Nissan Leaf driving ranges – Click above to view additional range estimatesNissan insisted that its battery-powered Leaf had a range of 100 miles and other electric car seemed comfortable throwing out one number that supposedly represented a vehicle's range. However, as we get closer to the widespread launch of these plug-in vehicles, more and more people are understanding that electric range is not some fixed number. Nissan, for example, realized it would be a good idea to release a handy dandy chart detailing range variations for the Leaf. General Motors also saw fit to adjust the Chevy Volt's electric-only range from a fixed 40 miles to a variable of 25-50 miles. Still, it overwhelmingly seems that automakers favor a single range number for their electric vehicles.
According to Autocar, a Nissan insider who works on the Leaf's development believes that the use of single distance figure is misleading and predicts that all automakers will soon use a best- and worse-case scenario range estimates. In many ways, detailed range estimates would be beneficial, but we also wonder if potential buyers may be put off when they skim a headline such as, "Nissan pegs Leaf range between 47 and 138 miles, individual results may vary" and focus too heavily on that low-end number.