2016 Nissan LEAF With 110-Mile Option? I’m Stoked!

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Originally published on EV Obsession.

The Nissan LEAF is the best-selling electric car in history. But after a long period of increased sales, US sales have been dropping in recent months. I’ve postulated that the biggest reason for that has been the promise of long-range, affordable electric cars (like the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3), or perhaps the hope that the next version of the LEAF will be the one to break through into the attractive market segment. We’ve been itching to hear more about the 2016 Nissan LEAF, but Nissan has been very tight-lipped. Looks like we have our first big clue, though….

2016 Nissan Leaf battery sizesJohn Voelcker caught word of a Indiana Nissan dealer with some useful and rather specific words regarding the battery (sorry, nothing on price). From the site:

The 2016 Nissan Leaf redesign will bring a first to the electric car: your choice of two different batteries.

  • The standard Leaf will come with the same battery as the 2015 model, featuring an EPA-estimated driving range of 84 miles.
  • Drivers of higher trim levels will enjoy a battery with as much as 25% increased capacity, delivering a driving range of as much as 110 miles.

The majority of electric cars only feature one battery option, and by providing drivers with their choice of a lower capacity battery if they don’t intend to drive long distances, the new Leaf can find a home in even more garages.

Indeed! This is a biggie, imho. 110 miles is a lot more than 84, and could make a lot of owners or potential owners much happier. Plenty of people are still going to want longer range — 130 miles, 150 miles, 200 miles — but as I’ve argued before, the vast majority of our trips are under 80 miles. Go up to 110 miles and it’s almost 100% of our trips. In fact, we drive under 110 miles ~99% of all days. That means a car with 110 miles of range can basically be charged at home almost every single day of the year. I do think the “sweet spot” between cost and range for most people will ends up at ~150 miles (down the road, once people have gotten plenty of electric driving experience under their belts and the infrastructure is a bit more built out), but there’s a humongous portion of the population that should never bat an eye at 110 miles. Take a look at these charts from Rob van Haaren for some visual perspective:

Distance-Distribution-Car-Trips Car-trip-distance-cumulative Daily-distance-car-distribution daily-distance-car-distribution_cumulative

And let’s not forget that most households have more than one car… for those few times a year when you might need a longer-range vehicle.


In other words, I think a 2016 Nissan LEAF with 110 miles of range should be a big seller. Hopefully, a ton of people will realize they don’t need a car with over 110 miles of range. And, hopefully, they won’t delay joining the electric game till the Tesla Model 3 comes out.

Of course, this is not the long-range electric car Carlos Ghosn has previously mentioned, whether that will be a 2nd-gen LEAF or an entirely new electric car.

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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143 thoughts on “2016 Nissan LEAF With 110-Mile Option? I’m Stoked!

  • the big question that no one has answered yet… How many % of drivers regularly exceed 110 miles on a trip on a monthly basis? Considering that 33% has only one car per household. Also leave some wiggle room to insure you can return home or to your cheap charging station.

    • You could use the graph below to do some careful guessing.

      Looks to me like less than 5% of all days are > 110 miles. Less than 2 days a month.

      Of course, that won’t be evenly distributed. There are some people who drive more than 110 miles a day frequently and some who drive that far never.

      • So you will have to rent a car 24 days a year for the 32.8% of those household with only one car? do you know the hassle of renting a car and do you know how much it will cost? The Chevy Volt with a 100 mile range is the perfect answer Bob! Not Nissan Leaf. I am sure that for the same number of 2016 Leaf and 2016 Volt, the Volt with a 53 mile EV range will have dramatically more miles driven each month than the 110 mile range Leaf, and you know the reason why.

        • Now, come on, Marion. You know that there is a wide distribution around pretty much any mean.

          There are going to be a number of people who will never drive over the range of a Leaf. (My aunt was one. She never drove more than 40 miles in a day for 60 years.)

          There are going to be some number of people who will drive more than the Leaf range a couple times a year. Renting a car for their annual Christmas trip to see the relatives would be no big deal.

          There are people who will take up that slack and drive over ‘100 miles’ often. They will be best served with a Tesla. An entry level Tesla will likely pay for itself with fuel savings.

          Then there are some people like you, Marion. A Volt works pretty well for you. But what you seem to not get, Marion, is that you are on point on the distribution. You aren’t representative of all drivers.

          • A base Model 3 should cost ~35000 (before federal tax credits, which we can safely ignore because they will expire for Tesla in the US shortly after Model 3 launch). After electricity cost increases, we can assume that most people will save ~10,000 dollars over 5 years.

            We have no way of knowing how long average model 3 ownership will be, but average in the US is 8 years or so. So 16,000 in gas savings. Not bad, but hardly a free car. Still, you get a premium car for ~23000 dollars (after factoring in extra financing costs over those 8 years).

          • Life is different than ownership. We don’t care how long the car lasts between all owners, we care how much money the original new owner saves. Thus, 8 years.

          • Actually, the total life of the car is the number the first buyer cares more about. When you sell the car, it has value. Add that back to the price you paid. Add fuel and maintenance costs and you have Total Cost of Ownership.

            If you sell at year 8, and the cars life is 8 years. The value is zero. If you sell at year 8, and the car has 5 more years if life, it could sell for example $5,000. That’s a significant figure in TCO.

          • Yeah, I thought about that. We have no way of knowing what that value is though. Evidence so far is that electric cars retain value exceptionally poorly (Nissan and Tesla have both been throwing money at what amounts to a “guaranteed resale value” (either buying back or offering sweeeeeeet end of lease values) to counter this problem for their buyers), but that may not always be the case. I doubt it will be, but when will it change?

