2013 Nissan LeafEnlarge Photo
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 websiteEnlarge Photo
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]