2011 Nissan Leaf Long-Term Update: 25,000 Miles, No Woes

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2011 Nissan Leaf: One Year Drive Report

2011 Nissan Leaf: One Year Drive Report

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Back in March 2011, we took delivery of a U.K. spec Nissan Leaf as our principal family car. 

Since then, we’ve kept you up-to-date with the car’s long-term progress, including reports after driving 5,000 miles in it, after covering the 11,000 mile mark, and after one year of ownership

Last week, the odometer ticked over to 25,000 miles, marking the need for another long-term report. 


Just as our previous two reports, our long-term Leaf has been extremely reliable, with no major issues, recalls, or breakdowns since our 15,000 mile report

In fact, since our first-year service, the only thing we’ve had to buy for our leaf is a new set of tires. 

After just over 16,000 miles, the stock Bridgestone Ecopia EP150 tires had started to show significant signs of wear. 

The replacements, a set of Michelin Energy Saver All Seasons, not only helped improve handling and braking, but seemed to help improve range by a few miles per charge. 

More importantly, after 9,000 miles, they are certainly longer-wearing than the Ecopias they replaced, with most of the tread still remaining. 

Nissan Leaf hits 25,000 miles

Nissan Leaf hits 25,000 miles

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Range, Predicted Range

As the astute reader will notice, our Leaf has covered 10,000 miles in a little over 7 months, a noticeable rise in daily mileage over the first year of ownership. 

That’s because this particular Leaf is now being used for a daily commute from Bristol, England to Cardiff, Wales: a round trip of around 80 miles, with around 90 percent of the trip being 70 mph freeway driving.

According to Leaf expert Tony Williams, on a full charge, in a brand-new Leaf, traveling at a constant 70 mph without climate control switched on, a range of around 68 miles should be possible

Bearing that in mind, we’ve been charging overnight to 80 percent full, making use of the pre-heat timer function to heat the car prior to departure, driving 40 miles, charging during the day at a local parking  garage to 100 percent full, and arriving home with anywhere between 20 miles and 40 miles of predicted range remaining. 

In short, even with heavy freeway use, not to mention the use of climate control to keep the cabin warm on colder Autumn mornings, the Leaf doesn’t appear to have suffered any noticeable battery capacity loss yet.

This is corroborated with long-distance trips made at an average speed of 60 mph between rapid charging stations. Even with 25,000 miles on the battery pack, the Leaf is able to drive 75 miles on mixed roads from a 100 percent charge with the same ease it did when new.

And that’s with as many as 5 miles predicted range to spare at the end. 

2012 Nissan Leaf 4-door HB SL Wheel Cap

2012 Nissan Leaf 4-door HB SL Wheel Cap

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That said, relying on the accuracy of the Leaf’s on-board range prediction gauge isn’t a great idea. 

Nor has the increased mileage improved the car’s accuracy of predicted range all that much. 

When fully charged, the Leaf still reports between 105 miles and 115 miles in “D”, and as many as 125 miles in “Eco”. 

It’s safe to say, however, that we’ve never managed anywhere near that range on a single charge to date. 

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Comments (20)
  1. My LEAF also just turned 25K miles on the odometer. Zero problems and zero maintenance costs...my tires are still in good shape. My "fuel" costs have been a little over 2 cents per mile vs 24 cents per mile on my gas car. Over my 18 months ownership, I have driven 92% of our miles on the LEAF and 96% of our trips have been in the LEAF. FANTASTIC CAR!

  2. Although we have a little over 8,000 miles I have to agree it's been a great car for us - and we live in Phoenix, AZ area.

  3. Nikki - It is possible to charge the LEAF to 80% by default whenever you plug in without having to worry about the timer. See the set up instructions here:

  4. Marc,

    Great -- but that means it charges when the car is plugged in, right? We need to make use of TOU metering in the U.K. (Known as economy 7). It reduces the cost of charging at night by at least a half.

