Watch How One Driver Controls Nissan LEAF Battery Temps On 376-Mile Trip


A Nissan Leaf owner documents charge speeds and battery temperatures on his drive from Scotland to the Milton Keynes for Fully Charged Live.

James of the YouTube channel Lemon-Tea Leaf recently put his Nissan Leaf to the test on a nearly 400 mile (643 km) trip from Scotland to Milton Keynes. His goal was to attend Fully Charged Live. While he has made similar journeys before, he uses this video to show how he minimizes heat and reduces trip times.

Nissan Leaf battery temperatures

A route was planned with charging locations placed about 70 miles apart. In order to keep battery temperatures down, James kept his speeds between 80-100 km / hour (49-62 mph). He chose this max speed after Nissan informed him that 62 mph is the national speed limits for highways in Japan.

His hope was that keeping with these strategies will keep battery temperatures down and charging speeds up. In the end, he was able to improve his car’s charge performance over his previous attempt at the same trip.

Keeping Charging Temps Down in Nissan Leaf

James provides battery temperatures before and after each charging session. The current state of charge and temperatures while driving are also provided during the drive.

If you already own or are interested in a Leaf, the video is a good watch for the amount of data presented. Check it out below:

Video Description via Lemon-Tea Leaf on YouTube:

On this trip to the Fully Charged Live Show how I kept the temperature down before hitting #rapidgate in the Nisan Leaf 2018 on my nonstop (except for charging) from Scotland to Milton Keynes. I had a chat with Nissan Customer Support.

To help motivate me to stay on target with this Death Star targeting computer t-shirt

Scotland to Milton Keynes

Car start temp 17°c

air temp 12-16°c

376.1 miles


8:15 on the road

2 hours charging

29min composing myself between charge

As a few people have asked and it seems right to share with everyone the charging sheet I’ve been using is located here:

*Disclaimer all information in this sheet is a guide for long journey’s in the Nissan Leaf 40kWh to help maintain and keep the temperature down. Any adverse effect or issues with your journey is the responsibility of the driver and in no way entitled to any refund or court proceedings with this free information. Have a safe journey and do let me know if this actually helped or if I just got lucky 🙂

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43 Comments on "Watch How One Driver Controls Nissan LEAF Battery Temps On 376-Mile Trip"

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“from Scotland to the UK.” Was there another referendum that I missed?

Hah! Thanks, I changed the sub heading last night at the last minute and it made no sense.


If he had followed the instructions that come with any EV he would know that charging 5 times in a row to 90 or 95% charge using a quick charger is not recommended. Perhaps the article should have been titled “LEAF owner gets great performance even when exceeding manufactures recommendations.”

James has excellent tips and charging strategies l, on his Lemon-Tea Leaf YT Channel, to counter any 2018 Leaf #rapidgate battery overheating concerns.

Just be prepared to spend a little extra time out on the road, by keeping driving speeds a little below 60 mph, and your DC fastcharge tapering won’t be quite so significant with his well implemented technique.

Don’t be an apologist for your favorite BEV like bro1999.

The Gen2 Leaf is gimped bottomline. It’ll always taper after one DCFC session. The video proofs you can’t avoid it even if you drove like grandpa on our US freeways and eat followed by a poop at every charge stop.

I’m still getting one. My plan is to use it for what’s it’s good at – being a city commuter. In CA, even with a good DCFC network, I won’t recommend it for long trips. The Bolt is a better choice if a CCS network is available. At this price point, the base TM3 (if it ever shows up) is the best choice.

There’s another article today here on IEV that attest to the same thing. A charging network is critical to BEV success. If it is not readily available (sorry 1-2 plugs is only for the brave) or gimped (rapid charge taper), then the driving experience will be terrible for most.

Mine has never tapered below even with 5 quick charge sessions, it always does better than 80% in less than 30 minutes.

The speed doesn’t really add any heat to a LEAF but it sure does increase your range per charge. We noticed with all our EVs and gas cars once you get above 60 your gas mileage starts to suck.

Charging 5 times in a row to 90 or 95% didn’t help any.

Battery University says charging temps should be 32 to 113 F, discharge temps -4 to 140 F.*

*’common’ rechargeable batteries

/BU-410: Charging at High and Low Temperatures
//Without a thermal management system — shouldn’t the Leaf’s driver display show a detailed temperature display (perhaps including predictive (trend) information) , and some guidance in the owner’s manual?

