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Video Proves 2012 Nissan Leaf Can Tackle Even Tough Commutes

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According to recent research, 95 percent of all trips could be made by electric cars -- but that doesn’t stop the majority of consumers from suffering electric car range anxiety. 

So when automotive journalists Roman Mica and Nathan Adlen from TFLcar.com decided to put a 2012 Nissan Leaf through a series of daily driving tasks to see how it coped, we had to find out how it did. 

Of course, the guys over at TFLcar.com also recorded their day via video to share with the world on YouTube. 

Starting with a full charge, Adlen left his Colorado home and headed to the TFLcar offices in Boulder Colorado, some 49 miles away. 

Once there, he and Mica put the $35,200 Leaf through its paces, running the kind of errands you might do during a work day, including a quick visit to the local store, and a post-work trip to the Gym.

Luckily, for Alden and Mica, both the local store and gym had J1772 charging stations, them to charge the car for a total of 1.5 hours during the day.

But while the duo experienced some range anxiety during their day, the car arrived safely home, with 110 miles covered and barely any charge left. 

“I gotta be honest with you,” jokes Alden to the camera as he plugs the Leaf in at the end of the day. “I didn’t think it was going to make it.”

A Day In The Life Of A Nissan Leaf

A Day In The Life Of A Nissan Leaf

Enlarge Photo

The unobservant might think that the TFLcar jaunt was just another example of motoring journalists trying hard to prove that electric cars aren’t ready for primetime. 

Not so, said Alden. 

“Drink my friend, drink! Enjoy!” he tells the car at the end of the film. “I am so sorry I ran you completely out of juice. I swear to God I didn’t want to do that.”

But while Alden ran his borrowed Leaf right up to the limit of its range, he didn’t drain it completely. 

With two relatively short charges during the day in the Colorado winter, the pair proved they could drive a 110 mile trip without resorting to the kind of behavior reserved for BBC Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson. 

Instead, the film covered the real-world range anxiety that every electric car owner feels when driving a new car for the first time -- and how it can be overcome. 

“What I wanted to do and what Roman wanted to do was to prove a car like this could be used every day,” Alden explains in his conclusion. “But my commute is longer than your average American. I mean, I’m commuting nearly 50 miles each way.”

That, he acknowledged was beyond a comfortable daily range for the Leaf unless someone has access to a rapid or fast charging station.

But for the majority of Americans? Ones who commute much shorter distances to work and won’t need to charge part way?

“Under normal circumstances, a car like this... 10-20 miles in each direction?” muses Alden. “No problem.”

We have to agree. 

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Comments (7)
  1. I noticed you used D instead of ECO.... should have used ECO.... :)
     
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  2. great story and for me you are preaching to the choir but too many people out there are clueless. it is great that Boulder has so many public charging options but many areas of the country do not and until they do, people will still be hesitant. we need to get the country on the same page here!! it really is a better idea!
     
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  3. i think we just lost Apple corporate support on the Suri demo~!
     
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  4. I have 60 miles each way. No problem, as I can charge on 230V at work. Even in winter, 0 F temperatures, it works well.

    Most employers over here are keen to support EVs and appear a little "greener".
     
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  5. Basically the same act as Top Gear: say a lot of nice things about the car but make sure that the picture that sticks with the viewer is one of cars (almost) being pushed and a message that old technology is still the best. Basic manipulation.
     
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  6. Reality bites! It sure beats the alternative though. Dealing with reality, if I'm committed to a Leaf and have such a commute still doesn't make it impossible. IF my boss is open I can do like a friend and be allowed to put in my own/their own fast charger at work. If I can't afford it, I'd guess being at work 8 hrs. a simple plug in would help - w the agreement to pay for the electricity. I checked, even my school agreed to get 1 charger, so I know its possible. (My backup was a friend 4 blocks away was cool with me plugging in.)
     
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  7. This video is baloney and I can prove it.

    I own a Leaf.

    It has a "D" mode and a "D" Eco mode.

    Check the film.

    He has it in "D" most of the time.

    You can extend your range by heaps in D-Eco mode.

    These two jackasses probably had the heater cranked to the max too.

    Don't believe the propaganda.

    It's a fantastic car.

    It's dead quiet.

    If you prefer a vehicle that makes listening to the radio a challenge I suggest you buy a Pontiac Solstice.
     
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