Since the EPA reported their official figures on the equivalent mile per gallon for the Nissan LEAF there has been a lot of discussion on its range. To recap, the EPA rated the driving range on the LEAF at 73 miles on a single full charge. To say that is a little disappointing considering the 100-mile per charge line Nissan as been toting since the LEAFs introduction is probably an understatement. The question is, what does the EPA figure really mean and will Nissan continue to promote the 100-mile per charge figure.
The thing the public needs to know, something our partners over at AllCarElectric.com have been saying for a while now, is that there are several different ways to test electric vehicles. The EPA uses a specific cycle of testing for all vehicles—one that yielded the 73-mile per full charge figure. The Federal Trade Commission found during their test cycle that the LEAF would achieve a range between 96 and 110 miles. Then of course there is California’s LA4 test that was used during the majority of the LEAF’s development—the test that are the lynch pin of the 100 miles per charge figure in Nissan’s publicity.
AllCarsElectric.com spoke last week with Mark Perry, Nissan’s director of product planning and strategy. Perry said, “We've said 60 to 140 is what a consumer can do. So somewhere in there is what your experience will be." Commenting on the EPA’s figure, Perry said that the EPA numbers are biased toward freeway driving and having the air condition and climate control going non-stop. In the end, 60 miles at the low end is still more than the range of the Chevrolet Volt on all-electric power, but the thing it still has to over come is people’s range anxiety. It is enough to make you ask, “Isn’t there a pill for that?”