More plugin cars discussions · More Nissan LEAF discussions

Real World Leaf Range 27 - 38 miles

Flag as inappropriate 

ex-EV1 driver · · 5 years ago

I've been giving a lot of thought to the fact that Nissan clearly fell short of expectations with the Leaf's range. While I blame it heavily on being oversold by the likes of my well-intentioned yet dangerous friend Paul Scott who can't keep quiet about the "100 mile range" that he gets while crawling 28 miles each day in the slow lane, in the temperate west side of LA, proudly hypermiling.
As a start, let's just look at what it means to take care of your battery. This means don't charge it to more than ~80% of capacity and don't discharge below 20%.
- This takes the 73 mile range down to 73 X 80% X 80% or 46.7 miles
Next, let's assume that after 7 years, the capacity is expected to be down to 80% of the new, maximum.
- This takes the 46.7 miles down to 46.7 X 80% or 37.4 miles for 'battery-kindness"
What this means is that if you drive the benign EPA driving cycle, you shouldn't buy a Leaf if you expect to need to drive more than 37.4 miles between charges every day. Conveniently, for me, my daily drive between charging opportunities is 37 miles :-)
The question people really want to know, however, is what normal people will get. Then the question becomes: What is normal. Let me suggest that one view of normal that Paul Scott, for example sees daily are the 99.9% of the people on I-10 that are driving faster than Paul Scott. Let me dock the range by another 80% due to driving a lot faster.
- This take the 37.4 mile battery-kind range down to 37.4 X 80% = 30 miles

Now, if you're in a place other than the California beach areas that have real temperatures, you'll need to knock it down another 10% for heavy A/C or heag
- This takes the 30 miles down to 30 X 90% = 27 miles

This also means your commute, without charging at work, needs to be less than ~13 miles each way.


· · 5 years ago

I guess I live in a fantasy world since I get much more range than that.

· · 5 years ago

No, you are just living in the present with little understanding about what is likely in the future.
I guess you'll have to talk to EVLater to see how long you'll ". . . get much more range . . . " later if you don't charge and drive nicer than most people are used to.
You can probably drive like Paul Scott for 10 years or more easily but not like most people drive.
My numbers are assuming you want to maximize your battery life. This is a big issue that few understand (including Nissan sales folks and EV "experts"). I've tried to point out that how you use your EV today is likely to affect how it works in the future. If you push it too hard today, don't count on being able to sustain it.
Clearly these issues already appeared to the AZ folks but I'm showing that it is likely to happen to the rest earlier than they expect as well.
These numbers are what I consider should be guidelines to set realistic expectations. Ie, don't sell a Leaf to someone expecting to commute 70 miles each day without charging if he/she expects to drive 70 mph, and run the heater if they expect to do so for 10 years without buying a new battery. The more reasonable range to expect would be a 27 mile commute.
Kudos to those who can do more for longer!

· Paul Scott (not verified) · 5 years ago

Since I have been mentioned in this thread, think I'll jump in and clear up a few misrepresentations.

I don't "crawl 28 miles each day in the slow lane". I drive a legal speed limit, usually between 55-60. I drive mostly on the freeway in the second lane from the right, known as the truck lane, since that's the most efficient lane in which to drive. I typically drive the 12 miles to downtown LA in that lane, during rush hour traffic, without ever touching my brakes. I've found that paying attention to the traffic around you, and especially in front of you, and allowing plenty of room between myself and the car in front, that I rarely need to use my brakes. Along with accelerating gradually, this enables me to achieve in excess of 100 miles per charge. I rarely need to go 100 miles at a time, so it's easy to keep my battery charged in the favored 20%-80% range. If I need to go long distance, I don't hesitate to charge full and drive to empty. I've done this a few times with no measurable degradation to the battery.

I arrive at work on time and relaxed since I'm not constantly having to brake due to tailgating and speeding. I'm among the safest drivers on the road, so it's highly unlikely I'll be involved in an accident which would cause thousands of cars to have to slow down and stop, costing even more inefficiencies. The accidents are caused by those who speed and tailgate.

Just because most people drive inefficiently, doesn't mean it's a good thing to do. Americans are known the world over as being wasteful. Some of you wear that badge proudly. I'm curious why that is. Waste is always bad in my book, whether it's gasoline, kWh or food. There are consequences to wasting energy, and they are all bad. People are hurt by the pollution, the wars we fight to keep our tanks full of cheap gas, and our environment suffers. So, maybe ex EV1 Driver can tell us why wasting is a good thing. I'd love to hear his or her reasoning.

· Chris Lynt (not verified) · 5 years ago

I think your numbers may be overly pessimistic, although it makes a sensational headline. I live outside Washington DC in northern Virginia, temperate climate, yes. I now charge to 80% and don't go down to below 20% for longer battery life, yes. With 80% charge, driving a mix of residential roads 25 mph mostly but some 45 mph and some highway at 55 mph (a lot of folks around here driving over 55 mph and wasting gas... or electrons), I generally seem to get between 60 and 70 miles of range per charge cycle. The couple of times I charged to 100% when I first got the Leaf my range estimator said I could get about 124 miles, though I never put that to the test. Some trips are up and then down hills - since the up hill discharges but the down hill tends to charge the battery back up, it almost balances out to have a negligible effect on range. Braking also recharges a bit. Now that range is adequate for me and most in the US - they say 30 miles per day is the average. I charge my Leaf once every 2 or 3 days. I met a Leaf owner here recently who drives a bit over 40 miles every day in her commute between Virginia and Washington DC. She charges to 80% every day and has never had any out of juice problems. She mentioned one day, there was a bad snarl up on the highway, it was a hot day in August and she had the AC on, on her way home - no charging station at work - she got down to the point of 'estimated' range of below 20 miles and began to wonder if she'd have to stop to charge at a nearby Walgreens - they have free level 2 charging - to add a few miles. But she made it home with 15 miles to spare - the range estimator on the Leaf is a conservative estimator it seems. As to battery replacement sometime in the distant future, well, you know, don't you, that one can replace individual cells that are no longer performing up to full capacity? Also, by the time that day rolls around, I'll bet there will be service stations specializing in such things. Perhaps there will be backwards compatibility with new and improved and cheaper batteries? Time will tell.

· · 5 years ago

Just don't complain to me when none of those 99.9% of the people who prefer to minimize as much as possible the portion of their 80 years on this planet sitting on a filthy highway buy your car. Likewise, I don't want to hear when those who do buy your cars are upset when their cars won't do what you implied they could do. You insist on telling them 100 or 73 miles per charge is with real-world driving when 99.9% of the people don't drive like you do.
I recommend you promise them maybe 30 - 40 miles per charge in 7 years and applaud when they do more.
It would be nice if Nissan would publish real numbers so we didn't have to go with my possibly pessimistic guesses but, unfortunately, they seem fairly consistent with what Andy Palmer hints at in
The issue really isn't about you or me but, since you insist on talking about personal choices; If speed is so unimportant to you, why don't you walk to and from work? That would take a whole lot less energy since you'd save all of the energy and pollution caused by manufacturing your car.

· Paul Scott (not verified) · 5 years ago

ex-EV1 driver, you have a lot of hate in you about EVs. I'm very sorry you are like that, but so be it.

I have close to 250 LEAF customers and virtually all of them love the car more than any other they've had. They don't get 100+ miles per charge, because they don't need to and don't desire to. They do, however, drive on 100% domestic energy. Many of them on solar and wind. This, too, is their choice.

You may, of course, continue in your hateful ways. Some people just can't help themselves. But if you ever get over yourself, please do join us and help make the world better instead of bitter. You'll like yourself more that way.

· Paul Scott (not verified) · 5 years ago

ex-EV1 driver, you have a lot of hate in you about EVs. I'm very sorry you are like that, but so be it.

I have close to 250 LEAF customers and virtually all of them love the car more than any other they've had. They don't get 100+ miles per charge, because they don't need to and don't desire to. They do, however, drive on 100% domestic energy. Many of them on solar and wind. This, too, is their choice.

You may, of course, continue in your hateful ways. Some people just can't help themselves. But if you ever get over yourself, please do join us and help make the world better instead of bitter. You'll like yourself more that way.

· dcarter (not verified) · 5 years ago

My LEAF is the best commuter car ever. I have 3 boys ages 5 and under, easily put ALL 3 car seats in the back, carry loads of family crap behind their seats, and haul ass wherever I go. I commute from Fremont to Milpitas, 22 miles each way, pretty much balls to the wall speeding. LEAF has no transmission. E-motor to wheels is as fun-to-drive as can be!!

So, I have never charged at a station- only at night on my 220 16v plug in my garage.
This costs me less than 2 cents per mile.

Most folks commute less than 60 miles a day, like me. I have 15,000 miles on my LEAF, and have calculated an estimated 4-6 percent battery range loss in that time.

My wife didn't believe we could get the 3 baby car seats in, but they fit perfectly. My LEAF is a truly remarkable car, so quick, quiet, refined, trouble my 3 year lease is up in June 2014. I am pretty confident Nissan will have something electric and cool for me to trade up for then, and I am totally sure any regrets I might have will be mitigated by the utter joy of having not bought a pence of gas in years!!

cheers to you "ex-EV1 driver"


· Weston LeMay (not verified) · 5 years ago

As with most things, I think the truth is somewhere in the middle. First, people shouldn't condescend with regards to 'ex EV-1 driver' just because he's raining on the Leaf parade. Comments about whether or not he is hateful are not relevant and against site policy.

The comments reflect on two larger issues, I think. First, how the range issue is addressed to the public is going to central to EV adoption. Estimates should be conservative, because if they even smack of a lie you can believe Fox News will be all over that on the 24 hour news cycle. Second, it's fair to point out that driving to maximize range isn't for everyone - I hypermile whenever I can in my hybrid, but sometimes I just need to speed. More to the point, this is another thing - much like charging only in the sweet spot - that early adopters will do (but that the general public cannot be counted on to do).

One issue with the Leaf is that according to my understanding, I believe it's somewhat unique in using a passive cooling system (presumably in order to save weight and money). It therefore makes sense that it might be particularly vulnerable to what they are seeing in a small number of AZ Leafs.

However, I do still feel that the 30-something miles after 7 years estimate is overly pessimistic. The reason is that battery degradation is not linear - it slows down as time passes. Therefore, you can use more of your remaining capacity (to partially mitigate the loss) without increasing the speed of further degradation linearly.

· · 5 years ago

@Paul Scott,
Why do you have to resort to attacking me personally when you haven't even responded to which of my numbers is wrong?
Also, 250 customers in a metropolitan area of about 15 million people really isn't very good penetration. How many of your customers were normal customers who walked into the dealership and how many were already members of your quaalude popping yogurt and granola club?
I don't hate the Leaf but I do tend to lean that direction toward those drivers and hypermiling zealots who give it a bad rap that I (and a few others like me), then have to undo. I don't have enough time to promote the Leaf and EVs as it is and you sloths push the perception 1 step backward for every 2 steps we make forward.
You'd do a whole lot more for promoting EVs if you'd channel your inner Mario Andretti and show what EVs can do for the mainstream driver who really is trying to get somewhere.
Just ask yourself which converted more people at NPID: a zip in the Tesla Roadster you brought or a slow cruise in a Leaf?

· Brian Keez (not verified) · 5 years ago

After 28,000 miles of HOV (aka express) lane driving between the inland empire and Orange county, I can say that the Nissan LEAF's range works for me. I leased the car with the expectation that it would perform and it has exceeded my expectations. I treat it just like any other car I've owned and have been rewarded with very low operating cost. I fully charge it, DC quick charge often and drive until the lady talks to me ("low battery charge" is all she says).

Owning a 100% EV has led me to put my full faith in them because mine always gets me home.

· · 5 years ago

I have 8,000 miles on mine and am very happy with the results so far. Nissan said I can expect 3.5 miles per kWh, I've been getting 4.5. The Leaf was never meant to be a car for everyone. My daughter would love one but the range doesn't fit her life style. I seem to remember the old VW beetle didn't do well in Arizona either. The climate is just too hot for air cooled. I tell everyone how it's working for me, but not to expect the same results. Southern California is ideal for the Leaf. I seldom use the air or heat. Economy on the freeway is not as good as surface streets, but neither was the Prius when it first came out. These batteries will get better in time. Early adopters are reducing our demand for foreign crude. Many countries that we buy crude from also support terrorists. We should applaud the pioneers, they are the trailblazers for energy independence and a cleaner environment.

The Leaf is a comfortable car that meets most of my needs. It has met and or exceeded my expectations. My plans are to keep the car for 20 years. Total cost of ownership should be less than an equivalent car with an internal combustion engine. I am gambling on the cost of batteries to go down, but I believe it to be a sure bet. It’s not a super car, but it’s not a lemon either.

· Seadog (not verified) · 5 years ago

"- This takes the 30 miles down to 30 X 90% = 27 miles

This also means your commute, without charging at work, needs to be less than ~13 miles each way."

You keep mentioning steps to prolong your Leaf's battery life, but then keep assuming that these steps won't work and your battery life will still fall faster than average...You can't have it both ways, but I'm sure that the Romneyites will eat up everything you have written regardless of how nonsensical it all is.

I think you would be happier driving your Humvee in the fast lane... :)

· · 5 years ago

@ ex-EV1 driver: First, I appreciate your wanting to have truth in advertising. I had some debates with Darell Dickey a while back on how a too optimistic evaluation, particularly of the savings, of EVs is off-putting; the Leaf 100-mile range is an example of this I find misleading. Very few will regularly achieve this kind of range, and I cringe when someone says this is possible. It's like saying a Passat TDI can get 84 mpg because these people did it once:

I'd rather under promise and over deliver ... though it seems most EV proponents want to do the opposite, which I think is a bad long term strategy. Once people do some research and realize you can't reliably get 100 miles range, they don't trust any other claims you might have made about an EV even if they are true. It just doesn't build trust.

On the other hand, your Leaf critiques and debate with Paul Scott seem to degrade range estimates on both ends by being "nice" to the battery to keep it within a SOC % range (though it's not clear how much of that is necessary) while also assuming much faster driving (your claim that 99.99% of the drivers go faster than EV hypermilers is of course an exaggeration - which I would think you'd be careful not to do - since you are bashing on EV proponents' exaggerations). This is a double-dip: the people who are "nice" to their batteries aren't going to drive as fast as you say. And the aggressive driver isn't going to be nice to the battery - they're going to charge to 100% and down to 0%. Will that affect battery life, sure (particularly the 0%). But, so does driving your Hyundai at 85mph with dirty oil affect engine life. We don't blame the technology of the car for that - we blame the driver/owner for that, and they pay for it in the end (and we'd expect the Leaf owner to do the same).

Plus, you unjustly blame EV hypermilers for the misconceptions that most ICE drivers have of EVs. I would say most people have NO CLUE how an EV drives and since most people equate speed with big engines, lots of noise, and plumes of smoke they assume that something which is smaller, quiet, and emission free must also be slow. Perhaps there is some negative car rag press to reinforce this impression, but it isn't because they see lots of EVs plodding along in the slow lane; there are too few of them on the road for most ICE drivers to have made this connection. ICE drivers would actually have to be paying attention, be on the road a lot, and drive in areas where there are a lot of EV hyper-milers - the first two conditions are inversely proportional (in my experience), and the last is pretty rare.

Also, to imply EV drivers should be leading the way with cars and driving styles that are fast or aggressive (unsafe and inefficient) is ascribing way to much power to EV drivers - I don't think it matters that much. When I drove my old gas car I never worried about Mazda getting a bad reputation because I drove a car that definitely could go much faster, rather conservatively. Must I drive like an inefficient ICE maniac so that ICE drivers think an EV won't leave them wanting more maniacal behavior? Though I accelerate/decelerate more gradually than ICE drivers, I don't usually travel the total distance any more slowly ... because traffic lights and stop signs are great equalizers. I think EV drivers can just drive how they want (normally safer and more efficient) instead of trying to fit in or out-do ICE drivers. At some point, there are going to be enough types of EVs and EV drivers that an EV driving "style" will be an anachronism. We'll just have driving styles period, whatever vehicle a person is driving.

· Paul Scott (not verified) · 5 years ago

Thank you, Dan, for a well written response. It's funny how these exEV1 types seem to think that if you drive like a fool, that more people will buy EVs. It's been my experience that people will drive how they like regardless of the technology they employ for the job. And it's also quite clear that American's driving styles are a large part of why we are so wasteful as a nation. We buy inefficient vehicles and then compound the problem by driving them inefficiently.

