The news keeps getting better for Nissan and its efforts to boost sales of its all-electric Leaf: the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ahs confirmed that the EV's range is about 15 percent better than it used to be.

The EPA finalized its 2013 Leaf numbers, confirming a miles per gallon-equivalent rating of 115, up from 99 MPGe. And while the single-charge range distance is only up two miles – to 75 – it's apples to oranges because the current number stems from about a 90 percent charge whereas the old number is from a full charge (details here). The new Leaf also gets 129 city mpge and 102 mpge on the highway.

Nissan estimated the EPA numbers back in February, but the confirmation is the latest bit of good news for the Leaf, whose sales through the first four months of the year more than doubled from a year earlier to 5,476 units. Additionally, the Leaf was given the top safety rating by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) earlier this month.


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  • 36 Comments
      Greg
      • 1 Year Ago
      But have they added thermal management for the batteries yet?
      Actionable Mango
      • 1 Year Ago
      Did they add a TMS?
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      Nice. Keep doing the incremental improvements and eventually you'll hit a tipping point. I still want to see more body styles though. What ever happened to the Infiniti LE? Did they put it on hold because it will be embarrassing compared to the Tesla?
        MTN RANGER
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spec
        LE is still supposed to be for 2014. My feeling if it is only 24kWh it will fail. It needs to be at least 32-40kWh to compete in the luxury market. It will fit in nicely between the Leaf and the Model S if priced $40-50k.
        brotherkenny4
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spec
        I notice a lot of comments on styling, and have even made them myself. It is too bad they didn't make it more attractive. On the other hand thinking about the styling actually makes me feel a little superficial, as if it were actually an important issue. I suppose in the end the thing that is so astounding is that it would be so easy just to make a good looking car and they didn't. It kind of makes me wonder if they are not just like most car companies in that they really just want to pay lip service to electric? However, I do now believe Nissan is trying, but that they did err in this case as the Leaf is not an attractive car. Heck, even the Versa is slightly better looking. Oh well, I guess i'll stop being superficial and buy one. I wouldn't mind the Ford or the Fiat, but they don't seem serious, and I can't afford Tesla.
          Spec
          • 1 Year Ago
          @brotherkenny4
          The Frog-eye raised headlights are a styling issue that annoy everyone. And I appreciate the fact that they help with the mirrors . . . but they still look weird. Tesla really knocked it out of the part on styling. In reality, it is just another bar of soap design but they included enough accents (the faux grille, the badge on the side, etc.) that make it look distinct. Elon Musk should make a public request to law makers to have them eliminate the requirement for side mirrors if a video based system is in the car. That would add to aerodynamics and make him look clever (by suggesting something that all aerodorks know about but the generally public doesn't.)
          ElectricAvenue
          • 1 Year Ago
          @brotherkenny4
          I personally don't understand all the comments on styling. It's a hatchback, which is a very efficient form for storage, but I'm guessing that a lot of people don't like the looks of hatchbacks. Personally, I don't care much about the styling. I care about not polluting, lack of noise, max torque at all speeds with no shifting, and probably a hundred other things more important than what the car looks like to other people. Speaking of which, amusingly, I've received more positive comments on the looks of the Leaf than negative. Maybe people here just haven't been properly educated on what all the experts consider to be good styling.
          Naturenut99
          • 1 Year Ago
          @brotherkenny4
          Re: looks/styling. With the Prius I said the same thing, "It's not that bad, it's functional. Etc. But back then there were no other choices to be had ( for most of the US). Now there are not only other options, but better in every way except price. So while it may be functional and be a reasonable price. It's looks can't be completely overlooked since there are other options that look far better. Not to mention, the US makes the best EV and EREV/PHEV. The Model S and Chevy Volt. Both look and perform far better than their competitors. While they are not cheaper, they are better in almost every other way. Including US made, for those of us that consider that a priority.
      Grendal
      • 1 Year Ago
      Congratulations Nissan. I really hope the Leaf covers the low end market and makes as big a stride as Tesla has done to the high end sedan market
        Spec
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Grendal
        The Model S may actually act a bit as a "Halo Car" for the Leaf. If those rich people love that Tesla Model S so much then maybe I should take a look at the Nissan Leaf. And the Leaf is a very nice car. As long as your commute fits in its range, it makes a great commuter car and errand car. You are not likely going to take long trips with it unless you have a DC-fast charger on the way to your destination though.
          Rotation
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Spec
          Yeah, I can't imagine why they made it so funny looking except to hide the similarities to their cheapest car (Versa). The good news is there should be a new model in 2 years. A chance to make a lot of improvements. Maybe even an SAE DCFC port? And get rid of that stupid shifter. It's just a waste of space. All I need is 4 buttons on the dash.
          Naturenut99
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Spec
          I absolutely never understood that they thought we bought the Prius because it looks weird. What planet are they on? No one wants a car that looks weird. The only reason the Prius sold so well is that there was no other efficient alternative. Had the Model S or Volt been available and affordable they would've been the hit at that point. They only reason they are not selling even more than they do now is price. If they were more affordable the Leaf wouldn't stand a chance.
          Greg
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Spec