          • Good to hear you’re thinking about these things. There’s actually several good systems of tracking resale value. Now that EVs are coming off lease, we have numbers.

            Nissan Leaf and Tesla are at opposite ends of the spectrum. Leaf resale values are low mainly because it’s a high volume car, rebates chop $10k off the resale price right off the top (as a percentage of car price, it’s far higher than Tesla) and it’s one of the few EVs with an air cooled battery. That hasn’t worked out too well especially in warm climates.

            Tesla is definitely not throwing money at their buyback, Tesla resale values far exceed the 50% guarantee. By tens of thousands. Tesla owners are *way* better off than the typical luxury car buyer (check the resale value even of the vaunted BMW 7 series by comparison).

            We have a full write-up of EV vs ICE costs in the current version of our print magazine (on the shelf at Barnes & Noble or by mail from our web site). Just on the *first three years of a lease*, for example the savings range from $5,848 (Ford Focus) to a low of $2,832 (Ford Fusion Energy, almost tied with Nissan Leaf at $2,900).

            $1,000 per year savings over three years is a very significant savings. Almost $6,000 savings over three years is pretty much free car compared to total monthly cost of an ICE. (it’s even better than that over 6, 9, 12 years if you’re purchasing).

          • You know what obvious thing just occurred to me? Luxury car buyers have a lot of money (:P. I know, right?). No normal person *wants* a second hand car. We buy them because we’re poor. Luxury car buyers have enough money to always buy new.

            So the only people buying luxury cars in the used market are people who would have bought a more normal priced car originally, but are looking at the luxury car specifically because it is now way below its ordinary value, and it has now fallen to the same price as a new car in their budget range.

            That likely really decreases the value of most luxury cars on the second hand market.

          • Are you comparing the median price for a used Leaf with the new post-federal subsidy selling price to typical car depreciation?

            Or are you using the lowest used Leaf price you can find against the pre-federal subsidy price?

          • Pre-federal subsidy, because it will expire for each individual manufacturer after 200k qualifying units are sold by that manufacturer (or sooner, if some in congress get their way).

            In Tesla’s case this should happen right as the Model 3 is released, so very few people will get the full federal subsidy, and most will get nothing.

            I just glanced at Leaf prices to get an idea of resale value. Didn’t do any research into min vs max, various averages, or under what conditions those values occur.

          • I spent a little time on AutoTrader last night and found the median price for a 2013 Leaf is $10,999.

            It’s difficult calculating the average depreciation as there were three Leaf models with MSRPs running from $28,800 to $34,840. A good study would require doing a weighted average selling price or breaking the models apart.

            I used an average purchase price – federal (no state) subsidy and found that after three years (assuming it’s 2016 car time now) depreciation was 55%. Average depreciation on a three year old car is 42%.

          • And this is for ICEVs. How many are junked “simply” because they fail emissions requirements?
            If only for that reason, I guess that EVs will last longer on average.

          • The first new car I ever got, fail emission test day 1, back to dealer for fix, failed again, back to dealer. Sneak behind garage and look in window, they were not even hooking it up to the tester, just open hood turn screw. Yea, I talked with the manager 😉

          • I’m of the impression that ICEVs are crushed largely when they become mechanically unreliable. And it would cost too much to make them reliable.

            It doesn’t cost a lot to get an “Earl Scheib” paint job and some aftermarket seat covers and floor mats.

            I don’t see that happening with EVs. The motors and electronics should remain very reliable for well past 200k miles. Ranges will fall as battery capacity drops, but a “200 mile range when new” EV will still have an 80 mile range when the batteries are down to 40% of new.

            A 25 year old Tesla S with 80 miles of range would be a great car for routine commuting. Just put some small money into cosmetics.

          • Tesla claims they are trying to make their drivetrain last 1 million miles. Given the relative simplicity of electric motors, and the low battery degradation we’re seeing so far with Teslas (95% of new after 2 years), it’s not unlikely that you could drive a Tesla with nothing more than standard maintenance costs (600 dollar a year inspection, new tires when required, new shocks and struts when needed, new windshield wipers) for 25 years, if 40% of original capacity was all you required.

            The big “if” is how long the batteries will last before you need a new pack. Battery degradation is non-linear and exceptionally difficult to predict. Even if you know exactly how a given battery chemistry degrades (which is difficult), an individual battery can last far less or far longer than that just due to manufacturing and usage variances. It’s not possible to predict the degradation of an individual battery as it leaves the factory.

            Still, batteries get cheaper all the time. 7% a year cheaper for a given capacity, actually. So after 25 years a new battery should cost you 1/5th of what that capacity originally did, if you should be inclined to replace it. Current costs for a 60 kWh battery for Tesla are (apparently) under 12,000 dollars. In 25 years – assume no breakthroughs, but just standard ongoing research – that same 60 kWh battery should cost them less than 2,500 dollars. Assuming a 50% markup, we’re only looking at $3,800 for a brand new battery. Or about $6,200 after 25 years of inflation:P.

            That’s not that bad.

          • The “average age 8 years” is floating around the web but data says 11.4.

            And average life is going to be a lot more than 11.4. But maybe not 20. I doubt it’s a normal distribution.

          • You may be right, James, but that sounds high. Consumer reports says 8 years, 150,000 miles. Maybe that data is skewed by East Coast cars that rust out.

            200k miles / 15k miles annually is 13.3 years.

            20 years would be 300k miles. Where are you seeing the average ICE car last 300k miles? A few, sure. But average?

            Even if you use 12k miles (too low) 20 years would be 240,000 miles. Still to high for the average car on US roads.

          • 15k miles per year is high. The current average annual mileage is around 13.5k which would make it 14.8 years.

