A few weeks ago, I made a post about the Nissan Leaf. Just to quickly reiterate why this vehicle is important, it is a fully-electric, zero-emissions vehicle manufactured by Nissan. It is scheduled to go on sale next month along with Nissan's new 2011 vehicle line up.
As it turns out, the Nissan Leaf's performance statistics aren't nearly as good as Nissan had previously claimed in their press release. Just to clear up any misconceptions or myths about these statistics, I found myself obligated to post these new figures which were released by the Environmental Protection Agency on Monday. I was slightly surprised to learn how different the actual statistics are compared to Nissan's original claims.
1) Nissan has been bragging about a driving range of 62 - 138 miles on a single charge. The EPA decided to correct Nissan's claim, and determined that the official range is only 73 miles. That's a huge difference! Come on Nissan, did you think no one was going to find out you were exaggerating?
2) Nissan also conveniently forgot to mention that if you neglect to purchase a $2000 240 Volt charging station, it will take approximately one hour of charging to obtain 5 miles of range. This means that to obtain the full estimated 73 mile range, a person would have to charge their Nissan Leaf for over 14 hours if starting their charge with a drained battery! (With the 240 Volt upgrade, it is said to take only 7 hours to obtain a full charge.)
3) Although Nissan did admit that exterior weather conditions will cause a change in the Leaf's range, they didn't go in depth about what else can cause variations. For instance, the EPA tested the Leaf in conditions just above freezing. They blasted the heat and fan and lost 14 miles of range. Extra passengers and cargo will also reduce the range very noticeably, although specifics were not provided in the EPA's report.
Nissan will be providing 20,000 units to dealers during its first year in production, and they are surprisingly expected to completely sell out. Do these new statistics change anyone's view on the leaf? Personally, I'm disappointed with these new statistics.