2013 Nissan Leaf: Efficiency Up 15 Percent To 115 MPGe From 99 MPGe

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Last month, we learned about the changes to the 2013 Nissan Leaf, including a new base trim level and various equipment upgrades.

A few days later, Nissan unveiled the base prices for the different 2013 Leaf models, starting at $28,800 for the simplest Leaf S model.

But the car's EPA-rated efficiency numbers and all-electric range have remained a mystery, until now.

The Nissan Leaf website now shows that the 2013 Leaf electric car is rated at 115 MPGe combined, up from the 99 MPGe rating of the 2011 and 2012 Leaf models.

'MPGe' is a rating known as Miles-Per-Gallon-equivalent, meaning the distance an electric car can travel on the same amount of energy as that contained in 1 gallon of gasoline.

The 2013 Leaf is rated at 130 MPGe on the EPA city cycle and 102 MPGe on the highway cycle, for a combined rating of 115 MPGe.

The 2011 and 2012 models, by contrast, were rated at 106 MPGe city, 92 MPGe highway, and 99 MPGe combined.

The one piece of information that remains missing, however, is the EPA rating for the 2013 Leaf's electric range.

Nissan's website says only, "The average American drives less than 29 miles per day. The Nissan Leaf can get you much farther on a single charge."

And there's no range rating yet for the 2013 Leaf on the EPA's FuelEconomy.gov website, either.

The 2011 and 2012 models were rated at 73 miles, though some of Nissan's marketing casually referred to the Leaf's "100 miles" of range--a number owners rarely achieved in mixed use that included highway travel.

If we were to apply the same 15-percent improvement to range that the new Leaf has achieved in efficiency, range would likely be something like 84 miles.

But that's not necessarily how the ratings work, so this is one we just have to wait for.

We'll be watching closely to see what the EPA rates the range at. Will you?

[hat tip: Brian Henderson]


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Comments (5)
  1. I'm a bit skeptical about the range increase - no change on battery capacity and no weight decrease. I'd guess that whatever they get is from HVAC improvements and reprogramming. That makes sense; bigger batteries and carbon fiber bodies are a lot more expensive and obviously Nissan is still glued to the idea of a mass-market vehicle. We have a 2011 on lease and looking forward to swapping it for another when our term runs out.

  2. Weight is not the only factor affecting efficiency. the drivetrain efficiency is the most important thing, and the new Leaf has a new charger and a revised motor. And it does weigh a bit less, too.

    Aerodynamic improvements are where a lot can be gained. If the Leaf could lower the Cd from 0.29 down to 0.24, then that would be like cutting the weight a 1,000 pounds or more. Remember weight *helps* when coasting, and regen also regains some of the energy "invested" in a moving car - but aero drag is always a total loss. And aero drag is a majority of the load above 30MPH.


  3. So, if you live in hotter climates like Texas or Florida, instead of getting 50-60 miles on a charge, you may be getting closer to 70? That isn't too bad of an improvement if it turns out to be the case. They will finally be getting closer to what they originally advertised with the 2011 Leaf. Just another 20 or 30 miles to go.

  4. Can't wait for nanowire lithium batteries

  5. I have been having a few problems with my leaf which concerns me and people should be aware of: The main one is that I had to take the car in for service due to a computer/braking problem where the computer is unaware that the brakes are being pressed. The problem started as the car feeling like it is slipping for the first 1/2 second that the brakes are pressed, but has progressed to the point where I cannot turn the car on because you have to have your foot on the brake to start it!

    The problem is that the local NISSAN dealership cannot figure out why, and NISSAN America will not support the local dealership! The car has been in at the dealership for more than a week, with a life threatening hassard that Nissan is not addressing!

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