Let’s talk about battery degradation

by Ernie Hernandez on May 9, 2015

down one bar

Battery degradation isn’t that big of a deal for many

[UPDATE: Here’s a link to an article (found here) about a LEAF in the UK that went 100,000 miles in under two years with no degradation.]

[UPDATE 5/30/17:  Here’s a link to an article (here) where I talk about my 2012 LEAF that lost four bars.]

First, a definition. Electric vehicle (EV) battery degradation is when the battery loses capacity over time. If you’ve ever owned a laptop or a cell phone, you have experienced battery degradation. An EV just has a much larger battery than your average laptop.

A glance at the image above will indicate the level of battery degradation in our 2013 Nissan LEAF. The blue, white, and red segments on the right indicate the current battery charge and battery capacity. The 100% indicator in the middle of the meter display shows that the battery is currently fully charged. Now I’ll break down the display on the right.

77 miles is the expected range with a full charge based on the most recent previous driving experience. A very conservative driver will see more range, and a very aggressive driver will see less range here.

The twelve blue and white bars are a more coarse display of the 100% state of charge indicator in the middle of the display. As the 100% display is reduced during a driving event, the blue and white bars will also decrease in tandem. If you own a LEAF you should know that this is not a linear relationship. Each blue and white bar does not represent the same amount of battery charge remaining. If you are concerned about how much state of charge remaining, I suggest keeping the changeable center display in the state of charge mode. This state of charge display is not available on the 2011 and 2012 LEAFs.

Now we get to the part about the battery degradation. If you carefully count the small white segments on the far right, you will count nine of them, plus the two red segments on the bottom of the display. These segments represent the battery capacity, not the state of charge. A new LEAF will have ten white segments atop the two red segments for a total of twelve, to match the blue and white bars showing the state of charge. Which means that this LEAF has battery degradation of one segment, or roughly fifteen percent of its new capacity. To clarify – when fully charged, a LEAF will always show twelve blue and white state of charge bars, even if several of the battery capacity segments on the far right have been lost. The question is, how does this impact day-to-day driveability of the car. In our case – little to none.

We have accumulated 14,808 miles in just over two years of driving. This is an average of only about twenty miles per day. So even with our slightly degraded battery, we can easily accommodate our typical daily drive with a fully charged range of 77 miles. Are there days when we need to plug in? Sure. But it doesn’t happen often. Also, keep in mind that the fully charged range of 77 miles could be more or less depending upon our most recent previous driving style.

What prompted this article was a Department of Energy Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory study showing that EVs will meet the daily travel needs of the vast majority of drivers longer than is typically assumed (found here). In other words, battery degradation is not that big of a deal for most EV owners. Certainly, some drivers will be impacted by reduced capacity more than others. Some LEAF owners have found a way to make it work. A Seattle man made a 130 mile round-trip commute each workday for three years on his 2011 LEAF, ultimately with the loss of three battery segments to battery degradation prior to buying another LEAF. He did have to stop to charge along the way with the battery degradation, but he saved over $10,000 in fuel costs during that time over his prior vehicle – a fuel efficient Honda.

On a final note, it seems that time is a bigger factor impacting battery degradation than are miles. As you can see above, we lost one battery segment at almost exactly the two year point with just over 14,000 miles. Steve Marsh, the man in Seattle, drove his car over 78,000 miles – and 24 months – when his car lost its first battery capacity segment. Time, rather than usage, seems to be the more significant factor. Much as it is on that laptop or cell phone battery.

If you wish, you can provide your own battery degradation experience in the comments section for others to benefit by. If you choose to do so, please include the year, make, and model of your EV, miles driven, length of time prior to loss of first battery segment, approximate region of the country (hot weather areas impact battery life more significantly), and any other commentary that you wish to share.

{ 258 comments… read them below or add one }

alex May 9, 2015 at 1:19 pm

2013 S, 26,000 miles, 98% capacity remaining, as read through LEAFspy

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Ernie Hernandez May 9, 2015 at 1:20 pm

alex – Welcome to Living LEAF. And thank you for contributing to the knowledge base.

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Karl May 9, 2015 at 1:33 pm

2012 LEAF SL with 84% battery health per LEAF Spy at 21.3K miles. First bar lost at around 18.5K.

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Ernie Hernandez May 9, 2015 at 1:35 pm

Karl – Welcome to Living LEAF. About how much time passed prior to losing your first bar?

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Karl May 9, 2015 at 2:13 pm

Well, I bought the 2012 used in April 2014, so I don’t know the prior battery history. Assuming it was on the road since April 2012, it would be about 2 years and 9 months.

