2018 Nissan Leaf

Specifications for the 2018 model Leaf have been available for a few months now and the most commented spec is the 150 mile range. All things being equal, more range is better. I predict that with competition like the 230 mile Bolt, Nissan will have a tough time selling the Leaf. But all things aren’t equal and a glance at the graph below demonstrates the unique niche that the Leaf will occupy:

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Range isn’t everything. Recalculating the above data would show Nissan on top using the miles-of-range per dollar cost metric. Currently in New England, long distance driving is not ready for prime time given the lack of high speed superchargers in convenient locations (highway rest stops). The main use case for a Leaf is commuting. If you can commute to work daily on a single charge, charging overnight at home, then you have the range you need. For a 2018 Leaf this would be about a 60 mile one way commute, good enough for most people. Advantages of a smaller (40KW) battery are less weight so better acceleration, less intrusion on interior space, and lower cost. Another unappreciated limitation of home (240V) charging is you can only recover about 180 miles of charge overnight, so battery capacity in excess of about 200 miles can not be utilized on a day to day basis.

Having owned the Leaf for a year and ~5000 miles now, I have yet to spend a penny on maintenance or repairs.

Some of my other posts on the Leaf:

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