2016 30 kWh Nissan LEAF Fast Charging Record – 21.03 kWh In 26.5 Minutes


The previous record for fast charging a 30-kWh 2016 Nissan LEAF stood at 33 minutes for “almost empty” to 90% charged.

Well, that record was recently shattered by Arctic Roads (see Tweet above), who claims to have added 21.04 kWh to a 2016 Nissan LEAF (with 30 kWh battery pack) with a DC fast charger from Delta Electronics in just 26 minutes and 33 seconds.

The previous Fastned record was 21.03 kWh added in 33 minutes, so this new Arctic Roads record beats that time by over 6 minutes.

Here’s Fastned’s screenshot of its now old LEAF fast-charge record:

Fastned Record

Fastned Record

Categories: Charging, Nissan

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41 Comments on "2016 30 kWh Nissan LEAF Fast Charging Record – 21.03 kWh In 26.5 Minutes"

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Sounds fun a charging speed contest but we should have screenshots of the starting points because it looks like fastned started at a higher state of charge and therefore reached ☓ kwh slower or something. Both companies lack full evidence to call this a contest.

It’s fun proof that this leaf charges very fast though!

In comparison, a Model S 85 kWh needs just over 10 minutes to add 21 kWh, and a Model S 60 kWh needs about 16 minutes, both charging from 4-5% SoC.

Yup. Nobody can touch Tesla for high-powered charging.

I really hope the next generation of affordable BEVs can get into the 100kW + region. This is a turning point for trips. And over 200-250kW is a game changer.

I wonder what will be “fast enough” for say 50% of the car buying public when it comes to fast charging. 20 minutes is probably as long as most people want to stand around while their car is charging, and I figure 2 hours of driving per stop would satisfy most, albeit not all, drivers. So 140 miles of range / 3.5 m per kWh = 40 kWh for 140 miles of AER.
So 120 kW charge wait would get you 40 kWh in 20 minutes if you aren’t getting close to filling the battery completely.
My gut on this is that a lot of people would be satisfied with any BEV that can charge at a 100-120 kW rate. Once you get to 150 kW charge rates you can get 2 hours/140 miles of AER in just over 15 minutes. That is nearly gas pump quick.

Bigger batteries are better for so many reasons. Faster charging, is one of them.

Tesla charges quicker, but its charge taper is also pretty severe. Hopefully, they’ll have more consistent charging power for next models. It would be great if they can do it like SparkEV, hold it at 90% (or more) of peak charger power until 80%, then taper. Currently, it seem to occur even at 42% (it’s the answer) even using 90kW charger, and far earlier with 120kW charger.

I assume that the charging taper is dictated by the batteries used. Since Tesla uses Panasonic and Spark EV uses LG Chem (I think?), I’m not surprised that they handle high-SoC charge rates differently. So your point is better directed at the battery tech than the car itself. Personally, I hope they never push the batteries so hard as to shorten their life. I’d hate to find out that the Spark EV’s batteries have shorter lifespan because they weren’t really up to the task of quick charging at full power up to 90% SoC. But given their track record with the Volt and Spark EV so far, I trust that GM has done their homework.

If Tesla offers different battery options, one can decouple battery from EV. But when there is no choice, you have to consider it the part of the car. 2015 SparkEV uses LG Chem.

You bring up an interesting point that I was concerned about for a while, which is charging speed for such small battery (19kWh). Am I killing the battery each time I use DCFC? So far, there’s no change, but we’ll see how it goes. I trust Chevy did their homework, but I’d rather see it in the real world in coming months/years.

Sure, the tapper might come faster, but since the initial charge rate is so high, it doesn’t matter much. Charging 0-80% in a model S is normally not done more than once a day.

For a 300 mile trip you will need at least 3 times a 0-80% charging in a SparkEV. Meaning 1 hour or more wasted charging.The model S will start with 260 miles, so only 10 kWh recharge, maybe 20 kWh for safety reasons. Meaning a 10-15 minute stay.

Of course the LEAF will drop off dramatically as well and that is why their test stopped so early.


The paid Tesla agent comes again with a 5 years old graph.

This is a very old graph, probably from a my11 model.
The new 30kWh Leaf charges full power for 35 mins


I think a better comparison is to judge the speed of the Tesla Supercharger from the point at which it’s 30kWh away from a full charge. A Tesla with a small pack would probably charge much slower.

The display is from a EVTEC charger which could be upgrade up to 180 kW, 120 kW DC:

Something’s fishy. Screen shot shows that it took 21.04 kWh in 23:42 (0.395 sec) = 53.3 kW on average. But the article and smartphone shows it took 26:33?