            I’d put the average lifespan of a US car (those that don’t get removed by crash, fire, theft/dismantling, flood, etc.) at over 15 years but less than 20.

          • Plus, no oil changes, filter replacements, tune-ups, (most) fluid flushes, emissions testing and many other benefits over that time as well.

          • Yeah. Tesla does “encourage” (essentially demand) a 600 dollar a year inspection though, so that mitigates most of those benefits.

            However, that very inspection should increase the life and resale value of the car, so… probably worth it.

          • I agree sault as I have a 2000 Jeep Wrangler used on/off road, with 106000, a 2001 Subaru outback with 90000, and a 1996 Pontiac Bonneville with 110000. Am I I average..don’t know. But they are all paid for. Do wish someone would send me a mod s though.

          • ” After electricity cost increases”

            Why make that assumption? Most people are going to charge during off peak hours if they have TOU billing. And others will add solar panels to lock in low priced electricity.

            What parameters did you use to calculate “16,000 in gas savings”?

          • I didn’t mean the electricity would be more expensive, I meant you’d be using more of it. Over 8 years that really adds up. Basically, “Gas savings – increased electricity bill = final savings”.

            For instance, when I got my newest computer (runs 24/7), my electricity bill increased by 20 bucks a month. A car will run you more than that.

          • OK, understand what you mean by electricity cost increase now.

            Again, what parameters did you use for $16k in final savings?

            BTW, sounds like you may have made a poor computer choice. Do you really need that much processing power 24/7 or are you running a server?

            The Raspberry Pi pulls 1.21 watts if you just need a system running.

          • I’ve actually been thinking about getting a Raspberry Pi to play with! It could probably serve about half of my always on needs if it lives up to expectations. Or, barring that, one of those tiny little “night light” Linux servers. Simple, cheap, low power. Perfect for most applications, and a bit more powerful than Raspberry Pi. Bit more expensive, but meh, still cheap.

            And yeah, I built a Space Shuttle of a computer. I looked at my worst case usage scenario (which happens occasionally), and built around that. It had to be all things to all people, just like the shuttle. And, just
            like the shuttle, it is a behemoth overpowered monster 99% of the time,
            haha. But of course it is overpowered for nighttime operations.


            As for 16k, I assumed the following:

            *I assumed 300 dollars per year in extra electricity costs from plugging in your car. 300*8 years= 2400

            *I assumed 2000 dollars per year in gas prior to the purchase of the BEV. That’s 16000.

            *Then I subtracted and arbitrarily rounded back up to 16000 to account for lower drive train maintenance costs. Totally arbitrary (might be more or less), but I felt some small adjustment was warranted.

          • I use a netbook for all my computing. I don’t play video games or do much heavy duty (multiply layer) photo editing.

            15 watts.

            My big draw is the large monitor I use which pulls 35 watts, so I switch it off when not viewing.

          • That can’t be a windows netbook, can it? I have one, and windows (at least windows 7) does *not* work well on netbooks. It’s so painfully slow that it’s almost unusable. Can’t even stream netflix reliably. Great battery life though (giant 6 cell battery on a netbook that should have had a 3 cell battery).

          • Average miles driven (DOT, 2015) = 13,476.

            Now comes the problem of ”what car”?

            The average US new car MPG is 25.5. The most efficient is the Prius at 50 MPG.

            Avg new car = 528.5 gallons per year. Prius = 269.5 gallons per year.

            Average US gas price = $2.65/gallon. But this is the price at the bottom of the price curve. Using it may result in a low estimate for 8 years costs.

            Avg new car fuel cost for 8 years = $11,204. Prius = $5,713.

            Add in something for oil changes, etc.

            Assume 0.3 kWh per mile for an EV (might be a bit high). For 13,467 miles the EV would need 4,040 kWh.

            At the US average cost of electricity $0.1295/kWh that would be $523/year or $4,185 for 8 years.

            That number might be high if a significant number of drivers are charging at off peak rates.

          • So what did all that math get us?

            The average driver won’t get a free car from gas savings. But that’s not what I said. Here’s the quote –

            “There are people who will take up that slack and drive over ‘100 miles’ often. They will be best served with a Tesla. An entry level Tesla will likely pay for itself with fuel savings.”

            There are people who drive more than 30,000 miles in a year. Assume that they do that in a more typical car than a Prius they’re spending a lot more than $1,400 per year on fuel, perhaps over $3k. Electricity might cost them $1k.

            The $2k savings would pay for a $28k Mod3 in 14 years. The car might not last 420k miles. So I may have exaggerated a bit.

            (Took a bit of math time to check myself…)

          • Oh yeah, totally. For someone doing 300 mile road trips once a week (say, to visit a worksite), a Model 3 makes perfect sense, and really will pay for itself in gas savings (or close to it). Especially if they’re supercharging twice on that road trip (once there, once back).

            Anyone will be hard pressed to argue against a Model 3 in that scenario.

            Not very many people will get a 28k Model 3 though. The federal tax credit in the US expires at 200k cars. Tesla will hit that right as the Model 3 is released. For those that do, the car will be a steal.

          • Desktop computers are dinosaur power-guzzlers. Modern high-end phone SOCs are capable of running desktops, except for an insignificant number of intensive gamers (claim by Apple verified by Anand). In five years, desktops will be down to 5 watts.

          • Ok, but those already exist. They’re called tablets. And for people that just need to browse the internet or type in a word processor, you’re right.

            For people doing actual work on a computer, it’s a bit different. Photoediting straaaaains my desktop, and makes me kick myself for only getting 8 gigs of ram (“no one will ever need more than 8 gigs of ram!” I said to myself:P). Video editing is even worse, but I don’t do that.

