Nissan Leaf Software Update Reduces Range Anxiety

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Nissan Leaf Software Update Reduces Range Anxiety

When it comes to pure electric cars, range anxiety is never far from the conversation. Indeed, here at AutoGuide, we’ve had a number of experiences when cars almost ran out of juice, including the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i.

In the Leaf’s case, getting the car from to and from the AutoGuide office proved to be somewhat unnerving, given the 40-mile distance from house to office alone.

And we’re not alone, anybody driving more than a 30 mile round trip each day is likely to face a similar scenario (Nissan says the car has a range of about 70 miles in real world driving before requiring a charge).

Until recently, the onboard Carwings Telematics system that informs you if you’re able to reach a specific destination based on the Leaf’s range and charge status, as well as locations for charging stations, didn’t do a lot to help quell range anxiety. The problem was that it didn’t take into account changes in elevation en route, which could mean a difference between reaching a set destination or running out of juice before you got there.

In order to help remedy the situation, Nissan has developed an updated Carwings system, with improved algorithms, that factors in such aspects as hills and detours. The result is designed to paint a more accurate overall picture when it comes to setting a destination and predicting how far the vehicle will take you based on the battery’s state of charge.

In addition, Nissan is also working on software that will enable Leaf drivers to check if nearby charging stations are available and functioning, instead of merely indicating their presence.

Now while these two attributes are likely to alleviate range anxiety for a number of Leaf owners, Nissan has still yet to announce when the updated Carwings system will be made available. Hopefully it comes sooner rather than later.

  • http://jpwhitehome.wordpress.com JP White

    One problem I have noticed with the on board charging station map is that it gives distances to the nearest charging stations based on ‘as the crow flies’ mapping. My car told me my home was 2.1 miles away while Google maps said 5.1 miles. I had 5 miles range left. I chose to charge at McDonalds for 30 minutes before heading home. Glad I used Google Maps, coming up 0.1 miles short from home would not be good given the 100 foot elevation climb over that distance :-)

    An updated and improved distance algorithm will be a huge improvement.

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