2011 Nissan Leaf CarwingsEnlarge Photo
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 AppEnlarge Photo
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 ClusterEnlarge 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.