The Nissan Leaf charge performance is acceptable, but could have been better with proper thermal management.
“Rapidgate” refers to the reported issue that the 2018 Nissan Leaf charge times will drastically increase in length after 1 or 2 fast charging sessions. Obviously, for daily travel, this will rarely be an issue. But when driving long distance, this can significantly slow your travel time.
Many drivers have found they can actually complete long trips much faster in earlier generation Leafs than in the 2018 model.
This was an intentional decision by Nissan to protect the long-term health of the battery. Following reports about the charging issues, Nissan released a statement:
“The 2018 Nissan LEAF has charging safeguards to protect the battery during repeated fast charging sessions in a short period of time. While the safeguards may increase charging times after multiple fast charging sessions, they are important to maintaining battery life over an extended time period.”
Bjørn Nyland decided to record a summer follow up to his epic "Rapidgate" live stream from earlier in the year. His first trip in March covered about 621 Miles (1,000 kilometers). In this second trip, he travels 408 miles (657 km) in about 11 hours.
The first fast charge went smoothly as expected but slowed as the trip went on. By the end of the trip, he had spent over 2 hours and fifteen minutes charging. Here is a rough rundown of his experience:
But still, it is Okay. I mean you can drive 500 (km) okay. 650 (km) is starting to be painful. If you want to push it to let's say 700 or 800 km that's also a bit painful. (...) You can drive long trips. It's not optimal: an Ioniq, i3 or whatever other car that has active cooling will travel faster. It will do this long trip up to one hour faster. (...) But as long as you don't take these trips too often and you don't drive too long, then a Leaf will work.
There are lots more details in the 35-minute video. If you'd like to see how the Leaf fared, check out his video below:
Video Description via Bjørn Nyland on YouTube:
I did a new test with Nissan Leaf to see how it would deal with summer temperatures and fast charging. This time I drove slower to prevent heat buildup.
The result is that it's possible to drive 400-500 km in one day without too much hassle. But if you want to stretch it past 600 km, it will be a bit cumbersome.