2012 Nissan Leaf (RHD)
2012 Nissan Leaf (RHD)Enlarge Photo
Battery Capacity Loss
While on the subject of range and battery capacity loss however, it’s worth noting that we don’t have access to any CAN-based state-of-charge gauges for more accurately recording the real capacity of our Leaf’s battery pack.
Instead, we are only basing our experience on actual range, and the number of bars displayed on the car’s battery capacity gauge. At the moment, we have all 12 still lit.
We suspect the following factors have come into play, helping the battery pack stay healthy.
With the months and the miles passing by, our stock 2011 Nissan Leaf has stood the test of time fairly well, coping with two adults, two dogs, and two children.
While the white recycled-plastic seats are still coping well with heavy use, the center armrest, as well as the door pulls, are starting to look decidedly dirty.
Regular detailing has kept the rest of the car clean, although an upgrade to heated leather seats is likely to happen some time next year.
Outside, paintwork has remained in good condition, with only a few scratches to add to the list of carwash-inflicted marks from earlier in the year.
As noted above, the new tires--added at 16,000 miles--seem to have really improved the Leaf’s road manners and handling.
Braking is more controlled, while body roll seems less noticeable than before.
The car is quieter too, thanks to reduced road and tire noise.
With steering, suspension, and braking systems now truly bedded in, the Leaf is a real joy to drive.
2011 Nissan Leaf: One Year Drive Report
2011 Nissan Leaf: One Year Drive ReportEnlarge Photo
Without the high temperatures known to influence battery aging, our Nissan Leaf is still operating well within our own--and Nissan’s--expectations.
Like we’ve said before, Nissan’s Carwings system is the weakest part to owning a Nissan Leaf.
Not only is its communication to the car problematic, its knowledge of charging stations poor, and its range prediction troublesome, but the lack of multiple charging timer slots per day means that those charging more than once per day have to manually activate charging.
There’s also no way to activate an 80 percent charge without setting a charge timer, resulting in unnecessarily charging to 100 percent when an 80 percent charge would suffice.
In addition to the poor carwings system, we feel Nissan should move the charging door release somewhere nearer the main console in the next-generation Leaf. Its current location--near the hood release--is an uncomfortable and unusual place to put something used once or more per day.
Finally, the interior needs improving to make it more durable for everyday family life.
Will we keep it?
Our Leaf has provided everything we’d want from an electric car, and to date, is far better than any other electric car we’ve owned.