Every day I drive the same 12 mile route on the 10 freeway from Santa Monica to downtown LA. Every day people pass me going 70+. They are constantly hitting their brakes because they are tailgating, throwing energy away as they do so. Worse, they then have the audacity to whine about higher gas prices when all they have to do is alter their driving styles and they'd save a good 20%-30% of their energy.

The LEAF is a 100 mile car. I've averaged that for about 20,000 miles now, so I'm quite comfortable telling my customers that the car is capable. I also am very clear to them that most of my customers average between 70-90 miles because they don't drive as efficiently. I tell them the car is fun to drive, but you won't get 100 miles of range if you drive for speed.

The 2014 LEAF will have a greater range. Sales will increase because of that. In the meantime, we keep selling the cars we have, and with each sale, we remove a gas burner from the road. That's a good thing.

· TEG (not verified) · 5 years ago

I have done plenty to perpetuate the myth (or reality) that keeping the SoC between 20% and 80% is probbably a good idea. I base that based on experiences with laptops, cellphones, and reading general test data on various Li-Ion cells.

With that said, the LEAF is working out great for me. ~60 mile daily commute at 75MPH freeway speeds. I have a timer set to get to 80% charge at 5AM, so it is always ready to go in the morning (never once failed to plug it in or get a charge in 18 months). When I get to work, my SoC is around 50%, where it sits during the day. I think that is probably a "happy place" to keep the battery pack charge state during the warmth of daytime. Then when I drive back home at night it gets back down to around 20% SoC and gets plugged back in right away. A recent "GID reading" suggested that my pack is still capable of holding ~95%+ of the ideal charge expected from a new pack.

Carpool perk, excellent blu-tooth, LED headlights, smooth ride, quiet cabin, comfortable (IMHO) seats, etc, etc. Lots of good stuff to like about the LEAF.
I am glad I live in a mild climate, because I would be worrying about my pack health if I lived in a hot desert climate...

· Ilya Haykinson (not verified) · 5 years ago

My wife drives ~55 miles round trip in the Leaf, moving at normal freeway speeds (10 westbound in the morning, in Los Angeles). No hypermiling, no special worries about running out of juice. And hasn't made it home with less than 18 miles to go, yet. We've had our Leaf over a year, now, and certainly this might change in another year, but at least for now there's not much to worry about.

· · 5 years ago

Yes, it is true that Nissan advertises a 100-mile range in the Leaf. However, I clearly remember that, to give consumers a more realistic assessment of how their range might vary, Nissan also publishes 6 different driving scenarios, with ranges as low as 62 miles and as high as 138 miles.

I have extrapolated tables for those 6 scenarios using Nissan's benchmarks for warranty and capacity estimates. Potential customers might find the tables useful to determine if a Leaf will continue to meet their driving needs with time and mileage, whether charging to 100% or 80%. You can download the tables in PDF format.

· · 5 years ago

What I see mentioned in several of the posts here is that some Leafs are doing fine in the whole year or so that people have owned them. How many of these people besides TEG have actually measured their capacity remains unknown. The point ex-EV1 driver makes quite clearly is that this could (and possibly will) change over the next year or two, especially for anyone who doesn't live in the ideal ambient environment for EVs. This is a legitimate observation. As for his math, I don't see it being that far off the mark for drivers in hotter environments judging from Tony's test results. We'll just have to wait and see, but I have a strong feeling that this problem for Nissan is going to get much bigger as the Leafs in Texas and Florida get some age on them. Will affected Leaf owners tread water making excuses for how they don't drive enough for it to matter to them if they lose 30-50% in 2 or 3 years of their range? I doubt it.

My wife and I love our Leafs too. We like everything about them except the usual complaints (Carwings, cheap carpet, anemic horn, thin paint, etc.), but if in another 2 years time we find ourselves with grocery runners that have no trade/resale value, this too will change. If we were given the opportunity to get out from under them at this point, I am not sure that we would decline the offer.

· · 5 years ago

What are you assuming the "average" life usage was? 20% to 80% or 0% to 100%? I think that what we've seen in AZ could be a clue that Nissan expected some rather benign driving patterns. Anybody know what the average Tokyo driver drives in a day?
By the way, I hate the Humvee as well as the HMMWV although I think the H2 was a stroke of brilliance. Spot weld some sheet metal on a Yukon to dress it up like a military vehicle and sell it for twice the price to suckers who buy into it. It sucks environmentally but what a way to make a profit!
I'll believe Paul Scott doesn't care about speed when he walks to work. Until then I'll just assume he smugly thinks he's better than everyone else who passes him.
"though it's not clear how much of that is necessary"
This is a complaint I have with Nissan. They don't tell us what the affects are. They even admit to playing with us with non-linear SOC gauges.
"the people who are "nice" to their batteries aren't going to drive as fast as you say. And the aggressive driver isn't going to be nice to the battery - they're going to charge to 100% and down to 0%."
Who makes this stuff up for you? Do you write your own stuff? Why do you assume people who need to get places want to waste their battery's life?
I'm also pretty sure that 99.99% of the drivers on I-10 at rush hour are driving more than Paul Scott's 55 mph.
You probably have a point about the smoke, noise, and dual tailpipes but I just heard folks discussing the Volt in a crowd I was in this morning and how the problems was it was unsafe to get onto the freeway with and replacing the batteries is the big problem with hybrids.
I saw 2 Leafs this morning but they were, nicely going with the traffic, not crawling along like they were broken down.
"driving styles that are fast . . . unsafe"
The Interstates were designed for 65 mph to 75 mph with safety margin. Large differential speed (55 mph while most are at 65 mph or higher) is probably less safe than everyone driving 70 mph. Did you see the pileup at Taledega last weekend?
@Paul Scott,
Sorry, you think I'm a fool.
Just keep selling the Leaf as a 100 mile car, maybe you'll get a different part in "Who Killed the Electric Car - the sequel".
Perhaps the 2 mountain passes I have to deal with on my commute and the Leaf's inefficient motor at above ~60 mph on the flat cause me to see a lot less range than you do in the flat lands. Sure, I can get 100 miles, probably more if I hypermile.
Where did you see Nissan's published 6 scenarios? Maybe I'll have to eat my words about their not providing data. Sorry, but I don't click on URL abbreviators so I can't see your tables.
If you stick with the 27 - 38 mile assumptions I laid out, your Leafs should meet your needs for more than the 8 year warranty, maybe even more. I expect mine to handle my 80 mile commute for at least 8 years by babying my battery.

· · 5 years ago

Charging to 100% (by the way, the LEAF's "100%" is 95% actual SOC) shouldn't have a big impact on battery life as long as the car doesn't sit at 100% for long periods. The solution is to set an "end timer" so that the car finishes charging shortly before you need to leave for work.

Personally, though, I can't charge to 100% at home because I live on a mountain and need to leave room for regenerative braking...

· · 5 years ago

I probably shouldn't touch this thread with a 10 foot pole, as I was already excoriated by ex-EV1 some weeks ago regarding this whole issue. Nothing else to say about that other than we agree to disagree.

But I should at least mention that comments that I'm guessing should be posted on this thread are now appearing on other unrelated topics on this blog! What buttons are you guys pushing on your computers?

· leaf-builder (not verified) · 5 years ago

I have a 2 year lease on my leaf, so i charge it to 100% every night.
Every morning i wake up with 100 miles ready to go.
I only live 7 miles from work so i push it like a sports car.
Its very quick and fun to drive.
I have had it down to 4 miles left several times.
I have not been to a gas station in over a year, and i love it.
In 11 months i will trade in my leaf and get another one.
It cost me about $25.00 a month to charge it.
Nissan Leaf Innovation in motion!!!!!!!

· George B (not verified) · 5 years ago

I'm surprised to see Yanquentino, of all people, pushing linear relationship between the length of ownership, mileage and battery degradation after it's been explained to him several times that this relationship is nonlinear. This was confirmed in a public video recently by Andy Palmer.

The 6 scenarios were mentioned early on by Nissan, I remember them well. That said, they should have published a range table, much like Tony Williams did later, outlining speeds and energy economies and displaying the expected range to turtle, very low battery warning and low battery warning.

Although they did that a few months later, their chart is not nearly as clear, and it still does not include or consider the effects of battery degradation. The Leaf should not have been marketed as a 100-mile car. Although I have driven it for 108, 107 and 99 miles on a single charge on three occasions, the Leaf does not routinely get that much range, and it's not easy to operate below the low battery warning due to the incorrect or missing information on gauges.

While I don't necessarily agree with the 27 mile claim, the range expectation of the car should have been set much more conservatively. You only get unhappy owners when you don't meet the spec, not when you exceed it.

· · 5 years ago

@ex-EV1 driver I have seen Nissan's 6 scenarios in several of their documents and web pages, but the latter have changed over time. They are currently displayed here:

If you click on the square "colors" for each scenario, you'll see a description of their different driving conditions. Hope this helps!

· · 5 years ago

@George B. I'm surprised that you're surprised to see me here... "of all people." I am not "pushing" anything: I am merely extrapolating month-by-month, mile-after-mile tables using the very, very few capacity benchmarks that Nissan has made public to date.

Yes, Nissan has stated that the initial capacity degradation is non-linear, unlike my tables, but... the company has NOT yet made the actual specifics known. Until they do specify that curve, this is the best we can speculate, and I will be the first to update my tables accordingly when that happens. If you know what Nissan's actual figures are, please pass them along!

Ironically, however, my linear degradation actually bolsters the complaints of those who claim that their capacity is "lower" than expected after one year of ownership. If and when Nissan provides curivlinear data, we might very well see that all such claims actually fall within the company's expected parameters.

· · 5 years ago

@ex-EV1 Driver: You asked: " Who makes this stuff up for you?" ... I'd say the same person who made up your 99.9% of people driving faster than EV hyper-milers. Let's face it, we all have our own preconceptions and observations about the world that fit what we want to see - not what is actually there. It's why people who complain about gas prices don't see that driving slower, with a more efficient car, or both don't even consider those as options. Just give the ICE driver what he/she has now: fast acceleration, tailgate ready braking, essentially limitless range, and room for 7 (on the chance they'll want an impromptu party). It's an inefficient dance that means we must practice extreme drilling, extraction, refining, and transportation of a resource that has high external costs borne by all for the benefit of the status quo. I think there is a better way and I think we must change. The Leaf is a daring part of that effort and deserves much more credit than what you've exaggerated into a worthless venture.

As I said in my previous post, I appreciate your trying to reign in the EV optimists a bit; but you've gone too far. You build a worst case scenario, absolute worst case, and make it sound typical. It makes for interesting discussions, but is way more misleading than Paul Scott saying that: ".. most of my customers average between 70-90 miles because they don't drive as efficiently. I tell them the car is fun to drive, but you won't get 100 miles of range if you drive for speed."

For those in warmer climates that are not getting the expected range out of their vehicle, that's a warranty issue, period. With any new technology that is bound to happen and hopefully the manufacturer has factored that in with a higher price to work out the issues. I have a guarantee on my EV that it will keep 80% of the initial capacity through the first 8 years (with the normal caveats). If they don't uphold their part of the bargain, I have to create a fuss - just like if I bought any gas car that had a powertrain problem covered under warranty. Your logical extention of some individual problems to a general EV product failure is untenuous. Perhaps you can explain why you have such an axe to grind?

· · 5 years ago

Thanks for the reference. Unfortunately, it only confirms my 27 - 38 mile regular driving numbers :-(
Their worst-case (which is hardly worst case since it assumes crawling speeds over level ground) of 62 or 68 miles of range does not add the need to preserve the battery by not over-charging or discharging. The chart does not say what the assumed charging or discharging levels are. It also does not account for the 80% loss over 8 years. Therefore, assuming one only wants to charge to 80% and discharge to 20%

    on a regular basis

to preserve battery, one sees that one should not purchase a Leaf if one needs to drive more than (68% X 80% X 80% = 35 or 62 X 80% X 80% = 32) 35 and 32 miles between charges.
Since none of these assumes freeway driving at 65 - 75 mph, then there will be additional knock down for freeway speeds.
Note that I'm assuming range anxiety 'margin' is handled by the 20% allowed normal depth of discharge.
I stay with my admonition that nobody should buy a Leaf expecting to drive between 27 and 38 miles between charging each day if they expect the battery to last over 8 years. If you've bought a Leaf with higher expectations, you'd better expect to have to start using hypermiling techniques or expect to be eating into your battery life after the 8 year point.
Does anyone have any clear data on Nissan's expected battery life as a function of time and depth of discharge?
I don't have an axe to grind here, I'm just pointing out how I see the math and chemistry interacting with a bit of physics. So far I've been shouted at (which those who know me know doesn't deter me) but nobody has pointed out my scientific errors. What part of 80% of 80% of 80% am I missing? I've laid out my personal plan for maximizing my Leaf's battery life with my commute and shared it with everyone. You don't have to listen to me and, in 8 to 10 years you're welcome to show me I was wrong if that's the case. Of course, that will mean I'll get even more use out of my original battery and get free miles for my 37 mile commute!

· Bomba (not verified) · 5 years ago

Funny, Chevy Volt owners don't seem as worried about range.

· · 5 years ago

Neither do gas car or horse drivers. But who cares?
Horses are too slow and we have to fight wars to get gas. That's not really solving any problems is it?

· Spider-Dan (not verified) · 5 years ago

If you are driving 10 MPH below the speed limit (and this is not due to traffic conditions), you are not a "normal driver," particularly in California.

You might be a "normal driver" in a far-off future where many people have range anxiety (justified or not) about their EVs, but on an American freeway in 2012, driving 55 MPH on the interstate is enough to provoke road rage among your fellow drivers. This should be apparent by all the people who impatiently swerve around you and gun their motor while casting you dirty looks.

· Ethan H (not verified) · 5 years ago

@Paul Scott
"And it's also quite clear that American's driving styles are a large part of why we are so wasteful as a nation. We buy inefficient vehicles and then compound the problem by driving them inefficiently."

I'll never understand the arrogance of some EV drivers. You are not "saving the world." So many of you choose to just ignore the fact that the production of hybrid/EV vehicles is much more harmful to the earth then the average car. Furthermore, the old "clunkers" on our roads are responsible for far more waste then those driving 75+.

P.S. Not a personal attack to Paul or any other EV driver, I understand the upside(although I believe it to be a greater personal, monetary gain rather than environmental), just interested to hear what some of you think about the side-effects of producing these automobiles.

· · 5 years ago

You've been reading far too much anti-EV FUD, Ethan. We've got ridiculous studies out there that will tell you that a Hummer is more environmentally responsible than a Prius. It's all nonsense, of course. Who funds these studies? I'm guessing oil companies do. They've got the most to lose if widespread EV adoption actually occurs.

Some of the argument is that the amount of energy and materials going into manufacturing an EV is greater than a conventional car. But this is discounting the fact that most modern EVs use motors that don't require permanent rare-Earth magnets and these studies probably also assume that the increased amount of metals not typically associated with standard auto manufacturing, like copper, are all freshly mined and don't rely of recycled sources . . . or can't be recycled later. The whole lithium shortage and recycling issue is also largely overblown.

Everything that we humans create will have some sort of negative environmental impact, Ethan. Are we all to stop living in houses or rest our posteriors in chairs because wood is a limited resource? Obviously, there are excesses that humans are going to have to deal with in the coming century that will involve compromises and modification of current day consumption habits. But tossing aside the entire concept of electrified personal transportation in favor of eking out the last bit of efficiency in internal combustion gasoline engine design is a short term fix, not a real solution.

If you look past the current sensationalistic headlines (many mainstream journalists, most of whom have no direct experience with EVs, are now in their pre-election know nothing mode and there's a lot of sloppy writing at present,) you'll find that the more pragmatic studies state that EVs are only as clean as the electricity that's going into it. There is nothing new being told here . . . and EV advocates have been saying this for years. All of a sudden, though, it’s “news.” But this should be a clarion call for you - as a consumer and voter - to demand of your utilities companies and corporation commissions - to clean up the grid in your locale . . . especially if you live in an area where power generation is particularly dirty. If they refuse to comply, vote with your pocketbook or at the ballot box.

