Base Nissan LEAF e+ To Get More Range Than Uplevel Versions?


Skip the extras, save some money, and enjoy more miles.

According to a test certificate from the California Air Resources Board (CARB), first referenced by Automotive News, the 2019 Nissan LEAF e+ may have 25 additional miles of range in its base configuration than that of higher trim levels. This discovery makes sense since opting for more loaded models means loading more weight into the vehicle. The article says the base LEAF Plus (which it will be referred to in some markets, including the U.S.) could be about 70 pounds lighter than higher trims.

The EPA has not yet announced official figures, so Nissan made it clear the CARB numbers aren’t necessarily “real.” Nonetheless, Automotive News reports:

The Leaf’s base S Plus trim earned a 364-mile rating under the Urban Dynamometer Driving Schedule testing cycle, according to calculations on the CARB certificate. The SV and SL models scored a 330-mile rating under the UDDS testing cycle, which simulates mostly city driving.

Generally, the EPA-advertised range is rated at about 70 percent of the UDDS range, according to Inside EVs. That calculation would peg the S Plus range at about 255 miles and the SV and SL at about 230 miles.

According to Nissan, the base trim is likely at 226 miles compared to 215 for uplevel trims. All LEAF Plus models come equipped with a 62-kWh battery pack.

It’s important to keep in mind that those opting for the base Nissan LEAF e+ will not have to worry about any shortage of features. Like many new vehicles, base products come nicely loaded as compared to older models. Even the base LEAF Plus comes with a praiseworthy mix of desirable safety and convenience features.

Look for the Nissan LEAF e+ at dealers this spring. For now, you can purchase the current LEAF for $29,990. It offers 151 miles of range. U.S. pricing has not yet been announced for the upcoming LEAF Plus, but educated estimates put it somewhere around $36,000, which is comparable to the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV’s starting price.

Sources: Automotive NewsThe Truth About Cars, Roadshow by CNET

Categories: Nissan

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30 Comments on "Base Nissan LEAF e+ To Get More Range Than Uplevel Versions?"

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As a note, the US version will officially be the Plus, and not the e+

It is most certainly not due to lighter weight, but due to smaller wheels with narrower tires and lower rotational mass. Even in an ICE car you can lose 2-3 mpg between a 16 inch and 19 inch wheels.

And Nissan will definitely assign the same (i.e. the lower one) EPA rating to all trim levels.

That makes a bit more sense. Smaller, less sexy, but more aerodynamic wheels can make a significant difference. Two percent higher mass overall isn’t going to have even one percent impact on the test, even in the city cycle — regen and the fact that even city driving isn’t *just* accelerating and braking will see to that.

Is not exactly that. More diameter, helps to improve energy conservation, so is better on road to keep speed with less loose. BMW i3 uses this concept, big diameter but narrow wheels (or Renault Scenic in Europe with 20″ wheels and “only” 195 mm section tyres). This helps too in aerodinamics and rolling resistance.
But I agree with you because the reality shows that almost all makers use big and wide wheels and that’s bad. But people buy SUVs more expensive, heavier and less aerodinamics only because they are cool and fashion. So I don’t know if most of buyers have this troubles in mind when purchase a car, and makers do what people want.

On a Model X, the 22″ wheels option uses 22%+ more energy than the 20″ version. That’s a HUGE difference.

Sure wheels/tires matter, but the weight effect is real and important. Heavier=less efficient….always. This is accentuated in stop/go traffic.

Do the base wheels offer better aero? That could account for some of the difference.

Sigh. It “makes sense” that 70 pounds more, a ~2% increase, should decrease range by over 10%? It’s no wonder people are so confused about how weight and consumption relates when you keep writing stupid things like this!

I’m sorry, but there’s no nicer word available to describe it. The upper bound on how much consumption can rise in response to a mass increase of two percent is… two percent. Physics doesn’t allow mass alone to have more than a proportional effect on consumption. And only in a vacuum!

In the real world you’d be very hard pressed to find a test in which increasing mass by two percent affected consumption as much as one percent.

So whatever it is, it’s not that.

Well said.

The real reason is one we already know about:

You know.. this will be interesting to see how much an extra 75 miles is worth to EV customers that aren’t Tesla customers. So, you are going to spend an extra $6,000 to get that extra 75 miles (plus some extra performance) . Being that Leaf customers are going to be more price sensitive than a Tesla customer, I think it will prove to be interesting. But I think what makes it even more interesting is that the 151 mile version was already plenty adequate for in-town driving, where the previous battery sizes were not. I know if I were going to the Nissan dealership to buy one of these (which, I’m not) I would have to think long and hard about spending that extra $6,000.