            What else is bad? AutoCAD. Any 3D modeling software. Any decent high end game. Anyone running large spreadsheets (I didn’t build out my computer with these in mind, and fwoooof do they ever take up a lot of… everything).

            Not everyone needs a high powered desktop. But they exist for a reason, and that reason isn’t going away anytime soon.

          • You don’t need that kind of processing power 24/7. Turn the beast off when you don’t actually need it

          • What we need are electric cars with battery bays and the option to insert a generate and charge on the go when you need it.
            A modular car that accepts batteries and modules from various makers.
            Like Project Ara for cars.

        • What I got out of the graphs are that 58% of the people have more than one car and perhaps the other 42% aren’t likely candidates for an EV.

          • Out of that 42% some (5% to 10%?) could probably afford a Tesla S. At least the lowest cost model.

            Some, maybe a third, might do so few long drives a year that they would be better off with an EV and use a rental or public transportation for the one or two longer trips they take a year.

      • Yes, would love to have the raw data. Then you could poll the top 1% and top 5% out and see those two curves. I would bet you dinner that there is a “big” shift in the curve in the greater than 70 mile portion.

  • Definitely a good development. I’ve been hoping for something with at least 100 range myself being as my parents are 90 miles away. My ideal EV would have 300 range but 110 is probably enough to coax me to buy, whereas 84 wasn’t quite.

    Unfortunately my favorite camping spot is 102 miles and I doubt there’s a fast charger nearby, but will have to investigate. Charging in an RV spot overnight might be enough, though I think all the RV campgrounds suck for scenery and not sure if any allow tent camping. Camps are going to have to reconsider their electricity + tent policies.

    • Yes. I get you. Really, you need some Chademo nearby. At least its 25kw. Level 2 is only 10kw. Lets use 3kwhr/mile and say you charge for 24 minutes with Chademo. That gives you 30 miles. Or if you can manage, 15 miles in 12 minutes. But Level 2 is still too slow for fast charge.
      The location and availability of fast charge stations really matters for EVs.

      • Leafs with CHAdeMO take in up to 47 kW. At low SoC, one would get those 30 extra miles in about 12 minutes.

        Its L2 is 6.6 kW. Adding 30 miles that way would take over 1h, indeed nowhere near as practical as quick-charging.

        • Yes. I read 25kw was most common, even though the standard allows more. Thus, my comment. More 47kw Chademo would be great.

          Some say 44kw, which is confusing. I tried Plugshare, but they only say DCFC, no power rating.

          See this comment on Teslablog.


          The problem with short range EVs and slower charging like Chademo is that the slow rate and high demand creates queues.


          Its not the standards fault. It goes higher. Its the high number of low range EVs and the slower ratings used at the existing Chademo chargers.

    • Or bring a little honda gasoline generator with you on those camping trips? One of those could easily charge the car overnight… (That’s my plan if I can figure out all my little details…)

      • Kind of like turning your car into a Volt… except you can’t run it while driving. The problem is that the Leaf takes 22 hours to charge from empty to full on 110V (maybe less if the generator can put out 6.6kW?) but camps don’t let you run generators except between certain hours. Carrying the weight of the generator and gas around will reduce your range some amount… It might do the job if you planned to park for many days and run the gen as often as was allowed, but I think it would take a few days to get much out of it. A typical small generator warns not to run it more than 2 hours at a time and will run out of gas in 8 hours, so you’d need to carry extra gas and get a higher quality one that can be run more than 2 hours at a time.

        • Yes, but a volt with a 110 mile battery range! (With more interior space…)

          And I’m sorry, 22 hours? It’s a 24 kwh battery, yes? So at 6.6kW you’re looking at 3.6 hours. Even if it’s one of those tiny 2.2kw ones that’s still only 11 hours…

          And the camping restrictions… well that stinks. I’ve never camped anywhere with restrictions like that… don’t know what to tell ya.

          And as far as the weight – not an issue. A small generator is only 50 lbs, plus for 24 kwhs you’re talking 3.3 gallons of gas (calculated from the honda spec sheet of 4 hours full load on a 1.1 gallon tank for a 2kw generator at 47lbs.). Since a gallon of gas weighs 6 lbs, the whole thing is under 70 lbs. If that has a significant effect on your range, I suggest being very careful about your camping equipment… (Particularly those bear canisters, backpack, sleeping bag and sleeping pad… oh, and your other campers!)

          For the running two hours… I’ve never even heard of that one… but then again maybe I only get decent generators. I’ve never had an issue running them overnight (>9 hours) on a stretch – night after night. Never killed one – nor even noticeably damaged it.

          While these might be real concerns of yours, it seems like you’re trying to find a hole…

          • standard 110 v outlet will charge at about 1kW. Takes over 20 hours to get a full charge on a 24kW battery.

            (if you think about it, most standard breakers in houses have trouble running a 2000watt (2kW) microwave for more than a few minutes without snapping open. Most will do 1.5kW, but not necessarily forever. 1kW is pretty safe though, and according to Leaf forums I checked, you can generally get 1.1kW out of a standard issue 12amp 110v outlet.)

          • “What you talkin’ about willis?!?”

            – Sorry… on with life.

            So this is a 2.2 kw generator, it will have no trouble outputting 2.2kw. Not a problem. That said, I just looked it up, and nissan has implemented a safety limit of 12A on the 120V plug. That would throw a wrench into this plan and cause charging to take closer to 20 hours as you state.