If you're an EV owner and have solar PV on your roof, you're ahead of the curve. Those who produce their own electricity this way to meet all their own needs and are then able to feed significant quantities back to the grid , in some significant way, really ARE "saving the world." They're making it cleaner for those who can't yet afford an EV or are apartment dwellers who can't choose PV solar, even if they wanted to.

· DrivesaGuzlah (not verified) · 5 years ago

@Benjamin - You're not feeding energy back into the grid if you drive an EV. The average home consumers 30 KW/h/day and the battery pack in the Leaf is a 24 kw/h pack. So if you add charging a leaf you nearly double the electricity consumption of a household.

You would need a truly huge personal PV array to supply 54 kilowatt hours/day, so you're still a net consumer. That for the most part still means coal and natural gas.

Natural gas makes things nicer, but I'll take gas over coal any day.

· KellyOlsen (not verified) · 5 years ago

Mr. Ex-EV1 driver (and why don't you use your real name?). There are some real helpful doctors, councilors and programs out there that may be able to help you out with your anger management and they way you relate to other humans.

As far as Paul Scott being "Dangerous." I guess he could be considered that by an oil company executive. But that would be something I consider to be a badge of honor. Stick to the issue in a less psychopathic manner and slandering a man that has earned the deserved respect of countless numbers of people.

Paul has done and continues to do more for the planet and the human race than a 100 "non-dangerous" people. And please do seek help:)

· igh (not verified) · 5 years ago

I have an all electric home in the Bay area that consumes 10000 kwH per year. That means just electricity and no natural gas is used for anything. Wife drives a Volt in 95% EV mode for 10000 miles per year. That is another 3000 Kwh. I drive a Ford Focus electric for 5000 miles per year (work is 6 miles away). That is 1500 kwh. Total is 14500 Kwh/per year. We have a 11.8 KW solar array on our roof that produced 16300 KwH this year. This means we are now a NET PRODUCER of clean energy after all our day to day energy needs. Actually PG&E sent us a check of $100 this year.

The Solar array cost me 25K to install after all rebates. We have a Highlander Hybrid for the long drives/vacations and trips with extended family. I estimate about 100 gallons per year until the affordable fast charging 7 passenger SUV comes along maybe in another 5-10 years.

· Anonymous (not verified) · 5 years ago

In the Cascade foothills of Western Oregon, I drive 75 miles roundtrip, including an 1100 ft. elevation gain on the return leg (with corresponding drop on the 1st leg). For what it's worth.

· Tony Williams (not verified) · 5 years ago

Paul Scott said, "The LEAF is a 100 mile car. I've averaged that for about 20,000 miles now, so I'm quite comfortable telling my customers that the car is capable. I also am very clear to them that most of my customers average between 70-90 miles because they don't drive as efficiently."


I'm glad you add the logical caveat to your 100 mile range claims. Yes, the car will also do 151 miles, as one owner did on Phoenix. But telling the average consumer that doesn't really tell them much. Certainly, 70-90 miles is OK, particularly in your virtually ideal climate for an electric car of greater Los Angeles. But that doesn't begin to tell folks who are used to oil burning cars what to expect after the warrantee expires.

Even an LA car will certainly degrade the battery to 90% capacity in the first year, and maybe hit 70%-80% in 5-10 years as Nissan claims. So, that 70-90 mile range becomes about 60 miles (75% of 80 miles).

In addition, even in moderate LA, the temperatures can rob another 5-10% of capacity seasonally, and the heater can burn a whole bunch of that reduced capacity in one through ten years. I hope you'll agree that the 60 mile car with cold temps and heater running will be some number smaller than 60.

The simple point is that even in an ideal climate, the numbers only go down with time. In extreme hot or cold climates, there are far more drastic range issues. None of these issues favor telling a customer that the car can go 100 miles, or 151 miles.

I've linked the current generation of Range Chart for the LEAF, in all the capacity levels of known cars today:
Use this 100% chart for a factory new battery. Don't assume that because you bought the car new that it will be at 100% !!! Cars sitting on hot dealer lots at high a state of charge will degrade.
Use this 93% chart for a one year old or more battery that still has all 12 capacity bar segments.
Use this 82% chart for a battery that has 11 of 12 capacity bar segments.
Use this 75% chart for a battery that has 10 of 12 capacity bar segments.
Use this 69% chart for a battery that has 9 of 12 capacity bar segments.
Use this 63% chart for a battery that has 8 of 12 capacity bar segments (yes, two cars have reached that milestone)

Tony Williams
San Diego

· Tony Williams (not verified) · 5 years ago

"Yanquetino · @George B. I'm surprised that you're surprised to see me here... "of all people." I am not "pushing" anything: I am merely extrapolating month-by-month, mile-after-mile tables using the very, very few capacity benchmarks that Nissan has made public to date."

Over on the "MyNissanLEAF" forum, we spent some time examining Yanquetino's claims. First, he allows no comments to his site to counter any of his claims, and openly acknowledges that he is only regurgitating what we know isn't particularly accurate or useful from Nissan. To my knowledge, he has done no testing whatsoever.

I call it the "prove Nissan right, no matter what the facts are" policy. Certainly, it's better than what most salespeople would offer in a Nissan dealership. I called a few recently, and asked what the range of the LEAF was. I'm sure everybody can guess the answer. I told one dealership that I would like to drive the car 90 miles (of the 100 they quoted) in a test drive; 45 miles out and back at 65mph. He said, "no problem". I know differently.

I asked another salesperson how much gasoline the car would hold. She's going to get back to me on that. I called a dealer in Phoenix and asked the same range question; "100 miles, of course", was the answer. I asked if I would be able to do that in 5 years....

Tony Williams
San Diego

· DaveinOlyWA (not verified) · 5 years ago

only have a few questions;

1)do you work for Jeremy Clarkson"

2) would the LEAF work better for you if the only thing that changed was making the retail price $80K?

· · 5 years ago

@Tony Williams: Yes, you have spearheaded a contingent of MNL forum members to refute my findings from the owners' test data. And yes, I *do* think that what we have from Nissan is reasonably accurate and useful. I am not, however, trying to "prove Nissan right, no matter what the facts are." If the owners' test data had shown than the majority of the 12 Leafs in the experiment fell below the postulated capacity loss according to Nissan's advertised benchmarks, I would have said so. But that's not what the results showed.

No, I haven't done any testing myself. But I am not sure what that proves. Anyone can analyze test data without actually participating in an experiment. In fact, it is probably better to have a third-party examine the results, to avoid a subjective bias to "prove Nissan wrong, no matter what the facts are." That was your initial hypothesis in carrying out the experiment, wasn't it?

@George B. Since you have decried a "linear" extrapolation many times, I have gone back and recalculated the percentages using the equation for a polynomial curve generated by Nissan's advertised benchmarks. The good news is: you can find the updated tables and graphs on my webpages, including the PDF Chart I mentioned above. The bad news is: as I predicted, the 12 Leafs now fall even closer to the polynomial curve since it dips down to their achieved ranges on the test.

· Anonymous (not verified) · 5 years ago

It does not appear that the author of this tirade has any real wold experience with a LEAF. I have ha a LEAF for over a year and a half, 21000 trouble free miles. I drive it every day about 60-70 miles of freeway and city driving, charge it to 100% every night, use the AC when I need to. 60-70 miles a day when new, 60-70 miles a year and a half later.

All of these armchair experts really don't know what they are talking about. Charts and tables are so much BS, with very little basis in reality. Remember your mileage may vary,

· Tony Williams (not verified) · 5 years ago

Mark said, "to avoid a subjective bias to "prove Nissan wrong, no matter what the facts are." That was your initial hypothesis in carrying out the experiment, wasn't it?"

Ya, that's funny. Sure, we intended to "prove" that the cars were indeed driving significantly reduced range from a year ago. As you famously exploit, we had no "new" car to go 84 miles.

I was as surprised as anybody to learn the instruments were off. We reported that, as that isn't germane to the question of battery capacity. So, while our line of thinking was certainly outside the realm of Nissan being the hero, we were intellectually honest enough to offer that information, also. We could have just left it out, and only reported that one car went 59 miles, and another went 79.

Yes, of course, anybody can review without testing. Certainly, that's the number one reason to publish something; critical review. I've offered that review of your tables. The concept is reasonable; the data has exceptions for all the reasons I've listed.

"All of these armchair experts really don't know what they are talking about. Charts and tables are so much BS, with very little basis in reality. Remember your mileage may vary"

Have you taken any of the "BS" tables and actually conducted your own review, or you can figure that out without looking?

· · 5 years ago

Wow aren't you judgemental "Dr" Olsen? You clearly think you are better than me but that's what I would expect, given your history.
I don't use my real name because people like you think I should be committed because I tell unpopular truths about your liberal friends and other people from the other side of the aisle, think I should be committed because I drive an EV, sometimes appear in Pro-EV movies including yours, and on occasion, even hang out with and say good things about some things done by people who live in Santa Monica. Being open minded and telling the truth does not make one very popular in most places. Look at how you, an elected city councilman, are treating me for what you think is heresy.
Clearly you don't even understand the damage your buddy Paul Scott does to undermine his and my efforts to promote EVs so that we can end our dependence on oil.
By over-selling the Leaf, he'll hurt Nissan in 5 or 6 years when the people who expect to be able to drive 50 miles to and from work every day find they can't, either at the speeds they are used to driving, or in 4 years when they've stressed their battery beyond what it can handle. Just like the AZ folks, they'll be mad and lash out against Nissan. In fact, you'll probably be the first attorney in line to represent them in a class action suit against Nissan. Great way to reward Nissan for having the guts to take a risk and go against the status quo by selling an EV.
The EV detractors will have a field day ragging on how stupid Nissan was to promise 8 years of battery life that they'll have to warranty. The Nissan board will probably sack Ghosn for his irresponsibility.
Although I'm clearly not a great communicator, I do have a fairly good understanding of the technology of electric vehicles (and mentalities outside of Santa Monica). I am trying to get folks to see the truth and set realistic expectations based on the data available so that, perhaps the well-intentioned won't continue to hurt our efforts to replace gasoline with something clean and sustainable.
For driving 20% below the speed limit on I-10 every day, you and your fellow Santa Monicans see Paul Scott as an environmentalist hero, a rebel against the Fast, SUV-driving, planet killers. Your steadfast defense by attacking me confirms this. Many in the rest of the world, however, see him as a smug jerk for doing this every day. Personally, I just see this as probably being caused by Paul's mis-perception encouraged by the narrow-minded people with whom he hangs out. I hope he comes around and realizes what he is doing before doing too much more damage to the EV movement. Lack of foresight is what is dangerous.
We really need everyone to work together to solve our problems and not alienate the majority in order to please our own small circle of like-minded friends.

· · 5 years ago

@Tony Williams
"As you famously exploit, we had no "new" car to go 84 miles."
Huh? I never remember saying anything about not including a "new" car in your experiment. I think you must be confusing my analysis with someone else's remarks. I don't even think it was necessary to test a new car, since the whole point is to compare achieved range with what Nissan's advertised benchmarks would postulate according to the vehicles' age and mileage.

Where we disagree is on the use of Nissan's own predicted range at 4 miles-per-kWh (between 76 and 84) as the baseline for a comparison. You prefer to use the highest number (84). I prefer the lowest number (76) precisely to *not* leave Nissan any "wiggle" room to contest the results. Ergo, you disagree with my conclusions; I disagree with yours.

As for the instruments, there we agree. Yes, we postulate different percentages per capacity bar (ironically, yours bolsters Andy Palmer's claim more than mine), but still, there is no question that he was correct to state that the gauges are inaccurate. In my humble opinion, however, that problem is germane to the issue of capacity loss. If owners are seeing an exaggerated loss of capacity bars and lower miles on the GOM, surely they would conclude that their capacity is lower than it really is. Indeed, I believe that the disappearance of capacity bars was what started the whole issue in the first place.

· · 5 years ago

@Anonymous (in the Cascade foothills),
Do you do that 75 miles every day? What is your average speed? How many range bars do you have at the end of the trip?
If so, come back in 6 years and tell me how its working out for you. I'll be interested to hear.

· Dork (not verified) · 5 years ago

Why would someone with a seven year old battery continue to only charge to 80%? That would be effing stupid. What a terrible assumption....

· Dork (not verified) · 5 years ago

Someone looking to buy a seven year old EV to drive in the snow will probably be very happy with that car for their short commute for $10k... So what.

· Tony Williams (not verified) · 5 years ago

Mark wrote: "Where we disagree is on the use of Nissan's own predicted range at 4 miles-per-kWh (between 76 and 84) as the baseline for a comparison. You prefer to use the highest number (84). I prefer the lowest number (76) precisely to *not* leave Nissan any "wiggle" room to contest the results. Ergo, you disagree with my conclusions; I disagree with yours."

My range chart, linked in an above post is based on 21kWh usable battery capacity for a new battery. That data was derived through many hours and miles of testing and measuring. Therefore, 4 miles per kWh equals 84 miles of range. A simple formula that I have proved over and over and over. Both my previous LEAF (serial #2244) and current LEAF (serial #20782) have both PHYSICALLY performed these results. So have a great multitude of other LEAF drivers. It is well understood, and accepted, amongst knowledgable LEAF owners.

Below, I've posted the results of a U.S. governemnt funded study that measured the LEAF battery output at 21.381kWh. Driving a LEAF at 4 miles per kWh equals 85.5 miles of range with that metric. No surprise, this is in line with both my data of 21kWh for a 70F temperature new battery, and Nissan's published data of Dec 2011 of 21kWh (84 miles / 4 miles per kWh).

Energy from the wall from dead to 100%: 25.414 kWh
Energy from the onboard charger to battery: 22.031 kWh
Energy from the battery during discharge: 21.381 kWh

So, you use lowest data that Nissan posts in a 10% "tolerance" range between 76 and 84 miles. Sure, the car can go 76 miles. It can also go 56, 26, or 6 miles. You'll note the chart from Nissan doesn't mention running Climate Control. If you use 10% of the energy for heat or air conditioning, you'll get far below 84 miles at 4 miles per kWh. Maybe 76 miles. There is NO WAY that Nissan is pumping out cars with 10% variances in capacity. NO WAY.

We know that this battery chemistry has about a 10% drop in capacity in as few as a couple dozen cycles. My April 2012 manufacture date car has already experienced this, based on actual measured performance. That 10% drop, as I stated previous, should be in your chart.

Yes, losing capacity bar segments started the whole process. I don't contest the value of those individual segments, as you suggest. I present them exactly as they are from Nissan's Service Manual. That means the first bar is a 15% loss, and each subsequent bar is 6.25%. There's a VERY solid reason why that first segment is 15%, when we understand that 10% first capacity drop of the lithium manganese chemistry.

Our Gid counts neither reflected (exactly) the capacity bars stated capacity, nor the battery capacity (hence range). This is yet another instrument error (Gid data is entirely measured and calculated by the car; we merely read the CAN data).

Like I stated above, I'm not concerned with proving or disproving Palmer's instrument only statement. Yes, it certainly was the impetus, but not the end game. The instruments are bad, and so are the quickly degrading batteries in heat; up to 30% reduced in capacity (thus range) within the 18 months since manufacture.

· · 5 years ago

WOW cool and interesting thread so far. Lets switch Coasts. Im in the DC Metro area, commute 37miles each way to work, Moderate to heavy traffic at times. I charge to 80% 5 days a week and twice a week i charge to 100% when I have small trips to make on the way home. There are 4-5 L2 stations on my path to and from work (for emergencies) I can fully make it to work and back with a single 80% charge (avg 50mph). This is well within the range Nissan has claimed. I choose to L1 trickle charge at work for 7-8hrs giving me a small boost for comfort and if I choose to take the HWY at 65mph vs the state roads (45-50mph, difference in drive time is 15mins and 4-5miles) I use ECO mode all the time for regen and helps with not using brakes while i still get 4.0-4.5 on the energy gauge.

Do i drive slower than everyone else? Yes at times.
Do i drive safe? Yes
Do i waste energy? No, well sometimes you need to push the pedal and play with electric.
Can everyone benefit from an EV? Yes, with snapping to reality and understanding going the speed limit and sub 65mph, even sub 60mph will save you GAS and Energy, while youll still get to work, destination in the timeframe needed, just might take another 2-3mins (in most cases)

I leased our leaf as well, hoping there will be no battery or tech issues because now, after 3 weeks of ownership, I could see me buying this car and keeping it in the long run.

