The Greatest Leaf to Date
The 2019 Nissan Leaf Plus is the Leaf that we’ve got all been ready for. It’s a compelling stability of range, quality, reliability, worth, options, and price.
It’s been an extended street. Introduced in 2011 the Leaf was the
first mass-market all-electric car and continues to be, regardless of other EV upstarts
making features, the best-selling electrical automotive in historical past with greater than 300,000
bought worldwide. It’s gained about each award for inexperienced cars, including the
World Inexperienced Automotive award twice.
In 2018, Nissan delivered a totally updated and improved Leaf.
Despite the fact that it was utterly updated with a new body, operating gear and new 40-kilowatt-hour
(kWh) battery, it nonetheless left many wanting extra range. For 2019 the Leaf Plus
was launched with elevated vary and a new, larger 62-kWh battery that
options improved chemistry and sturdiness. For 2019 the 40-kWh Leaf continues to be
provided alongside the 62-kWh Leaf Plus.
Final yr Clear Fleet
a 40-kWh Leaf to see how it carried out as a commuter and as a long-distance
runner. General, we have been happy with the 2018 Leaf’s efficiency, but our street
trip from Monterey Ca. to Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada was nonetheless a challenge
that required planning and cautious driving.
Taking to the Road
This yr we asked Nissan to offer us with a Leaf Plus so
that we might make the same drive to Lake Tahoe to see if the 62-kWh battery improved
the drive. The Leaf Plus is enhanced not only with a much bigger, longer-range
battery, however the electric motor is 46 % extra powerful with 214 horsepower
and 251 pounds-feet of torque. Quick charging additionally will get a lift with the power
to cost at up to 100-kW peak and 85-kW nominally.
The new Leaf Plus has an EPA range of between 215 to 226
miles depending on the trim degree, which provides it membership within the
still-exclusive 200+ mile membership. The Leaf Plus’s pricing can also be competitive,
starting at $36,500; in contrast to the same worth and range Chevrolet
Bolt and Tesla
Model 3, it still qualifies for the complete $7,500 federal tax credit score. Throw
in state, local, and utility incentives, plus Nissan’s vendor incentives, and a
Leaf Plus can simply find yourself costing beneath $25,000.
With its new, improved range and capabilities, Clear Fleet Report needed to see if the
new Leaf Plus has improved enough that taking a weekend mini-vacation of some
hundred miles can be as straightforward as taking the journey in a standard ICE car.
Wouldn’t it be up to the duty, or wouldn’t it face the identical nervousness that the trip in
the 40-kWh Leaf journey had created?
With that challenge accepted by Nissan, we planned this
yr’s trip from the San Jose, California, to Lake Tahoe nestled high within the
Sierra Mountains, 242 miles away. This trip would range from sea degree to extra
7300 ft and again down once more. This journey was the identical as we took last yr in
the 40-kWh Leaf and would stress check the EV to the acute, but was inside the
EPA range of the Leaf Plus.
Nissan offered a 2019 Leaf Plus SL complete with ProPilot
Assist. As with last yr’s trip, the route took advantage of the readily
out there DRIVEtheARC charging community that stretches between Monterey and Lake
Whereas most Charging for an electrical car occurs at residence, public charging infrastructure is getting a lot better, however continues to be a piece in progress. Manufacturers like Tesla have invested heavily in inter-city charging networks with their proprietary SuperCharger community, but by and enormous business normal networks like CHAdeMO and SAE DCFC networks are sparse to nonexistent outdoors of city areas.
DRIVEtheARC is a pilot
undertaking funded by the New Power and Industrial Know-how Improvement
Organization (NEDO), Japan’s most in depth public R&D management
group, and California’s Workplace of Enterprise and Improvement, Power
Commission and Air Assets Board.
In addition to the federal government partners, personal business
collaborating partners embrace Nissan Motor Co., Kanematsu Company and
California is probably the most vital market for plug-in
electric automobiles in the US, and in Northern California, Monterey and Lake
Tahoe are prime weekend vacation locations. DRIVEtheARC has put in 55 DCFC
chargers on main highways between Monterey and Lake Tahoe and presents free
charging to plug-in electrical automobiles that utilize the CHAdeMO commonplace.