            As for your standard outlet – you must live in a house with breakers that are either underrated or aged to the point they are outside of spec… a 15 amp breaker (The breaker that’s standard in my area) you should have no trouble pushing 15 amps – I’ve done it many times on my breakers (Though some may recommend not exceeding 12 amps for constant loads – aka loads exceeding 3 hours – as I was recently reminded). If your breaker is cutting off before that, I recommend having it replaced…

          • We only have one breaker that we push up to near its limit on a regular basis. It hits nearly 15 amps when we push it. It can handle about an hour of that before it blows.

            I think 12 amps for constant loads is pretty safe. If you have especially strong breakers (we don’t, kinda oldish) sitting in a cool environment (ours sit in a warm environment right beside the freaking clothes dryer for some reason. Bad design), you can probably pull a bit more constantly without blowing it.

          • And swapping it out with a 20 amp breaker?

          • If you swap a 20 amp breaker for a 15amp, you have to be sure the house wiring it connects to is 12-gauge instead of 14-gauge. Breakers are sized for the wires they service and prevent the wires from overheating and causing a fire if you pull too many amps through them for too long.

          • Sure. You don’t just jerk out a breaker and replace it with a larger one. You have to make sure that the hardware past the breaker will handle the extra load.

            But if you can’t get the job done with a 15 amp then looking into upsizing the breaker – and even the line – might be worth considering.

          • Woo Hoo.
            Throw the main breaker and with one hand behind your back, tighten the screws on the breaker wires while inspecting the wiring with a LED flashlight.
            Did a professional install the wiring with correct wire size and did he connect ground wires to the outlets?

          • Dunno. I rent. Not going to screw with it. If something breaks I want to be able to look them in the eye and say “not my fault, I didn’t touch it!”

            Oldish building though (35 years maybe?) so who knows if they’ve ever replaced any of the original shoddy workmanship (and poor building standards and codes) from the 1980s.

          • There you go. Even though its a 15A rating, you really should only run 12A continuous. Thats how you get down to 12A x 120V = 1.44 kw.
            But you will probably not charge at max the full time. Charge is high current on a discharged battery, but tapers off as charge increases.
            If you charge at less than full discharge, the charge rate will be reduced.

            Most chargers start at constant current (max rating) and then become constant voltage as the difference between charger voltage and internal cell voltage decreases.

            IMO, there should be some kind of heat and or smoke detector that can shut it down if its in a building. I would try to do that if it was mine and I could. Outside is less of an issue.

          • Is it 15A, 120V? Should be 1.8kw. Allow for efficiency, still at least 1.5 kw. But yes, its low. Breakers don’t like to run too long at max, but I think the problem is that they could allow too much. You can find some things on line about this. Breakers also fail closed sometimes. Fuses don’t fail closed.

          • As someone pointed out above, the Leaf is purposefully limited (for safety reasons) from pulling more than 12 amps from a 120 volt plug. So 1.1 kW.

          • Just some concerns off the top of my head – nothing I gave much thought or research to. In fact I was confused when I said 6.6kW forgetting that’s what most level 2, 220V chargers put out. But charging at 110V for 20+ hours is really not helpful I’m afraid, even if I could run it 24 hours straight, which I likely couldn’t as that violates most camp noise rules.

            Maybe someone will invent a generator you can tow that connects to the 6.6kw (level 2) charger. Of course burning gas to charge violates the main reason I want an EV in the first place – to get off fossil fuel. I may as well just take the Prius.

          • Rather than tow a generator, you could just tow another battery and have spare capacity. Course, that would get stolen immediate, but still.

          • Otis, good answer. I’m afraid everyone is thinking “I just made it here to the campground so I must charge with the 2k gen forever to fill the batteries. How about you charge long enough to get down the hill to a charge station with food for lunch. I also have a 2k Honda that will and has run continuously for 12 hours on econ and 8 or so hours full load. Sound is non existent on econ.

    • You can always (fast)charge along the way or plug in at a 110 jack at the campground or house. I’m sure you would be able to find one of those but unless you’re planning on road tripping every day from the campsite, you should be good to go….it may take 24 hours to fill up on 110 but hey, what’s a day when you’re camping for a week 😀

      • Not many camps I’ve seen have outlets except at RV spots or ranger buildings. Some don’t allow tents in RV spots, and I wouldn’t count on rangers letting you park and plug in an extension overnight. Plus I rarely have time to camp more than 2-3 days at a time and I usually do end up driving 20+ miles each day to some trailhead or other attraction. Fast charging not too far away from the camp is really the only option that would work.

        • If you have a portable 240V/28A capable EVSE, you can get the full 6.6kW the Leaf is capable of from a 50A RV spot (which I’ve done a few times). With that much power available, I’ve found that I can do day trips easily. I’ve also camped at a provincial campground in BC with no power available at all, but with a CHAdeMO DCFC within a 5km drive – that also worked fairly well, since we were often stopping at the mall it was located at to pick up a bit of food or something each day, and often the car would be back up above 80% by the time we were done.

        • The guy who sells firewood down the road from the campsite is an entrepreneur, and soon there will be a charger next to his flea market in the woods.

      • what about portable solar panels? if youre leaving your car parked for days upon arrival, would this be enough to recharge the battery? ie- coleman makes a 40w(max, and 2.3amps under ideal conditions) solar panel, that ive seen on sale for $99 frequently.

        • average energy need for an EV is 0.2-0.3 kWh/km.. so no, a coleman 40W roll-up-solar-panel won’t work.
          You’d need at least 2-3 330Wp panels (1×1.6m each) to get ~2.5kWh per day (@ 4 hour sunshine) which would give you 10km..

