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2011 Nissan Leaf - Click above for high-res image gallery

We'd venture a guess that most Nissan Leaf owners wouldn't trek from San Diego, CA to Tucson, AZ – a distance of approximately 480 miles – in their electrified hatchbacks. The Leaf has many skills, but, as we all know, tackling long-distance trips in a reasonable amount of time isn't the Leaf's forte. This little hindrance hasn't prevented U.S. Army veteran Jerry Asher (aka EV Jerry) from setting out on the aforementioned 480-mile journey.

The trip took Asher seven days to complete – as opposed to the ten or so hours it could take in a gasoline-fueled vehicle – but getting there quickly wasn't the point. Asher intended the journey to be part leisure trip, part goodwill tour for the Leaf. Someday, says Asher, quick-charge stations will allow the Leaf to make it from San Diego to Tuscon in 24 hours.

Back in 2008, Asher toured the U.S. in a converted plug-in Toyota Prius named "The Spirit of DC." That vehicle, with lots of cruising range, earned Asher the title of "Most Traveled PHEV."



Photos copyright ©2010 Damon Lavrinc / AOL

[Source: All Cars Electric]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 17 Comments
      At_Liberty
      • 3 Years Ago
      "Someday, says Asher, quick-charge stations will allow the Leaf to make it from San Diego to Tuscon in 24 hours." Wow. So thrilling to imagine the future possibilities... It just sends chills up my spine.
      • 3 Years Ago
      So is "running across America," if you have enough time.
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 3 Years Ago
      Very sad. Electric cars need to be able to charge at a 1C rate, meaning that they hit 75%-90% of full capacity within 1 hour. This highlights the distance problem with EVs. With a proper charging infrastructure, such a car could do a trip like this in a day or two.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        2C = 48kW of power versus 24kW of power. 24kW is the problem in the first place.
        Dan Frederiksen
        • 3 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        the leaf can charge at 2C. with proper chargers he should be able to do the trip in 12 hours
      teamvivace
      • 3 Years Ago
      Not good press .. Now if he had modified the car to make it in a straight shot that would have been cool. but taking a 7 day trip in A leaf which would have taken the normal 10 hours in a Volt is not doing good promotion. it's another 7 days for him to get home. keep that in mind too.. unless he calls AAA and has it towed home. and takes a train then he can get it home quick.
      Samuel
      • 3 Years Ago
      Think the article really points out the uselessness of a fast charge port in an EV that has a real highway range of under 100 miles. You'll still be stopping for at least as long as you are driving even if you can always charge at level 1. This car has unparalleled utility as a commuter and although stunts like this can be fun, I think they end up making people MORE nervous of a new technology by causing even a casual reader to focus on the fact that a 10 hour road trip turned into a week long affair. Glad Nissan put the fast charge connector in the Leaf .... just so the technology is already rolling down the road ... but they won't be particularly useful until either Tesla puts one on it's S or Nissan puts a 200+ mile range battery @70 mph, into the Leaf.
        Ziv
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Samuel
        Samuel, I agree 100% about fast charging being marginally beneficial at best with an EPA range of 73 miles. An EPA range of 200 miles means you can drive nearly 3 hours at 60 mph or 2 1/2 at 70 mph while still having a bit of a reserve. And then most drivers will be willing to take a 20 to 30 minute break to grab a bite to eat and stretch their legs. But I think there is a utility to these silly "I can drive 500 miles in 7 days" sort of self promotions. They do help build up an infrastructure for fast charging that will be very useful when the 200 mile AER vehicles do arrive. And, nearly as important in some ways, I bet Asher had fun and got to talk to people that think a BEV will look like a golf cart. I still prefer the way an EREV works, but it is all good when it comes to miles driven using American electricity instead of foreign oil.
        Joeviocoe
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Samuel
        I agree, EV Jerry is really doing a disservice to EV adoption. Don't showcase a product by doing exactly what it was never intended to do. People spent less than 5% of their driving time taking out of town road trips. People NEED to own cars that take care of their daily needs. For the occasional getaway... rent a gasoline car with all that gas money you saved during the rest of the year!
          Spec
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Yeah, I agree. 7 days to go 480 miles? That is pathetic. That is like San Fran to San Diego . . . that can be done in a (long) day in a gas car. Why would you want to do that in a car with a range of 73 miles? Use a gas car for that. EVs are for daily driving.
        JakeY
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Samuel
        Actually if you (and the others making similar comments) read the original article it proves the exact opposite. The same article mentions a 520 mile trip in a Leaf only took 2 days with fast charging. It is precisely because Jerry only had level 2 charging (and the fact the Leaf onboard charger can only support the slowest 3.3kW version) that this trip took so long. Do your own calculation. Even if you take the 73 mile range at face value, and then take only 80% charge, you still get 58 miles on that charge. With a fast charger you wait 30 minutes to refill that 80%. 500 miles will take 9 charges, which means your charging time is 5 hours for the whole trip. Therefore given a fast charger network, it definitely doesn't take 5 days for such a trip. The only thing a longer range battery changes in terms of trip time is you can charge more during the start of your trip, during sleeping, and it also increases your chance of reaching a high power charger. But besides from that, your trip time is still largely dependent on charging speed (as this trip proved).
      LEONARD
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why report this ? cant you beat this on a bicycle ??? a better story would be a small propane or nautral gas/Gen trailer towed by a leaf 600+ miles a day
      Fdsaf Fdsa
      • 3 Years Ago
      http://benzlogo.com Fashion Female attire Gold autumn, personality Men's clothing + Shoes, Travel bag that grabs an eye coat + Chao packet wander on the beach with fashion Free transport
      fly by wireless
      • 3 Years Ago
      The "production capacity" excuse for the volt is long past the sell-by date. Nissan ramped up the Leaf production and is even keeping up despite 1/8 of Japan being knocked off line (and remaining pretty much so to this day). GM never really wanted to sell a proper electric car. It isn't in any hurry to even sell the half a$$ed Volt. It will write off the Volt as a failure and use the false excuse that there was too little demand so "electric cars won't work"...Despite the fact that they watered it down; weighed it down; over-inflated the price; gave its dealers free reign to screw what few buyers would be interested; and didn't prepare production for much demand as they pretty much expected there to be very little in the first place. Hmmm... That sounds familiar... Almost like a certain other electric drive GM vehicle... What'll they do, a recall-and-crush with compensation?
      • 3 Years Ago
      Doing this sort of trip in a Leaf is a great demonstration of how limited we are currently on the electric car front. Hopefully the future will be a lot cooler: http://www.carswithcords.com/perpetual-electric-cars-a-tale-of-two-technologies-91348/
      John R
      • 3 Years Ago
      Currently it is possible to travel 480 miles in about 40 hours in the Leaf by going at about 50 mph and charging at level 2 rate at Nissan dealers, campgrounds, and business along the route. With next year's model it could be done in 25 hours as they will come with a faster charger. Clearly, in either case it will be a long journey! But here's the thing - if you're not in a hurry to get to your destination and want to take a leisurely trip stopping for a few hours at various places along the way, then it just might work quite well. Otherwise, you may want to keep the Leaf to shorter trips only. That's not to say electric cars can't go long distances quickly - just read about the Tesla trip across the UK, 900 miles in 2 days!
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