Nissan LEAF 30 kWh Capable To Run Long Journeys In UK Autocar Says


2016 Nissan LEAF

2016 Nissan LEAF after nearly 2,000 miles of mostly short trips (), decided to seize the opportunity of meeting 170 miles away and check real-world capability of covering 350 miles total.

After nearly 2,000 miles of mostly short trips (below 100 miles at once), Autocar’s Steve Cropley decided to seize the opportunity of attending a meeting 170 miles away, while checking out the “real-world capability” of covering 350 miles total in a new 30 kWh Nissan LEAF.

Steve’s overall opinion on the LEAF before the journey was: useful, refined and enjoyable.

The new longer range, 2016 Nissan LEAF is rated by the EPA at 107 miles (172 km), and was able to even achieve some 130 miles, at about 60 mph, if properly using trucks on the highway as an aero-shield.

To average things out, Cropley decided to drive faster on downhill parts on his own, and then back under the warmth of the aero-shield again when necessary.

The takeway is still that, without fast charging, covering the 170 miles would be difficult, but it was noted that the UK now has a lot of CHAdeMO DC fast charging stations installed.

Ecotricity’s Electric Highway was used during the trip, and reported as being reliable -with a 20 minute stop recharging the 30 kWh battery from 38% to 83%. An important tip for LEAF, and most other EVs, is that the last 15-20% of state of charge is replenished at much slower pace, and isn’t recommended (the optimum situation for the shortest journey drive time is to find DC fast chargers along the route and recharge to around 80% each time).

The final verdict after 350 miles in a 107 mile BEV, seems to be surprisingly very positive (in year’s past we have heard some horror stories from the UK):

“I arrived in plenty of time for my 7pm meeting, not at all fatigued (comfy seats) but feeling good because the trip showed we had covered 356 miles for minimal fatigue — and zero expenditure.

Truth is, it was easy. Better still, I won’t feel daunted next time. For the Leaf owner, this is an important threshold to cross.”

Non-related bonus (30 kWh Nissan LEAF – Atlantic Highway, Norway):

source: Autocar

Category: NissanTest Drives

Tags: ,

19 responses to "Nissan LEAF 30 kWh Capable To Run Long Journeys In UK Autocar Says"
  1. Just_Chris says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If you live in the uk (in particular the south east) and have pretty normal driving habits you are unlikely to need a 200 mile BEV or superchargers.

    1. Brandon says:

      True, a 200 mile BEV may not be needed, but DCFCs would be IMO.

      1. Just_Chris says:

        Absolutely, DCFC’s are essential, but 120 kW superchargers are not for the UK.

        What I am saying is that with the existing fast charging network in the UK and the existing 30 kWh Leaf a lot more people could drive electric without having to change their driving behavior at all.

        The long drives might take a bit longer (probably about 20min longer for a single DCFC stop in most cases) but you would save time not having to go to the petrol station every few weeks. If people can charge at home then an EV is starting to look like a sensible and reasonably price option when compared to similar sized and spec cars like the higher trim Golf’s and the Focus. This is a totally different situation to 5 years ago when you were looking to pay more for a car that meant you could do less.

        1. Brandon says:

          Yes, a fast charge network can make the difference that’s needed for freedom of mobility. However for the majority of the mass market (not those of us who are early adopters) it will not be satisfactory to only regain ~50 miles in 20 minutes of fast charging IMO.
          The sweet spot looks like 200-300 mile range EVs with 100-150 kW fast charging. I’m not saying the present infrastructure in places like the UK isn’t adequate now… it would be for me, and you have to agree that you and I have a different mindset and expectations than mainstream consumerism.

  2. Brandon says:

    The 2016 LEAF is only available in the darker blue and the previous lighter blue was discontinued I thought. (The top photo really looks like the original blue to me.)

  3. carcus says:

    Pretty scenery there in Norway. It would really be nice if the quick charge locations were next to a walking trail,.. little 20 minute nature walks would be a welcome addition to a road trip.

    1. Nick says:

      Great idea!

      I’d love that.

  4. SparkEV says:

    I read somewhere (here?) that Leaf is not recommended for more than few DCFC per day. Is that why 350 miles is such a big deal since 24 kWh model couldn’t do it?

    I did about 300 miles in a day on SparkEV. Manageable, but painful since I had to keep the speed down.

    1. Just_Chris says:

      It says it in the manual, but is just a**s covering by Nissan, if you DCFC on a hot day the battery temperature goes up and takes an age to come down. So if you fast charge every day in summer (in a country that has a proper summer) then you’ll have problems. In the UK I expect the battery won’t get that warm.

      1. SparkEV says:

        350 miles trip on Leaf would need 3 or 4 DCFC in a day (or half a day). I guess it’s possible in cold UK, but is that possible in milder weather, such as 20C or 30C? Or would each DCFC slow down more and more to the point of L2 speed?

  5. Crannaford says:

    Unfortunately, not available in Australia. Nissan are uninterested in us down here, so sadly I’m unable to trade up 🙁

    1. Just_Chris says:

      Have you noticed that you can only buy 3 colours of LEAF now? I’m thinking that they are running out of the existing stock of 2012’s. I am hoping with things like the DCFC network in Perth and around Brisbane we might see sales going up leading to better options coming in. It drives me spare that I can’t import a UK leaf into Australia because Nissan are the blessed importer, same story with the Outlander.

      I see a lot of sales on Diesels though, looks like Australia is becoming an international dumping zone for cars sensible nations don’t want. All these laws to protect our auto-industry just lead to it becoming inefficient and obsolete I’m glad we’re not making that mistake again…… *crickets*.

  6. Bob says:

    “using trucks on the highway as an aero-shield”
    This is not acceptable for a normal human being! If that is necessary, then just do not recommend the Leaf. (and I own a 30 kWh Leaf)

    1. Alonso Perez says:

      Yep. Dangerous and with diesel fumes on top. Extremely bad practice.

    2. Brave Lil Toaster says:

      He really didn’t need to – his predicted range was a total of 130 miles by the time he started charging at his first DCQC stop. After driving a whopping 80 miles. That means he had about 40% of the battery remaining.

      Personally, I wouldn’t even think twice of driving that distance without any further planning. *Especially* in the new 30Kwh Leaf. I wouldn’t need to bother drafting either.

  7. Ct200h says:

    Without a TMS you are looking at an ever increasing pack temp with each DCFC stop .

    1. Zukidrvr says:

      I’ve seen minimal temperature increases with multiple DCFC stops with my Leaf on longer journeys.

  8. Jaron says:

    In Israel, though, I can hardly drive 80 km using my Renault Fluence ZE, as the batteries capacity decay in a depressing manner, with Renault denying any obligation to me, nor the other 1000 Fluence owners. They say they don’t deal with our deteriorating batteries at all. Renault and Nissan are under the same policy, therefore, I don’t see any one of them selling anything in Israel in just few years.

  9. Before you buy Renault or Nissan EV, you should check how much you can trust them to support the car after few years. If we learn from the Fluence ZE case, it is a very low trust.