          • I’m writing down these bits of data here to see how they compare to the output of my 4X8 ft solar panel under construction/90% finished and the weight of my scooter and next cart under construction with 2.5Hp motor. I’m stuck in the 3 mile and under crowd till I find a 100 lb. DC motor.
            Batteries not included in this project yet. Waiting for them to fall off the back of a Chinese ship..

        • solar just doesnt have the generation density (kwh production per surface area) to be practical…yet. As cell efficiencies improve, evs get more efficient and battery densities improve, this will shift. I hope to see practical, built in solar supplemented charging in a production cars in ~10 years.

          • Batteries can’t really get that much more efficient. Maybe 10 – 20% more at most since they’re already so efficient. The laws of physics start coming into play after that and it just becomes impossible to change electrical energy into chemical energy and back again with less losses. EVs can become lighter and more aerodynamic, but you’re never going to get camping gear and a couple of people into a fiberglass bullet with bicycle tires, so there is a limit there too.

          • Moderately high end solar cells are already 20-25 percent efficient. So at *max*, I wouldn’t count on more than 5 times the power generation per square meter you have now.

            Still, 5 to 20 kWh per day isn’t that bad (depending on where you’re camping and the time of year you might well get 8 hours… or as little as 2 hours of optimal sunshine per day, so it’s going to vary a lot). A 110 mile leaf (presumably a 30kWh battery) should only take 2 to 6 days to fully or almost fully charge.

            Of course, 5 square meters of panels is quite a bit, and if you have a car with a decent sized battery (100 kWh rather than 30kWh), it’s going to take a long time to charge it, even under optimal conditions with 100% efficient panels.

    • Dragon,
      I had a conference call with KOA VIP’s a couple weeks ago, and their President Pat Hittmeier was on the line. They expressed strong interest in making their campsites more EV-friendly, with Pat going so far as to ask specifically what EV drivers would find most helpful.

      It was a very encouraging discussion, after which I devised a short list of specifics that I think we probably all agree on.

      I don’t have the full list handy but I do remember mentioning clean facilities, a place to sit down and potentially get some work done, good food and great coffee.

      Naturally, dedicated EV spaces and a fairly tiered rate also.

      One thing I think is intriguing about campsites–in particular KOAs–is that there are so damn many of them, and they tend to be more rurally-located. It’s almost too much to dream, but if they flipped the switch of their 485 locations on all at once you could likely get virtually anywhere in the U.S. with only a battery of about 50 miles range and a little patience.

      Disclaimer: KOA is a sponsor of my Negative Carbon Roadtrip…though I’d probably say good things about them even if they weren’t. Everyone I’ve talked with thus far has been uniformly kind and helpful.

      a.k.a. Brian Kent

      • KOA might carve themselves out some additional profit centers by offering rapid EV charging. They probably already have large wire connections in order to handle evening RV draws.

        And they’ve got a lot of sites…

      • Another suggestion would be to put their RV plug availability on plugshare. Some drivers do this on their own, but having a live update on plug availability and a coordinated effort for all KOA sites would give drivers certainty and flexibility.

    • Man, one fast charger between your parents’ home & that camping spot would make your day, I imagine! Or an EV with 150 miles of range. Automakers need to fill the gaps!

      • Oh, I’m sure there are tons of fast chargers between me and my parents, but I’d rather not have to stop and wait to charge (usually we’re eating dinner with parents so we can’t eat dinner while charging) and I’d rather be able to get there on one battery and slow charge overnight rather than fast charge which degrades the battery life.

    • Are RV plugs just 220V “dryer” outlets or some kind of special standard?

    • Highway range is less on EVs, too. A 110 mile rating won’t happen at 70mph.
      How good is your range at 65 say?

  • I’ll be in for one as soon as they’re available in FNQ and I can afford it 😉
    The 2006 Holden Astra Hatchback has at least 3-5 more years in it.

      • Far North Queensland – Australia

        • Local rednecks dream of this area to break away from QLD and make a rule of their own (Cairns/Townsville as seat of local gov) as the SEQ corner (South East Queensland) with Brisbane is not caring very good for them (us) – proud little bastards 😉

  • High “trim” level, might be a hefty premium for the bigger bat?

    • What if it is pulling a trailer carrying another duplicate battery pack.
      That’s what I’d be pulling up a mountainous backroad.

    • Matches exactly with my previous estimate from the EV owner/lessee poll.

  • Zachary there is a flaw in your paper.
    It seems that this is from a poll, since on histogram you have peaks in miles of 10, 15, 20, 25…. And then, according to ISO standards of( Accuracy{Trueness and Precision} of Measurement Methods and Results ISO 5725-1), you should check what is on 95% ticks(e.g. on figure 4) to claim what is the mileage people need. It seems that first Nissan pretty much already does the job. Third, obviously 35% of Americans needs less than 3 miles per day for traveling which is an outlier (no one will need a car for this distance and should be excluded).

    • Nobody needs a car for 3 miles…but you said amercians. Thus, 90% of this 35% feel they NEED a car and will buy one. How else will we sustain the current rates of morbid obesity that we have? (in all seriousness, ‘muricans love their cars and just don’t do public transit, walking or biking well. Granted we are more spread out but dang! We also don’t do the “do the right thing” thing very often. As much as we flaunt our military power to “do the right thing” around the world (whatever that means), we suck at doing this at home when it comes to changing habits…getting off oil, being efficient, NOT being selfish etc. Personal rant of mine…but too true in my experience.

      In other news, over the last 6 months the number of EVs in my admittedly eco friendly town has noticeably increased which makes me smile.

      • This.

        I worked promoting bicycling, walking, & mass transit for years. Completely logical. Better quality of life. Can’t convince Americans to change their ways.

