Home / Auto News / News article: Nissan Leaf Drivers Average 37 Miles Per Day, Added Range Not Needed Says Product Boss - AutoGuide.com News
 |  Oct 29 2011, 5:24 PM

2011 Nissan Leaf 14

Has Nissan already cracked the range sweet spot of electric vehicles? According to Mark Perry, director of product planning and strategy for Nissan North America, Nissan Leaf drivers average a distance of 37 miles in a single day. Moreover, the average length of a single trip is a short seven miles. According to these findings, Nissan Leaf’s current 70-plus mile range is already more than necessary for day to day use and a long range EV isn’t necessary says Perry.

The findings are derived from daily use cycles of approximately 7,500 Leafs in the United States as well as data from the Department of Energy’s EV project. They also prove consistent with data from conventional gasoline powered cars, which shows that 72 percent of Americans drive less than 40 miles per day and 95 percent drive less than 100 miles per day.

GALLERY: Nissan Leaf

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[Source: Edmunds]

Click here to read AutoGuide’s 2011 Nissan Leaf review

  • Argenta

    When I read this I had to check the date but, no, it’s not 1st April! Limited RANGE is the number one issue for EV drivers. I own a Nissan Leaf and I keep an ICE car on my drive. The ONLY reason I keep the ICE is to do journeys the Leaf cannot cope with and keeping that car, which I use for only 5% of my trips,completely wrecks the economics of buying an electric car.

    Of course, if you study travel patterns of Leaf drivers, you will see many short trips because ONLY people with such driving needs will buy a Leaf today (unless, like me they keep an almost redundant ICE taxed, insured and maintained).

    Most of my friends laugh when I tell them I have an electric car. Why? Because of the range restrictions! Range is the issue and the main impediment to mass adoption of EVs.

    To get mass adoption of EVs we need 150 – 200 miles range. I think, other manufacturers understand that. Nissan will ignore it at its peril.

  • JP White

    As a LEAF owner I have to say that Nissan’s Perry is simply saying what he needs to to ensure LEAF sales increase. He’s not lying but truisms are perceived as such by the general public.

    There have been 5 trips in the last 3 months we or I had to use my Wife’s car for. An extension of range by 50 miles would have meant all trips could have been completed using the LEAF. The LEAF is agonizingly close to hitting that sweet spot, but no cigar as they say. When I say 50 more miles I mean ‘Nissan Miles’. Real world increase needs to be just 35, taking the real world range to 108 miles if we add 35 to the EPA range of 73. (The EPA numbers are close to my experience).

    It’s not that ‘Nissan Miles’ are a lie, I can and have achieved the claimed range; by driving like a granny. I just don’t drive like a granny normally.

  • Colum Wood

    Thanks for the feedback. Nice to have an educated opinion from a real owner!

  • JC

    I 100% concur with the comments of the recent reviewer. I too own Leaf and it’s limited range IS a hinderence. I don’t know what Mr. Perry is talking about but he is plain CRAZY that range doesn’t matter, and/or that the present range is “sufficient.” As noted by the first reviewer (Argenta), we Leaf drivers ONLY go so far as the car range will give us (that is, for “limited” trips. And as also noted, we HAVE other [gas] cars, and have to USE these other vehicles to go longer distances and trips). I, in fact, have encountered (a NUMBER of times) the dreaded “range anxiety” and so thus will ALWAYS keep ahold of my gas vehicle until they make another (LONGER range vehicle) that will sufficiently be able to handle a more traditional American lifestyle that MOST of us are use to. Frankly, I’m looking forward to the day that Tesla comes out with There EV’s. If they get the range of 160 to 300, that they “claim” they will, then they will DEFINITELY be a hit!! (And one I will be in line for once my Leaf lease ends!).

    Lastly, I while I am no “Eco-Wacko” (who wants to save the planet), I, on the other hand am an “average American” who just desires to “SAVE MONEY” (ARE YOU LISTENING?, MR. PERRY?!?), so I only purchased a Leaf to SAVE on Gas. So from my 4 month experimental experience so far (in the EV world), I can say, without a doubt, that EV’s will NEVER take off, with most average Americans, until: 2) They [Govs, companies, etc.] create a BIGGER “infrastructure” of chargers (especially the Fast DC ones) and 2) Make more LONGER range cars (I don’t care WHAT Mr. Perry believes). – Again, I await the coveted Tesla to save the day (at least “Hoping” it/they will fulfill HALF of the equation to fix this present EV limitation I spoke of – We’ll see.)

  • hans

    wow i can’t believe you guys….im having to wait likely another year before i can get my hand son this car and you guys are whining about very minor things…..most people have 2 vewhicles anyways no?…so by having one vehicle electric your cutting your reliance on gas in half or more right?….i live in the city and drive 5 miles to work one way…i can drive all week and charge it on the weekend….i like a high percentage of others in the city do not drive far and hop into my truck to go 1 mile to the grocery store….how nice to not worry about wasting gas because these short distances are super hard on fuel….if you don’t want your car tell Nissan and I’ll gladly take it up here!! :)

  • dan

    I’m a LEAF owner and I’m here to tell you the LEAF’s range is far below the claimed 100 miles in my cars case. I’ve been getting only 60 to 70 miles of range on a fully charged battery. I drive mostly city streets at speeds rarely exceeding 40 and use Eco mode all the time. My route consists of 60% flat roads 40% small hills. Any elevation increase will drain the battery fast. You can watch the range tick down rapidly. I often record 3 to 4 miles of range loss for ever mile driven on even slight hills. Now that it’s cold the range is even worse so I’ve been keeping the heat off to conserve power so that’s uncomfortable. True its cheaper than gas still but as often as I have to charge I’m paying more for electricity than I expected I would. I will always drive an electric car since gas is not an option for me but my next EV will not be a LEAF if this range issue persists.

  • steve

    Is this not a circular reference? Because the range of the leaf is limited, people will never take the car for trips where range anxieties will arise. If someone had asked me what the average miles per day driven in an electric car were before I had read this article I would have said aproximatly half of the real world range – in the case of the Nissan leaf appx 35 miles. It’s hardly a coincidence that that figure is essentially identical to that stated at the top of this article!

  • chf

    “Limited RANGE is the number one issue for EV drivers.”

    That is more of a symptom. The underlying problem is lack of infrastructure. If charging stations were available everywhere (literally), then range would not be a concern.

    An example to counter your range point: CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) vehicles have similar range & refueling as gassers. Yet there are virtually no CNG vehicles on the road, far less than EVs even. The main reason is lack of refueling infrastructure for CNGs. Don’t get me wrong, the raw energy density in gasoline is a tremendous benefit, but it’s easily mitigated by charging infrastructure.