2016 30 kWh Nissan LEAF Sets Fastned Fast Charging Record


According to Fastned, no electric car has charged quicker from 0 to 90% than the 2016 Nissan LEAF with the 30 kWh battery pack.

It seems the added capacity and/or new chemistry allows the 30 kWh LEAF to stay in the fast charging sweet spot a bit longer and thus is actually charges from 0 to 90% more quickly than the 24 kWh LEAF.

We should make clear – Fastned is talking about total percentage of battery charged (90%), not total kWh received over 30 minutes.

Editor’s note: at least that is the assumption (re:90% fill), as we aren’t sure about the 21 kWh displayed as being a true 90% fill of a 2016 30 kWh LEAF without seeing the starting point of the charge – we suspect some usable capacity (2-3 kWh?) was still on board in reserve at initiation.

There’s likely some software/hardware tweaking on the bigger battery LEAF that allows for this more rapid charging at the fringes of battery usage.

Nissan did say upon release of the 2016 edition’s specs (full details) that charging between the ‘very low’ battery warning level to 80% charged comes up in about 30 minutes, netted 22% more miles of ranged gained over the same amount of time.

Regardless, Fastned says the 30 kWh LEAF is now the 0 to 90% record holder on its fast charging network.  Overall, this is not a significant increase in terms of kWh retained, but hopefully illustrates the improving capacity of newer batteries to accept a higher rate of charge throughout a full cycle.

Check out the Fastned images above for some additional charging details.

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71 Comments on "2016 30 kWh Nissan LEAF Sets Fastned Fast Charging Record"

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It would be interesting, if a higher charging power, would allow the 2016 Leaf to charge even faster. Maybe with 60 kW, they could have done it below 30 minutes?

Battery-side it’s certainly feasible, as the Model S charges at least that fast.

But the charging station must have the capacity.

The Tesla doesn’t get close to 90% in 30 minutes. So the Leaf charges a lot faster than the Tesla.

No but it gives much more range in 30 minutes!

That is very much true. 🙂 But imagine the Tesla being able to charge at a constant rate of 2C, then they could add 170 kW chargers to the supercharging-network and make good use of them.

A Model S can add 30 kWh faster than a LEAF as can sustain 50 kW charging power (120 amps).

It appears Fastned is stating in terms of 0% to 90% SOC on a 50 kW charger a LEAF is faster. A Tesla larger battery implies a 0% to 90% SOC will take longer due to 50 kW charger power limitation and a battery that’s at least 2x larger than a LEAF’s.

Faster is relative to %SOC, not to kWh capacity or miles of range added.

This isn’t a record as decades ago EVer’s dump charged from 10% to 80% in 15 minutes safely mostly for racing with lead
And IIRC in the 2 Great Across the US EV
Races in the 80’s?
Lead is interesting as they actually get colder until 70% charge even at 500 amp rates.
And no way they charged from 0 because discharging to 0 would ruin lithium batteries. No smart person or EV would let the lithium batteries go below 5% or above
They more likely charged from 10% to 85% or so.

What an ugly canopy!… great, soon there will be hundreds of those around.

McDonalds charging.

This roof is designed for solar panels, sillies…


What is wrong with commenters here this morning?

no McDonalds only deployed 22kW AC charger

When you’re running low on charge and this “ugly” canopy lets you keep going it is the most beautiful one in the world.

for sure!

If you look closer you see that this 90% is only 21 kW of energy, 100% would mean 23.33 kW energy taken 100% on 30 kW battery? So only 23,3 kW usable out of 30 kW battery???

Ah, interesting. Your observation relates to my question below, I wonder what the details are here?

This is one of those ‘toughies’ to completely understand (without a 2016 on hand to put through its paces) if zero to Fastned is actually zero, or just “very low” battery.

I suspect this charge is just from an early warning chime, meaning quite likely there was still a couple kWhs on board.

That being said, if the methodology is consistent across model years and brands, the “record” for speed is still intact, but the actual hard metrics behind the numbers is not. In theory (fingers crossed), we should have one in a couple days to test out…will add a note into the story to just keep things as clear and disclaimed as possible.

Thanks for the clarification Jay!

DO we know at what SOC the charging was started?

If a Volt had fast charging, wouldn’t it take the lead handily?

I know it is hypothetical, but its large buffers on the either side of the battery state of charge put it in the sweet spot to just dump current into it, not to mention the cooling.