///slow down to 49-62 mph on a Texas highway and see what happens — you’ll be in for a real adventure

It is quite easy, in the 2018 Leaf, to get into the low 120*s F on the second DC FC, especially when summer driving temperatures get above 90*F out on the highway/freeway. It really starts to slow down charging speeds below 1/2 the normal 40-45 kW charging speed.

So most summer trips over 300-350 miles, in higher ambient heat, can start start to add a bit more “CHAdeMo TIME”.

Only LeafSpy Pro really gives you the pertinent information, to keep your charging around or above 30kW, when getting into your second and third consecutive road trip DC FC.

keep it below 80% charge and it should just do fine. Am I the only one that reads the instructions manual?

It doesn’t sound like you have not ever driven an EV in Texas, much less driven a 2018 Leaf. There are still so few CHAdeMO charging stations in Texas and surrounding state that going cross country from CHAdeMO station to CHAdeMO station is not possible. The only way you can simulate long CHAdeMO charging trips is if you go in a circle around one of the cities that does have CHAdeMO stations. I drove my 1st generation Focus Electric between Texas and Colorado several times. On those trips I never drove faster than 60 mph and I often had to drive at 40 mph to make range. In cities driving slow it can get a little hairy but on the VERY long four lane highways between cities in Texas the traffic is light enough that you can pretty much travel at any speed you want. Once the Electrify America DCFC stations get installed I’m planning to drive my 2018 Leaf to Colorado and hopefully on many other long trips such as along the Gulf Coast to Florida. I know the Nissan Leaf has limitations, just like ALL EVs. With careful planning and a little patience these long trips can be… Read more »

113F is the temp that Tesla active cooling activates. It seems to have a common thread. They never want it activated because of ambient temps, only during quick charging or quick discharging. I doubt a Nissan LEAF battery has ever gotten anywhere near 140F even when the car above was burned in a forest fire. The LEAF batteries will always hoover around the daytime average temps. It takes hours for that massive battery to heat up or cool down.

The fact he has to spend time doing all that is a fail in it of itself. Stop being a cheapass and use liquid cooling TMS already, Nissan!

Maybe it can be about the journey, and taking in the experience, enjoying the sights and the feel of the open road, instead of just “Hammering it” to the next destination as fast as possible!

With an ’18 Leaf, you’ll have pleeeeeenty of time to enjoy the sights! Mainly of fast food restaurants or strip malls (if you’re lucky) while waiting for your Leaf to “fast” charge.

Hehehe fast food restaurants and strip malls. You forgot the time the owner’s manual says to let the CAR REST before even Starting to Plug-In to the fast charger, allowing the battery time to cool prior to charging.

And to think Nissan Engineers used to laugh at the 2011 Volt’s (per them) Overly Complicated arrangement.

Yeah, the complication is that with 3 different methods of cooling depending on the temperature, the VOLT has always efficiently charged and discharged, and KEPT all its capacity, even when having to cool the battery

With a 2018 LEAF he could have made that journey with only stopping twice. Not sure why he tried to heat up the battery going over 80% charge.

Thats why EVs will be slow to adopt. People will need to adjust their lifestyle while waiting for Teslas and LEAF and Bolts to charge.

If any article can explain why EVs aren’t mainstream, this is the one.

Why the Nissan Leaf won’t be mainstream.

Most sold EV isn’t mainstream. Only in the Tesla bubble.

So much FUD and fake comments. Like a hate based group.

This supports my contention that this car was primarily designed, tailored, for the Japanese market, which is fine, but then don’t come out and say it’s a world car. How does it perform if it’s in AZ or FL? Though there should a reasonable expectation that people will take care of their cars and not drive them like idiots the need for a long detailed list of guidelines and constraints to follow to insure their batteries don’t overheat, is just too much to take.
The Leaf is not really designed to be a long range high speed car, it can’t be.
As a city runabout in temperate climate it’s passable, otherwise I would pass.

You are pretty slow if you are just now catching on. The LEAF is one of the best city commuter cars ever made.

Talk about the wrong car for a road trip. 10 and a half hours! The only sensible way to travel 376 miles with a Leaf is being transported by a flat bed truck.

Hilariously, that would have probably been much quicker too.

