2015 Nissan Leaf Battery
Nissan LEAF was introduced in December 2010, as the world’s first affordable, zero emission car for the mass market. With that formula, consumer adoption has taken off, making LEAF the world’s best-selling, 100-percent electric vehicle. For 2015, Nissan LEAF continues to make it “easy to be green,” offering the space and range to meet everyday needs, while also providing an exceptional value proposition due to zero spending on gas, lower operating and maintenance costs and a starting price after tax incentives competitive with a comparable gas-powered car.
Along with saving money, 2015 Nissan LEAF buyers are discovering its value as a primary everyday vehicle – with High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) access (check local regulations), range that is more than twice the average driver’s daily need* and LEAF’s fun-to-drive instant, smooth acceleration and handling character.
The 2015 Nissan LEAF is available in three trim levels: LEAF S, SV and SL, along with option packages offering advanced systems such as Around View® Monitor and Energy Efficient Series Bose® premium audio system. Enhancements for 2015 include a new MorningSky Blue exterior color (late availability), the addition of Hands-Free Text Messaging Assistant and Voice Destination Entry for SV and SL grades, and new standard 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels for the SV grade (late availability). Also, the base LEAF S grade receives standard “B-Mode,” which engages regenerative braking more aggressively while decelerating. All 2015 LEAF models include three drive modes: Normal, Eco-Mode and B-Mode.
Part of the Leaf’s charm comes from its comfortable cabin with cutting-edge technology that doesn’t intimidate. You won’t need a computer science background to operate the Leaf’s various bells and whistles, and the cabin is pleasant and roomy. There’s also impressive space for cargo and, of course, hatchback utility.
Nissan Leaf Engine Performance
The front-wheel-drive 2015 Nissan Leaf powertrain is pretty simple: The 24 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, mounted below the cabin floor and under the rear seat, sends electricity to an 80-kilowatt (107-horsepower) electric motor that drives the front wheels. As in a hybrid, the motor also serves as a generator to recharge the battery during regenerative braking, returning otherwise wasted energy to the battery.All Leaf models offer Normal, Eco-Mode and B-Mode transmission settings. The latter mode delivers more aggressive regenerative braking (which converts the car’s forward momentum into battery energy) when the driver lifts off the accelerator. This mode is also useful for controlling speed when going down hills.
The EPA’s estimate for range with a full charge is 84 miles, but real-world range varies due to driving style, traffic conditions, cruising speed, battery age and ambient temperature. Our six-month experience with a Leaf showed this estimate to be accurate, as we recorded an average projected range of just over 85 miles. The agency also says the Leaf will typically use 30 kW per 100 miles driven (the lower the number here, the better). Again, we backed up this claim with our own 33-kW-per-100-miles average. Both of these figures are good for the segment, though not quite class-leading.
With a 240-volt power source, a Leaf with the 6.6 kW charger can recharge a depleted battery in about four hours (eight hours with the S model’s standard 3.3 kW charger). The quick-charge port (standard on the SV, optional on the others) can potentially be used to recharge the Leaf’s battery to a claimed 80 percent capacity in 30 minutes utilizing a special high-capacity power source. A 2015 Nissan Leaf drives and operates just like a normal car, though many controls feel slightly remote, because virtually everything is electrically actuated. Acceleration from 0 to 60 mph is a bit less than 10 seconds, though it’s hard to gauge how slow or fast the acceleration is because there’s no transmission to shift and the Leaf’s electric drive is exceptionally quiet. Top speed of the 3,200-pound car is limited to 90 mph.
Nissan Leaf Interior and Special Features
The 2015 Nissan Leaf battery pack is located under the floor beneath the seats, a design that contributes to the car’s airy cabin and rear seats roomy enough even for tall passengers. There’s no shortage of headroom in the first row, though taller drivers may find their legs a bit cramped. Cargo room behind the rear seats is generous, at 24 cubic feet. Folding them flat increases maximum capacity to 30 cubes.
Despite the Leaf’s economy car roots, the interior is surprisingly pleasant. There’s a strong emphasis on modern design, with a large center stack in the middle of the dash housing most of the car’s system controls. Split-level instrument panels reinforce the high-tech feel with sharp graphics that relay key information. Interior materials are also slightly above average for an EV in this price range.
