Ever since Nissan launched its Leaf electric car in late 2010, it has offered owners the ability to remotely start charging, using its Carwings telematics system and smartphone apps.
The Nissan Leaf also has a feature letting owners pre-program a start time for charging and pre-heating, but only from inside the car, and only once per day.
What Nissan hasn’t let owners do, at least from its official Carwings smartphone app, is program the charging time while you’re away from the car.
Now a new iPhone app has changed that, with a clever feature that lets you program a future charging start time, all without going anywhere near your car.
Enter LeafLink, a third-party app by developer Mike Heasley, which replicates the basic functionality of NIssan’s own Carwings app, but with the added bonus of remote charge timing.
The free version of the app offers controls such as state of charge reporting, climate control timing, and remote charge start, along with a mapping function that allows you to plan routes and forward them to your car.
LeafLink iPhone App
LeafLink iPhone App
Upgrade it, using a $9.99 in-app purchase, and Leaf Link then allows you to sent a request to start charging at a specific time to its secure server.
When the pre-planned time arrives, the Leaf Link server then sends a charge start request to your car, even if your iPhone isn’t switched on.
And because the app displays how many hours it thinks your car will need to reach 80 percent state of charge, the feature can even be used to ensure your car is approximately 80 percent full when you return to it.
This should reduce the number of 100 percent charges your leaf is subjected to, reducing load on the battery and improving battery life.
We’ve tried the app for the past few days, using it to control and view charging information for a 2011 Nissan Leaf.
While it isn’t as pretty as Nissan’s own Carwings app, the charge timer feature, along with a notification window which displays state of charge information at at set intervals, makes the app well worth a try.