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2012 Nissan Leaf Gets Better At Predicting Range, Charging Needs

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2011 Nissan Leaf Carwings

2011 Nissan Leaf Carwings

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How far can your electric car travel before you need a recharge? 

For most electric car owners, that question is answered with a mixture of (usually inaccurate) on-board computer software and a good dose of past-experience behind the wheel of his or her car. 

But two planned updates to Nissan’s telematics and route-planning system for Nissan Leaf owners promises to reduce the guesswork and eliminate range anxiety for good. 

Announced today, the first consists of an update to the Carwings route-planning system. 

2011 Nissan LEAF iPhone App

2011 Nissan LEAF iPhone App

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The update adds new algorithms based on real-world driving experiences which Nissan says should more accurately predict how much charge an owner should expect at the end of any given planned route. 

Unlike previous algorithms, which used past driving economy to predict future range, Nissan’s new software can better calculate the real-world effects that road and weather conditions have on range, as well as altitude and on-board power consumption.

2012 Nissan Leaf 4-door HB SL Instrument Cluster

2012 Nissan Leaf 4-door HB SL Instrument Cluster

Enlarge Photo

Available in-car and remotely, the system should give users the choice between faster, less efficient routes and longer, more efficient routes. 

The second update to the Carwings service allows users to see real-world anonymized energy consumption figures for other Leaf owners making the same trip. 

Listing a best and worst economy, it is hoped the new section, called “Minna no Syouhi Denryoku (Energy Usage Database)” will enable Leaf owners to better plan long distance trips in their Leaf.

Both services will launch in Japan this month, and are expected to reach the U.S. later this year. 

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Comments (8)
  1. All of which, and more including traffic en route, Better Place is doing now. We are waiting for an upgrade that better deals with topology but other than that it's pretty reliable.
     
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  2. Don't believe a word of it, and neither would you if you owned one.

    It's the single most insulting feature of the Leaf.
     
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  3. Tracy, Actually, I DO own a Leaf. It's our primary family car, ahead of a 2009 Toyota Prius and 2012 Renault Twizy. Regards. Nikki.
     
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  4. I have found the range indicator on my Leaf to be fine. Never had an issue with it. You just need to understand what it is showing you. It is not a 'you have this much range left' metre.

    It is a 'if you continue travelling on a road like this, you can go this far' metre.

    So when I go up the huge hill next to my house and it drops from 80 miles to 55miles, that just means if I stay on this hill at this incline that is as far as I can go.

    I know that 'range' will come back when the road levels out.
     
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  5. its nice to see Nissan using all that personal driving data for something useful
     
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  6. Hi Nikki,
    Question - If these are updates, why would they not be available for the 2011 Nissan Leaf also?
     
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  7. The article is a bit misleading. You can try to new Route Planner in beta *now* via the CARWINGS web site, even in the U.S. Give it a try. The new smartphone app isn't out, though.

    An in-car telematics update for existing cars may or may not happen, but I really doubt it would have the same functionality. The LEAF isn't "always connected" like your smartphone is.
     
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  8. I see I can't fix my typo. "You can try THE new Route Planner"... sorry.
     
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