Real-Time Video (seriously) Of Nissan LEAF Quick Charging During Winter

JAN 25 2015 BY MARK KANE 8

Nissan DC fast charger with CHAdeMO plug

Nissan DC fast charger with CHAdeMO plug

One of the Nissan LEAF owners in Japan prepared an interesting video on quick charging the car during winter.

In the summer, charging to 80% takes just 20 minutes, but at low temperatures batteries accept lower power and everything goes slower.

The LEAF needed about 30 minutes from one-third state-of-charge to 75%. Initial battery temp was 8.5°C and after a half hour it raised to 13°C (55°F).

The real problems begin at very low temperatures (well below 0°C), when charging could take more than an hour.

In the video you’ll also see some Japanese TV and magazines, which helps to pass the time(seriously)

“This Channel is for all Nissan Leaf owners and people thinking of buying an EV for the first time. I travel around the land of the rising sun where the Leaf originated from showing you how to best care for your Leaf, how to get the best mileage and what is coming in the future for the Nissan Leaf! There are tons of channels for Tesla’s Model S and I think it’s time we have a channel for the majority of drivers out there who can’t even think about purchasing a $90,000.00 electric car.”

“In this video I take a suggestion from a subscriber and do a real time charge of the Leaf in the winter.”

Categories: Charging, Nissan


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8 Comments on "Real-Time Video (seriously) Of Nissan LEAF Quick Charging During Winter"

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You would think that a battery heater would warm the battery and speed up the recharge rate.


kW charging speed dropped quite rapidly from 25kW down to 10kW !

I have noticed that in my Volt, charging at 120V is slower now in winter than in the summer. Summer, I was seeing up to 5 miles added per hour; now, it’s about 3.5 per hour. I had thought that my cable was losing energy form the cold(and I do use an extension cord, but I have always done that), but maybe it’s just a function of the cold overall. Yes, I realize that the charge rate can be affected by things other than the temperature, but I think that is what it is here.


Lou, you are correct, it is the cold. The Volt conditions the battery to keep it in the optimum temperature range. Since you charge with 120 V, you can only get about 1.2-1.4 KW (hair dryer type heat). Some of that energy goes into charging the battery and some goes into keeping the battery warm. The Tesla does something similar, and at very cold temps (below 0F), the entire 1.2-1.4 KW could go just to heating the battery. The Leaf doesn’t actively condition the battery (except the cold weather package on some newer models), which is one of the problems, and why it doesn’t “quick” charge at low temps.

Actually, Nissan is rather open about the differences for charging times based on temperature. In its latest manual, published on its website, you can see that the 80% charge time quoted is from when the charge light illuminates to the 80% SOC point in OPTIMAL conditions. Really cold weather will impact that, as it does on all plug-in cars, in order to protect the battery pack.

I’ve actually done this in sub-zero temperatures without any real slowdown in charging.

Mind you, it wasn’t *much* below freezing, and the car was kept in an underground parking lot at a balmy 6 C before departure. But the author claims that any temperature below 0C severely hampers the charge rate.

Yeah, now that I’ve actually seen the video, I can testify that my test was way colder than this. I’ve done it twice on my way to Whistler from my house in the suburbs of Vancouver. The first test was at a chilly but dry -3 from start to finish (although the battery temperature would have been higher, sitting in our parkade), and I completed the charge to 80% in less time than it took for me to find a washroom somewhere down the block and grab a snack. Definitely less than an hour. The last time I made the trip, it was raining but not much above 0 for most of the trip (changing to snow before I reached Whistler). Again, the charge time was considerably less than an hour, and I just spent it browsing the web on my phone.

The difference is that when your battery is below 20%, your charge rate is much higher, as the beginning of his graph shows. He started at at about 30% charge, which probably meant more to the charge time than anything.

I guess I’m just going to have to record a video of my own to show everyone.