        So, better electric than gas!! 😀

        • In my experience, much of that is based on how our cities are built…the nature of suburbs and just the sprawl of things (at least on the west coast) coupled with a deeply ingrained societal belief that having a car = freedom keeps that rolling. From the numbers though and with increased urbanization, this is shifting in the right direction…slowly…but still moving.

          • When I spent 5 months in Ithaca in college for an internship, there was a guy there who gave speeches on how illogical the idea of “car = freedom” can be, and is for many people. I can’t do it justice, so won’t try, but it was really, really good.

            Agree that many places in the US are not designed for bikers & pedestrians, sadly. We could bike & walk a lot more, but breaking down those sociopsychological barriers is about as difficult as it gets. 😛

          • Well, Zachary, everything what you said is correct. But the plots suggests something else, that the range is not anymore a problem and it is not anymore a dominant feature that attracts customers. There is another major reason why people are not buying electric cars besides range and it should be investigated. Just let you know that LCD screens were technology ready in mid-70s and it takes about 40 years to reach a dominance over CRTs

          • Oh, definitely! It is lack of awareness and experience, imho. And somewhat upfront cost.

  • Zach, if the price is right I think that this will make a huge difference in their sales. 100 miles is a psychological barrier. The extra 10 helps with aging and winter time reductions. And there are many many households with two or more cars that will seamlessly shift over to their ICE when they are going on a longer trip. The take-away is that this should increase their addressable market considerably. Getting it over 100 miles will go a long way to eliminating range anxiety for a much larger percentage of drivers.

    • Unfortunately, the price is wrong…$5-6k more for the extra miles.
      Fortunately, rumor is the 2017 comes with a full overhaul including more miles, new exterior, etc which should absolutely blow the roof off their market 😀

      • For the record, I got criticized by 1 or 2 people for putting the hypothetical cost of an extra 30 miles of range at $5,000 in the recent EV survey we did. Looks quite accurate in this case. I’m sure the higher-end LEAF has a few other benefits as well. 26 miles & some other benefits for $5,000-6,000? What I’d guess. 😀

        Will be a different story before long, but at the moment, offering some EVs with 110 miles, 130 miles, 150 miles, etc. for the extra cost of the battery makes a lot of sense. Happy to see someone finally filling that gap a little! So curious to see the sales results. 😀

        • If nothing else it will help clarify what the market really wants.

        • Everyone’s a critic 🙂 You guys do a great job here. I especially love your data based optimism 🙂 I resonate with that and it keeps us looking up and moving forward.

    • During winter, the 10 miles extra is not enough. I’m 1,000,000% sure that the Leaf will achieve less than 80 mile range during the winter in North Dakota, Vermont, and other northern American areas.

      • And those areas have low population and are more spread out geographically too. They can drive Volts and Teslas. Most of the top population states like California, Texas and Florida don’t have to worry about snow. And it’s not just 10 miles extra. The mileage is on the EPA range test, so it will go from 86 miles to 110, an increase of 24, not 10. Regardless, an extra 24 miles will expand the number of people the LEAF will work for while also easing the range concerns of more people. A step in the right direction and a prelude to the 150 – 200 miles the 2017 LEAF will have.

    • “if the price is right I think that this will make a huge difference in their sales. 100 miles is a psychological barrier.”
      -Haha, I just wrote the same thing! 😀 Fully agree. This is a big deal, imho.

  • I jumped in on a 2014 leaf for our second car because I wasnt ok waiting for the model 3 🙂 I heard similar news to this at one of the dealerships I visited and the fact that it would require $5-6k more just for the extra couple of miles pushed me to buy a current model vs waiting any paying way more. Having said that, I agree that there are some people who will feel more comfortable with the extra mileage and be willing to pay for it 🙂 Yet again…#gonissan #goghosn!

    • 100 obviously comes with a psychological factor. Withou carefully doing the math, 100 (or 110) probably sounds lot better than 84 to a lot of people. And it actually is quite a lot better, for that matter… (but maybe not that important practically for a lot of people). Happy to hear the news & confirmation from you. Wish Nissan had started out like this, but better late than never!

      • People tend to think that $9.99 is a lot less than $10.

  • Starting to seriously consider a 2013 now as they can go for as low as $8-10k (I can get past looks for that price).. My question though is what happens to prices over next year when a bolt comes out? Or an updated 2017 leaf with 200 mi?

    Does the bolt/new leaf with 200mi just not depreciate as fast as the older leafs or does it really push the 2013 leaf down even more? Bolt does seem to be 10k more than the base leaf..

    I could hold off for another year with no huge $ loss as gasser is old, not depreciating much & only 10k miles a year.

    • I found a great deal on a 2014 leaf that had not been registered (qualifies for the fed tax rebate) and was heavily marked down. it arrives in 12 hours so I’m excited but agree that the deals on lightly used leafs are fantastic!! After the rebates, it was barely more than I sold my 2010 prius for 😀

      Regarding resale value, it will drop…a lot. what’s an 80 mile leaf worth when you can just get a used 200mi range leaf for a few $k more? hopefully, they will offer battery upgrades as newer tech comes out for the older models to keep the range competitive…hopefully.

      • Wow, a used LEAF + the tax credit?!? Good find!

        ~2 hours to go?!?!?!?!?!?!

        • It’s “used” 😀 It has never been titled hence the ability to get the tax credits…and was only driven around the plant in TN.

        • Picked it up yesterday at lunch 🙂 no more gasmobiles for my family. 2 EV’s, lots of solar panels and a little bit more clean air. w00t!

          • Congrats!

          • sweet!

    • I’m guess that used EVs will start holding value much better than used ICEVs as soon as some more people start to understand how well they work if your driving is within the range limitations.

