Watch This Nissan LEAF Winter Range Test: Video

JAN 1 2019 BY MARK KANE 22

During the winter, the new LEAF can still go 80% of its summer range

Nissan LEAF is rated by EPA for 151 miles (243 km) of range, but how about in the winter?

According to the latest test performed by Bjørn Nyland in Norway, the range is estimated or around 200 km (124 miles) at 90 km/h (56 mph). That translates to 17.8 kWh/100 km (62 mi).

It’s not bad at all and even slightly better than the Hyundai IONIQ Electric. However, at higher speeds (not needed all that often during the winter) the more aerodynamic IONIQ would prevail.

Bjørn adds that he expects 250 km (155 miles) in the summer. That figure is more or less on par with the EPA.

Here’s some important advice for those who need to utilize nearly all of LEAFs range. Go ahead and get the Leaf Spy app for the most accurate indication of remaining range.

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22 Comments on "Watch This Nissan LEAF Winter Range Test: Video"

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Estimating range on the Nissan Leaf, as with any EV, is very complex calculation. You need to factor in ambient temperature, wind speed and direction and change in elevation. I found Tony Williams’ Leaf range chart and LeafSpy very useful on my recent 2,000 mile trip to Colorado and back. NEVER depend on the Miles -> 5% value in LeafSpy, the car will stop on the highway with several miles of range showing in the value. Use the VLBW or preferably the LBW values as your maximum range. I always use LeafSpy to calculate the minimum miles per kWh I need to make my next leg,then I perform manual calculations to determine the speed I need travel to make the distance,using Tony Williams chart, and then I adjust my speed while driving as needed to achieve the minimum required miles per kWh.. Tony Williams chart says that the Leaf looses 1 percent of range for every 4 degrees F below 70 degrees F. Tony’s chart says that this temperature factor is for battery temperature but the factor also seems to work well applied to ambient temperature. The only way I can understand this loss is to consider that air is… Read more »

I appreciate the level of thought and care here, like the first pilots flying across the Atlantic in 2 seater airplanes. But for most people, it needs to be sooo much simpler, it just needs to work.

If you want a simple rule-of-thumb that will work for most driving legs of a long trip then always start out the leg with AT LEAST TWICE as many miles shone on the Guess-O-Meter as required to reach the next charging point. If the GOM does not show these kind of miles then you better be prepared to do your own calculations. Too many times have I seen the GOM miles disappear twice as fast as miles traveled.

I am looking forward to the 60 kWh version. I think active air-cooling for the battery is probably sufficient for everything but constant highway usage and it will be a super nice car if the drive-train efficiency comes up to be on par with similar cars (110-125 MPGe).

Air cooling works great for the LEAF for any normal usage. f you run it flat out on the autobahn for 120 miles then do multiple quick cahrges it could lead to articles called Rapidgate or what not. The car is great for 151 miles plus 80% if you have the optional quick charger.

Bjorn, the reason your Leaf was pulling so much power while charging is (Leaf Spy verified in video) your AC was also on, turn the AC off when running heater, my 2014 Leaf does same thing, its a bug they never fixed apparently, another reason my next electric will be Hyundai.

AFAIK Honda’s do this too when on defrost, the AC is used to dehumidify the windscreen. If it’s only the driver, the AC isn’t needed, but add a couple of passengers breathing in the cold, and it definitely is.

Not bad, I keep saying this but again this shows that leaf is the nice reasonable priced EV.
People keep complaining about the imperfections and drawbacks of the car, but for €30k-€35k there isn’t no other car that can even get close.
Active thermal management and big batteries are very nice, but Kona costs €10k more and model 3 in Europe will cost €25k more (or almost the double).

Agreed, for bang for the buck the 40kWh Leaf is a great BEV.