  5. Yes, but if you only use one timer, you can use the 24-hour 80% setting when away, but it will require that you turn switch timers when you charge away from home.

    Not a bad idea, anyway, since if your car gets unplugged while away and charging on the timer-override button it won't start charging automatically again.

  6. Great report. I think I'll try the Michelin Energy savers on my Prius.

  7. The Michelin Energy Saver tires seem to be very good on any car - the guys on Prius Chat have had good results. The only downside is their high price. Good Year FuelMax tires are cheaper, but it seems that their quality and fuel economy isn't quite as good.

  8. Once you go Michelin, you won't go back to anything else... :)

    Yes, you have to PAY the premium for Michelin.

  9. Great report Nikki! my LEAF "only" has 23,000 miles and like you; I report no issues. I do have a SOC meter that tells me I have lost "about" 2-4% (hard to say because it varies WIDELY) most of the time. I don't drive as much regularly so can't really say that my range is less than what it was when new. Either way; as I had hoped, quick charge stations are being deployed which has moved my LEAF from "town car" to "regional car!"

  10. Nice to see this report. I just passed 15k in less than a year of ownership, running a very similar commute and charging schedule like the one reported. Great to hear things are still going well for you guys at 25k! I didn't have any loss of battery showing up in the 15k diagnostic, but I've been quick charging about once per week lately, so I'm curious to see the long term effect of that.

  11. Congrats on the milestone, Nikki!

  12. I LOVE my 2011 Leaf. It's much more reliable than a gas-powered car because it's so much simpler, and given that I plan ahead and don't try to drive beyond it's range. It has over 19,300 trouble-free miles so far, and I think I'll keep it another 19 years. I expect the battery to outlast the car.

  13. Great report, Nikki. I'm a Leaf owner living in the the US Pacific Northwest (Seattle). Our Leaf has just crossed 20,000 miles since June 30, 2011.

    I used to charge to 100% by default but found I rarely needed the whole charge (unless it was winter time), so I set the car to default to 80% and press the override button on the rare occasion I need the full 100%. I also quick charge a few times a week, but have never seen battery temps below 4 bars or above 6 bars.

    My experiences exactly mimic yours--no apparent range degradation from when the vehicle was brand new.

  14. Great report Nikki.
    My Leaf has just got 24,000 on and it's ultra reliable. Everything you say in your report is right. The best thing is I don't have to put fuel in it. No battery degeneration. It seems to do the same miles I had when I bought it and it gets better all the time. All you Leafers check my video out on Youtube - Nissan Leaf Road Trip. I think you've seen it Nikki.

  15. Michael, are you in the Pacific Northwest as well?

  16. Sorry George, no. I live in Ilkley in Yorkshire, England.
    It's nice to see people talking about the car from all around the world.

  17. Thanks for the tip regarding the Michelin Tyres. I'll lok for those when the time comes for my LEAF. I just went past 17,000 miles yesterday.

    Other than an intermittent passenger door speaker (which recently got replaced under warranty) I've had trouble free driving with my LEAF. Being the first generation LEAF and first year of manufacture I expected to be visiting the dealer often. It's great to see the reliability where it is in such an early model vehicle.

    I have seen slight range degradation, it's hot in Tennessee (but nothing like what is experienced in AZ). I estimate about 8% degradation at 15 months.

  18. Just FYI, Energy Saver and HydroEdge tires are no longer made by Michelin (though still have limited availability in tire shops.) They have both been replaced by Michelin Defender combining great features from both. The new tire is amazing if you believe all the marketing hype but it truly is and it's got the 90K mile warranty to boot :-)

  19. Our Leaf has been wonderful also especially considering the recent gasoline price spike. You state "Without the high temperatures known to influence battery aging", did I miss something? Did Nissan come out and admit this? Would like to know as I have lost 2 bars here in the California desert at 10,000 miles.

  20. That's one deservedly happy driver

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