ECOtality Says Typical Nissan LEAF and Chevy Volt Owners Drive More Miles Per Day Than National Average…Sort Of


Depending on the source, the average US vehicle owner drives between 25 and 34 miles per day.  That figure is as accurate as can be, given the fact that it must be computed through surveys and not from tacking of actual vehicle data (don’t want Big Brother always watching over us).

More Blink Charging Stations Extend the Range of the Nissan LEAF

More Blink Charging Stations Extend the Range of the Nissan LEAF

If we assume that the low-end figure of 25 miles per day is more accurate, then how’s that number compare to the typical electric vehicle owner?  Well, let’s define the typical EV driver as a Nissan LEAF owner, since it’s the world’s top-selling electric vehicle.

Figure for miles per day driven by Nissan LEAF owners vary dramatically depending on who you ask.  Nissan might present one number, while EV naysayers will point to a different figure.  But do charging station manufacturers gain from chiming in on this miles-per-day number?  Maybe.  Maybe not.

Anyways, ECOtality, a California-based company who relies on Blink charging stations to service the recharging needs of electric vehicle across the country, says that the typical Nissan LEAF owner drive more miles per day than the national average.  Specifically, ECOtality says that due to quick-charge stations popping up around the country, LEAF owners now average an estimated 30 miles per day.

How do Chevy Volt owners compare?  Well, according to ECOtality, the typical Volt owner drives 41 miles per day, or 11 miles more than LEAF owners.

We’re not sure what to make of these figures, so we’ll leave it to you, our readers, to discuss.

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12 Comments on "ECOtality Says Typical Nissan LEAF and Chevy Volt Owners Drive More Miles Per Day Than National Average…Sort Of"

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Based on what data? Obviously EV drivers that are using public charging stations are going further than home charging would allow. This data should not be used to describe ALL drivers of EV’s.

I’m a Volt driver for the last 6 months or so putting 12,645 miles on mine. I drive 40 miles averaged over 7 days a week and 55 averaged over just the 5 working days that I have a 90 mile commute. (Its against traffic and worth it to work where I work and live where I live)

I am able to charge at work so my EV miles are pretty good for that much driving – 10263 Ev miles for 81% EV. According to the car I have used 62 gallons of gas since I leased it, for 189 miles per gallon of gas.

It has saved me about $1,200 of gas for my commute and when we take it instead.

Just a real driver letting you know…

I’m not sure exactly how to break it down specifically to a single car or brand, but I’m averaging about 87ish miles a day net. No third party charging or fast charging to speak of though. Just home and workplace, probably a split of 90/10 L1 vs L2. I still always charge 120v when possible…a little voice in my head keeps telling me its better for vehicle range in the long run.

87 miles a day on almost exclusive L1 charging is an amazing feat! If I remember correctly the L1 is 1.1 kW, so that is 24.2 kWhs for 22 hours of charging minus losses (~10%) so 22 kWhs. 4.2 miles/kW over the two hours of driving for 87 miles is possible, but man that is cutting it close.

ECOtality doesn’t have any actual mileage data on any vehicles. They are estimating mileage based a vareity of assumptions many of which are completely bogus. What they have is total kWh for an individual who has a Blink and/or uses the Blink network, that’s it. If I also charge on 120v at work, they don’t know. If I use another charging network, they don’t know. If I use some elses Blink card, they don’t know. If I use my Blink to charge my neighbors EV, they don’t know.

the average 12k miles a year, about 330 days or 36 miles a day.. many surveys also come up with a similar number… you would think the Leaf with twice that range would be perfect, but everyone complains endlessly on the short range

Since most EV owners are charging at home, I would think the data uploaded to Nissan from the vehicle, would be more accurate than just using data from those who use public charging stations.

But I would think an EV owner would just want to drive more, because it’s fun, you know you are not burning any expensive fuel where it’s ‘almost’ like driving for free.

That’s why I think it’s a good idea for dealers to offer a 7 or 14 day rental of an EV, so the potential customer can actually see how it fits in their lifestyle, before leasing or buying.

Consumers use the ‘rent to buy’ process all the time with ICE vehicles, but EVs are not widely available from rental agencies, which puts EVs at a disadvantage.

This way the consumer is able to get over their ‘range’ issues, before they commit.

I drive my LEAF 19,500 miles a year or 53 miles a day, but I am probably on the high side. I have a 66 mile commute and live in a city with 18 quick chargers at my disposal.

I average about 20 miles/day on my Leaf. I also average about 20 miles/day on my Insight. That’s about 600 miles/month on either car. The difference is I only drive the Insight about one weekend a month, putting on 600 miles. I could never use the Leaf for most these trips, even if there were DCQCs – I would have to charge 3-4 times in each direction, adding 2 hours onto my 4 hour trip. The Leaf I drive every day for commuting / errands / etc. Averages don’t tell the whole story.

This is Jevon’s Paradox in action….kind of…


If you drive the same amount of miles before buying a PEV, then Jevon’s Paradox does not apply. There is not enough data to prove cause/effect here.