In fairness to James, he did the trip twice as fast as a bicycle.

Let’s hope Nissan doesn’t decide to produce Electric Bicycles that need to be ‘rested’ prior to charging.

wow and you cycle twice as fast as pros

And you do math as well as my dog.

Not sure why he intentionally heated up his car like that. He should start his journey with a full charge and then charge twice to 80 or 85% and he would have cut several hours off his journey.

It’s much better and easier to buy an electric vehicle with liquid cooling. As everyone knows Nissan has the most wilted batteries and has needed Liquid cooling like almost every electric already has. It makes batteries last 10 times better. Slowing down or waiting to charge at slow speeds is not a good answer.
Rumor has it the new 60 kWh LEAF will have liquid cooling. That will make a BIG improvement for Nissan and the LEAF. I had a 2011 and 2013 but both failed in Phoenix AZ. Other areas will see it fail if they are HOT and even cooler areas but not as fast.

I just turned in my 2015 S for a 2018 S this past week. It was a 100 degree day like usual and it had 88% SOH.

Maybe 5% off the median trend but in no way did the batteries fail in the blazing Central California heat.

The battery overheating issue doesn’t even occur until the second or third fast charge. Most people that buy the Leaf won’t charge that many times on a single trip more than a couple of times a year. The Leaf has enough value that having to take a few minutes longer to charge a couple of times a year should not really be an issue.

We quick charge our LEAFs to 80% and we ever have a problem with the heat or getting throttled back. It helps to read the instructions. Not sure why this guy was intentionally trying to heat up the cars batteries going over 80%. That trip could have been done easily with 2 charges

“376 mile non-stop. How I kept battery temperature down”

This is bad publicity for EV’s.

It is abhorrent to see that you have to understand and plan around these kinds of unnecessary technical limitations. EV’s nowadays are supposed to be mature technology: just drive the d*mn thing as you please.

EV’s are for the masses, not some science project for die-hards. Nissan grow up! You can do much better.

I think Nissan and Tesla do not recommend charging greater than 80 or 90% when quick charging. Takes too long after that point and it is just cooking the lithium. I hope the 40kWh batteries turn out to be better than the 30kWh battteries. We love our 30kWh battery compared to the 24kWhs we have now. The 30’s are totally awesome, great range, and they improved the range estimator. If you have a 30kWh battery be sure to check and see if it needs the software update.

Great news the Electrify America chargers are being installed. Great progress so far. This will make it easier for some people to adapt and adjust to a new better EV lifestyle.

Before buying an EV be sure the range meets your specs and allow for some diminishing range for weather extremes and hill climbing. You never get back what you put into climbing those hills.

Looks like it worked fairly well even when charging his EV over 80%. It will charge a lot quicker and stay cooler if he keeps his charges below 80%, applicable for all EVs. We did 5 quick charges in one day in our 30kWh LEAF when it was 36C ambient temperature outside in the shade. We didn’t have any problems at all either, we did however keep most charges to 80%. I can see if we went to 95% it could have throttled our charging speeds. The LEAF is one of the best city cars ever made, and the New LEAFs are the best regional commuter cars, but if you go on long trips you have to exercise some patience at times.

Regardless of which EV you own if you daily charge 20-80% it will last a long long time.

This isn’t really rapidgate this is a case of the owner not following the manufacturers instructions, even then it looks like he got great performances from the chargers and batteries. Usually no more than 40 minutes even when charging near 100%. If he had charged to 100% overnight before leaving he coluld have done the whole trip with just 2 charges

Actually his car never even got anywhere close to throttling back, it barely got over 100F, not sure why everyone of the trolls is complaining. He did stop a lot though, maybe he has a bladder condition?

One day I tried to talk to a guy at a supercharger and he was so pissed off he was besides himself pacing back and forth cursing while his car charged. I thought it was throttled or he was pissed because he had to charge for an hour, but now i realize it was probably because he had about 30 or 40% battery degradation. He should not have had to have stopped at all. Take care of your batteries, do not let your car sit at 100% charge all the time. Active cooling is not going to help you any until you get into supercharger speeds and it will keep your batteries from catching on fire.

Wow he charged it to 90 or 95% five times in a row. I would say the LEAF did excellently. Tesla and every other EV brand will throttle you to at that much charge.