      IIRC efficient cars hold their value much better than gas guzzlers. (“Special” models excepted.) People with tight budgets often consider purchase prices as well as operating costs.

      • as long as they upgrade the early adaptor models with fresh batteries 😉

    • I’ve been wondering the same. I think they’ll be hit a bit. But the deals on used LEAFs seem great right now. And what if the EV tax credit expires in a couple of years?

      If you’d have someone to pass it on to in a few years (child, family member…) or could keep it for city use, I’d go for it. Otherwise, hard decision to make.

  • We are going to give this some serious consideration. On our long trips from Vancouver, WA to Pendleton and British Columbian, 110 miles would allow us to skip some chargers especially in the Olympia-Everett areas where there are availability deficits. Instead of doubling the travel times of ICE, the time taken in charging would approximate our usual ICE rest stops. It would give us much more route flexibility when I-5 is clogged. And all of us have some places we would rather not charge at.
    I can see returning home from BC during daylight hours or getting over to Eastern Washington and the Olympics occasionally and maybe longer trips down to California. We can afford off season travel and this would open up a world of possibilities.

    • Am very happy Nissan has made this step. Highly needed. All EVs should have a few battery size options, imho.

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  • Thanks for the article Zac. Unfortunately, I tend to feel this news is a bit of disappointment given the recent comments made by Carlos Ghons who confirmed late last year that the next generation LEAF would exhibit double the range and explicitly confirmed when questioned that that range would be more than 400Km. Given the lack of adequate charging infrastructure in Australia (even Tesla seems to be dragging the chain at the moment), I will need to stick to our Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, which whilst somewhat limited on actual EV range (i.e. 52Km max), has proven to be a great car. The PHEV has a seamless interaction between all drivetrains when switching from one mode to another and it generally has more torque than its petrol equivalent, with a towing capacity of up to 1500Kgs ball weight also. I only wish it had a little bit more EV range (say. ~ 80-100Km) then everything would be really sweet for running on EV for most commutes. There is space in the back to possibly install an additional after market battery pack but that might have to wait until the warranty expires.

    • Yes, that will likely be the 2nd-gen LEAF, which will launch in ~1 year. This is basically the last upgrade and model year of the 1st-gen LEAF.

      The Outlander PHEV is certainly a nice vehicle, esp. if you value the height and space of an SUV. More electric range would certainly be nice, but what can you do? Not sure if you saw my review of it, but my only real disappointment was that it didn’t accelerate like the 100% electric cars I’ve driven. Still much better than a pure ICE vehicle, and that may simply be due to the size/weight of the vehicle. But I still think it’s a wonderful option.

  • Some bright little company is going to make a 10 kwh trunk battery to give an extra 35 miles to this leaf. I realize you cannot charge while driving, not a problem. At 15 lbs per kwh it weighs about 150lbs and will give you a one hour charge for an extra 35 miles. It can be in two units for easier lifting for those occasional camping trips. Cost? $3000. Worth it? For some. Lord, when you look at the land yachts that people drive around with generators and lead acid batteries, this would be civilized.

    • If it can hook right into the LEAF battery and deplete in parallel with it while driving, it would be even better.

  • Unless the refreshed Leaf comes with improved efficiency in the motor, controller, tires or aero, the range is likely to be 105 miles.

    • Still > the 100 miles psychological barrier, though.

  • I have a 70 – 75 mile commute each way and I’m interested in buying one of these. I can charge at work and I’m a champion hypermiler. I have the option to take a bus when the weather is crap too, but for about 8 months out of the year, I’ll be saving $18 a day in bus fare (so around $3000 per year). That pays for a lot of electrons. Plus, there are 2 Nissan dealerships along my route, so there’s always some chademo mojo nearby to help me out while I chill and knock out some emails. I’ll probably wait for when they’re trying to clear these puppies off the lot for the 2017 model around this time next year to get a good deal, or maybe I can get a gently used one for less than MSRP – tax credit, but I’m not counting on it.

    • “champion hypermiler” – love it 😀

      curios what a Leaf with 110 miles of range would go for once the long-range option comes out. but sure it’ll depend quite a bit on the price premium for the long-range option… which is still very much unknown.

      • I’ve been hearing that the S, SV and SL could keep the same price points for 2017, but the S will get the 30kWh battery and the SV / SL will get a 150 – 200 mile battery.

          • Nah, just reasonable speculation on mynissanleaf and other sites. It only makes sense though. The 2017 Leaf is going to have stiff competition from the bolt and Model 3. (Tesla should have the cojones to call it the Model T by the way. Hopefully, Ford doesn’t have the copyright on that moniker still, it would be the “everyman’s electric car, and fits well with the roadster being the model r and of course the model s). The sv and sl can’t get too much pricier until they bump into bolt and Tesla territory.

  • The largest group with 2 car per household can easy change one of their cars to an EV. We run our busy house with one EV.

  • Thank you both for all the math efforts on fuel savings. For the record, the savings get remarkably higher here in Toronto as gas is SO expensive and electricity is still reasonably priced, especially at night.

  • Range is significantly based on speed. My roundtrip to work is 75.4 miles, and most of that is 75 MPH speed limit, meaning I will be driving 80+ MPH. The 2015 Leaf can’t make it at that speed, the 2016 barely eeks out a round-trip at that speed.

    • Indeed. And it’s a problem that most long-distance trips tend to be at high speed.

  • I bought a 2012 Nissan leaf and I was lucky getting to work and back with no heat in the car 85 kilometers round trip
    This car might be great in mild climates but don’t expect anywhere near what they tell you it’s range is.
    Also unless your in the right lane and driving like a grandmother you won’t get what they tell you it gets.
    I will never own one again period

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