Are there any other auto manufacturers that have these battery buffers for longevity that are similar in size to what Chevrolet does? Is it possible the new Leaf has a bit more buffer on the extremes?

So, why doesn’t the new Volt have fast charging? (DC or AC)? 🙂

Different marketing model. They have a fast charger on board that burns gasoline. 😉

In the Volt’s case, it is 100% not the battery limiting fast charging, it’s the practicality of fast charging for another 50 miles. The gas engine is intended as an alternative for those longer trips, without any need to stop and charge, even for half an hour, while driving gas free for all the normal daily driving up to 53 miles.

(I know you know this, but more for “the masses”…)

The volt could actually add DCFC in the future: even though it doesn’t really have room for a CCS charge port, there’s been talk about allowing DC charging through the standard J1772 port. Of course, that would mean a whole new type of charger station to look for, but it could make sense for PHEVs where fast charging at ~30kW is more than enough, while BEVs all push towards 100kW.

Data from various studies show that PHEV drivers charge a lot and love keeping that engine off as much as possible.

I like charging my Volt a lot; every time I drive into my garage. This can be once to five times a day. I have only charged twice away from home in the two years of ownership.

It drives me nutty that the Volt only charges at 3.3kW…they should have offered faster charging as an option.

There are so many days that I get home from work (round trip uses 75-90% of my range depending on weather)

Who wants to wait 4 hours to go to dinner, run errands, etc? But 1.5 to 2 hours? Perfect!

^^^ This! ^^^

Uh… the display says 21 kWh charged in 33 minutes? Shouldn’t 90% of 30 kWh be something like 25-27 kWh? Actually even more, because of some losses (charging is like 88-95% efficient).

Ah, Krissu beat me to that observation.

Most likely that is 21Kwh dispensed.. not the amount in the actual battery.

that would be even worse, since then only 19kWh (for assumed 90% eficient charger) would have reached the battery. And having 19kWh being displayed as 90%, would lead to only 21.1kWh usable…

How efficient is DC charging? I would expect it to be higher than 90%, since you’re not going through any AC to DC conversion before dumping the electrons out to the battery.

The only real “loss” in DC charging is the resistance in the battery that results in it warming up during charging.

Ok, then use different number, but this doesn’t changes the fact, that if you assume that the battery is 90% full and 21.1kWh got dispensed from charger (at not 100% efficiency) there is even less than 21.1kWh in the battery, when its at 90% SOC.

Expecting the 21.1kWh is only what the charger put out is even worse than assuming it is what is inside the battery.

The Chademo, CCS, and Tesla SuperChargers are *NOT* as efficient as the
‘AC’ Volt charger.

I thought you knew that already.

Haven’t you seen the heat billow out of a Supercharger ‘charger bay’?

Kinda useless with just a passive cooling system…


To enlighten your ?!?… I had a LEAF for 3.5 years. Every time I quick charged, the battery temp climbed to top of operating range and I don’t live in Phoenix. I’m not impressed with Nissan’s lack of active cooling… It still leaves the LEAF as a city car….so who cares that it can charge faster….

This means you have a 2011 or 2012 LEAF. The newer batteries (introduced officially in 2015, apparently actually were put into LEAFs sometime during the 2013 model year), have very different temperature characteristics. Battery degradation is much slower on the newer batteries and they appear to tolerate the high temperatures.

Unfortunately, I expect people will keep posting for years about the LEAF batteries assuming that the problems with the 2011 and 2012 still apply to the new models.

Martin Messer Thomsen

I have a 2014 Leaf and did a 695 km in one day with 10 fastcharge. Outside temp +10c

I did have 9 temp bars at the end and no problem with power reduction and slow charging.

Very impressed.

Perhaps the bigger news story here is that somebody apparently has already been able to buy a 30Kwh Leaf..

… to test it.

Bigger Batteries in a BEV, Are Better.

Faster DC Charging is one benefit. Increased Performance, should be another…

Anyone know if Nissan improved motor performance with the larger pack, too? What are the 0 – 30 / 0 – 60 times in the newest Leaf?

Same motor. Technically a bit less performance, due to weight gain. I’d take it for more range though. Especially since winter hits here tonight.


We know empirically by data from another EV Maker, that improved motor performance ALSO sells cars. Tweaking the motor controller for better performance would be desirable, too.

