty much conveyed a sense of utter hopelessness. He tried to explain: “I’m sorry, they said this car had a 70 mile range. It’s a new 2013 Leaf, and it’s supposed to have an improved range. But a few miles after I started home from work, the car displayed a message that said I was almost out of battery charge. So I pushed the button to tell me where the nearest charging station was, and it took me here?”

    At this point, the plot thickens a bit. I guess at this point Ken relaxed a bit and explained the nearest *public* charging station was at a car dealership about 5 miles down the road. The guy said the battery was now reporting some kind of negative battery state or something, that he couldn’t make it another block or two, let alone 5 miles. So Ken, the nice guy that he is, let him in so that they could figure out some kind of solution. They ended up moving Ken’s car out of the driveway, and put the hapless strangers' car in it’s place, plugged in the charger and then returned to the house. I don’t know what Ken’s wife was thinking at this point, but I’m pretty sure it must have been an interesting scene there in the front room?

    So Ken felt compelled to ask some questions, like – “How long is your commute (about 30 miles each way), and, trying to figure out why all of a sudden, why did this guy find himself in such dire straits? So Ken asks: “Well, how were you driving, and how fast were you going?” The guy said: “Well I was going my usual 70 – 75 mph in the fast lane, and it was cold, so I turned the heat on.”

    “Dude! You can’t drive a Leaf like that! How long have you had it?”
    The guy said: ”Well, the dealer lent it to me yesterday while they were working on my car in the shop.”


    So, in the end Ken helped the guy grab enough ‘trons to get to the nearby dealership, who was equipped with the magnum - fast charger.

    I can only assume the guy eventually got home before sunrise. But I can just imagine the scene: Some lonely guy sitting in a dealership lot at midnight, 35 degrees outside, waiting for his battery to charge. I wonder what the cops thought when they came by for their evening security tour?

    And you Leaf drivers out there with the Big Brother tracking app on your car? You might want to check your privacy settings? :eyebrow:


    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
  2. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    There is an app to share your docking station with strangers, but it should not be on the nav screen... 2013 Leafs are not on the market yet so how did he manage to get hold of one?
  3. rhwinger

    rhwinger Well-Known Member

    You got me, Herm. I made it all up.

    You are a real piece of work.
  4. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    Huh?..not accusing you of anything
  5. rhwinger

    rhwinger Well-Known Member


    "There is an app to share your docking station with strangers, but it should not be on the Nav screen." Sounds to me like you don't believe what I'm saying?

    "2013 Leafs are not on the market yet so how did he manage to get hold of one?" Sounds to me like you don't believe what I'm saying here either? Ken reports the dealer has been advertising them as available since November or December. I'm sure he will be along shortly to add his points as well.

    Maybe a review of the facts and tone of a post before posting would be in order.
  6. KennyG

    KennyG LEAF driver

    The above story DID happen to me. The guy's name was Peter. The dealer who loaned the Leaf to him is Pomoco Nissan in Hampton, VA.

    I actually invited the guy into my home and gave him some hot apple cider while I explained how to drive a Leaf and get the best mileage. He said it was a 2013 and, as the headlight and tail light configuration was different than my 2012's, I believed him.

    Herm, I don't know what you drive, or where you get your info, but my dealer Hall Nissan has evidently had 2013 Leafs since last December.

    If you DO own a Leaf, I can describe how to get to the "Find the closest charging station" GPS function. In fact, when you have less than 10 miles left, it pops up automatically. Poor Peter, I couldn't even get the dealership to come up on the function, because the car kept saying he'd already arrived at the nearest charging station: MY house!!! What I want to know is WHY my house is listed as a charging station, along with all the dealerships! :-/ If you doubt this, get in a Leaf, set the destination in the Nav computer for Virginia Beach, then tell it to "Show charging stations near destination". The "Betsy Cres" one is MY HOME!

    Now, MR. Moderator, if you REALLY want to be helpful, you could apply your massive " I know it All" knowledge and help me figure out how to get me OFF the list of charging stations.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
  7. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    My apologies guys, I never intended anything.. tone of voice is hard to convey thru a computer screen, best policy is not to get insulted. Congratulations on your economy scores, they are impressive.

    No idea how this happened, perhaps its a production line prototype loaned out to dealers for demos?
  8. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    Your best bet is to post a question over at the Leaf forum, someone will know the answer, its a very serious bug:
  9. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    How to easily tell the difference between 2013 and older models:

    1. 2013s have leather wrapped steering wheels
    2. 2013 may have an interior other than light gray, could be black or leather etc
    3. foot operated parking brake vs the funky electric parking brake
    4. doors and hood are now made of steel, previously they were aluminum.. test with a magnet.. 2013s are lighter BTW
    5. 2013 sunvisors now have sliding extensions
    6. you can now open the charging door with the key fob, also a switch on the dash
    7. the nav now has Google points-of-interest.. so check to see if your house has become a point of interest :)
    8. a light in the charging port has been added
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
  10. priusCpilot

    priusCpilot George

    Dang the 2012 had aluminum? What a bummer they added more weight on 2013 plus changing how it handles a little.

    Crazy story! Looks like Nissan wants its buyers to help others out so they list you guys as charging stations. Tight community for EVs. Helping each other in emergency is part of the ownership experience. ;)
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
  11. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    Lots of complains about the paint chipping from the aluminum hood, in any case people want lower cost. Perhaps insurance cost issues with the aluminum parts?

    Kenny, adding that statue of a naked lady on the lawn and getting the interest of Google was not a good idea :)
  12. rhwinger

    rhwinger Well-Known Member


    Well, decided to call the dealer to get the story straight from the horses mouth, after dealer website inventory searches turned up empty.

    Talked to the service manager, who must have gotten an earful from Ken's late night visitor. "Oh yeah, I know about this incident."

    Turns out it the dealership uses a 20*11* Leaf as a loaner vehicle.

    So, Ken's late night visitor not only didn't know how to drive an EV - he didn't know what year vehicle he was driving when asked.

    Mystery somewhat solved.


  13. KennyG

    KennyG LEAF driver

    Dam you, Herm, that was no naked lady, that was MY WIFE!!! ;)

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