          Naturenut99, there are many people who buy products, including cars, to be seen with them. Sales figures showed that hybrids that looked different sold better than hybrids that looked like regular cars. Basically, there ARE enough people out there who want to be seen driving a hybrid (now EV) that they made a difference in early Prius sales. I think Volt has been the main beneficiary of such sales with EVs.
          krona2k
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Spec
          People are really interested in Performance and Economy. If you can combined the two you're on to a winner. This is what will really drive the adoption of electric vehicles. Also electric vehicles have NVH characteristics that the luxury brands would kill for.
          Grendal
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Spec
          Well said, Spec. I test drove the Leaf and thought it was a great car. I wish they'd improve its looks for the American market though. Cool looking = more sales.
          Spec
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Spec
          Yeah, I think Nissan made a mistake of pigeon-holing the Leaf. They went with the 'the Prius sells better because it looks weird and people like that' theory and the named it the 'Leaf' which makes it too much of a car for tree-huggers only. They need to move away from the green-only thing and just make electric cars for everyone. The Tesla is not marketed as a car just for tree-huggers.
          Grendal
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Spec
          Totally agree with both of you. The shifter is silly and drop the hugging polar bears. Market efficiency, no need for gasoline, and the convenience of a full charge every morning.
      Giza Plateau
      • 1 Year Ago
      Does it still have the moronic lead acid starter battery..
        Actionable Mango
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Giza Plateau
        What? Why does an EV have a starter battery at all?
          Spec
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Actionable Mango
          It is obviously not a 'starter' battery. But they current EVs do generally all have conventional 12V lead-acid batteries in them. I'm assuming they are there for a few reasons: 1) Virtually all auto electronics are designed for the the conventional 12Volt battery system so it is there to provide 12 Volts to all the conventional electronics as those electronics are accustomed to. 2) Yes, you could put in a DC to DC converter to switch from the main high-voltage battery to 12 Volts (and I assume most of them do have that) but then you expose your multi-thousand dollar high-voltage battery to those conventional auto electronics that may not be so great. Many conventional 12 Volt auto electronics draw power even when the car is turned off. And people do things like forget to turn the lights off. So instead of bricking your multi-thousand dollar traction battery, you let the old 12 Volt battery handle those needs. If the 12 Volt battery gets fried, you just replace it with another $50 12 Volt battery. If the main traction battery gets fried, you've just lost thousands of dollars.
        Giza Plateau
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Giza Plateau
        Apparently yes it does... facepalm. They reduced the weight by 80kg but they didn't think that the lead acid starter battery should go..
          Rotation
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Giza Plateau
          It's not as easy to do as you think. Tesla started from scratch and they have one too. At some point I'm sure they will go away. But not just yet.
          ElectricAvenue
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Giza Plateau
          Worrying about a 25 pound battery in a 3400 pound car seems silly.
          Actionable Mango
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Giza Plateau
          Seeing as how there are lithium 12v batteries designed to drop into vehicles, I would think it would be quite easy to get rid of a lead acid starter battery. I have a lithium starter battery in my motorcycle. Lighter, higher capacity, higher cranking amps, and more cold resistant.
      chanonissan
      • 1 Year Ago
      some did 76,000 miles in 2 years on the leaf and have 12 bar remaining in a 2011 model. http://insideevs.com/us-nissan-leaf-owner-surpasses-76000-miles-in-24-months/
        chanonissan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @chanonissan
        sorry that should be someone
        krona2k
        • 1 Year Ago
        @chanonissan
        Yes but he has hammered his battery and disputes the 12 bars still showing. He thinks he has lost about 20%. Back in normal usage scenarios with people who actually take care of the battery in a moderate climate I think we can see 0.3% capacity loss per 10,000 miles which is perfectly acceptable for the no battery replacement scenario. Personally I think the whole idea of battery replacement is insane which is why this has not been presented as a 'normal' occurrence by the car manufacturers.
      TIMMAH!
      • 1 Year Ago
      Dear Nissan, please put the Leaf drive-train in something cooler than a Versa.
        Aric Matthew Beemer
        • 1 Year Ago
        @TIMMAH!
        The Versa is cool try allmost a 100,000 miles on original front brakes and rotors. Pretty cool I say.
          Greg
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Aric Matthew Beemer
          Brakes do not make a car cool. The versa is not cool.
      David Murray
      • 1 Year Ago
      Unfortunately, the real-world tests aren't correlating with this. So far real-world customers of 2013 Leafs are getting about the same range as 2011-2012 models.
        JakeY
        • 1 Year Ago
        @David Murray
        Isn't the better numbers for the 2013 almost entirely from the more efficient heater/ac? If so, then you won't notice it in most driving (only with extensive usage or either heater or ac).
        Rotation
        • 1 Year Ago
        @David Murray
        I dunno the city figures, they're just fine. But highway-wise, my 2013 LEAF seems to go only a bit over 60 miles at 65mph on the highway using the 80% charge mode. Is that what I would expect from an earlier LEAF? I expected a bit more from mine, maybe 70 miles.
          Rotation
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Rotation
          I should add, that's without turning off the A/C but then again the climate here is pretty mild.
          PeterScott
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Rotation
          You should read autoblog to get a better idea what range you get under different conditions: http://green.autoblog.com/2010/06/14/nissan-pegs-leaf-range-between-47-and-138-miles-individual-resu/
          Spec
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Rotation
          60 miles at 65mph sounds about right. The Highway EPA rating only as an average speed of 48.3 mph and never goes faster than 60mph.
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