In-depth reviews

Nissan Leaf range, battery & charging

When it comes to real-world range, it’s hard to overstate how impressive the Nissan Leaf is

Overall rating

3.5 out of 5

Range, battery & charging rating

3.5 out of 5

£28,440 - £34,890
Fuel Type:
ModelRangeWallbox charge tineRapid charge time
Leaf168 miles6hrs 30mins* (0-100%, 6.6kW)40mins (10-80%, 50kW)
Leaf e+239 miles10hrs (0-100%, 6.6kW)35mins (10-80%, 100kW)

*with optional 6.6kW on-board charger

The Nissan Leaf has many tools in its armoury to maximise the number of miles it can travel on a charge. Even if you stick it in Eco mode and forget about the range-maximising E-Pedal and ‘B’ modes, the e+ will do well over 200 miles and accept a 100kW charge, making it a good option for anyone concerned about the occasional long-distance run. The Nissan does get an app for activating charging remotely, check on the charging status, set up interior warming or cooling, and more. However, it’s rated extremely poorly on the app store, and our experience of it when living with the car is that it’s quite hard to use, needs updating or reinstalling too often, and sometimes fails to connect with the car at all.

Nissan Leaf range

The Nissan Leaf’s claimed range has been calculated using the latest WLTP testing procedure, which has been designed to be more representative of what you’ll see in the real world. Nissan says 168 miles is possible from the 40kWh model on a single charge and in our own tests, we’ve consistently achieved more than 160 miles, which is up there with what you'll get in an MG ZS EV, if still a little way off what you'll get in a 39kWh Hyundai Kona Electric, or the Peugeot e-2008.

Naturally, your Leaf’s range will vary based not only on how you drive it, but also on the accessories you use, such as air-conditioning. As with other electric cars, cold weather can affect your range, so you can expect the total driving range to dip as low as 130 miles in cold weather or if you drive mostly on the motorway (where electric cars are less efficient than they are around town and on slower roads).

The most expensive Leaf e+ version boosts the official range to 239 miles. In tests, we found it averaged around 3.5 miles/kWh and just over 210 miles to a charge in warmer weather and mixed driving conditions.

Charge time

The Nissan Leaf has a battery capacity of 40kWh and can be charged from a normal domestic, three-pin socket in your house using the standard cable provided. This takes around 12 hours to charge from a low battery warning to 100%. Most buyers will charge using a home or workplace wallbox, which you can plug into with the standard five-metre Type 2 cable that the car comes with. A 7.4kW charger will take just under seven hours to charge the standard Leaf from the low battery warning to 100%. This same cable also gives you access to the vast majority of public chargers found in town-centre car parks, gyms and shopping centres, but six-and-a-half hours is the fastest charge you'll ever get in the Leaf from an AC charging point. The bigger battery in the e+ will, of course, take longer still. Expect a 7kW charger to fill the e+'s battery in around 10 hours.

For top-up charging on the move, Leaf owners can also use a CHAdeMO 50kW rapid charger, while e+ drivers can use a 100kW CHAdeMO charger, if they can find one – they’re very rare at the moment. A 50kW station will add around 100 miles of charge to both the standard and bigger battery Leaf models in around 40 to 60 minutes, while the same top-up of an e+ at a 100kW charger will take under 30 minutes. However, it’s a shame that the Nissan isn't equipped with CCS charging. This plug type is becoming the standard rapid charging connection across Europe, and while there are some 1,600 CHAdeMO-compatible public chargers across the UK, CCS chargers are set to become the more common rapid charger across the country. It’s worth noting the actual charging time for any electric car may vary based on factors such as the type of charger used, the battery temperature and the ambient temperature. All Nissan Leafs come with a three-pin charging cable for charging using a household socket and a Type 2 charging cable for wallbox charging, both of which are five metres long. Treat the three-pin domestic socket cable as an emergency backup, since it’ll take well over 24 hours to charge either Leaf from a normal wall socket.

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