Nissan Leaf Owners Claim Charging Times And Range Are Misleading

Electric Car

Nissan advertised figures owners say they're not able to achieve.

The BBC has an interesting report regarding displeased Nissan Leaf owners in the UK who are claiming they were misled about the car at the time of purchase. One of the issues is the new Leaf’s charging time which owners say can take “three times longer than claimed on Nissan’s website.” Another customer complaint is range. Some are unhappy their cars are unable to achieve the 235-mile range on a single charge as advertised. Nissan responded that charging times can vary but denied there is any range problem or buyer deception.

The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority is currently deciding whether or not to launch an investigation. Around 2,600 second gen Nissan Leafs have been sold so far in the UK. Many of those owners have reportedly been stuck for up to two and a half hours recharging their cars at highway service stations. Nissan ads claimed rapid charging would only require 40 minutes “in moderate driving conditions” for an 80 percent charge. However, that was later changed to between 40 and 60 minutes. It should be noted that owners are not having issues with the first two charges – one at home and another en route.

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2018 Nissan Leaf Test Drive Review: If Only It Wasn't A Car
2018 Nissan Leaf Test Drive Review: If Only It Wasn't A Car

The problem is when they require the second or, if necessary, third rapid charge. This is especially problematic for owners making 250 mile trips or longer. They wind up being stuck at the recharging station and are forced to remain there until the car is ready. Nissan UK said that “External ambient temperature, the type of driving you’ve been doing beforehand, and the heat you put into the battery if you’ve been doing successive charges can impact the timing.” This is stated in the owner’s manual. Other times the charger itself can be the problem. It should be noted that UK publication What Car managed a range of 108 miles during its real world testing.

Nissan says the 235-mile range was calculated in accordance with the New European Driving Cycle. However, some other car brands have since switched to the Worldwide Harmonized Light vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), which reports a 168-mile range. This range discrepancy has led some Leaf buyers to cancel their orders. Others are encouraging Nissan UK to either update the figures or be more upfront with customers. Our own review of the 2018 Nissan Leaf returned a range of 151 miles, about the same as the EPA claimed range of 150 miles. But perhaps Nissan really ought to reexamine this issue far more carefully in order to clarify things with customers.

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