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Paolo May 11, 2015 at 1:28 am

2012 LEAF SL with 84% battery health per LEAF Spy at 60K Km. First bar lost at around 50K..

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Jeff March 14, 2016 at 12:51 pm

Hi Paolo. I just bought a 2012 LEAF SL with 30K miles with 89% battery health per LEAF Spy app. I am interested in an update of where your battery is currently and how many miles as I haven’t lost my first bar yet.

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Ernie Hernandez March 14, 2016 at 5:49 pm

Jeff – Welcome to Living LEAF. I don’t know if Paolo will respond so I will, at least regarding your car. You’re not far from dropping your first bar. My guess is that by the end of the summer it will be gone. After that it will depend on your charging habits as much as anything else. Try not to charge to 100 percent and then not drive it. Good luck!

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Sam May 14, 2015 at 6:04 pm

I have a mid-2011 Leaf with 51k miles. Lost first segment around 34k. Now have lost two segments. I have a 56 mile round trip commute which I can make by “100%” charging (no charging at work). Used to be able to do that with 80% charging easily when new. A full charge can give me 212 GIDs if you know of this capacity unit. I believe a new Leaf has over 280 GIDs. Average about 5.5 to 6 miles/kWhr.

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Ernie Hernandez May 14, 2015 at 6:31 pm

Sam – Welcome to Living LEAF, and thank you for contributing to this discussion. Here again we see that it seems to be time, not mileage that is a factor. First segment was not lost until 34,000 miles on this 2011 LEAF.

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Tom K May 16, 2015 at 9:24 am

I used to comment on this site when I had my 2011 LEAF (early serial no.) After losing 3 capacity bars in 42,000 miles, I had enough. I traded it in for a Tesla. I didn’t get much for it by the way… No more range worries…

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Ernie Hernandez May 16, 2015 at 2:19 pm

Hi Tom. I’m glad that you found an EV that is working for you. That is still sending a great message that electric cars can work, given the right situation. Certainly there were some of the early cars that did have issues, especially in hotter climates. I’m very much looking forward to LEAF 2.0 with its longer range.

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Tom K May 16, 2015 at 5:31 pm

I have everything good to say about my LEAF, except the poor durability of the battery. The range loss in my Tesla after 16,000 miles is less than 1%. I was already down 7% in my LEAF at that point. I guess it was the price I paid as an “early adopter”… It will be interesting to see what the LEAF 2.0 ends up being. If Nissan really had half the balls Tesla has there would be a 200 mile LEAF out already…

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Ernie Hernandez May 17, 2015 at 8:54 pm

Tom – Thanks for the followup comment. I must say that I’m somewhat surprised at the durability of the Tesla battery based on what I had learned of the different construction methodologies of the two brands. It shows that there is no substitute for real-world evaluations.

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Darren R December 24, 2016 at 12:00 pm

I agree with Tom K.’s comment and I have everything good to say about the LEAF except the battery. With a 2011 LEAF, I’m one of the earliest adopters in Canada.

The LEAF battery is special in that it’s designed to have a short lifespan. The other EV batteries all degrade MUCH slower because they have good liquid thermal management. The LEAF battery does not have anything to keep it from getting too hot. So a Tesla, GM, Ford battery will last many years longer than a LEAF battery.

To make things worse, here in Canada you can’t even buy a new battery to get your range back. Nissan Canada does not want to sell batteries and expects you to buy a new LEAF instead. I would never buy another EV from Nissan and I don’t know of any Nissan LEAF owners who would buy another LEAF. They all reserved Tesla model 3’s.

The fact that I can’t replace the battery means the Nissan LEAF is like a disposable flashlight. I just hope it lasts another 2 years when I should be able to buy my Tesla.

Damien July 10, 2017 at 4:35 am

Um.

Unless you absolutely need the luxury of a Tesla, you can buy almost 5 used Nissan Leaf SL (top of the line) with 80%+ battery remaining for the cost of one used low-end Tesla. So, rather than splurge on a Tesla, buy a Leaf, drive it in the ground, put the rest of the money you would have spent in a high-yield savings account, buy another Leaf in two years, rinse repeat.

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Ernie Hernandez July 10, 2017 at 9:01 am

Damien – Welcome to Living LEAF. A used LEAF is a very good value that will suit the needs of many drivers.

Troy February 19, 2017 at 5:34 pm

For the price of Tesla I could get my 2015 Leaf S *and* and Audi S4.

Talk about “no more range worries” . . .

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Ernie Hernandez February 19, 2017 at 5:49 pm

Troy – Welcome to Living LEAF. I like your thinking!

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L Dawson May 17, 2015 at 8:32 pm

My 2011 early adopter leaf has degraded at a rate I expect but it should not have occurred. At 51000 miles I am at 70.1 battery health. My readings are far from nissan and their latest software update.

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Ernie Hernandez May 17, 2015 at 8:46 pm

L Dawson – Welcome to Living LEAF, and thank you for your contribution to this discussion.