IMHO replies to a few of the above comments:

Why does passive cooling make this useless? Especially in Europe where temps are not nearly as hot as in the USA.

21 KwH were delivered to the car. 90% of 30 is 27. Therefore it would appear there were 6 KwH in the battery when charging started.

The Volt doesn’t need DCFC because fast charging is not part of its usage model. Why buy a Volt if you never use the gas engine? If you want to stop to charge every hour, don’t buy a Volt.

The choice is DCFC -OR- a gas engine. Putting both on the same car is silly.

And yet the BMW i3 Rex and the Outlander PHEV both offer fast charging. So apparently the demand exists. I think many Volt owners would prefer to fast charge if the option existed, and use the ICE as a last resort. Just because you prefer to run on battery power, does not mean you are incapable of seeing the advantage of having a range extender onboard.

I must admit, I have had my Outlander PHEV for over 6 months and never even thought of using the DC fast charge on it, averaging around 23 miles on a full charge it doesn’t seem really worth hanging around for an 80% for 20 + mins ?

That’s not to say all wouldn’t bother just the vast majority IMO.

I would really like it if my Volt was able to accept 6.6 kW instead of 3.3kW. That would be a nice increase in charge speed. Especially since most public EVSE equipment can deliver that much.

I bet that is one of the features of the 2017 Volt.

6.6kW would increase cost. Better would be Volt to get DCFC like SparkEV. SparkEV DCFC is more than twice as quick as 24kWh Leaf, and even quicker then 30kWh Leaf based on this article.

Haven’t tried out a new volt yet, but they did increase the speed slightly to 3.6 kw (at 240 volts). GM has never used anything more than 15 amps in the past, so if they are sticking to that limitation then at public stations (200 volts) the thing will only charge at 3 kw anyway.

I have 2 GM cars with exactly the same issue. At least the 3.6 kw leafs will run past 18 amps if necessary to get the advertised charge rate, whereas I’m always stuck at 15.

For 2017, I suppose if enough people complained they could go to 32 amps at 6.6 kw or whatever as an optional extra. The battery is good for around 15 kw long term, but initially, this was left years ago to ‘aftermarket tuners’ who have never appeared.

Having both is not useless. If there are more fast charger down the road it might make financial sense to fast charge your car once a day. But you still might need the ICE for your 2/month trips of 300 miles, where you do not want to stop every 50 miles for charging your car.

Offer it, let the customer decide. 😉

“The choice is DCFC -OR- a gas engine. Putting both on the same car is silly.” I would think, it is silly to ‘Upgrade’ this new 2016 Volt to just 300 Watts over the outgoing model! For the difference it makes compared to going all the way from 3.3 kW righf to where they should have gone at 6.6 kW, why dud they give it such a tiny bump up?

Chevy should at least make the 6.6 kW charging an extra cost option, if not in the base configuration. Also, adding DC QC capacity could/should have also been made available as an option, if for no other reason than to learn what buyers want!

Having a Volt is similar to many owners as to most people buying insurance, not just flexible range uses: but most peoe dont put in insurance claims daily.

The short answer would be that with a Volt you can get a charge of 272 kWh in a minute That’s what you get when you pull into a gas station (8 gallons per minute X 33+ kWh/gallon). That’s the advantage of gas — it’s very energy dense.

Given the size of the battery pack, 6.6 kW charging is objectively unnecessary. DC charging might make more sense but with a fully functioning gas engine on board it’s hard to make a case for charging anywhere other than at home or work.

FYI GM has found that half of all Volt owners use 120v charging. Would 6.6 kW charging be nice? Sure, more is always better. However, 6.6 kW charging wouldn’t increase the number of electric miles traveled by the Volt fleet more than a fraction of a percent.

You’re right, of course. But only “technically right.” If you think about capitalism, people often buy things they don’t actually need. I mean, just look at the number of large SUVs and pickups being driven around be people with no such need. So rather than telling people they don’t need fast charging, why not go ahead and offer it if people are willing to pay for it.

One thing I want is the public charging infrastructure to grow more. If Volts could use the fast charge infrastructure, that would be more customers.

Slightly less than that, since most of the thermal energy of gas will be thrown away.

Miles of range recovered per unit time is probably a better comparison metric.

Assuming 20% efficiency for gas engine (90% for EV), 272kW/5=54.4 kWh. 8 gallons would take at least couple of minutes, let’s say 3 min. Then rate would be 18 kWh/minute, or 1080 kW. Quicker than 45kW taken by SparkEV by factor of 27 times, 20kW taken by Leaf by factor of 60 times.

