650-Mile Road Trip In A Nissan LEAF – Video

Nissan Leaf charging UK

APR 24 2015 BY MARK KANE 20

Nissan Leaf 649.7 miles road trip

Nissan Leaf 649.7 miles road trip

Jonathan Porterfield, one of the Nissan LEAF owners in UK, took a 649.7-mile (some 1,045 km) road trip on the 1st to the 3rd of April.

To reach his destination, Jonathan tried to use public DC fast chargers, mostly installed by Ecotricity.

As it turns out, despite a relatively good charging infrastructure (UK has the most CHAdeMO chargers in Europe), there are problems. Some DC fast chargers didn’t work, so the only way to charge was on AC and then drive to the next nearest DC. There are some problems with RFID access cards too.

In general it was a tiresome experience, but doable. Still, a lot must be done to achieve much needed reliability.

“Nissan Leaf 649.7 miles road trip on the 1st to the 3rd April 2015 using Rapid Chargers in the UK
The highs and the lows of the Rapid charging network in the UK , id say its 80% there, but after 4 years of the Leaf and 5 years with the I- meiv in the UK it should be 100% trouble free by now !”

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20 Comments on "650-Mile Road Trip In A Nissan LEAF – Video"

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I want that British voice in my American Leaf!

I can dig a fox hole with a spoon, but is it the right tool for the job? For a trip like this you need the Chevy Volt or a plug-in hybrid (that is the Eco friendly way).

A battery upgrade for the low range Nissan Leaf would really fix this. It would be like replacing the mother board on your computer with a bigger processor and tons more ram.

Think of how much things would change if you could upgrade from a 80 mile battery to a 150 or 250 mile range battery.

An 85 kWh Model S is a great car for road trips as long as there are superchargers along your route. Between how smooth the car is at freeway speeds, the amount of passenger and cargo space, the beautiful main nav screen, and the turn-by-turn nav instructions next to gauges, I bet it would make for a much better road trip experience for a family than the same trip in a Chevy volt. We actually fly less and drive more since we bought the Model S- including the most recent 5,573 mile trip.

“This shovel sucks”

“It’s a prototype.”

“Well, make it better then!”

It’s the process that counts, see. You don’t really think that the DCQC infrastructure is going to get better if you just skirt around the issue by driving a Volt, do you?

(couldn’t listen to the entire video, so apologies if this is referred to there)

Might it be the case that he only has one vehicle? The US 2-vehicles-per-household is far from the norm in much of the world.

And the problems with the infrastructure are only actually discovered and reported on when somone attempts a trip like this… He expected a lot less issues, after all…

Silly Human Nature Dept.

Just think: When the 1000 mile-range BEV becomes reality someday, there will be two guys out there- One guy will try to prove that driving across the country ( USA ) in one stint without refueling still isn’t possible – then writes a splash piece in say, the New York Times to share that vital information. Another guy will gain equal notoriety by attempting to drive the same 1000 mile BEV around the world, over the Himalayas, across the Sahara and possibly turn it into a boat, just to prove it can float!

L 🙂 L

The 70D is much more practical, I would save first and then go for the Tesla.

While people will be quick to recommend using a Tesla vehicle; they often overlook the quality and reliability of Tesla’s Supercharging network that makes driving the Tesla possible.

Tesla making a point with their “Super” chargers. Super in being most reliable charging stations … I have never hear of someone at a “super” charger that has failed. 🙂

A Tesla hogging the chamo station is going to be my worst nightmare when I get my i-miev soon.

what makes the Tesla less entitled to use the charger than your iMiev?
Is it just because the Tesla can drive further on a charge or just because only you are allowed to use a public charger.
What if it was a Leaf? That has more range than the iMiev as well, but should he unplug to let your car charge?
Public chargers are for the Public to use with equal entitlement.

Actually Mike, everyone should be equally limited in the use of public charging. (Yes, I am proud to own a Leaf.)

Unfortunately, on multiple occasions I have seen Teslas hogging Level 2 charging despite a *posted* 2 hour limit.


Not to say that Tesla’s superchargers aren’t reliable, but they did have on instance where the half the site was down (Harris ranch I think?) and they had to tow customers to the next nearest site.

One case doesn’t make a trend, but it does blemish a perfect record.

It’s true that the Harris Ranch superchargers did go down before Thanksgiving last year, but I was REALLY impressed with Tesla’s response. Once they learned about the problem, they paid a tow truck driver to wait there and tow people to the nearest functional supercharger on their route until Harris Ranch was back online using portable generators. I also saw three brand new superchargers sitting in a crate in the parking lot presumably as a backup: http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/38437-Harris-Ranch-is-not-working-11-18-14/page8

This is a very different response than what I observed when a public charger I needed to use wasn’t available: http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/25400-Blink-let-me-down-BIG-TIME-today

“there are problems. Some DC fast chargers didn’t work”

” There are some problems with RFID access cards too.”

“The highs and the lows of the Rapid charging network”

It continues to baffle me with how reliable electric vehicles are; while how unreliable public DC charging infrastructure continues to remain. It a good thing public bridges, or traffic lights, or tires are not engineered like public charging networks. It’s about time that pubic rapid charge stations (quick charge infrastructure) be engineered with a higher degree of reliability. If not the charging points, then the station reliability should be improved by having 2-3 DC connection points.

Additional any contracts for public infrastructure should specify a degree of reliability to be maintained … either with redundant connection points; or 24/7 support services.


Right now it seems to be a racket of some sort.

+1 So true.

I’m an Android and not an IOS guy, but you have to give credit to Apple for inventing the Lightning connector for it’s devices. It plugs in either side up, preventing those awful micro-USB situations where your kid ( or wife ) tries to force the charge cable in the wrong way, bending pins and rendering your device inoperable.

Design is everything. Charge stations and EVSEs need to be robust for the sure abuse they’re bound to take. I’ve seen public charge cables run over, or just left laying on the ground. I think security cameras nearby or at least fake ones could also help.
Vandalism and inoperable chargers seem just part of the experience of the early EV adopter.

Yes, industrial design is vital… But the Lightning connector is a horrible example. Its primary purpose is to lock out accessory vendors who don’t pay Apple.

Mechanically, the connection between connector and cable is still prone to breaking due to lacking strain relief and too-thin conductor wire, as was the case with the previous 30-pin connector and all of Apple’s portable power supplies since the original iBook laptops.

Compatibility-wise, I have a multitude of devices that use micro-USB, and any of their chargers can be used to power or recharge any of the others. I can be virtually certain that if I go to anyone’s house, there’ll be a micro-USB charger I can use at a pinch.
You’re traveling, and discover in your hotel room at night you forgot to bring the Lighning cable along. What do you do?

Yes, the reversibility of Lightning is nice… But why isn’t it magnetic? If Apple thought a reversible connector was absolutely necessary, why a proprietary connector? Why not use USB type C?

When there are fast chargers on every street corner, a trip like this will not even be interesting enough to make a video about it. Of course, by that time I’d imagine a base model Ev will probably have a range of at least 125 miles or more. while the more expensive EVs will be 200+. So that will also make a difference.

Tesla has shown the way with their own network of superchargers. Other manufacturers are too scared to follow.