The writer and his wife have lived in the Bay Space for many
years, and take several journeys to Tahoe annually. They have a route that they
all the time take and have great metrics for a way lengthy the trip takes in an ICE automotive,
so the aim was to make their common journey to Tahoe within the 2019 Leaf Plus and
examine the experience to last yr’s 40-kWh Leaf journey and previous journeys in an
The itinerary was to start out in San Jose, drive to Brentwood,
CA, to select up a pal who has a residence in Lake Tahoe, spend a couple of days in
Tahoe, after which drive again. The route would take them on flat Interstates,
secondary roads, previous Sacramento to Placerville the place they might stop for
lunch, after which up Highway 50, which is a steep 7,300-foot climb after which down
into the 6,200-foot elevation Lake Tahoe basin. The Leaf would carry three
adults and all their baggage for a total of 242 miles.
The return trip would take them again downhill on Freeway 50
and onto Interstate 5 and again house once more on other freeways. This phase was also
All the spherical journey can be about 484 miles. One thing
that might be totally different from their typical trip to the lake is that they might
drive at the posted velocity limits your complete journey.
And They’re Off
After L2 charging in a single day, the subsequent morning we set off in the Leaf to Lake Tahoe with 234 miles of indicated vary. The first leg of the journey was on Interstate 680 and Interstate 580, that are relatively flat interstates. Subsequent, we picked up our passenger in Brentwood after which traveled on rural roads to get onto Interstate 5 to Highway 50, where there was a stop for lunch in Placerville while the Leaf had its first fast cost at 175 miles. The day of the trip, one of the final Sierra Nevada storms of the season was passing via, and temperatures have been dropping quick. We started the day in 80-degree weather with a clear sky, however by the time we received to Placerville, the temperature had fallen to the mid 40’s with overcast and drizzle. Widespread sense stated that it was prudent to get a 30-minute fast charge whereas we ate lunch. That was all it took to get us to our vacation spot.
For the primary part of the trip, speeds assorted from 55 mph on
the local roads to 70 mph on Interstate 5. This drive sometimes takes about three
hours in an ICE and, surprisingly, the Leaf pulled into the Placerville quick
charger for lunch at about the same time that it takes in a daily ICE automotive. So
far, so good. The entire distance of this leg was 175 miles. At this level, the
Leaf Plus had bettered the journey from last yr. One of many issues that all of us
observed was how quiet the Leaf Plus was at velocity. Virtually no street or wind noise;
undoubtedly quieter than the 2018 Leaf. We simply occurred to have a sound meter
app on the smartphone which confirmed the cabin sound was only 62dB at 65 mph,
which is Rolls Royce quiet!
Lunch took about 40 minutes, and the Leaf completed its solely quick
cost on the uphill leg of the journey in about 30 minutes.
It’s fascinating to notice that in final yr’s Leaf journey,
after the lunchtime fast cost, the 40-kWh battery’s temperature was fairly a
bit larger than it was before we quick charged. This yr, the Leaf Plus’s
temperature was rock regular in the midst of the gauge, and never moved during
the whole journey. The automotive charged up to 80 % capability in 30 minutes, so we started
the subsequent leg on Freeway 50, Placerville to Lake Tahoe, which is probably the most
challenging a part of the journey.
This a part of the journey is 67 miles and has an elevation achieve
of about 700 ft each 10 miles. The street starts off as a four-lane street with
a velocity limit of 55, but as Highway 50 increases in elevation, it turns into a
slender winding street that’s much slower. Little did we know what was ready
for us on this last leg of the journey.
Up to the Sierra to the Lake
Because the Leaf progressed up the grade, confidence increased. The Leaf stayed up with visitors, and by the seems to be on different drivers’ faces, they appeared stunned that this EV was holding its personal on this mountain street.
The final a part of Highway 50 to Lake Tahoe is the narrowest
piece of the journey, and all the visitors was much slower than the remaining. The higher
we went, the more our confidence waned and the darker it turned, with the
drizzle soon turning to sleet, then to mild snow, and eventually right into a blizzard
with reducing visibility.
It took more than an hour to journey the final 47 miles.
During this part of the journey, ProPilot Help stopped working with an error because
its radar sensor was blocked with snow. The e-Pedal stored working, allowing one
pedal driving, despite the heavy, sluggish visitors and limited visibility. This
a part of the trip was a bit of a white-knuckle expertise mainly because the
passengers have been on the sting of their seats from the blizzard.