If standing around while fast charging is the only option, obviously gas car would be quicker. But if one considers that EV charging is almost always done without standing around waiting, EV is much quicker.

I have to clarify Leaf 20kW rate. I mean the 24 kWh Leaf. I don’t have charging profile over time data for 30kWh Leaf, so I can’t say. But if 90% shown here is any indication, 30kWh Leaf would be slightly slower than SparkEV, not less than half of SparkEV like the 24kWh Leaf.

The 30kwh leaf can charge from 0 to 85% at 45kw then power down slowly but still above 20kw at 95%


“with a Volt you can get a charge of 272 kWh in a minute”

of which you can use let’s say 0.2*272kWh=54kWh

…which still would be 3240kW 😉

I guess we’ll have to wait another 8 years to reach refill speed parity…

I think the only meaningful metric for DC charging is miles/hour. That takes into consideration how fast the charge is and how efficient the vehicle is.

Trying to use a percentage as a metric merely illustrates the problem with using percentages.

+ 100 % !

In that case, it dispensed 21 kWh in 33 min or an avg rate of 38 kW.

In my ’11 LEAF with 9 capacity bars remaining, a typical QC from low battery warning to 80% only dispenses about half that much energy, 10-12kWh, in the same amount of time. Even when new, only saw about 15kWh maximum.

So the lower resistance of a new 30kWh pack nearly doubles the rate of charge overall, not to mention giving you much more range between QC stops. QCs that start at higher SOC will give the biggest difference in charge rate.

Also concern that showing 90 % from the DC charger could also be 85 % in the Leaf. I don’t know how it is at ABB charger but Nissan DBT charger i often charge to 99 %, but still 1 bar left in car an Leaf Spy showing less %.
I don’t know where the difference comes…but best would be how many % in LEAFSPY to 90 % in LEAFSpy compared to 24 kWh model at same charger, same % and same temperature level.

Do you have one of the first leaf built in japan?
If so that would explain it since the first leaf were chademo 0.9, soc data was not sent to the charger by the car but was estimated.
It’s not the case with the leaf built in the uk or us which are chademo 1.0


This is Roland from Fastned and I have actually driven and charged the 30 kWh Leaf. Please note that we had only 7 km on the odometer so we were the first to drive and (fast) charge this vehicle.

We did not hit turtle mode so we are not sure if the 0% reported by the Leaf actually meant an empty battery since.

We also thought more kWh’s would go into the vehicle, so we looking into this case together with ABB. We have only one charge session, so it is difficult to draw any conclusions yet. We will learn more about fast charging the 30 kWh Leaf together with ABB and Nissan in the coming months.

We welcome any data on fast charging the 30 kWh if anyone gets it. For now, we could only test this Leaf for a day.

Thanks for the update Roland, I think this fits mostly the assumptions we made…low, but not to empty. Which means in all likelihood (depending on the new depth of discharge algorithm) that at least a couple kWh was still on board.

We should have a 2016 LEAF in a few days, we’ll definitely take note of the usable capacity then.

Jay, something else of interest would be charging power and %soc (or %gid) over time. Perhaps an article that contrast 24kWh vs 30kWh fast charging? Thanks.

We did drive past the very low battery warning. Unfortunately we didn’t have any tools to collect data directly from the Leaf itself. From the charger data we learned that it charged with 120 A until 82% and then drops slowly to 78 A when reaching 90%.

21 kWh in 33:15 (0.554 hours) = 37.9 kW on average. SparkEV charges to 89% at 39kW on average in 20 minutes, but started from 12% instead of 0. Since low SoC would charge at peak power longer, SparkEV starting at 0% would be even quicker. Combined with smaller battery, it would be even quicker to relative metric of 90%. See bottom of this post for SparkEV data.


I guess in absense of SparkEV, Leaf is quick. In light of this, would SparkEV be the quickest EV to charge to 90% among all EV in the world?

Never tried posting image before. Here’s the picture of SparkEV go 89%; not sure if this will work


What a JOKE of a performance metric… i worry for the people in the industry using this metric.

Obviously a vehicle with a 30kWh battery is going to charge from 0% to 90% faster than a 90kWh battery… but that doesn’t mean it’s charging rate and miles gained per minute are faster.

Plus one