Standard equipment on the Plus vs. the base Leaf will be very important to the comparison and, of course, actual dealer selling price and Nissan USA incentives (cash or financing) for different models. Hard to really compare until you get down in the muck with the sales manager at the Nissan dealer.

I have seen 4k off sticker of 38k on a 2018 Leaf SL locally. so would be 34k minus the 7500$ credit.

$4k off sticker can only mean the dealer feels stuck with the car, ie. they don’t know it and can’t sell it on its merits. Margin from sticker to all holdback (below invoice) is ~$2k, they’re going to pay someone $2000 to take the car off their hands…?

May also depend on geographic location. That extra range comes in handy for winter driving, where you might lose 40% of your range.

well for model 3 it is 7 grand to go from 264 to 310 , difference of 46 miles. My wife’s AWD subaru outback cost 31k, has over 400 mile range and 30mpg, and can refuel in 5 minutes at multiple locations. even with the model 3 long range at 55k, I could not visit my parents or my wife’s best friend due to lack of charging. I really want an ev but just can’t yet justify it. will check back in 2020, but will probably be more like 2022.

Sounds like between you and wife you have 2 cars?

If so, is one of them an EV? If not, what’s stopping you? Surely you can switch one now.

I traded my gen 1 leaf for a nissan frontier pickup 3 years ago. I must keep my pickup to tow my boat and transport my 3 wheel trike. I so miss my leaf and the ev driving experience, just not sure it is worth the cost of a 3rd car, just for city driving.

“I traded my gen 1 leaf for a nissan frontier pickup 3 years ago.” I’m a little confused. Did you already have a pickup when you bought the Leaf? Did you trade in a pickup for the outback? If you had the use case of needing to tow a boat, why did you buy the Leaf?

I had a leaf and traded it in to get the pickup…..thinking I would get another leaf when they had much better range and were cheaper……disappointed with the progress so far…..still needs to be cheaper and better range

Do they have a Nissan Leaf with Bench seats in it instead of that center thing that takes up a lot of space in the front seat?

Also Match Box model cars is making and selling mini match box car versions of the 2018 leaf.

Okay, I’ll bite: “Generally, the EPA-advertised range is rated at about 70 percent of the UDDS range, according to Inside EVs.”

So why have a requirement (UDDS) that is only 70% correct?

Neither UDDS or EPA ranges are “correct” or “incorrect”. They measure different things. The EPA numbers are closer to what people will experience in their everyday driving.

What’s the point? No liquid cooling, death penalty!

With the low temp forecast to be -35 F (-37 C) tomorrow and a high of -16 F (-27 C) I am more concerned on how well the battery heats itself. Yes, liquid cooling could make it a better car to drive on the highway if you need more than 1 DCFC session for a trip, but the car is still useful for what the Leaf has always been useful for, and that is a short range EV. This Plus model with over 200 miles range will be even better for that.

About same price as the GM-Bolt.
About same range as the GM-Bolt.
Better availability than the Bolt.
Better charging infrastructure than the Bolt.
Pro-Pilot as an option.
I am waiting for an options / features comparison, but the GM-Bolt has a tough competitor.

What will it be compared to the Kona and e-Niro?

leaf also has
better seats
power adjustable in highest trim
around view monitor

Very interesting article, one correction, the ProPilot will not be a standard feature of the Plus. According to Nissan’s Northeast Electric Vehicle Operations Manager it is standard only on the SV Tech and SL, ie. the same as on the LEAF except all Plus SLs get Propilot. Plus is still a great choice for those who want their LEAF to finally get Bolt range.

I drove my wife’s 2018 LEAF model to work today for fun instead of my 2012. I turned on the cruise control and it started driving itself. Cool, I never had used the autopilot thingy before. I thought you had to activate it somehow special. I also noticed it was following the car in front of me at an equal distance. I guess she had it set up to do that.

Anyways, families all over the world will love these cars, just make sure it has more than twice your daily commute mileage. You need extra mileage for AC, heat, and extra errands.

And a warning about autopilot and self driving cars. They do not avoid those craters in the road that will bend your rims. We have some really bad roads where I live. If you know of a bump be sure to take over control.