Considering that average power is higher than 50kW, this must be new charger. I suppose it is a record with the new charger, but that’s not really apples to apples.

Hopefully, the higher power charger will be available so SparkEV can try it out, the quickest charging EV with 50kW charger, even quicker than 30kWh Leaf, as described in my blog here


And there you go ahead. Sigh.

Do you dispute that times shown are inconsistent or that this is greater than 50kW charger? How do you figure?

I’m responding specifically to your continued linking to your blog entry claiming that the Spark EV is the “quickest charging EV the the world”. As I said in the other thread, this is an artificial metric that doesn’t matter in the real world. What matters to an actual driver is how long they have to sit at a charging location for a given trip. And Tesla’s model wins every time. The Spark may be the fastest-charging affordable EV, but it cannot touch Tesla.

I don’t debate that it is faster than the 30 kWh Leaf. I don’t have any first-hand data either way and have no reason not to trust the data presented in this article and by you.

Given trip depends on circumstance. People use DCFC once or twice per trip; I suspect the same for Tesla, though Tesla would be for much longer distance. Then the “sitting time” is much shorter for SparkEV: 20 min vs Tesla’s one hour. You can call it artificial, but I suspect the real world is shorter wait for SparkEV for a given charge session, because people generally try to charge to X % rather than X miles.

There’s an interesting book about traffic that discuss this effect with respect to their work. People generally live 30 minutes away from their work. When only walking was availble, they were about 1-2 miles, with horses 5 miles, with cars 20 miles. Similar effect would be at work with shorter range EV with DCFC.

And the difference is in marketting versus real world experience. I understand your point, and conditions, for calling the Spark EV “quickest charging EV in the world”. And I do think that the masses will take notice. But I still contend that to those who understand the details, it’s a meaningless metric.

If I drive 140 miles, the Spark EV stops once for 20 minutes while the Tesla makes the trip without a stop. If I drive 400 miles, the Tesla stops once for 40 minutes (or two times for 20 minutes each) but the Spark stops 5 times for 20 minutes each. That’s all I’m saying. Once someone gets the car and lives with it for a while, the latter would be a real hassle while the former would be liveable.

It isn’t meaningless metric with regard to time spent at fast charging. Fact is, SparkEV would spend 20 minutes while Tesla would spend close to an hour.

SparkEV won’t be driving 400 miles, and that’s the crux of my argument. For longer trips that need 2 or 3 DCFC, SparkEV driver would simply drive gas cars. Tesla would take such long trip, because it would only need 2 or 3 DCFC.

For shorter distances, Tesla would not use DCFC at all, but that’s not the argument here; it’s how quickly one charges and then leaves.

I think at this point we both understand what the other is saying, we just disagree on the meaningfulness of your metric.

BTW, I apology for the terse nature of my first response. I do enjoy these discussions and I certainly value your contributions to them. I have never seen a spark EV in person and maybe never will, but it sounds like it’s a great car from you and other owners here.

You write as if you don’t drive an EV at all. A Spark EV has what, 80 miles of range at 100%? A 60 kWh Model S has about 180 miles of range at 90% SoC. Both can be charged overnight at home or at a J1772 at a hotel. To jump between cities, about 120 miles of driving, a Model S doesn’t need to charge at all. The Spark EV does. To drive around town for 90 miles, a Spark EV will need to charge. The Model S doesn’t at all.

There are zero real world scenarios where a SparkEV spends less time charging than any Model S. If the driving distance is short enough to only require a single 90% re-charge on a Spark EV (about 150 miles), the Tesla doesn’t need to charge at all.

We’re not talking about how long the car can drive without charging. The point I’m making is that it’ll be much shorter charging time with SparkEV. For longer trips, Teslas could still be driven (~500 miles = 2 or 3 DCFC). But SparkEV driver would simply drive gas car and avoid DCFC altogether for such long trips.

However, SparkEV would drive 150-200 miles (2 or 3 DCFC), so purely going by times spent at DCFC, SparkEV would be quicker. See discussion with Brian above.

Dear SparkEV,

The time “23:42” have the labeling “Tid igjen”. This means time left. I geuss to a 100% charge.

It’s one of the new EVtec chargers that can charge two cars on DC at up to 120kW total (it also can charge two other cars with up to 60kW AC).


Thanks for clarifying! Then Leaf with new charger is 21.04 kWh in 0.4425 hour = 47.5kW on average. It is indeed a record for non-Tesla EV using the higher power charger. But the time to charge to 80% would still be quicker for SparkEV even using the old charger. I hope the new charger will be available in my area soon so I can test the SparkEV, too.

