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Nissan Underestimated The Driving Range Of The 2018 Leaf

When it comes to electric vehicles, Nissan is both the pioneer and a leader of the segment. Having sold more than 300,000 examples since it was introduced in 2010, the Leaf is king of the hill. And for 2018, the compact hatchback is brand new from the ground up, boasting more of everything.
2018 Nissan Leaf EPA rating 42 photos
Photo: EPA
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When it made its premiere, the second-generation Leaf was advertised with the promise of “up to 150 miles” of driving range on a full charge of the 40-kWh lithium-ion battery. Nissan’s U.S. website still does, but the Environmental Protection Agency says that’s a bit of an understatement.

For 2018, the Leaf is EPA-rated 151 miles of total range, with an energy consumption of 30 kWh for every 100 miles. One area where Nissan could’ve done better is MPGe, with the Leaf rated at 112 on the combined cycle (city/highway). That, in turn, makes the Volkswagen e-Golf, Hyundai Ioniq Electric, and Tesla Model 3 more efficient than the Leaf.

Before drawing any conclusions, bear in mind the value for money offered by each of these four contenders. The Ioniq Electric is the cheapest at $29,500 before federal tax incentive, with the Leaf coming in at $29,900. The $400 difference favors the Leaf, though, for its boasts more ponies from its electric drive unit and 27 more miles of EPA-rated driving range.

The e-Golf and Model 3 are in a different territory from the Ioniq Electric and Leaf, and that’s the gist of it. Yet another home run for Nissan, which manufactures the Leaf in three parts of the world: U.S., UK, and Japan.

Available in no less than three well-equipped trim levels, the second-generation Leaf will get even better for the 2019 model year with the introduction of a bigger battery pack. Capacity is expected to come in at 60 kWh, which will translate to 225-plus miles of range. And a more powerful motor. And 100-kW DC fast charging, in addition to other goodies.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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