Shockingly the vast majority of the world is not the southern US. And ‘rapidgate’ seems a bit of a farce. Only 1 fast charge at a time!!!! OK so after expending that fast charge you’re 250 miles into your trip. How many days per year does someone drive more than 250 miles without an extended stop? For most people that is zero. It reminds me of the fuss people give on ‘well without a tow rating more than X, I’m out!’. I hear that all the time regarding things like the Chrysler van phev. Uh….in 17 years of owning a Chrysler van, I had need exactly once. And I drive around 50,000 miles per year and in that same time I can count the number of times I’ve seen a van pulling a trailer on my fingers. You’d just be better off renting an SUV or truck those couple days a year you think you need it. Same with that mystery long trip you say you are being cheated out of. Save the $10k for unnecessarily large battery packs and rent a car. Everyone involved will be further ahead….including the environment which will thank you for not wasting batteries on… Read more »

I don’t believe that your argument that people only need to travel 250 miles maybe once a year is valid and I don’t like your preference for the I3 REX. One of reason I bought the 2018 Leaf is so that I could travel between Texas and Colorado using the Electrify America stations and I often put well over 250 miles a day just joy riding in my Leaf. I bought an electric vehicle to run on electricity,, not to relapse to gasoline all the time.

Driving the Leaf is addicting. I’m constantly thinking of new driving adventures for my Leaf. Just experiencing ProPilot alone is enough of a reason to get out on the road with my Leaf.

Battery overheating and the resultant slow charging is not just an issue with Leafs in the southern USA. You have to travel and fast charge at ambient temperatures well below freezing before ambient conditions really mitigate battery overheating from fast charging. There are ways to manage battery overheating but it’s still a serious and challenging issue.

Cool, enjoy your travels. If the LEAF meets your needs it is one of the most reliable cars out there. We do not mind stopping to charge our LEAF when we go out of town, we walk the pups, take a hike, get some food, or find other activities. A couple of times we wind up talking to Nissan sales people and telling them why we enjoy our car so much if there is nothing better to do.

“People keep complaining about the imperfections and drawbacks of the car, but for €30k-€35k there isn’t no other car that can even get close.”

The Ioniq costs about the same as the Leaf, with similar highway range and notably faster charging (even before rapidgate). This is why people keep complaining.

Excellent regional commuter car, one of the most reliable cars ever made. Just make sure the range suits your needs.

Thanks Bjorn for doing this test. Good overview about the potential for the 40kWh Leaf. Yes many variables can affect ultimate driving range, but at least viewers can get a sense of what the 2018 Leaf can do in the Winter. I’m seeing similar numbers here in Canada and will discuss some of my initial stats in an upcoming EV Revolution Show.

Keep up the great work Bjorn!

Bjorn took the leaf on a road trip with wifey. The wife looked extremely angry. Bjorn said he’ll be sleeping on the couch for days during the first leg of their trip.

Posted part 2 of his misadventures
https://youtu.be/NpB1X1Ev99I

My, but those 235 NEDC “miles” sure did shrink quick in the cold.

-2 it is not winter. We are using 2013 Nissan leaf at -35 degrees everyday. Some people using it at -45. Send us a new one Nissan leaf and we will make the real review for the real winter conditions.

That seems to be better than most EV brands owners are reporting. Nissan choice of heat pump technology might be paying off. I like my Nissan’s heated seats when it falls below 40F.

If EV owners try to find a EV with about twice as much range as their daily need they should be good to run the AC, heat, or extra errands. I think that is a big mistake many EV buyers make. They only consider the range of the car as being slightly greater than their commute and they will save a fortune in gas, then very quickly they are disappointed and they blame the car. That was the mistake I made for my first EV battery. Heat and AC is not free. I changed my commute so my drive is now 1 minute longer but 33% shorter and I only use my EV 20-80% charge and I’m starting to think the new battery will last a lifetime.

My wife has a 2018 LEAF and we are pleasantly surprised with the range in winter. It seems the heat pump is pretty efficient compared to the alternatives. I have read that some people that own other EVs are reporting more loss in winter. The main thing to remember is that regardless of which EV you own try to find one with twice your daily commute, then you have plenty of range for Heat, AC, and extra errands. A common mistake many EV owners make is they buy a EV with just 10% extra range for their daily commute and then they soon find they no longer have enough range for heat, AC, or the expressway and they blame the EV for their their problems.

Is anybody here is gonna flag that -2°C with clean asphalt is NOT winter conditions……

Nonetheless, nice video, really interesting.

From personal experience on real life diving on the 2018 leaf. I get 200km on a 120km/h drive with ac on in the summer. In the winter I haven’t try one go but I’ll get much less. I managed to get 8% left on a day of driving total of about 100-110 km. I’m not lite on my gas pedal tho. It was on and off highway with locals and – 20 c with 5min remote start each stop total of 3 stop.