2011 Nissan Leaf: One Year Drive ReportEnlarge Photo
Back in March 2011, we took delivery of a U.K. spec Nissan Leaf as our principal family car.
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 milesEnlarge Photo
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 CapEnlarge Photo
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.