**kid in me says, H8rs gunna H8** HAHA

I ignore all negative posts, ads, or backlashes on people who choose to not change their ways....guess thats why this country is in the debt and situation its in right now. Complaining, and still spending. I made the move to change and start saving!

· · 5 years ago

@Justin H,
It sounds like you, like me, are right at the optimal economic point for a Leaf. You should be able to handle that 37 miles between charging beyond the minimum 8 year warranty, per my calculations. You'll probably have to make more judicious use of pre-heating and cooling and tolerate less climate control as your car gets older but, from the numbers, you'll probably be ok for maybe 10 years or more.
Its the folks who need to get a lot more than 37 mi between charging such as people with a 60 mile round trip without charging ability at work or with a 45 mile each-way commute and no workplace charging that could have trouble past the 8 year point.
I have to disagree about your wasting energy. All of us waste energy by our very existence.
To me, what matters more is whether my energy usage is sustainable, ie, could I and everyone else on the planet practice my energy-usage lifestyle beyond the foreseeable (a million generations?)? This is why I attempt to generate as much electricity as I use at home. Since I take advantage of the non-sustainable power grid to store my energy and assume the storage efficiency is 100%, that is actually not sustainable either. My work requires me to fly a lot, clearly so I fall very short on this as well. I consume some materials that are not sustainably produced so, again, I waste energy.
Ignoring all negative posts doesn't seem very open-minded. Are you sure you are so right?

· George B (not verified) · 5 years ago

Yanquetino, thank you. In my experience, engineering and natural sciences are not an exercise in rhetoric. You either have your facts straight and your model yields acceptable results for a wide range of observations, or you don't. There is no room for personal views or preferences. That said, I'm certain that your model will fit the 12 cars involved in the Phoenix range test. It was deliberately designed that way to allow you to launch into a diatribe against affected owners, Tony, and everyone involved. We discussed this before.

Unfortunately, there are other cars beyond these twelve in the Leaf universe, and your model does not cover them. Not by a wide margin. Take Steve Marsh in Kent, WA. He put over 50K miles on his Leaf. Your chart has him at 80% degradation. That does not correlate to what he has observed, and he keeps detailed records. I suggest that you verified this information. Take my Leaf, for example. Fifteen months of ownership, 15363 miles, 10% loss of range from new. Your chart has me at 94%. And how about the owner in Tucson, lost a capacity bar after 14 months of ownership and 6,771 miles. Your chart has him at 97 or 94%, depending on how you look at it (miles/vehicle age).

These are just three examples, and your model delivers widely inaccurate results for all. How do you explain that? Faulty gauges? Mushroom drivers that don't know how to keep proper records and read Nissan-provided documentation? I'm really curios with what kind of rhetoric you will come back this time.

This is not a debate, Mark. These cars are are a major investment to many owners, and they are not performing as they thought they would for a number of them. I would be happy to discuss how this could have been avoided and what the possible solution might be.

In the meantime, I would like to state for the record that your model does not factor in climatic influences, which are clearly part of the equation, as Andy Palmer, EVP Nissan, stated in his interview with Chelsea Sexton published on October 4. Likewise, you cannot remove 10% of range from all new vehicles based on your own judgement alone. This happens to be your personal interpretation of the Nissan Technical Bulletin NTB11-076a.

As discussed earlier, I believe that the six scenarios you took from Nissan's marketing material would be useful if adopted and extended with a scale for loss of range. Your work would be eminently useful if you removed the mileage and vehicle age references you included. They are not accurate and do not reflect the reality for majority of the vehicles out there.

· · 5 years ago

This is an absolutely fascinating thread! I hope someone will distill any conclusions when it winds down. Thanks to ex-ev1Driver for starting it and a request to those who attribute to personality defects, hidden agendas, etc any attempts to look down the road a bit to cool it.

I do indeed believe the 'Arizona problem' has some valuable lessons for Nissan and the EV industry generally. I was particularly interested in reading "...about the owner in Tucson, lost a capacity bar after 14 months of ownership and 6,771 miles". It could have been me because the results have been almost identical for my LEAF. But I don't remember the post and, to the best of my recollection, got maybe 800 more miles before I lost a capacity bar - at least on the gauge.

What I REALLY don't like is the apparent attempt of Nissan - and EV zealots generally - to deny there are problems, at least with (unmanaged temperature) battery-only cars! I have a new advertising slogan for Nissan: "Even at 50% battery capacity, the LEAF is still a better EV-only car than a Volt!" Full disclose - I would like to stay with my LEAF and ride it down, so to speak. But I am probably going to dump it for a Volt - unless Nissan commits - and soon - to making current owners and leasers financially whole for any problems that surface in the next couple of years as well as those undeniable ones that have already been revealed.

· · 5 years ago

@Tony Williams:

I have always understood that there are 21 kWh of useable power in a new Leaf battery pack. And yes, that would suggest that 84 miles would be reasonable range at 4 miles-per-kWh. I've never disputed that.

The challenge you face, however, is to convince Nissan that this is the correct, absolute benchmark, when they have already explicitly stated that as low as 76 miles still falls within their "normal" expectations. Nissan could always counter with that argument, you see. I simply prefer not to give them that "out." If the majority of the Leafs' test data fell significantly below even their minimal threshhold, then Nissan would have no excuse. But they didn't. And thus Nissan can honestly state that "The cars and the battery packs are behaving as we expected." They did. As they "expected."

As for the two vehicles that did test below the minimum trendline, the fact that the other 10 did not suggests that AZ heat could not be the sole culprit. There are likely additional factors involved. Consider, for example, that one Leaf with "up to 30% reduced in capacity (thus range) within the 18 months since manufacture." I assume we're talking about the vehicle with 29,000 miles on the odometer. If so, that percent, of course, is according to your preferred 84 miles benchmark: 59.3 / 84 = 70% capacity. Nissan's minimal 76 mile benchmark is not as drastic, although still lower than expected: 59.3 / 76 = 78% capacity. According to that minimum benchmark, a Leaf with that many miles on it should have achieved 67.8 miles on your test, i.e., 67.8 / 76 = 89% capacity. So the question is... why the 8.5 miles (11%) difference?

As far as I have been able to glean from the newscasts in AZ, that owner had a 45 mile, one-way commute. That's 90 miles per workday, much more than the average driver in this country. According to the closest of the 6 range scenarios to Phoenix (Scenario 2: "Cross-Town Commute on a Hot Day"), after 29,000 miles a 100% charge would only give a "normal" range of 61 miles. An 80% charge merely 48 miles. I think it logical to therefore assume that the owner was not only charging to 100% those days, but probably twice a day, at both home and work: he just could not have made it to work and back on a single charge under those conditions, even in a brand new Leaf (68 miles with a 100% charge, and 54.4 miles with an 80% charge). Impossible.

It is also reasonable to postulate that charging at work might have been outside, in the blazing sun, parked over baking asphalt. Obviously climate control was a must. Finally, with a commute that long, my guess is that it involved driving the interstate, at freeway speeds. If such guesses are right, these are all "usage" factors that, as the disclaimer we all had to sign explicitly states, "may hasten the rate of capacity loss." I can't help but wonder what the CarWings data shows about such factors.

I can only conclude that, if such were the driving and usage patterns, it just doesn't surprise me that this Leaf experienced a battery capacity loss more accelerated than Nissan's minimal "norm" would predict. But that is not the case for 10 of the 12 Leafs in your test --and probably not the case for most AZ Leafs. There are always exceptions to the general rule.


· · 5 years ago

@George B.

Uh... you're welcome...? Let's be clear: this is not "my" model. It is simply the trendline generated by Nissan's own (admittedly few) benchmarks. It is a question of math, not rhetoric.

Are Nissan's benchmarks flat out wrong, and do not stand up under real world conditions? It may be! That is evidently your hypothesis. The only way to determine it is with more testing, more data, more math --but not just isolated anecdotes, especially without knowing what CarWings' data show for usage and driving patterns beyond mere months and mileage.

I wish you the best gathering, compiling, and analyzing additional data. And I hope those data will eventually help you fulfill your goal to predict verifiable effects from climactic influences --since Nissan has yet to provide a sufficiently wide range of benchmarks, equations, and trendlines for such purposes. Indeed, the automaker would likely welcome such a tool, and should compensate you for the effort.

Finally, again, I maintain that my scenario tables are useful. If nothing else, they can help owners compare their real-world range under such conditions to what Nissan's benchmarks would suggest according to their mileage and/or months of ownership --whichever comes first. If drastically different, like it sounds might be the case for those owners you mention, they'd have a legitimate reason to complain to the automaker, wouldn't they? Sounds helpful to me.


· Paul Scott (not verified) · 5 years ago

HYPERMILING: It's not a communist plot:~)

exEV1 driver, you and others who posted negative comments about my driving style should ride with me sometime. I think you'd learn a lot. Efficient driving does not negatively affect others on the road. I drive a legal speed, something close to the posted speed limit for trucks, and I pass probably 5-10% of the cars on my commute into downtown LA. There is always a lane to my right and 2-3 lanes to my left, so if someone comes up on my tail and prefers to drive faster than I'm driving, all he or she needs to do is change lanes and go around me. Why do you claim that I am interfering with their driving? If they want to go fast, they should be in the fast lanes, right?

The only time I slow others down is accelerating from a stop on a single lane road. At most, they lose about 2 seconds. Again, why is this a problem? If they are in a hurry, it's because they didn't allow enough time to get where they are going. Why is this my fault?

When traffic is heavy, everyone is driving the same speed, so my driving isn't slowing anyone down at all. I do leave space between me and the car in front so I can maximize coasting, but that's a good thing. I'm averaging 5.7 miles/kWh and I get where I'm going without any stress. I always allow plenty of time so I don't feel the need to speed.

In heavy traffic, most everyone around me are tailgating , and as a consequence, they are constantly hitting their brakes. Then, when the car in front moves, these people accelerate hard to get right back on the bumper in front of them where they invariably have to brake again. This is a massive waste of energy worldwide. Please explain to me how this is anything but bad.

If you look at traffic accident stats, the vast majority of crashes involve speeding and tailgating. One crash on a busy freeway affects thousands of cars, causing even more waste.

Do you folks who brag about driving fast consider the consequences of your actions? Do you understand that any energy use creates pollution somewhere? Even if you get your electricity from renewable sources, if you waste it, those are kWh that could have been used to offset coal burning somewhere. And if you are wasting gasoline or diesel, you have the blood of dead soldiers on your hands.

To those who call me smug, well I do feel good about being efficient, but smug has negative connotations that I don't think apply to me. I have no idea who you are ecEV1 driver, so maybe you have met me, but I don't think you really know me well enough to be calling me names like that. I'm really only doing what I feel is right. You feel the need to criticize me for it. So be it. I can't, and won't, tell you what to do, but I'd ask that you either stop criticizing my hypermiling, or explain why you think it's a bad thing. So far, you have failed at that.

· Victor1970 (not verified) · 5 years ago

exEV1driver, It took some fuzzy math to get the numbers in the headline. Arguing about the range being less than advertised if one drives at 70+mph would apply to any car, ICE or electric. There is NOTHING wrong with driving 55-60mph in the #3 or #4 lane (truck lanes). Trucks drive that speed anyway, and Paul's leaving the passing lanes open.

Arguing about "speed is so unimportant to you…" you do realize that the difference in a 28 mile commute at 60mph and 75mph is just over five minutes? For and extra five minutes, you have no stress, high efficiency, and no weaving in and out of traffic. As long as you're not clogging up the fast/passing lane, what's the problem? EV driving habits make people better drivers. I had to rent a Chevy Tahoe for a week this last week. People at work were amazed that I was *averaging* 25 mpg in that leviathan. I have guys here that don't get that in their HONDAs. I got it by driving smart--I began doing that when I got an EV. Cruise control, 60-65mph, #3 lane, pass when needed. I baby it when I can, and I flog it when I want.

· · 5 years ago

Hi All,
Thanks for the good discussions. Clearly some are so smug in their slowness that they don't realize that I don't care that you're driving correctly by keeping right. What I'm saying is that the perception of seeing Leafs crawling in the slow lane leaves the stupid to not realize that this isn't a reflection of what EVs are capable of but only of the mentality of so many early adopters of EVs. For what its worth, I've hypermiled myself so I know exactly what you are talking about. I just don't choose to do so every day, mainly because of the perception it causes. This doesn't, however, mean I exceed the speed limit or suggest that one should. I only point out that many of the folks we want to get behind the wheel of an EV do speed and personally, I'd prefer they speed in an EV rather than an ICE.
Also, there's no doubt that one can drive 100 miles in a Leaf. The issue is people who purchase a Leaf with a need to drive say 50 or 60 miles every day and hope their battery will continue to enable them to do so for up to or more than the 8 years of the warranty. Nissan is going to be the ones who take the bath for those who kill their batteries before 8 years and drivers will after 8 years.
And to Yanquetino and Tony Williams:
Personally, I think there's a lot of truth in both of your analyses, the main issue seems to be the assumptions you each take. I'm not going to choose sides here.
And Kelly Olsen, I hope you stay in Santa Monica so our paths don't have to cross unless I visit there but it doesn't sound like you get out of Santa Monica very often and interact with the locals.

· · 5 years ago

George B.: "Likewise, you cannot remove 10% of range from all new vehicles based on your own judgement alone. This happens to be your personal interpretation of the Nissan Technical Bulletin NTB11-076a."

For the record, the technical bulletin states that a new Leaf, at 4 miles-per-kWh, is expected to achieve a range of 76-to-84 miles.

I fail to understand how my using the lowest estimate (76) is any more of a "personal interpretation" than Tony using the highest estimate (84). Your claim that I have "removed" 10% is simply the variance in Nissan's scale. I don't see that you are asserting that Tony has "added" 10%.

But... fine. So that you will no longer accuse me of using my "own judgment alone," I have now updated my analysis using the middle average (80) in Nissan's projected 76-to-84 scale to plot the polynomial curve over time, and also included error bars to illustrate the full scale that corresponds to each Leaf tested.

· Anonymous (not verified) · 5 years ago

Dear ex-EV1 driver,
Your theoretical calculations regarding the driving range of an 8 year old LEAF in the 2020 is pointless.

Based upon data available right now, I can easily calculate (and defend with the same veracity as you) that by 2020 there will be a 500 mile replacement battery module for the 2012 LEAF available for under $1000.

· · 5 years ago

This discussion reminds me of people who claimed the EV1 could go 120 miles. LOL!!

· · 5 years ago

I'm not sure what your point is.
The most I ever drove a Gen 2 (NiMH battery) EV1 was 160 miles by hypermiling and ignoring the low-battery warning for the last 30 miles. I would, however, say that the no-cares range was about 80 - 90 miles but 120 miles was certainly do-able without much effort at the 65 mph speed limit. I also saw the low-battery warning at the end of a 30 mile run once that included driving 80 mph up and down a 1700 ft steep grade.
Since, however, we only had 3 year leases and it became clear early on that GM wasn't going to let us keep the cars beyond that, nobody worried about battery longevity which is the point of this post.
FWIW, I've reconsidered my position that nobody should purchase a Leaf if they expect to have to drive more than 27 to 38 miles between charges if they want to maximize the battery life.
My new numbers for maximum battery life are 23 - 30 miles between regular charges.
I collected some extreme range driving data yesterday to show some real-world driving. I drove 60.2 miles in the Leaf without A/C and had 2 miles or GOM range left and about 1 SoC bars of range left. The low-battery warning was on for about the last 6 miles that were 35 mph driving.
It was about 90% on a 65 mph limit freeway. I never exceeded the posted speed limit and drove about 5 mph below the posted speed limit for the last 12 miles since I knew I was getting short on range.
There was a total of about 1500 feet elevation distance between the starting point and the end with about 4 steep climbs and descents of over 500 feet. I started with a full charge on a 20 month old Leaf with about 20K miles on it in a relatively hot area (north/west of LA)
If this establishes a no AC/heat maximum then, if we knock this 60 miles down by 40% for daily use to preserve battery then we get 36 miles between charges.
If you knock this down by 20% for the battery life after 7 years, you get 29 miles. This is right at the low-end of my 27 - 38 miles.
If you knock another 10% off for AC/heat, it actually goes down to 26 miles. Knock off another 10% for driving the average speed of about 70 mph on the freeway and you're down to 23 miles.
I will then apologize for my overly optimistic expectation of 27 - 38 miles per charge.
The maximum expected drive between charges in a Leaf for maximum battery life should actually be about 23 - 30 miles.
All of those who posted here about their long daily drives today are likely to be disappointed in about 5 years when they can barely make it home at the end of the day unless they don't take active conservation measures including some of the following:
- don't use AC/heat
- Don't drive over hills
- reduce speed below average or posted speeds
Note that I come under this same category of having to take active measures as well.