Metrics are great but trying to find a location with one of these new Fast Chargers could be the hardest part. Some of the nice ABB Fast Chargers in Arizona are turned down to only 15 kW instead of their rated 50 kW. Some Blink units don’t even work.

Only Tesla seems to have 100% working and the fasted kW in the World.

What car do you drive? If it’s Leaf, it’s probably the car and not the charger. See my blog post on “Love letter to Nissan Leaf DCFC users” on Leaf charging performance. While I haven’t seen VW eGolf, I suspect it’ll also slow down due to lack of active battery cooling.

I fail to understand how this would be any kind of record. If it would do 0-90% in less than 33 minutes then I would consider it a new record.

If it’s just the time it takes to add 20 kWh then any car with a larger battery and higher power than 50 kW could beat it easily.

For me, I would like to see the speed a car can be charged from 20% to 80%. I think most people will very rarely want to allow the charge to drop below 20% given the small amount of chargers and possibility of getting your car turtled. And I would limit the charge to 80% so the amount of charge rate tapering off would be minimized, though not eliminated.
Just my 2 cents.

If we consider 20% to 80% it is realistic indeed but that then means the car range is only 60% of the 100% advertised. A Leaf with 107 miles becomes a Leaf with 64 miles. That is not good for convincing ICE drivers.

I don’t see it that way at all and I don’t think most people that will buy an electric car would either. Charging from 20% to 80% is a roadtrip metric for fast charging, not an everyday metric for everyday driving.
The charge time for going from 20% to 100% isn’t really all that important if 80% is good enough to roadtrip comfortably. And that is the main concern a large portion of potential BEV buyers have, even if they only drive that much a couple times a year. The problem is that charging the last 20% of the pack capacity can take as much as 40% of the total charge time.
The Bolt may end up just falling short of this level if the Hwy AER is 200 miles. But only having 120 miles of usable AER (given a 20% reserve) after a fast recharge would be close enough for most people.
But 230+ miles of Hwy AER (which yields almost 140 miles of AER) would seem to fit the bill for more people.

They used the same car (Leaf 2016), and added the same (21.03) kWh. If one charger charged 0-90% and the other x-80% something is broken with the percentage display.

I think same energy added is a good measurement, since it should be more accurate than percentage. Percentage is very hard to detect and depends from many factors like “when was your last driving down to 0%”, when was your last balancing to 100%, how uneven is the Voltage between cells and a lot of other stuff….

IMO and from my own experience I have to say that Priusmaniac is very right here about traveling distance after using a fast charger with a Leaf. With 20% of battery left at time of starting a charge and charging to 80%, the range will only be in the neighborhood of 45-55 miles range. Colder weather puts it down significantly more than that. Safely figure that your highway range after a fast charge to be on average around 60% of the rated range of the car.

Note to Author: It´s a High Power Quick Charger from Delta Electronics we are using in here, not an ABB one 😉 ABB was was mentioned alongside Fastned in the Tweet since Fastned used an ABB Quickcharger.

Thanks for touching base. We will update/correct the DC charger of choice, (=

How about some info on starting and ending battery temps… Doesn’t Nissan still recommend only one fast charge event a day for the LEAF?

I conducted the charge session at the Fastned station with the ABB charger referenced in the article.

Meanwhile we did some more analysis on it with ABB. We learned that the kWh values as displayed by the charger are conservative since they are calculated based on Amperage and Voltage measurements while charging. This will be improved in an upcoming software release by ABB to more accurately reflect actual kWh charged.

Analysis of the detailed logs showed that we actually charged close to 24 kWh in 33 minutes. (0-90% SoC).

Charging started to taper as of 82% SoC so it is great to see it charge full speed up to this SoC. Charging from 20% to 80% took 21 minutes for 15.6 kWh. Charging from 5% to 85% took 28.5 minutes for 21 kWh.

We don’t have battery temperature readings, but we started our trip at 4 degrees C.

A note to the author and readers … the LEAF (BEV) determines the charging current requested; and thus the speed of DC quick charging.

The EVSE hardware has nothing to due with determining charging speed, unless it can not supply the full amount of current requested. (ie: charging hardware is power source constrained)

PS: Keep the DC Quick Charging stories flowing … the more we talk about faster charging speeds, the better.

Cheers to driving in the fast charge lane! 🙂

I’ve added 22.48 kWh to my 2012 Rav4 EV in 30 minutes. My Rav has the ‘JdeMO’ CHAdeMO port.