The 2011 Nissan LEAF is a rock-solid and pleasant EV, but range dropped significantly.
Fully Charged's Robert Llewellyn takes us on his third unique ownership review - abouthis first all-electric car, the first generation Nissan LEAF, bought in 2011.
This is one of the first LEAFs imported to the UK from Japan, with some 65,000 miles (105,000 km) on the odometer.
According to the review, "nothing has ever gone wrong with it" as the LEAF is a very reliable and solid EV (no surprise here).
However, the 24 kWh battery pack is nowhere near its capacity from 2011. It lost two battery capacity bars (at least 21.25% of the nominal capacity is gone). Years ago, it was good for up to 80-95 miles (129-153 km), while now it's more like 55 miles (89 km) in the summer and even less, 45 miles (72 km) in the winter! That sounds like less than two-thirds of the initial range.
We know that LEAF battery packs, without a proper cooling system, were usually not keeping the capacity over the years (like the EVs with liquid cooling). However, in this particular case, Robert Llewellyn admits that in the beginning he also had a bad habit of charging the car fully, and then driving short distances, and again leaving it fully charged for hours. For longevity of the batteries, it's better to charge them only to about 80%, if there is no need for the full range.
Anyway, even with low range, the LEAF might be usable for daily driving around home. Robert hints at a battery replacement to 40 kWh, which might give it 150 miles (240 km) of range and basically a new life.