Lastly, the Leaf Plus and its passengers arrived on the
lodge in Lake Tahoe at about 5:30 p.m., which ended up being about an hour
longer than the standard time driven in an ICE automotive. We have been glad we arrived when
we did as a result of by the time we made it into the outskirts of Lake Tahoe, we saw
that chain management was in impact. Despite the street circumstances and the Pro Pilot
not working, the automotive remained secure and in control. With snug heated
seats and an excellent heater, the cabin was heat and toasty on this final leg
of the trip.
Enjoy the Lake
The subsequent morning the Leaf nonetheless had about 120 miles of range, and all was properly. Because of the DRIVEtheARC and the increased vary of Leaf Plus, the full value of gasoline for the trip thus far was $zero.00!
With the remaining range we had we from charging in
Placerville, we have been capable of drive around Tahoe for the remainder of our stay
There’s a saying in Lake Tahoe that “In case you don’t like the
climate at the moment, just wait till tomorrow.” Positive enough, the subsequent morning it was
snowing early, but by 9 a.m., the storm had passed, the solar came out, and by
noontime, all the snow on the bottom had melted with the lake wanting spectacular.
The afternoon earlier than our trip again, I visited the
DRIVEtheARC DCFC in South Lake Tahoe to prime off the battery. The charging
stations are situated at a Stop & Shop fuel station which appears to be an
wonderful place for them. Granted there have been solely two DCFC stations compared to
12 fuel pumps, however I’m guessing that over time that ratio might be reversed. The
DCFC session lasted 45 minutes and ended with a 90 % charge. The subsequent
morning the Leaf Plus was topped off on the lodge’s vacation spot charger, and we
have been able to go.
The route residence would take the Leaf Plus on the identical picturesque
route down Freeway 50 to Sacramento, then on Interstate 5 to Brentwood, and back
to San Jose on Interstate 680.
The trip again was sunny and warm and was on a Thursday so we anticipated that it might be a reasonably leisurely downhill drive, a minimum of until we obtained into Sacramento. The indicated range on the Leaf was 247 miles once we left, so there was an opportunity that we’d truly make it residence on one charge, but we knew that there were several vital hills to cross in the “flatlands,” so it was going to be a problem.
We began out with the Professional Pilot assist set at 55 mph for the first a part of the drive on the slender winding section of Freeway 50. At first, we have been getting handed by all of the pickups and SUVs of the locals, however as we drove further with Pro Pilot we have been in a position to stay with the visitors. Professional Pilot Help is likely one of the higher L2 autonomous help methods on the market immediately; it is extremely clean, with good acceleration and deceleration relying on the visitors. It by no means acquired confused like another L2 methods, jamming on the brakes or flooring it when there was a transparent area in visitors. As soon as we obtained to Sacramento and degree roads, our miles/kWh had increased to 7.5 m/kWh compared to three.2 kWh going up. Things have been wanting good that we’d have the ability to make it house on one cost.
Our velocity increased on the Interstate 5 to 70-75 mph. Once we
arrived in Brentwood to drop our passenger off, the Leaf Plus still an power
financial system of 6.2 m/kWh. The estimated vary was right down to 70 miles by then, and we
nonetheless had two vital sets of hills to traverse and a total of 65 miles to
The Leaf Plus is alleged to keep about 10 % of its
battery capability in reserve, but we haven’t had the prospect to discover how much
vary is basically left with the vary estimate at zero. By the point we obtained to
Livermore on Interstate 580, the indicated vary and our remaining distance to
residence was too near name, so we determined to cease at a DRIVEtheARC DCFC and
take 15 minutes of charge just to be protected.
One of many gadgets on which we needed to match the Leaf Plus
to the 2018 Leaf was how it behaved on long trips with a number of quick costs. The
early 40-kWh Leafs had very conservative quick-charging profiles that throttled
the cost price and modestly increased charge occasions after a number of quick fees.
The 40-kWh battery also ran hotter than earlier Leaf
batteries, and that led to considerations by some house owners that battery degradation
can be accelerated.
Nissan up to date the charging profiles on mid-2018 and later 40-kWh
Leafs to be extra aggressive, and a number of other house owners who monitor their 2018 Leafs
intently have reported that despite the battery operating hotter, that degradation
has truly been lowered in comparison with earlier versions of the Leaf battery.
Throughout our time with the Leaf Plus, we found that with the
quicker DCFC port, charging periods are more highly effective and charge the battery
more than with the sooner 40-kWh Leaf. Multiple charging periods over a brief
period usually are not throttled and, most apparently, the battery temperature of
the Leaf Plus 62-kWh battery keep just about rock strong in the midst of the
gauge no matter how the automotive is driven or the number of fast costs. This
is sweet information and actually calls into query the whole lively vs. passive
cooling debate. Whereas it is too early to assess the durability of the 62-kWh Leaf
Plus battery, the development in comparison with the 40-kWh battery exhibits a constructive
After that temporary stop, the Leaf Plus was off again and made
it residence protected with vary to spare.
