posted 7 years ago

Maximise Range of Nissan LEAF

Fancy maximising the range of a Nissan LEAF?

Fancy maximising the range of a Nissan LEAF? If so, rejoice – Nissan has revealed its top tips for squeezing every inch of travel from this battery powered hatchback. The first consideration is cruising speed. Driving at 70mph uses more power than at 30mph, so best take it easy. Secondly, avoid hard acceleration and deceleration as this uses more power than the City of London. No Lewis Hamilton style driving, then. And motoring uphill requires more juice than the flats, so best avoid the Highlands of Scotland. As such, maintaining consistent moderate speeds over flat terrain is the objective. The LEAF's heating and air-con systems require electricity too - so maximise range by minimising use.

The Nissan LEAF has a range of up to one-hundred miles, perhaps slightly more in perfect conditions. However, sooner or later this electron lover will need charging. Here motorists have three options. The first is to connect the LEAF, via a cable, to a standard home-based plug socket. This completes a full charge in twelve hours. Or, Nissan's more powerful 16A home-based system gets the job done in eight. Alternatively, the rapid charging points that are popping-up across the UK complete an eighty per-cent charge in thirty minutes. The locations of these are stored in the LEAF's on-board navigation system.

But there is more to the Nissan LEAF than batteries and cables. It is about the size of a Ford Focus, so there is room for five people. It has a 330-litre boot too, so it can shift a fair pile of shopping. Furthermore, it feels composed on the road, has a smooth ride, and sends 108bhp to its front wheels via auto transmission. It, therefore, hits 62mph in a pleasing 11.9 seconds. It is whisper quiet too, as there are no pistons thumping under the bonnet. The LEAF also has a tremendous specification. The reversing camera, key-less entry system, and touch-screen display are standard toys. Overall then, the Nissan LEAF is a “proper” car – not one of those silly electric vehicles that have little use. Prices start at £30,990, minus the Government's £5,000 Electric Vehicle Incentive Grant. Happy days.

@Dave Richards: Last winter I had a number of sub-freezing rainy days here. The leaf worked brilliantly. I have a number of range reducing enhancements to my leaf, including sporty tires, so my 'normal' range is about 75 miles from full (60 miles from the 80% I normally charge to). In the worst conditions I saw last winter, even with heating use, I was getting close to 50 with moderate driving. 50 sounds low, but that's only with sport tires and a partial charge, where I'd normally get 60. In other words, at that rate of loss, stock tires and a full charge would still be well over 80 miles.

How far will it go on a cold, rainy night? 10 miles? A proper test is needed. 100 miles is blatantly untrue. Reports suggested that it couldn't make it from Brighton to London in one go...