Yes, we know the drill: range will vary with an EV, even more so than with a gas car. Nissan has now set out a number of scenarios to project the range of its Leaf EV. It confirms what we’ve been saying all along: this is not the car to buy if you like driving fast. There’s little doubt that a Baruthian blast could deplete one in some 30 miles or less. On the other hand, if you like driving at a steady 38 mph…
These scenarios (below) are supplied by Nissan, which also tells us that the battery in the Leaf will lose 20 to 30% of its capacity and range after ten years, depending on its usage and charging patterns. Regularly running the battery down more deeply, and charging it at higher speeds (quick-charge) will deteriorate the battery at a higher rate.
The EPA LA4 Test cycle is the obsolete pre-2008 City Cycle, upon which the Leaf’s nominal 100 mile range is based on, has been replaced with a more difficult LA6 City Cycle. Nissan should fess up, and show the results of the current city cycle.
And an average speed of 55 mph for the highway scenario is also low: the EPA’s Highway Cycle has a 60 mph average. And we all know how many of us drive at sixty. EV range melts disproportionately at higher speeds than a conventional car, because an IC engine runs at relatively higher efficiency at higher speeds (not absolute economy), whereas an electric motor’s efficiency is more constant, and shines at the city speeds, which are the IC’s nemesis.
It will be interesting to see the Nissan’s range at seventy and eighty. Let’s not forget, the Volt was primarily designed for the more typical American driving conditions, for a reason.