· Me (not verified) · 5 years ago

Hi everybody !
I'am amazed about the range that some driver are saying they make.
Living in Québec, (Canada) we have a very large scope of conditions that vary from season to season.
Just to say this, with 14 500 km ( 9 000 miles) on the Leaf and driving it with care, there's absolutely no way I can make 60 miles at 75 mph (100 km at 120 km/h)
The most I did when driving carefully slow in summer without A/C was 139 km (87.5 miles) with a 100% charge and getting home on the knees of the battery, so to speak whit the bells and warning all over.
So now, making 25 miles at -17c°(2 F°) is about eveything the car can do without going in the red running at about 50 mph, starting at 83.33% charge indicated. Heat fully on in that climate of course.
Do your car are any different then the ones around here?
From that, I would say that ex-EV1 is probably closer to the truth then the pack here.

· · 5 years ago

Those great Leaf mileage claims are generally from driving around 55 mph (~90 kph) on level ground in moderate temperatures and minimal acceleration. Normal for some people but not very many. They actually don't drive that far very often at all but compute their great range by extrapolating beyond a shorter real drive range.

· Kristjan (not verified) · 5 years ago

Hi Canadians, life in Estonia with Leaf goes round the same temperatures as in Quebec. Today it's -10 C and in the city I do with 100% charge real ca. 90 km, usually I charge 80% and it shows 90 km-s in the morning but does 75 km in real life. I of course preheat the car, keep the ACC at 17 degrees. Luckily there is free level 3 chargers everywhere, so no worries going out in the morning. I really like the preheat, you sit into a warm car with clean windows where the neighbours scratch the windows in CO2.

· Me (not verified) · 5 years ago

@ex-EV1 driver
I'm glad that I get the real fact.
BTW I love the car, I just dont BS about it.
I believe everybody should act the same, but it's seems car get you emotional.
Hi Estonian!
Is it best to charge to 100% and leave a buffer in the battery to avoid deplete it to much? Or the 80% maximum is the way to go?
No much information from Nissan, is't it?

· Kristjan (not verified) · 5 years ago

I know more or less my next day drivings, depending on this I leave it on overnight timer for 80% or push the button when I arrive in the evening to charge it full, thats maybe once a week. I really do not go for the last penny to be saved, as it cost almost nothing to drive the car I do not need to optimze my driving anymore. Real comfort.

· Canajun (not verified) · 5 years ago

Valuable thread, thanks to all. I hope more people with cold-climate experience will weigh in!

· · 5 years ago

Great discussion, thanks to all.

ex-EV1 driver, hello.
This has been a fascinating read, and I've tried to apply what I'm learning here to my own situation. From what I've read or assumptions I've made, I believe the following to be true: You own or you're buying a Leaf, which you intend to keep for 8 years or beyond. You previously were a EV-1 Lessee, and would have preferred to be able to buy that car outright if GM had made the car available for purchase. I believe I've read elsewhere that you also own a Tesla Roadster. If this is correct, you are a member of a somewhat rare group who has experienced all three. These are my beliefs or assumptions about you.

About me: I am very interested in EV ownership. Previously a auto hobbyist, I've sold two classic? cars to fund my EV ownership - a 1978 Porsche 911SC and a 1991 Mazda Miata Special Edition. All along, I assumed I would be buying, but as the funds are now in place, I find many people suggesting that the lease of a Leaf may be a better way to go. The consensus seems to be that EV's in general will improve over the next 2 - 3 years, and with the technology (and resale values) of the Gen. 1 Leaf somewhat of an unproven commodity, it's better to have the flexibility to move on at the end of the lease. With current incentives, I could actually buy a 2012 closeout SL for $21,000 after tax incentives and own it outright, or lease for 0 down / 240 per month for a 24 month / 12,000 mile per year lease. A third option would be to simply continue drive a ICE for two years and save for, perhaps the Gen. III/Bluestar Tesla, which I think could be really great.

So, my questions for you:

I'm curious to know if the EV-1 lease only experience influenced your decision to buy the Leaf. Also, given your Leaf ownership experience, I'd like to know what you think of leasing a Leaf now as opposed to buying. Lastly, if you care to comment, I'd like to know what you think of the third option I mentioned...driving the ICE for 2-3 more years until something purchase worthy becomes available.


· · 5 years ago

@ex-EV1 driver "No, you are just living in the present with little understanding about what is likely in the future"

Wow - I didn't know you were Nastrodamus or may be DrunkNateSilver ;-)

I've a lifetime average of 4.5 (or about 90 miles of range). My battery has more than 97% of the capacity after 21 months of use.

· · 5 years ago

Hummm, this reminds me of EDMUNDS.COM saying a Tesla Roadster will only go a realistic 150 miles between fillups.

I've pushed mine reasonably hard (75-80 mph, heater full blast, etc), and still always get more than 150. Edmunds must have pushed their test model super hard (driving it like a Sports Car), but then continual driving that way would have temporarily overheated the motor, electronics, or battery.

In the Spring and Fall, I can regularly get more than 250 miles between charges, if I go easy on the gas pedal. My first set of replacement Low-Rolling-Resistance tires REALLY brought the mileage up.

· · 5 years ago

@EV Now,
I'm not Nostradamus or DrunkNateSilver, I'm just looking at the numbers published and interpreting them. I'm also looking a bit at my own experience with other batteries.
I am biased toward ownership because of the EV1 experience. Fortunately, I think that is behind us now and we've gotten EVs to the next threshold of their survival. Since some are owned, like the RAV4EV from the '90's, Nissan will have a lot more trouble if they change their mind and decide they want EVs to go away like GM, Honda, Nissan, Ford, Toyota, and Chrysler did in the early 2000's.
I'd say that buying versus owning an EV today is similar to any other lease -vs- buy decision for any other car with, of course, the fact, as you note, that they may get a lot better over time.
Many of us would have been happy if GM had offered us a better EV than the EV1 but, instead, they chose to tell the world that nobody liked the cars and tell lies about them.
A lot of folks in CA chose to wait for better EVs to come out back in the late '90's. They were sorely disappointed since they never came. The auto manufacturers will only build EVs if people buy them. Are you confident that enough people will buy today's EVs so that manufacturers will the ideal one for you becomes available in the future?
I believe Chris Paine, director and writer of the movie "Who Killed the Electric Car" was quoted as saying something to the effect that "in order to get the EV you want in the future, you have to buy the EVs that are available today." I'll caveat this that you must be able to afford today's EV and it must meet your needs. If you truly cannot use or afford today's EVs then, I highly recommend you continue driving whatever car you have today and save your money until the EV that works for you is available.
You are, of course, taking a risk and depending on others to drive the market in your direction.

· · 5 years ago

@ex-EV1 driver - It is past time for you to quit your day job, mortgage your home and do whatever you need to do to find the time to write “A Buyer’s Guide to EVs”. I find it interesting that in spite of what many believe are your overly pessimistic views on the present state of battery technology you have been able to preserve so much of your LEAF’s original battery capacity. It doesn’t sound like you are a committed hyper-miler and I am guessing you may even live in the great state of southern California rather than EV heaven up north.

The point is by having realistic expectations and knowing what you are doing you can apparently accomplish quite a lot even within the limits of today’s EV and battery technology. My leased LEAF is going back – in large part, probably, because I didn’t. My list of sins includes most of the ‘don’ts’ in your post: too many 100% charges (apparently even these are not a huge problem IF you don’t let your battery sit fully charged for days?); too many hard drives on days with ambient temperatures above 100 degrees; too much top-off charging, too many tests of the LEAF’s 0 to 60 acceleration capabilities, etc.

But you made another comment about the LEAF’s undersized electric motor about which I am curious. GM’s Volt – to which I am switching until the state of battery technology matures enough to go back to driving a ‘pure’ EV – has a better horsepower to weight ratio than the LEAF. If I remember your post correctly, this should help it go easier on its battery. My question is: will it also help the Volt get further - relative to the energy it draws from its battery - than the LEAF?

My more general question is: what other specifications and characteristics should non-engineers look for in shopping for an EV?

· · 5 years ago

Yes, theoretically, if all other things are the same, the Volt, with a higher HP motor should get farther than an identical car with a smaller motor.
Remember though that the car's drag, vehicle mass, and other systems can affect its efficiency as well. I sort of suspect that the Volt probably isn't much better or worse from a miles/kWhr perspective than the Leaf. Remember that the existence of the ICE means more cooling is required and the bottom of the car has to be left open for oil to leak out to avoid fire hazards. These both cause more aero drag.
I also want to remind folks that your Arizona experience with a Leaf isn't likely to reflect theirs. The Leaf was designed quite adequately for more than 90% of the planet, even if it isn't perfect.
If someone lives in a place where the ambient temperature doesn't exceed 100F very often, they don't need to drive long distances (greater than ~30 miles) daily, and don't expect to climb tall mountains very often, they should be perfectly fine with a Leaf.
The technology to take better care of the battery exists today, its the same stuff that makes places like Phoenix inhabitable - Air Conditioning. Nissan just decided not to incorporate it in the Leaf's battery pack design.
I drive a Leaf as my daily driver in my 37 mile each-way commute, charging at work. I live in Southern CA where the temperature does exceed 100F a few times but not as often or as long as in central AZ. I realize I won't get maximum life out of my Leaf's battery but it's going to save me a boatload of $$$ and other associated gasoline costs on commuting over the 10+ years I expect to drive it. I expect I'll have to replace the battery in order to make it the 37 miles each way to work (with a 1500 ft climb on the return end) at between 6 and 8 years (unless I decide to cheap out and hypermile to milk a few more years out of it). I'm currently at 21K miles after about 1.5 years and there are subtle signs that I may be slightly below full capacity in my battery now.
I'm probably not going to give up my day job though. Consumer Reports will eventually learn how EVs work and so will the auto manufacturers so EV purchasing will become much easier with fewer unknowns. In the mean time, I'll be happy to try to help guide the early pioneers over the prairies as a service that will pay forward.

· · 5 years ago

@ex-ev1driver "I'm just looking at the numbers published and interpreting them"

The big mistake you make is - you think your "interpretation" is more realistic than someone who has lived with the car for nearly 2 years.

When you decide to join us back in the real world, let me know.

· · 5 years ago

You seem smart yet you seem determined to deny that:
73 miles/charge X 80% X 80% X 80% = 37.4 miles/charge
What part of my math is incorrect?

· · 5 years ago

@ex-ev1driver ..what you describe is the worst case scenario which is the left side of the normal curve. There will be lots of people who will be charging at 100% and getting 100K miles with minimal degradation. There are so many variables involved that define the longevity of the battery, but one thing is sure you comment is absurd on the practical sense. If you take care of the battery properly and drive at the speed limits the battery will last longer than everyone expect. ( if you drive at 75 on a 55 zone not only you will degrade the battery but driving privileges or worse )

The same type of cheap talk was heard some years ago with the hybrids, "the battery is going to fail and is so expensive is not worth the investment". Our Prius has 278,000 miles and still providing 47mpg. ( yeah we drive civilized )

I drive a 2013 Leaf ( 70miles a day), can't say much about battery degradation based on my on experience since is basically new. But I know people on our EV group whose Nissan Leaf has 35,000mi and still have no apparent battery degradation (they charge at 100%).

*** Your math is correct *** Your comment a bit retarded ***

· · 5 years ago

Well, I don't think exev1 is retarded at all. I live in Chicago. I take 294 home every day. The speed limit is 55, but EVERYONE drives 80-85 mph. If you think you are being safe by driving 25 mph below the rate of traffic, you are not. People will have to swerve around you and unexpectedly hit their breaks. All the while, they will give you the finger, call you an asshole and provide plenty of dirty looks. The fact is, you have to drive at the pace of traffic.

If a Nissan Leaf can't drive 80 mph on a normal suburban highway, like a normal car can, then I guess its not ready for the real world. I don't want to drive a little deathtrap that is likely to get rear ended on the highway while I have my 3 kids in the backseat.

Sounds like the Nissan Leaf is a failure. Also sounds like a lot of people need to come to the realization that driving at the optimal efficient speed limit is not always ideal or acceptable or even safe.

Has anyone ever driving on I696 outside of Detroit? I get passed by nearly 25% of drivers when I'm driving 85-90mph.

No thanks. I will wait until they develop an electric car that drives like a real car, and can safely handle a 30 mile round trip made at 10 degree F while keeping up with the pace of traffic. Doesn't seem like too much to ask.

Ex.EV1 - thanks for sharing your thoughts about how 100 miles can quickly become 27 miles. My only add is - Every year a new version of an EV car will come out that will offer better ranges. The resale of these initial cars will drop to near worthless. Why buy a leaf now, when in ~3 years they will have one that can go 200+ miles and can charge in 30 minutes at any station? You know its coming....

· · 5 years ago

@ I_Like_to_drive... simply if you drive @80mph on the highway to commute in a cold weather area..simply don't buy it!. The point is that you comment is retarded too.. you said "its a failure", when is not It works for me and it works for 99% of the people who bought it (50,000 worldwide ). They have different driving conditions Doh...again you situation is not everybody situation. It just happens that this country is big and there are many weather patterns and people that drive in slower traffic areas and cities. For those people who do 95% of the driving perfect. I rather drive what I am driving that paying about $300 amonth on stupid gas!...DUDE THIS CAR IS NOT FOR EVERYONE ....DONT GENERALIZE BASED ON UR NEEDS! ..YOU ARE DESTINED TO KEEP PAYING GAS FOR AT LEAST 10 MORE YEARS!...SUCKS TO BE YOU....Also the car is not slow, is faster than most cars... your range is limited if you drive @80mph....I have been able to drive it about 67miles @ 65mph on the low20s... that works for me.Also, I don't give a dime how everybody else drives ( seem that you do - sucks to be you again )....they can call me whatever they want as long as I am not breaking the law.

· · 5 years ago

So what does the run of the mill Leaf get these days? 72 miles? Is it still in the high 60's after 15000 miles?

· · 5 years ago

My 2011 Leaf will be 24 months on June 11. I drive 86 miles round trip in SoCal (South OC to Santa Fe Springs) five days a week, charging at home and at work on 120V. Each trip includes about 10 miles of flat surface streets and 33 miles with little elevation change. I charge to 100% about 95% of the time, have done maybe 20-30 level 3 charges and rarely use level 2, although I bought a Clipper Creek LCS-25 late March and need to install it.

The odometer is at about 41000 miles and the Leaf lost one bar of capacity at about 39000 miles. It still charges to 12 bars and I still get about 6-7 miles from the first bar driving surface streets to the freeway. March 17 my wife and I drove to San Diego and went 75 miles (keeping freeway speed 55-65 and including 20% surface streets) before it was on VLB, but I was able to plug in at a Blink station without having to push my luck.

So the dashboard indicator shows some "capacity" loss (15% per Nissan), but I don't know how much this really translates into range loss. My driving averages 5.0 miles/kWh on the dash readout (5.1 in Carwings) so I am obviously driving conservatively, but have some fun when I feel like it.

I'm hoping that, if there is significant degradation after 5-7 years, I can replace the battery if it makes sense economically, or I will just live with less range.

· · 5 years ago

So Ex-EV1 Driver.

My commute just doubled from 14 miles each way (1 mile more than your 13) to 29 each way. Ran errands so did 61 miles today return

Still making it on an 80% charge and more than 20% left 'in the tank' when I get home. 2 yr old LEAF with 26,000 miles.

It *IS* possible to beat the EPA ranges. I estimate I can squeeze 88 miles from 100% to turtle, but haven't done so, only been past LBW a few times.

· · 5 years ago

@JPWhite - If you are doing 60 miles on an 80% charge, I am guessing you are coming fairly close to a LBW on your commutes. But how about telling us how many bars are left at the end of your commute? If I recall correctly, you can cause your LEAF battery problems by BOTH 100% charging and too frequent deep discharging. Does anyone know what the latter is in terms of bars showing on the gauge?

Also JPWhite, where do you live?

