2013 Nissan Leaf Final Ratings Issued: 115 MPGe, 75 Miles Of Range

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2013 Nissan Leaf

2013 Nissan Leaf

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It often takes awhile to get gas-mileage ratings onto the EPA's official website, and it's no different with electric-car efficiency numbers.

Now we have the final ratings for the 2013 Nissan Leaf compact hatchback: It's rated at 115 MPGe, up from the 99 MPGe for 2011 and 2012 models.

MPGe stands for Miles-Per-Gallon-equivalent, and it's a measure of the distance a plug-in electric car can travel on the same amount of energy that's contained in 1 gallon of gasoline.

That 115-MPGe rating is made up of two components: 129 MPGe on the city test, 102 MPGe on the highway cycle. (Nissan had earlier posted a 130-MPGe city rating, but has now corrected its site.)

The 2013 Leaf is also rated at 75 miles of range, up from the 73-mile rating of the 2011 and 2012 models.

Although, as Nissan explained several weeks ago, that rating is deceptive, because it's now an average of the range offered by an 80-percent charge (66 miles) and a 100-percent charge (84 miles).

The 2011-2012 rating of 73 miles was based entirely on a 100-percent charge, so it compares directly to the 84-mile distance--a 15-percent improvement.

None of those range calculations are explained on the EPA's Leaf data panels, by the way.

It's also worth noting that the EPA website shows increased passenger volume for the 2013 model (up from 90 to 92 cubic feet) and cargo space (from 23 to 24 cubic feet), due in part to the relocation of the onboard charger from the load bay to under the hood.

The site also shows a 7-hour recharge time for the 2013 Leaf, which is the same as the prior year's time.

That's not entirely accurate, since a new and faster 6.6-kilowatt charger is standard on the Leaf SV and Leaf SL models, and offered as an option on the base Leaf S model as well.

Comparison of 2013 Nissan Leaf electric car to 2012 model on EPA' FuelEconomy.gov website

Comparison of 2013 Nissan Leaf electric car to 2012 model on EPA' FuelEconomy.gov website

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That 6.6-kW charger cuts recharging time to 4 hours or less from 7 hours--something the EPA might want to point out on their site.

As for safety ratings, the 2013 Nissan Leaf gets five stars overall from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

It also continues to be named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), as it was in previous years.

[hat tip: Brian Henderson]


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Comments (10)
  1. Very confusing.

    The EPA does have this note
    "Miles on a tank and refueling costs assume 90% of fuel in tank will be used before refueling."

    but the note exist on both the 2013 and 2012 LEAF so that is no help.

  2. So the 2013 Leaf FINALLY caught up to the 2012 Ford Focus Electric in terms of a faster on-board 6.6-KwH charger. (Welcome to 4-hour charging, Leaf!) And I suspect it has passed the Ford in range performance. (On a good day, I can go over 80 real-world miles between charges of my Focus Electric. But as John said earlier this year:

    "It [the Focus Electric] also retains the good roadholding and fun driving experience of the stock Focus, and its 107-kilowatt (143-horsepower) motor is more powerful than the Leaf's 80-kW (107-hp)--though the Focus Electric is heavier than the Leaf."


    If only the Focus Electric wasn't a compliance car. :-(

  3. Nothing wrong with compliance car as long as you can buy one.

    The one downside is that typically they won't discount it to gain market share like Leaf does.

  4. Paul, in all fairness, the Leaf can quick-charge (50kW), and has been since its introduction late 2010.

    With L3/QCing taking care of the occasional mid-trip range boost in minutes instead of hours, the 6.6kW onboard charger becomes less important, as 3.3kW is plenty fast for overnight fill-ups already.

    With QCs still few and far between in most parts of the US, I agree it's good to see 6.6kW L2 now being offered as well.

  5. The EPA charging time is certainly way off. We have a 2013 Leaf S with the 6.6 Kw charger and we can charge from 30% to 80% in 1.5 hours. Charging from zero to 100% would take maybe a little over 3.

  6. I have a 2012 leaf and a blink level 2 charger. Charging from 4 bars to 11 takes 8 hours. From empty to full I estimate would take over 12 hours. Do other people really get from empty to full in 8 hours?

  7. Jeff, yes, empty to full takes 6~7h. Yours looks off by a factor of two.

    Make sure that charging timers programmed both in the car or the EVSE are what you want. I'd recommend against using those in the Blink, which should then always say something like "Charge will begin at Plug-in".

    If that's all correct, maybe your EVSE was capped at 8 or 10 amperes (your Leaf would be happier with 16A).
    Residential Blink can do 30A, but the installer may dial it down depending on the capacity of the circuit it's hooked up to.

    Does the charging time estimate on the dash or portal change after you plug in? (it will reflect the EVSE's announced capacity).
    Normally the 120V/L1 time will be around 3x 240V/L2.

  8. Nissan still hasn't addressed the battery thermal control issue in hot climate. Lots QC in hot climate will be a major issue in the long run.

  9. John Voelcker,

    I know this has been a few days, but I have a question sort of related to this article. I understand exactly what you are saying concerning the Leaf and the new way of rating its range. Thus, its greater efficiency bumps its range upwards. I see how the range improvement compares {and yet not directly comparable} to last years models on the EPA fuel economy website.

    The nagging question is, why have I read not one word on how the other BEVs compare under the new rating scale? The EPA website still shows the Focus BEV same as last year and the Smart BEV same as last year. Is it just me, or does this not seem odd to you too?

  10. don't bother to memorize the EPA methodology as I predict it will change. its so pathetic now that it cant possibly last more than a year or two

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