Classes Discovered from this Trip?
•Whereas taking longer to return to market than everyone would
have favored, the 2019 Leaf Plus is one of the best Leaf thus far.
•This trip proved that vacation and weekend trips of about
250 miles are very achievable with the 2019 Leaf Plus.
•With the 2019 Leaf Plus becoming a member of the 200+ mile club, range
nervousness has turn into a factor of the past.
•In California, the DCFC networks that make journeys straightforward even
in difficult terrains routine are being constructed out shortly. As California goes,
so goes the nation, which signifies that long-range journey in a BEV is on the cusp
of being routine in other areas throughout the U.S. too.
•The 2019 Leaf Plus performance throughout our Tahoe journey exhibits
that you simply that may go the space in a well-equipped BEV for round $36Okay or
•The rumor that Leafs aren’t capable of endure multiple DCFC
periods with out extreme charge time slowdowns is solely unfounded. The
most vital problem is that a larger battery can imply longer cost
occasions regardless of the charge price. The issue for all BEVs is that the
larger the battery, the longer time it should take. As infrastructure and BEV
charge charges improve, charging occasions will improve, however the legal guidelines of physics
apply and the bigger the battery, the longer it should all the time take. The Leaf Plus
can reap the benefits of the newer and quicker DCFC models now coming on-line without
any charge throttling penalties.
• Now in its second yr of availability, Nissan’s ProPilot
Help is a top-tier answer that gives the identical providers as all different Degree
2 autonomous driving solutions from other automakers.
•The 2019 Leaf Plus is a compelling stability of range, quality,
reliability, value, options, and price that is competitive with any mainstream BEV
available on the market right now.
Fleet Report Advocate Driving a Leaf Cross-country?
As we stated final yr once we examined the 40-kWh Leaf, no, we
wouldn’t. But then once more, we might not advocate driving any BEV cross-country
until the driving force has the endurance and braveness to take action. Driving a BEV of any
make in the present day long distance is just like the cross-country trips of the 1950s and 60s. It’s
a leisurely trip that gives the opportunity to see the surroundings and benefit from the
countryside. It still requires planning, endurance, and to anticipate the
sudden, however it’s fast turning into more mainstream. In case your objective is to drive a
lengthy distance shortly, then drive an ICE hybrid or, higher but, fly.
Even with the in depth Tesla SuperCharger community, the
national BEV charging infrastructure continues to be not there, but with the brand new
charging infrastructure quickly coming online, things are enhancing every day.
Nevertheless, for trip and weekend trips round 500 miles
roundtrip on main highways and concrete areas, the Leaf Plus is a wonderful protected
selection. As a every day driver commuter automotive, the 2019 Leaf Plus continues to be the most effective
selection of any BEV available on the market in the present day.
Related Tales You May Take pleasure in—Our History with the Nissan Leaf
First Drive: 2019
Nissan Leaf Plus
for the 2019 Nissan Leaf Plus
CES News: 2019
Nissan Leaf Plus Goes the Distance
Road Check: 2018
from Nissan Leaf Battery Software Update
Comparison Check: 2018
Chevrolet Bolt vs. 2018 Nissan Leaf
Road Trip: 2018 Nissan
Flash Drive: 2018
Nissan Leaf (Steve’s view)
Flash Drive: 2018
Nissan Leaf (John’s view)
Road Check: 2016
Nissan Leaf (Michael’s view)
Road Check: 2016
Nissan Leaf (John’s view)
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free check automobiles from automakers to guage, sometimes for every week at a time.
Our street exams are based mostly on this one-week drive of a new car. Due to
this we don’t handle issues corresponding to long-term reliability or complete value of
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provided free transportation, lodging or meals. We do our greatest to present our
unvarnished evaluations of automobiles and news irrespective of those inducements.
focus is on automobiles that provide the perfect gasoline financial system in their class, which
leads us to emphasise electric automobiles, plug-in hybrids, hybrids and diesels. We
additionally function those efficient gas-powered automobiles which might be among the many prime mpg
automobiles of their class. As well as, we purpose to offer critiques and news on
superior know-how and the choice gasoline car market. We welcome any
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