· · 5 years ago

Funny that the LEAF still sems to have a pretty decent range, even after a few years driving(other than the extremely hot climate drivers in AZ). Most of us can get around quite nicely with 60-70 miles range...My I-MiEV is giving me better than 5 miles(almost 6) per bar, lately it's been estimating 90 miles range. I put 45 miles on the car yesterday and when I pulled into my garage with 50% battery left it showed 43 miles RR. LIke everyone else I'd love the 200+ mile range with no reduction for heater use in cold weather. However, that ain't happenin for at least a few more years. Until then we have to decide if the battery degradation is that big of a deal. To me, I think that if the cars can cover our typical driving habits(which can vary significantly from family to family) and fit into our budgets, range doesn't probably NEED to increase a whole lot. But any improvement is appreciated and for those in temperate climates, I'd imagine that they wonder what all the fuss is about.

· · 5 years ago

Okay, let us be clear on 1 thing. Based on my observation, when Leaf driver says that "I do 55-65mph" on the hwy, they really mean I average 56 mph. 90% of that hwy, I am going at 55mph, and sometimes I get up to 65mph. Sure that is fine. it is a great way to obey speed limit and extend range. But the fact is that you KEEP THE SPEED LOW to extend range.

I would ike one of those so called "no impact" Leaf to do one of those experiment. After 25,000 miles on your Leaf. Take it to the track. Set cruise control at 75mph and see how many miles you get. I am willing to bet that LEAF will NOT be able to get past 55miles.

Prove me wrong please.

· · 5 years ago

Yep, 55 miles would be generous; at 75 mph, I wouldn't expect to get more than 50 miles in my 2011 that has 42000 on the ticker.

· · 5 years ago

Happy owner of a Nissan Leaf here! Daily commute is 66 miles round trip and in the last two months have made it every day (commute is in SF Bay Area - Oakland to Redwood City each day).

I also have a Jaguar and now use it on the weekends. I am a hellish driver so I don't fit into any stereo types some (should I say one) person rants about on here. Thoroughly enjoy the car, the ability to use the carpool lane and the money I am saving (lease mine).

Great to read everyone's thoughts and opinions, too bad 50% of the talk on here is defending yourselves, reading how someone is astonished when people take debate with their argumentative style of writing (to which I will get a reply "give me examples, give me this, tell me that, I am just here to expose this and expose that, lol).

Hope to here more real world examples and thoughts!!!!!!

· · 5 years ago

I always charge at public stations (i can't afford to rewire the ancient electrical system in my house)... usually to 80% or 90%. Then drive 50+ miles, and when battery % gets into the 30s I start to think about plugging it in somewhere.

Coolest car I've ever had, and the acceleration (when Eco-mode is turned off) is VERY nice. In the 4 months I've had my Leaf, their number in Portland Oregon seems to have doubled or tripled. Hopefully there will be more fast chargers installed here soon.

· · 4 years ago

This is depressing. Sounds like the Leaf (or Focus Electric maybe) won't get the 76 miles they advertise?

Im about to buy a new car and I'd love to get a Leaf. Like many here, I drive the LA freeways, but I go 34 miles each way. I may get the opportunity to charge at work. But without it, is there any way to expect this car will make the 69 mile round trip and get me home just before running out of juice?

It's strictly a commuter so I won't have to stop along the way. I anticipate going home and changing cars if I have to go out.

· · 4 years ago

I had a 2011 LEAF and loved it. But unless you can count on being able to charge at work I am not sure I would take the plunge just yet. At about 7000 I lost a charging capacity bar which I understand equals about 15%. (I know, there are 12 bars.) I live in Arizona but I don't think the heat was what did my battery in prematurely - though that might be another thing for you to consider. What got to the battery I think was the 'deep cycling', roughly once a week to make it to the top of a 9000 foot mountain about 30 miles from my house. If you have to make the full 69 mile commute without a charge, you may be repeating my mistakes.

I understand Nissan made some changes to the chemistry in the 2013 LEAF battery that made it both more efficient and more tolerant of temperature extremes. So you MIGHT be OK. But particularly if you are going to buy, I would want to make sure.

Have you looked at a Volt? It isn't a 'pure' EV. But if you only use it for the commute described above, my guess is you could use it like one. I've only pushed the limits once in what might be comparably relevant driving and I got 46 miles out of a charge. After every charge, the Volt range estimator tells me I can expect 45 - 47 miles. You would have to have a charger at work of course but you should probably have one anyhow especially if you buy a LEAF. (There is something kind of fun about receiving a message from the Volt computer telling you that if you don't burn some gas soon, it is going to fire up the engine and do it for you.)

Another option might be the Spark EV - if you can handle driving a small car. I understand it has the Volt's battery thermal management system - something IMHO absolutely essential if you are going to be driving in an environment with extreme temperatures.

· · 4 years ago

BillG985--Ask your employer. I got assurance at work that I could plug in before buying mine as I drive 43 miles one way (Laguna to Santa Fe Springs). After 8.5 hours, I am typically 92-100% using 120V, and it's no charge to me. At 51000 miles on the odometer of my 2011, I have 10 of 12 capacity bars remaining and I can get estimated 70 miles range but only if driving conservatively. I would strongly encourage an electric vehicle for you in the LA area if you continue to have access to another car for longer trips. I estimate that I've saved $2000 a year on fuel cost compared to a 30 mpg car. You just have to weigh lots of factors to make an informed decision.

· · 4 years ago

I always got 73-80miles out of my '2012 SL LEAF, I miss the damn car from time to time. But worked great from Spring to Fall. with no govt authorization to charge at work, Winter driving had to be done on my ICE vehichle..hence reason for getting the VOLT. But 70miles is highly dooable with little effort. 88mile trip from Baltimore to Northern VA with seat warmers and 65mph hwy no stopping (1 person in car) was a piece of cake too.

· · 4 years ago

That trip of yours is pretty impressive. As a point of reference, I juist drove my Mitsubishi I-MiEV on the PA Turnpike, 26 miles out and then barely (and I mean with the turtle warning light on)made the 26 miles back. Admittedly I was doing probably 65 MPH, and had a passenger. But no heater or A/C on, and it was not fun. The car has yet to lose any battery capacity, as I regularly get around 80 miles in the temperate seasons when I average about 35 MPH, so this was really just indicative of the short range of the "I".

· · 4 years ago

I've been wanting to comment on this thread since reading it about 4 months ago, just after buying my own 2013 Leaf. At first, I was a bit angry at ex-ev1 driver because he seemed to be unnecessarily slamming the Leaf, but, after using my Leaf for the last 4+ months, I have to grudgingly agree that he is on to something that needs to be known, and that is:

You will PROBABLY NOT be able to drive your Leaf the way you drive your ICE vehicles and obtain the published range while adhering to charging best practices; AND if you are buying a Leaf, you WILL need to be mindful of these practices or you will most likely be facing a significantly reduced range in the second half of a decade of ownership.

For the AVERAGE driver, I dare anyone to refute this, and ex-ev1 driver is spot on.

The problem is that while the math is solid, the presentation is a bit abrasive and does not make clear enough that many or all of the factors in the math aren't going to affect everyone 100%, due to varitions in everyone's situation.

Let's review them.

#1 Take 20% off because you shouldn't charge over 80%.
#2 Take 20% off because you shouldn't run to under 20%.
#3 Take 20% off after 7 years due to battery efficiency loss.
#4 Take 20% off for fast driving.
#5 Take 10% off if you're in a climate that experiences temperature extremes.

These are all correct, however, unlikely to affect a good quantity of Leaf drivers, and here's why.

#1 and #2 are nearly completely unnecessary to obey if you are leasing and NOT planning to keep the vehicle, and I'd be willing to bet that the majority of Leaf drivers out there are in this category. I am. I have no qualms charging to 100% and driving till the range finder turns into dashes; in fact, I've gotten 111 miles out of the vehicle doing this, with 80% of that driving being highway driving (which, as we'll discuss shortly, is very hard on the poor Leaf).

#3 is equally moot for leasers. I could care less what the Leaf is doing 7 years from now, and the degradation I should experience during my 3 year lease should not be significant based on what others have experienced.

#4 is significant, and, I dare say, 20% is actually a HUGELY conservative estimation on range reduction. I'll be speaking about this more later. Of all the points being made by ex-ev1 driver, this single one will affect people the most.

#5 is not significant unless you live in the deep South or extreme North. If you do live there, be aware, but for most people this will not apply.

So where are we? Well, for a GOOD MANY people, there is NO REDUCTION on the published range AS LONG AS we don't stress the Leaf speedwise. And that has been my personal experience, which I will now move into describing, while also addressing a statement that has been made in rebuttal to ex-ev1 driver, that statement being:

"The Leaf is a 100 mile car"

I want to call this BS, but it CAN be true, however, it will NOT LIKELY be true for THE AVERAGE person. The problem is, as with all statements, the validity of this assertion can't be classified as 100% true or false because the statement is TOO SIMPLE. As we know, annoying details like temperature, driving style, and terrain will significantly affect the Leaf range. I know this from direct experience as I've run the gamut of all the above factors and more. For instance, I HAVE achieved 100 miles on a charge in the Leaf. Was it fun? Nope. I had to drive like a granny (unless your granny is a NASCAR driver), going 55-60 on I75 when drivers were passing me continuously at 80 MPH. I MUST agree with the users here who say it's not very safe (nor comfortable) to do this, even though I am the one obeying the law.

Now, here is the most important point in this entire message...

The second you exceed 60 MPH you start seriously draining the battery, and at 70+ the batteries just WILT.

You would be LUCKY to go 50 miles at 70+. I ran a test to PROVE this. I picked a time when I75 had very little traffic, jumped on, and maintained 75 MPH heading from Atlanta to Chattanooga. The terrain had only lite grades and the temperature was about 83 degrees. The car was fully charged and started with a predicted range of 95 miles. After 26 miles of driving at 75 MPH, do you know what the range finder said? Guesses?


I turned around and limped back at 45-50 MPH, receiving some of the nastiest glances ever. The range still had 11 miles on it when I pulled in the driveway, but this was simply because the rangefinder was now predicting range based on my travelling about 45 MPH for the last half hour or so, and the Leaf THRIVES when doing this speed. In fact, I'm sure you could do 120+ miles if you just went 45 MPH. Problem is, no one does.

So, this all revealed something to me that I had only suspected after stints of driving briskly:

You pay a drastic price in energy efficiency for speed.


But it doesn't end there. You also pay a pretty big price going up slopes AND if you add passengers to the vehicle. I won't babble about those tests as this message is running long, but you should be aware of all factors and heed this final summary:

The Leaf is a wonderful vehicle for the vast majority of people IF:

1) You don't live in an area with temperature extremes.
2) Your commute is less than 35 miles one way and you have no option to charge before returning.
3) You are going to drive it long distance alone most of the time, or for SHORT TRIPs with many passengers.
3) You don't mind going 60 MPH or less on the highway WHEN RANGE MIGHT BECOME an issue.
4) You lease it, or buy it WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT unless you baby it like ex-ev1 driver says, after a decade (or even significantly less) its range may not fit your needs anymore.

BTW I *LOVE* mine, but caveat emptor!

· · 4 years ago

This hits home for us Mitsubishi I-MiEv drivers as well(yes, there are a few of us out there(except that the range is about 20-25% less than on a LEAF). As I mentioned the other day, driving on the PA Turnpike, at 65 MPH, I barely made it home on a 60 mile round trip. The car turtled, and I was not very comfortable. But, I did make it home...

· · 4 years ago

You are lucky. On one of my tests, turtle mode lasted only 1 mile before the car died completely. I was very fortunate in a way too, as the Leaf died in my driveway, right under my garage door, but I was still able to plug it in. Six more inches and I would have had to push it to get it close enough to charge.

· · 4 years ago

I drove a leased LEAF for about 15 months before buying a Volt. My reasoning for taking the purchase plunge with the Volt was the low probability that any battery technology breakthroughs would occur within the time frame of a financed outright purchase. I've since come to feel pretty good about that decision. The problem for pure EVs is that the technology breakthrough has to occur on several other fronts besides just the question of range: tolerance of environmental extremes, i.e. heat and cold; repeated quick charging; Tesla possibly excepted, further reductions in quick charging, the ability to deep-cycle; etc. And any such break through must be accompanied by further substantial price reductions.

That doesn't mean that a transition to mostly electric driving is premature. Far from it! My one 'regret' since I bought my Volt is that it may have been unnecessary. Both my wife's daughter and my dog have complained about riding in the back seat of the Volt, something that didn't happen with the LEAF. My dog's complaints were so insistent I stopped using the Volt for the one trip up a local mountain that was pushing the LEAF beyond its limits.

Since then I have been using NO gas. (Periodically the Volt displays a message warning you that if you don't burn some, the computer will. I don't have 'gas anxiety' but it is fun to see that message.) That, of course, means that the LEAF's battery would have been more than sufficient for the bulk of my driving needs long beyond the time Nissan says it needs replacement, after a 30% capacity loss I believe.

The message in all this is I believe pretty clear. If after a consideration of all the parameters for extended EV life spelled out by ex-ev1 driver you believe a pure EV like the LEAF is right for you, go for it! But if the LEAF's real world operating requirements leave you with a bad case of range anxiety, consider a 'range extended' EV like the Volt instead.

P.S. You might want to tell GM to get rid of the battery hump in the back seat without doubling the price of a Volt if you regularly haul passengers or dogs.

· · 4 years ago

My wife drives from Escondido to La Jolla, California daily. About 40 miles each way; or 80 miles R/T. So she's getting pretty good range on her 6 month old 2012 Nissan Leaf. But she often gets home with only 10% remaining on the battery or 9 to 12 miles left on the car. So between her driving R/T to La Jolla from Escondido and me running errands to local stores daily after she gets home at 5:30 or 6 PM with less than a dozen miles on the car remaining ... we manage to drain the battery almost completely and almost every day. And yes we did purchase a level 2 charger. Otherwise she would be able to charge in time to drive to work the very next day. Level 2 takes about 5 to 6 hours to charge every night (as opposed to the standard trickle charger which can take up to three times longer. When we first got the leaf in May 2012, I once had to drop her off at work in La Jolla coming from Escondido (2 passengers this time as opposed to just one petite lady). I needed the car that day so she drove me to her work site only to find I could not quite make the very same distance back home. Joy for joy! I was actually 3 miles short. Why less distance now? Well-First off there were now 2 passengers rather than one in the very same vehicle (add an extra 220 lbs.. and deduct an extra 10% from the total driving distance which is about where you will find yourself stranded) save for the fact she's petite and she rarely exceeds 65 mph while exclusively in ECO Mode. She never told me I HAD to stay within "who cares about trees, and even less about turtles ECO Mode" on the way home, so guess what? I didn't! Nor did I stay at 65 mph. More like 70 to 75 mph. I almost made it home in record time. Bottom line is I didn't quite reach our house right away. I was 3 miles short of my destination. Luckily, I managed to reach a Blink station with a level 3 charger (now I know why it's called a Blink Station) right off of highway 15. Took all of 20 mins., and I was right back on the road and then to where I started from and with a 90% charge in less than a half hour.

Bottom line is this. What do I care how long the battery lasts? It's a leased vehicle, right? It has a full 100% warranty. Does it not? And I’m told that nissan warranty was recently extended to cover the leaf battery as well.

What actually worries me more than the Nissan Battery dying / not making the same commute on a daily basis, is the fact our SDG&E Electric bill has skyrocketed to $450 in the month of Sept. 2013 when she started back to school teaching. The same time last year we were paying $115. Hence, our SDG&E utility bill is now far and above our nissan leaf car payment.

· · 4 years ago

Sounds to me like it is way past time for you to put up some PV. A friend here recently got a quote of about $25k to lease a 20,000 kwh per year system. It should be pretty simple math to figure out how much you need to cover your LEAF. A rough guess is about a 10 year payback period.

· · 4 years ago

Roof on my home doesn't lend itself to solar panels unfortunately. That and I'd have to chop down about a dozen of my neighbors palm trees that currently shade the south side of my house in order to "go green".? Doesn't make sense ... $25-30K for solar? Not likely after just buying a 35K Nissan Leaf. In the month of August 2013 we used nearly twice the energy / electricity than we did last year and wife wasn't even driving to work yet. She just started back teaching in Sept. Used to pay this kind of cash to ExxonMobile monthly. Now we're simply paying it to SDG&E. I'm considering switching vehicles with the wife and allowing her to to simply drive my car which is a 2012 V6 Nissan Murano rather than the Leaf which now bumps our electric useage to roughly 1300 KW hours per month. Not quite as cheap as we had planned prior to SDG&E's recent 30% rate hike in our area.

