Nissan Leaf range, battery & charging
The Leaf does a good job of getting close to its claimed range figures, although more modern rivals are starting to go further
|Model||Range||Wallbox charge tine||Rapid charge time|
|Leaf||168 miles||6hrs 30mins* (0-100%, 6.6kW)||40mins (10-80%, 50kW)|
|Leaf e+||239 miles||10hrs (0-100%, 6.6kW)||35mins (10-80%, 100kW)|
*with optional 6.6kW on-board charger
The 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’ mode, the e+ version will do well over 200 miles and accept a 100kW charge, making it a good option for anyone concerned about doing the occasional long-distance run without hassle.
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 40kWh Nissan Leaf’s claimed range is 168 miles from a charge, and in our own tests, we’ve consistently achieved more than 160, which is impressively close to the official number. 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 – in this case to maybe 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 bigger-battery Leaf e+ version boosts the car's official range to 239 miles. In tests, we found it averaged around 3.5 miles per kWh efficiency and just over 210 miles to a charge in warmer weather and mixed driving conditions.
The standard Nissan Leaf has a battery capacity of 40kWh and can be charged from a normal three-pin socket in your house – but this takes around 12 hours to charge from a low battery warning to 100%. Most buyers will instead charge faster using a home or workplace wallbox, which you can plug into with the standard five-metre Type 2 cable the car comes with. A 7.4kW charger like this will take just under seven hours to replenish the standard Leaf from the low battery warning to 100%, and 10 hours to do the same for the larger-battery e+ model. 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. Fortunately, both versions of the Leaf have DC rapid charging capability, too, although the standard car maxes out at 50kW, versus 100kW for the Leaf e+.
In This Review
- 1VerdictThe second-generation Nissan Leaf is one of the more affordable and practical electric cars on the market, with both standard and long-range versions available
- 2Range, battery & charging - currently readingThe Leaf does a good job of getting close to its claimed range figures, although more modern rivals are starting to go further
- 3Running costs & insuranceThe Nissan Leaf is relatively affordable to buy and also one of the cheapest family hatchbacks to run
- 4Performance, motor & driveThe Nissan Leaf's very impressive performance on the road is marred only by slightly stiff suspension
- 5Interior, dashboard & comfortThe Nissan Leaf's interior is quite conventional in appearance and material quality is a little hit-and-miss
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityWe have few complaints about the amount of space inside the Nissan Leaf – for both passengers and luggage
- 7Reliability & safety ratingThe Nissan Leaf has been proven to offer reliable and safe family transport across two generations so far
- 8Living with itWe spent six months running a Nissan Leaf in Tekna spec to get a thorough overview of what it's really like to own one of these pioneering electric cars