The wide, high tech instrument panel design is dominated by a twin combination meter display in front of the driver and a center “floating” C-stack with a 4.3-inch color LCD display (S grade). A 7.0-inch display is standard on SV and SL grades. The digital “eyebrow” display at the top of the instrument panel provides high visibility for the Eco indicator and speedometer, while the lower liquid crystal meter display houses the percentage style state-of-charge meter, power meter, battery temperature gauge, multi-function display, remaining energy gauge, capacity level gauge and distance-to-empty display.
Added to the EV-IT system for 2015 are Voice Destination Entry (VDE) and Hands-Free Text Messaging Assistant (part of NissanConnectSM), drivers can manage incoming text messages via voice control without taking their hands from the wheel or eyes off the road. Drivers are alerted to an incoming text and, after initiating the system, can hear the text read out loud and respond via voice recognition, or via the steering wheel switches using pre-set answers such as “driving, can’t text,” “on my way,” “running late,” “okay” or a custom message.
The uniquely styled 2015 Nissan LEAF exterior features a fusion of sophisticated aerodynamic management with the design freedom provided by the EV layout. The smooth, elegant movement of the body starts from the low, compact hood, moves through the iconic shoulder character line and on toward the large rear spoiler.
The distinctive exterior styling is characterized by sharp, upright V-shaped design featuring long, up-slanting headlights. The headlights split and redirect airflow away from the door mirrors, reducing wind noise and drag.
The exterior also utilizes a flat underbody (including a large front flat floor cover, electric motor area undercover, front undercover and rear diffuser with fins) to help manage airflow under the vehicle. An innovative vortex-shedding, roof-mounted antenna is one of many design elements used to help reduce wind noise. Other noise-reduction features include a quiet-operation windshield wiper motor, a sound-insulation windshield design and a dual-isolated, motor-mounting system. The five-door hatchback design also features chrome door handles, aerodynamic outside mirrors and a large greenhouse to provide a bright interior environment.
Nissan Leaf MPG
Any battery-electric car is the greenest way to drive in all but a few states, and the 2015 Nissan Leaf uses less energy–and cheaper energy at that–than any gasoline car without a plug. More than that, it’s the affordable alternative to the undeniably faster and sexier Tesla Model S, and it’s the most popular electric car in the world.
The Leaf’s battery is recharged entirely on grid power, usually overnight, and the EPA rates the energy efficiency of the 22015 Nissan LEAF at 115 MPGe (a measure that indicates how many miles an electric car can travel on the amount of energy contained in 1 gallon of gasoline). The Tesla Model S, on the other hand, comes in at 89 or 95 MPGe (depending on its battery pack). Among high-volume electric cars, only the new BMW i3 uses less electricity to travel a mile than the Leaf.
The wells-to-wheels carbon emissions of any particular Leaf will depend on where it’s recharged; some areas have dirtier grids than others. But even recharging a Leaf on electricity generated in the oldest, dirtiest coal power plants has a lower carbon footprint–measuring “wells-to-wheels” carbon that includes extracting, refining, and transporting the fuel–than the average vehicle on U.S. roads. Only a 50-mpg Toyota Prius emits less carbon per mile in those few states with very dirty grids (North Dakota and West Virginia, for example).
Driving on energy from the electric grid also brings enormous cost savings. Every 100 miles, a 25-mpg gasoline car consumes $16 in gasoline if gas costs $4/gallon. That same 100 miles in an electric car costs just $1 to $8 in electricity costs, depending on local rates.
All but the base- 2015 Nissan LEAF model S come with a 6.6-kilowatt onboard charger that can recharge a fully depleted battery in about 4 hours from a 240-volt Level 2 charging station. The 3.3-kW charger on the Leaf S takes roughly twice as long. (On standard 110-volt household current, using the charging cord stowed in the load bay, a recharge can take up to 20 hours.) Installing the Level 2 box in a garage or carport may require some house rewiring, but no more than if you were installing an electric stove or clothes dryer.
Nissan Leaf Image Gallery