· · 4 years ago

What is your electric rate schedule?
Mine is 9 cents per kWH up to 900 kWH, then 13 cents per kWH (in the summer: it's 8/9 in the winter).
Since I use way more than 900 kWH in a month, all my Leaf charging is done at 13 kWH (or 9 in the winter) and roughly adds 25% - 33% to my electrical bill.
To me this is no big deal as that means roughly 35 - 50 dollars a month more on my electric bill, whereas my petrol bill before using the Leaf was more than $200 a month.
This means the Leaf saves me over 75% of the fuel costs of driving the older vehicle.
In your case a nearly quadrupling of your bill sounds way out of expectation.
Check your rate schedule because it sounds like you are exceeding some limit on electric use that makes your electricity much much more expensive. Or maybe you have other issues that have caused your electric to rise.

· · 4 years ago

sdmacuser--switch to one of the SDGE time-of-use rates. One requires a second meter, the other does not. With the whole house on one meter, you eliminate tiers and minimize cost for charging when you do it at midnight to 5am. The peak-time rate is probably no worse than your top tier you have now, so use of house AC would probably be at a similar or better rate. I have been on it with my 2011 LEAF and it lowered my bill considerably.

· · 4 years ago

I called SDG&E and informed them back in June I had the Leaf. They tell me tiers simply don't apply to my bill either. And in the same sentence she said that 80% of my bill was at 19 cents while 20% of it was at 29 cents. Sure can't tell from the double digit rate increase though. Filled out the utility forms directly from the Nissan dealership as well. After Sept. 28, 2013 I completely stopped using AC altogether but there were a few days when the temps got fairly high (like 103) and I had to use central AC earlier in the month. I just recently paid the $449 statement and now October's bill is still significantly higher than our Leaf car payment. I too am simply on one meter for the entire house. I recently traded out every light in our home for the white curly 40-60 watt flourecent bulbs. Not a big fan of these low wattage bulbs either but they do save money I'm told. Not sure what else I can do to save on electricity use sort of moving closer to La Jolla like my wife or simply NOT driving this particular vehicle or perhaps trading cars with the wife for a while just to see exactly what's going on. She drives 80-90 a day. I drive maybe 10 miles a day. It's looking like I may have to drive her Leaf for a while. Not terribly excited though. There goes my telescoping steering wheel, power lumbar support, power seats, and perhaps my lower back too. Wife's always happy though. She says she feels like she's always driving a luxury car. And frankly, she is. Strange that both vehicles are nearly identical in price tags. They are so close ... and yet so far apart. The ECO side of the equation doesn’t really make me feel any better about this electric car either. Zero Emissions is not entirely accurate imo. What it really means is “displaced emissions” at an SDG&E power plant for example which doesn’t treat your wallet any better than our favorite buddies at ExxonMoble.

Just my 2 cents worth. Here's food for thought. When I first stated paying SDG&E back in 1979, my monthly electric and gas bill was all of ($15 every 30 days).

Today (from my most recent billing), I'm spending that same amount every day.

· · 4 years ago

sdmacuser--Assuming you already have a smart meter installed, your hourly use is tracked and available to you. Go online, access your SDGE account and see for yourself in "My Energy". Or have SDGE analyze your recent high usage. My most recent bill with them for 597 kWh was $112.52 and would have been much higher with tiered b\illing. I am driving 86 miles roundtrip, 5 days a week plus weeked use, but charging at work also about 200 kWh per month. My additional monthly use at home is 200-250 kWh due to the LEAF, so yours should be about twice that.

· · 4 years ago

That's actually a pretty good reference or starting point. Something to work with is what I needed here and you just provided that. Thank you very much. I will post back later with my results.

· · 4 years ago

It's unfortunate that a former EV "customer" has such bad things to say about the Leaf, but we should all recognize that companies which produce exclusively ICE cars DO have a major financial incentive to 'pee in the pool' on forums just like this one. The facts about well-designed electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf are pretty clear to anyone who does a bit more research than simply to find the first grumbler and place stock in what he says.

Ex-EV driver's analysis is fundamentally equivalent to an anecdotal description of a person who has two children aged between 3 and 5 who goes to Home Depot, buys a ballpeen hammer and places it 'innocently' in their pile of toys. Yes, you can get bad results if you try hard enough. But what results do you expect if you try hard to get bad results? Should you get all-glass dishware if your kitchen floor is ceramic tile and you have a penchant for leaving the pieces 49% off the edge of the counter in an area known for periodic earthquakes? Probably want to make a no-shoe rule and leave all the lights in the house off after dark as well...

It's high time personal responsibility began playing a slightly bigger role in American economics. Really? You spilled hot coffee on yourself? Whose fault is that, exactly? You left your Leaf out of eco mode, parked it in a -30 F garage, charged it to 80% and then drove it up and down a hilly beltway at 85 mph? It hurts all of our feelings that you intentionally left yourself without any means of contacting civilization, left when you were sure the roads would see no traffic for 7 days, and then found yourself stuck out in the middle of the wilderness freezing to death--but it certainly is better for the gene pool if you ever had the 'plan' to have children--which probably wouldn't have been a plan in your case anyway.

As for me? I picked up my 2013 Leaf S w/optional fast charger in Virginia--about 12 miles from Dulles airport, Washington, D.C., and promptly drove it 500 miles to upstate New York where charging stations are few and far between (at least outside major cities.) If I really wanted to be an idiot, I could have gotten myself in a serious jam on the way back--let's see, I could forget my cell phone, drive through the barren wilderness that is rural PA, and fail to plan conservatively with my charge stops. But, unlike ex-EV driver, I'm not about to blame my own idiocy on a product manufacturer--I have at least some sense about where manufacturer error ends and operator error begins. What I find is 60 miles is effectively the minimum range you'll get unless you 1) aren't sensible or 2) are working with a relatively old battery. Last I checked, the guarantee is something like 70% charge for the first 6 years. By then I'll be driving a generation-4 Leaf or the equivalent.

So, at least double the most liberal 'estimate' that ex-EV gives. Probably just a hater/troll whose mom didn't give him enough attention when he was 7-10 years old so seeks it elsewhere.


· · 4 years ago


ex-EV could be a hater or troll but he just seems like an anal grandstander, with a perhaps a touch of an axe to grind.

I already dismissed ex-EV's statements as "not applicable" in many cases.

While his math and statements are all true in isolation, the chances that everything he says applying to YOU are slim to none.

Like any judgement one makes, collect facts and see how they apply to YOU, then make your informed decision.

I have now been happily using my Leaf for about 6 months and am as pleased today as I was when I bought it. This is because I knew what I was getting into when the purchase was made and the facts made sense for me. And, as I mentioned in my original post, I would venture to guess that a Leaf would make sense for the vast majority of others out there as well.

· · 4 years ago

I've just had it today with the Leaf. Yes, it is all time record low temperatures but I need to go to work on this day too. I very clearly told the sales people I had a 62 mile round trip every day (which is why I wanted to stop polluting). The Leaf tells me its got 90-100 mile range every AM. After about a month (Ive had it 10 months) I realized I needed to get some backup electricity at work becuase with even a 5 mile errand, I risk not getting home. (Yes I had it checked by the dealer. Its "fine".

Today, I started with the indicator telling me I could drive 101 miles. I had to go on a 10 mile round trip extra errand and when I got to work, there were 4 miles left on the indicator. Four. That is, I drove 42 miles and almost didnt make it one way. Not close to 101. Now I'm stuck at work, stranded until the trickle electricity will give me enough range to get home. This is (unfortunately)NOT the car for anyone with a commute over 20 miles one way and they shouldn't sell it as such. I'm a committed environmentalist or I wouldnt have bought it to begin with. It will be a long time before I try this again. I wish I still had my Prius.

· · 4 years ago

Cold weather can really hurt range, as you have experienced. Store the car in as warm a place as you can. If you are able to, before driving and after getting the charge to the level you want (or during charging if you have 240V), preheat the car by accessing and starting climate control from your computer or smartphone. I think it will run for a couple of hours before automatically turning off. If you have a seat warmer, use that when driving instead of heating the cabin (wear whatever you need to stay warm). I have a 2011 and heating the cabin while driving in very cold weather can really decrease the range. Of course you have to keep the windows from fogging, so some climate control use is necessary.

· · 4 years ago

Also, to defog, be sure the AC is engaged as it will dehumidify the interior. It normally goes on automatically when you start defrost mode.

· · 4 years ago

Newb here, but wanted to comment since I think it is valid for me to say that with 0 driving habit change my Leaf gets me to where I need to go. I don't drive it like an electric car yet cause I don't know proper way to squeeze out the most mileage, and it doesn't matter. I work 11 miles from home. Family lives 4 miles away. Kids can and walk to school. I too run errands at lunch time or head out to my furthest favorite deli for lunch, 15 miles away sometimes. It fits my lifestyle. I think it is paramount to understand that the Leaf is not for everybody and that no one is forcing you to purchase one. I live in California so it makes sense to me. You wouldn't buy a Miata to haul dirt would you? Likewise if you live in 20 F below Minnesota or 120 F Phoenix maybe it is not for you.

· · 4 years ago

I think Nissan already restricts how the battery is charged. All you need to do is maybe drop it down below 50% and then recharge.

· · 4 years ago

Totally Absurd post. The other day we drove 50 miles. Here are the important statistics:
1. A fully loaded car - 4 people, one dog, the trunk completely full with our things
2. 65 miles an hour for 2/3 of the trip; 55 for 1/6 and stop and go traffic for 1/6 of the trip
3. The air-conditioner on medium the entire 1 hour in the car.

We started with 98% charge and ended with 24% - about 22 miles remaining. Given the 65 mile an hour speed + aircon + stop and go traffic this was uneconomical driving. Alone at a 60 mile an hour speed and some aircon I had 40% remaining. This is real world driving. The poster is torturing the numbers to arrive at a totally absurd conclusion. If you drive the car economically - 55 on the highway, climate control while plugged in for reduced usage during the trip, you should get 75 miles of range easily without completely depleting the battery. Finally, if you are on a 2 year or 3 year lease there is little need to keep the 20-80 charge rule. Even at 90-10 you are not harming the battery that much more and still maintaining a practical 70 - 75 mile range.

· · 4 years ago

I'm am a certified master mechanic and participated in the Nisan training course in northern cal and all electric cars mileage rating is rated at 80% battery because the battery constantly gets charged by the regenitive braking system and needs play as overcharge protection, your mileage rating is just as inaccurate as Nissans 100 mile claim, I'm sure your readers would appreciate more accurate research before you make innacurate calculations, its like when someone only shows up for a phsycology 2 days and all of a sudden they know as much as a psychiatrist.

· · 4 years ago

And the Nissan leaf as well as other all electric vehicles and hybrids are built to excellent in stop and go traffic . this happens because the regenitive braking system recharges the battery every time you hit the brakes

· · 3 years ago

@yourignorant, actually they are not built to be excellent in stop and go traffic, although they are better than their ICE counterparts thanks to the regenerative braking. But you never get as much energy out from regen as you put in in acceleration, so each stop/go cycle uses more energy. The cars will do best doing a consistent speed, and ideally less than 55 (although you don't really see a huge drop-off in efficiency until over 65 in my experience).

Anyway, I thought it would be interesting to see how people are doing with their vehicles 2 years later...

My LEAF is 3 years old now and approaching 43K miles. We are approaching the winter, which is the critical time for range. I have lost 1 capacity bar so far, and that was quite a while ago (@23K miles) so is another one imminent?

Anyway, this morning after charging to 80% (which always only gives me 9 bars these days rather than the 10 when fresh), I arrived at work just having clicked over to 2 bars. Clearly I will need to charge at work to make it home (we have a 120V outlet). My commute is about 25 miles, so a very rough estimate of my attainable range at this point would indicate: 25 miles / 7 bars = 3.6 miles per bar (ouch!) So a full 12 bars (I would certainly charge to 100% if I needed the range that day) would appear to give me about 43 miles of range at this point. I'll even add in the safety "13th" bar to bump that up to 47 miles.

Based on that, it would appear that the original post is bearing truth. After all, I'm only about 43% in to what I hope is 100K miles out of this battery and my winter-time range has fallen from maybe 75 to 47 miles? If I am too loose with the math, given the additional 57% of the way I have to go, I'd expect another 30 miles of range to drop? What?

Of course it doesn't work like that, and that's my point (well one of my points). These losses, etc. don't stack. You can't just keep subtracting 20% over and over. At a certain point, that 20% reduction in range naturally drops to only 10%. And that's what I expect to happen to my battery in terms of overall capacity loss. The initial drop-off is somewhat steep, but then levels out quite a bit. I'm pretty sure the Nissan engineers knew this when the made the first battery capacity bar represent a disproportionate amount of battery capacity. Yeah, that first bar may not have been lost until I was down 15%, and subsequent bars only represent 8% each, but in terms of miles driven, the bars should drop off very regularly due to this effect (i.e. every 23-25K in my case I hope).

Second, in my case today, I knew I would be able to charge at work, and I knew what my range requirements were. So I only charged to 80%. And I ran the heater like crazy (I was actually doing an experiment). And I was not incredibly careful about driving efficiently, as I knew I could make it. If I was in a position where I needed additional range this day, my driving behavior would change.

Third, again with the heating, I happened to leave the car outside last night and did not pre-heat (again, this was part of an experiment I was doing). Clearly this had a negative impact on range today.

Fourth, the original poster mentioned being "kind" to the battery by staying in between 80%-20%. Obviously we've all heard the 80%, but I don't hear the 20% number much. In fact, I was under the assumption that Nissan already reserved a reasonable minimum SOC and shut down the car at that point anyway. At any rate, for peace of mind's sake, however, I would say we shouldn't assume going all the way down to 0% (or at least to the bottom of what you can actually access), so I would support a minimum realistic SOC%, but maybe along the lines of 10%.

Fifth, even Nissan is now discounting the impact of the 80% "niceness" factor, and have removed that option from their newer models. I still believe that the car shouldn't sit for long periods of time at 100%, so I still do charge to 80% when I don't need 100%, but there seems to be less and less point of doing that.

Sixth, again, behavior is going to change if needed. I have a trip I make every few weeks that is 70 miles altogether. When I first got the LEAF, I drove along the highway (speed limits 65-70) and had no problems. There is no way I could make that now in the winter. But I have changed my behavior somewhat as well: I take a secondary road (55mph limit) that is shorter anyway; I combine it with a trip to work where I can get an L1 charge for awhile; and now there is actually a DC QC at a nearby Nissan dealer, and while this wouldn't be the case in all situations, we are starting to see more of these installs.

And finally, since the post was originally written, we now have a cost for a replacement pack should the range simply drop below an acceptable range for the owner, and I at least feel that the cost is quite reasonable.

· · 3 years ago

I guess I can chime in now. after drooling for 20 years I finally own an electric car. 2012 Leaf SV.

I scored it used (certified preowned whatever yadda yadda) 4802 miles 89% on the battery $17,000 YES. mine.

I was well aware of the limitations of the car. I FULLY expect to have to replace the battery every 3 years.

$6000 is chump change compared to the $25,000 in fuel it will save me in those 3 years.

in fact reading the article on the $6000 replacement cost "IS" what sealed the deal and got me to get one.

I have had the car for 4 months now. I have put 8400 miles on it in those 4 months. probably 8600 by tonight (8400 2 nights ago)

I put another 118 miles on the car today. no not on one charge. at these temps my range is about 60 miles 65 if I push it. I don't push it.

I deliver pizza. I charge at work. I have a backup car (geo metro) I park at work in case I run out of go juice :-) I also have a backup car at home and a backup car at my second job.

when the weather was warm in september I was getting over 85 miles to a charge (confirmed I did it a couple times)

at freeze temps I get 65 to 75 miles to a charge.

at freeze temps and higher speeds much less at freeze temps with heat far less.

my second job is 54 miles one way. (I have a 240v outlet at both jobs and at home)

at freeze temps down to 30' tested I can do the 54 miles with minimal heat and still make it (1.3kwh remaining)

below 25' I can not use the heater. I do not think I would make it. I confirmed I can do it down to 14-16' with no heat. 1.8kwh remaining without heat.

I got a small indoor safe propane heater for heat but its a catch 22. propane combustion makes a TON of water vapor. ie fogs up the windows fast and bad.

defrost is a power pig and the idiots at nissan did not see fit to allow e to turn on the defrost BLOWER without engaging both the AC and the HEATER. Ouch. Working on getting the hvac panel modded to allow me to use the blower without engaging the heater or ac units (won't be perfect but it will extend the time between defrostings significantly I think)

I wear fleeced lined leggings and a fleece lined form fitting undershirt under my clothes. I wear gloves. I love the seat heater and heated wheel.

anything to avoid using the heater. I want range not heat. I will shiver if I have too as the more range I can get the less often I have to use the gas car the more money I make.

the car is amazing well sealed. in fact my PRIMARY problem is window fogging. I found working solutions for this but they are all one time use. they work one day and then you have to reapply and they are a freaking PAIN IN THE YOU KNOW WHAT to apply :-)

so far I have only had to use maybe 2 gallons of gas in 4 months. (metro gets 40mpg delivering)

I average 80 to 140 miles per day delivering with my leaf.

I don't really care how long the battery lasts only how many MILES will it last. if I can get 90,000 miles out of the battery I will have saved enough in gas to 100% pay for the car AND 100% pay for the replacement battery pack.

I can live with that. very easily.

these cars have huge limitations. if you can work within those limitations they can be IMMENSELY life altering in how much money they can save you.

Some things to consider.

if you drive less than 20,000 miles a year WHY are you even thinking of buying an electric car now? what is the point? FUELING and FIXING your existing car is cheaper than buying even a leaf.

if you need to go more than 50 miles in sub zero temps do not buy this car. I figure down to 14' I can squeeze 56 miles out of the car. HOWEVER this is on MY commute with a posted speed limit of 50mph (no highways)

at higher speeds no way in hell are you going 50 miles at sub zero temps even WITHOUT heat. forget it.

at 30' 65-68 miles is doable but again NO HEAT. 55-58 with heat WITH CONDITIONS.

conditions? fully charge the car. PREHEAT on umbilical power (240v only) then GO no stops no detours no high speed hvac set at no more than 75' max speed 50mph maybe 55.

do that and you can get 60 miles at 30' in comfy heat. (this is on a battery degraded down to 89% you can go more on a new battery)

in 8400 miles my battery has not degraded any further (oddly enough heavy use is healthy for the battery you get more degradation sitting around fully charged all the time)

I always drain it well below 20% and I always charge to 100%

I WISH I could trust the charge timer. I can not. ideally I would set it not to charge when I get home but to start at the right time such that it "finishes" charging when I want to command a preheat.

why? the battery WARMS charging and WARMS while in use. hot charging and then going will result in the warmest possible battery which will result in the best range.

alas I can't trust it. if it ever failed to charge for any reason I am out $20 to $40 in gas that day. Ouch.

so I live with the small hit of chilling the battery. I wish I could manually turn on the battery heaters to "warm up" the battery in the morning while on umbilical power.

I go through a lot of hoops as you can see to use this very limited range car. but the REWARD IS I am no longer pouring $120 to $180 PER WEEK in gasoline into a fuel tank either.

that is a pretty big reward.

another pet peeve. the info/entertainment/gps system in the car is utter rubbish. complete garbage.

I really want to fly out to japan find the guy who designed this bitch slap him in front of all his coworkers while screaming HAVE YOU EVER SAT IN THIS DAMNED CAR AND USED THIS SYSTEM YOU DESIGNED.

WOW what garbage. don't even get me started on the hands free interaction which I consider to be quite literally "dangerous" to use. Period.

SO I velcroed a 7" android tablet over the screen. 1000 times improved the whole thing :-) I just ignore the $2500 hunk of worthless hardware behind it. Grrrrr.

and don't even get me started on having to hit OK to that damned message EVERY SINGLE TIME I get in the car (roughly 40 to 50 times DAILY) Grrrr

otherwise. I freaking love my leaf. such quite bliss the SILENCE of driving this thing. utter silence. quite pleasing.

"should" be virtually zero maintenance too. I mean besides the norma brakes tires wipers and once in a while bearings etc.. what is there to fail? its all solid state. in theory should outlive me.

I fully expect to put 25,000 or more miles a year on the car. I expect to get 3 to 3.5 years on the battery before replacing it.

I might be able to extend that if I invest in a brusa charger to boost the rate at which I can recharge the car when plugged in.

the NJ commute is a tough one. 54 miles is 54 miles.

but for my delivery job my MAX hunt round trip is 10 miles. maybe 12.

so the limitation is not range of the car but how rapidly can I recharge it. at 3.3kwh I recover 1 mile every 4 minutes. with a brusa charger I could get a mile every 60 to 90 seconds. that would be a HUGE improvement in fact MOST deliveries would result in me charging net positive!

but man $3000 is big bucks to me :-)

for local driving under 30 miles where range is no concern. MAN the heater is fantastic. go shopping when at the register I tap my watch to start up the heater and its toasty when I get to the car. LOVE IT.

the heater in my 2012 is a PIG though. man does it suck down the battery hard core.

I understand the AC is quite efficient however so I think I will ahve no problems at all once the temps go up again.

already got a hitch installed. yes I will be towing (tiny 42"x40" trailer and a bike rack etc..) same as I town with my geo metro.

and when range is not an issue the car is a freaking monster. acceleration is deep and non stop. dangerous addictive fun to drive. I can pretty much toast anything on the road 0-30 and can even make crotch rockets take a second look :-)

few reminders. regen never ADDS energy it only recovers "some" lost energy that otherwise would have gone into the brake rotors as heat.

I REALLY hate that the car dials back the regen in the winter. very very annoying as I do a lot of heavy stop and go with delivery and USE the regen to both reduce my range losses and to conserve my brake hardware.

I estimate i might get 100,000 miles on a set of brake pads but that was at warm temp regen. with winter regen being so much lower I have no idea how long the pads will last.

as for predicting mileage. Step one you have to LEARN the car and LEARN what m/kwh you get under what conditions.

step 2 install obdII dongle and leaf spy. you use the kwh capacity and adjust the m/kwr to be what your using. THIS is your range.

you can largely ignore the guess o meter.

30' preheated hvac at 75'? 3m/kwh

20' preheated NO hvac at all 3.4m/kwh (with intermittent defrost just 10 or 15 seconds at a shot just enough to clear the windscreen)

not ready to do all this? then don't buy a leaf unless your daily mileage needs are low enough to be below its drop dead range.

I would rate the drop dead range of the leaf. Drop dead being 20' out heat going at 75' speeds to 55mph at night to be about 45 miles.

if you need more than that outlet to outlet then don't buy the leaf.

if you DON"T need more than that then WHY are you buying a leaf? it is not a cheap car unless you saving in gas.

in a couple years I hear they will have a larger capacity battery.

all the leaf needs is a 30kwh USABLE capacity battery (so what 34kwh actual??)

give me that and its drop dead range woudl be 60-65 miles even in the worst case scenario.

THAT would be sweet. 150 miles in great conditions.

I can't wait. I hear 2016 or 2017 ?? is so they in 2017 or 2018 (never buy new buy used) I will score one.

keep the 2012 as a family runabout for anyone needed to go a short distance (30miles one way 60miles round trip)


· · 3 years ago

@nerys, Great post! I thought that pizza delivery would be a pretty tough gig for an EV (lots of driving with no lengthy stops for charging). Glad to hear you've been able to make it work. Now if you had a backup EV instead of your metro, it would easily work.

I suspect you would also be a good candidate for a 2013+ LEAF with 6.6kW charger and the more efficient heater. My wife has one, and compared to my 2012, (a) it charges freakishly fast--I know it's only 2X, but it really "feels" a lot faster, and (b) the heater efficiency really is amazing. AND, the degradation of the regen capability in cold weather is practically non-existent. You are right on the mark though with the 2012--I just shot a video the other day of my 2012 with 3 bars remaining, mid-high 30's temp, and highway speeds and I was only getting 1 regen bubble! I don't remember it being that bad the first 3 winters (this is the 4th winter with my car).

A couple of comments on your post:

- I don't really think driving 20K+ miles/year is the low bar for earning an ROI on an EV. I bought my car NEW, and "only" drove it 15K miles annually and definitely managed to save quite a lot on fuel/maintenance (around $2500 annually). Maybe you're trying to recoup the price of the car itself as well (I don't think that's a fair comparison though). I do think there is a sweet spot where it makes economic sense though, and with lower gas prices these days (something that's bound to be temporary), that sweet spot is higher than it used to be, but I would place it in the 10K-20K miles annually range. My wife leased her 2013 and her monthly lease is only a few tens of dollars more than what she would have paid in gas (at the gas prices at the time), and she drives just under 10K/year. And let's not forget that cost is not the only reason people get EVs. When I got my LEAF it wasn't even in my top 5 (I wasn't even aware it would save as much money as it did).

- Running the defrost without AC: I think you'd find that it would be far less effective that way. Again, something they got right in the 2013: you can turn off the HEAT but leave the AC on so it clears the windshield. But with the efficient heater, that hardly matters anyway. I have seen good results from people using anti-fogging compound. You may want to give that a shot.

- Why do you feel you can't trust the charging timer? After over 3 years of ownership and charging daily, I can only recall two times where the timer didn't fire, and I'm pretty sure I can chalk both up to failures in my EVSE, not the car. One was definitely an EVSE issue. The other happened around 30 days after I bought the car, so it was probably user error. Other than that, the charging timer has been rock solid. Having said that, I don't suspect you'd see a dramatic improvement in the range anyway.

- Info/NAV system. Totally agree with you there. Nissan did so well with the electrification of the vehicle, but then farmed out that system to Clarion and it's a real dog. I'd say the same about their CARWINGS system. Clearly Nissan's forte is not in the electronics and IT side of things. I just wish they would've worked with a company that built better products if they were going to outsource it. At least on the 2013 and beyond they only nag you once a month with the "OK" prompt.

· · 3 years ago

Have to lean towards Paul Scott's philosophy towards driving for efficiency. It doesn't matter what you drive, some basic techniques will improve your fuel economy. I belong to a TDI forum, and the "what's wrong with my MPG" threads always surface because people automatically assume they can get behind the wheel, smoke the tires, accelerate to stop lights, and expect to beat EPA fuel economy numbers. I regularly get 40MPG combined with my Jetta, but it takes a little work. Getting the best FE out of your car is a fun game; especially with the real-time FE gauges that most cars have. Done in moderation, driving for FE makes you a safer driver and (at least for me) is a lot less stressful.

My wife and I are looking at the Nissan Leaf as a second car. There's no doubt that my wife will "only" get 60 miles of range - while I'll likely get closer to 100 miles. We both have very different driving styles. My guess is that people that complain about the Leaf's "limited" range tend to blame the car instead of the way they drive it.

· · 3 years ago

I own a 2015 leaf for the past 10 months and have driven it almost 10,000 miles. I think that the calculations about only having a 37 mile range is quite pessimistic. I agree that a rechargeable battery on any appliance should never be brought down to 0% because it will hurt the battery chemistry. I we have all seen journalists on YouTube do a report on an electric car and drive it into the ground as a "torture test". I also agree with the Nissan manual to not have the battery at 100% for long periods of time.

When I first got the car, I tried only charging the battery to only 80-90% every night and it made me CRAZY!! I got tired of that, and now my 240 volt home charger turns itself off at 100% every night, and I immediately drive it in the morning. I am happy to have a "full tank" in the morning and have an effective range of 80 miles on my car. If Nissan thought that 100% is bad for the battery, then they should have made the dashboard display show 100% be at the true 80% level.

I think people overthink and over complicate new technology unnecessarily. Its like worrying how long the soles of your shoes will last and only walking "Heel-to-toe". We all should enjoy this technological wonder and have fun... I have a free charge point charging station within walking distance from my job... Guess what! I drive my Leaf for FREE!! Now that is NEAT!...

· · 2 years ago

I bought a used Leaf early this summer (2015) and initially I could drive about 74 miles on a full charge. Now that it's October, my range has dropped to less than 55 miles. Here are a few facts: 1) I drive slowly, rarely above 55mph and more usually less than 30mph. 2) No jackrabbit starts or stops; 3) No real weather changes since temperatures were in the 60s to 70s during the summer, and now are in the 50s to 60s; 4) No A/C, no heater, no radio, no nothing that would drain the battery.

Being a reasonable person, I took my Leaf to the local Nissan dealer to test. Their testing showed the battery as good, everything was good, all was rosy, yet my range is less than 55 miles. What the hey, does a ten degree drop in temperature result in a 20% range loss? Nissan made comments that my problem was use of air conditioning, aux. power, poor driving habits, and so on, which is totally wrong and I told them so. If my battery is so good, why am I getting less than three miles per KWH? Especially when the display says I'm getting 4.0 miles per KWH? There is something rotten in Denmark.

I love the car, love the silence, the comfort of the seats, the way it drives, the cleanliness, the lack of petroleum product stench, you name it. But having the range drop 20 miles in less than six months is more than ridiculous. The dealership refuses to do any more. Has anyone found a way around the bureaucracy that makes up Nissan dealerships???

· · 2 years ago

Actually it's not bureaucracy that you're dealing with at the dealership, but rather simple ignorance of the workings of EVs (I suspect the customer rep is also fairly ignorant of ICE vehicles as well, which is why they are out front and not actually working on the car).

But your problem is not the bureaucracy, it is legitimately what happens to the battery during cold weather. You simply can't stuff as much energy into the battery as you can when it's warm, so your capacity is simply not the same as when it's warmer.

The other impact, depending on what year LEAF you have (what year is it?) is that the gen 1 cars lose a LOT of regen for some reason when it is even slightly cold. My 2012 fails to give me more than a single bubble of regen until it's at about 6 bars when it gets colder. Very frustrating. My wife's 2013 gets full bubbles at 10 bars, even when very cold. Of course hers has a lot fewer miles on it, but I think it's somewhat of a software issue (the 2011/12 models have more conservative software in them). Hers also performs much better in the winter than mine in general.

I bought my car in December and therefore just assumed the lower range was what I had. When summer came around I got extra miles and it was a pleasant surprise.

· · 2 years ago

I recently bought 2011 SL Leaf with 43-44k miles, it has 10 soon to be 9
bars, it has state of health 73-74(down to 73 now after 5 months) and
48 Ahr. 70% after 10 years is bs...the car came from southern CA and I
drive it in northern CA....I mostly charge it level 2 at work.

It usually says I get 50-60 miles on GOM when fully charged but
realistically it's much lower for freeway driving especially uphill.
Even at 65mph (most people drive 70-75 mph even in slow lanes) and
uphill, I am lucky to get 25-35 miles. The efficiency uphill is 1-2
miles per kw(especially at freeway speed)., 2-3 miles per kw at freeway
speed on mostly flat/slight uphill. This is without AC/Heater. City
driving at 25-45mph (mostly flat) is about 3-4 miles/kw. I barely get any regeneration at the higher end of the bars and a little bit more as the battery depletes to 7-8 bars.

This car works for me as a commuter car with 25-27 miles roundtrip and Level 2 free charging at work with 2/3 highway 50-60 mph uphill driving and 1/3 25-40 mph city driving.

I charge to 100% every day, however that means less than nothing since I am missing 27% of range, for example the 10th bar is almost complete 0.

I strongly considered Chevy Volt and if price is not a factor, 2nd Generation hands down beats any current Leaf for my commute. I chose not to buy 1st Gen Volt since it was 5+k more for non salvaged title car. However peace of mind goes a long way in many scenarios...

· · 46 weeks ago

Ah, hindsight. I remember reading this thread years ago when it was new. Poor "ex EV1 driver" really got beat up for his estimate of 30-40 miles for a 7-year-old Leaf. Sorry, critics, but he was right.

Community discussion etiquette

Remember the golden rule.
No personal attacks. If somebody else is a jerk, stay away. No matter how they might provoke you.
If you know something, say something.
Myths about plug-in cars need to be dispelled. Don't be stingy with your knowledge. Share it with our community. But please separate fact from opinion.
Stay on topic.
Pay attention to the thread topics. Staying on topic makes these pages much more organized and useful.
Be kind to newcomers.
Newcomers may ask dumb questions. That's okay. A lot of valued contributors started out this way. The plug-in car movement will grow one driver at a time. Be welcoming and our ranks will grow.

Any questions? Contact us.