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Mihir May 30, 2015 at 11:17 pm

2013 Leaf SV. 26 months into ownership/39,000 miles. Lost 1 bar this week.

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Ernie Hernandez May 31, 2015 at 10:51 am

Mihir – Welcome to Living LEAF. More confirmation it seems time rather than mileage is the main factor. Thanks for the input.

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Charles B May 31, 2015 at 1:57 pm

2013 SV (built 10/13, leased 5/14), crossed 17,200 miles right at 1 year on the lease, and still has all 12 capacity bars. Leaf Spy Pro indicates 20.1 or 20.2 kWh available when fully charged, which is virtually unchanged since measurements began at about 3000 miles. Currently has lifetime charge counts of 24 QC and 833 L1/L2.

I have my suspicions that during the 5 to 6 months the car was at the dealer, the battery was often charged to 100% and then left sitting there on the lot waiting for test drives. It had 200 miles on the odometer, which would have been three or four test drives plus my own test drive.

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Ernie Hernandez May 31, 2015 at 5:42 pm

Charles – Welcome to Living LEAF, and thanks for your feedback. Unfortunately, many dealers still don’t know that charging to 100% and letting the car sit is not a good idea. As an aside, I hope you paid for the extra lease miles upfront!

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Charles B May 31, 2015 at 10:17 pm

Yes, I went with a 15K mile/yearly lease and am surprised how that still isn’t/wasn’t enough!

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Stephen Hodges June 16, 2015 at 6:59 am

Lost my third bar at just over 20,000 miles, but that is how I came to find your site, so that is good. This is a 2011 Leaf bought used and abducted to Jamaica, so it is now 4 years old, first bar at 11,000, second at 17,000. Its hot here, but not so very hot, varying from 68 on a cool morning to 88 in town. I normally charge to 80%, and feel the main thing I shouldn’t have been doing is plugging in when I get home (at 1600 altitude and a 3 mile climb) rather than waiting to cool down. I am working on getting Leaf spy so should know more soon. I drive the only BEV in Jamaica so get lots of fascinated attention, even from the Nissan dealer. Here’s hoping I can get a lizard battery a few years from now.

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Ernie Hernandez June 16, 2015 at 9:00 am

Stephen – Welcome to Living LEAF. Interesting to hear your tale of taking a LEAF to Jamaica. You’re right in your conclusion… you should wait until the evening to charge your car. Set the end time of your charge timer without setting a start time to finish charging by the time you need it in the morning. This way you can just plug in at night when you get home, but it will not start charging until it needs to. Good luck!

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Dc July 9, 2015 at 9:33 am

I have a 2012 nissan leaf. I drive 40 each way on my commute here in southern California. I have had the car since October 2012. I lost my first bar at 25000 miles. The second at 35000 and the third at 40000. I don’t believe time is as much of a factor as the article indicates. I charge almost all the time using a regular 110 outlet. I have used the dc fast charge and 220 chargers and all three if my battery check ups show good in all categories. I drive almost exclusively on the freeway at about 70 miles per hour and have found the range is about 5 miles per bar. Overall very happy with car just dissapointed that the real world range was very different from the sticker.

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Ernie Hernandez July 10, 2015 at 1:28 pm

Dc – Welcome to Living LEAF. Both time and mileage are factors contributing to battery degradation. Other considerations are climate. As noted in the article, at least one person has achieved over 70,000 miles without losing a single bar. Look for a bigger battery in the upcoming 2016 LEAF for improved range.

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Jeff July 26, 2015 at 9:13 am

Las Vegas,NV. Bought the car 4/15 at 11 bars. Drive 30+miles per day. charge to 100% per Nissan Technical support contact.. Lost second bar 07/09/15. car built 7/11. #6799. 21580 mi.
207 gids
91.3% soc (100%)
50.82 AHr
16 kWh
77% SOH
58.62% Hx
393.81 V

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Ernie Hernandez July 26, 2015 at 3:12 pm

Jeff – Welcome to Living LEAF. Thanks for your input.

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Manny August 31, 2015 at 9:54 pm

I have a 2013 leaf SL. Lost 1st bar at 34k. Lost 2nd bar at 41k. I drive about 105 miles a day and all freeway miles. I charge at night after 12am and I charge at work around 8:30am. Charging is all from 6kw 240 chargers. Battery performance is now poor for me and the car is almost not practical for my daily use. Driving on Eco mode to make it home 51 miles away is not ideal in California. Car is currently at 45090 miles. Is this what I should be getting? should I reach out to the dealer or return the car since it was a lease? Looking for input.

Manny

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Ernie Hernandez September 1, 2015 at 8:00 am

Manny – Welcome to Living LEAF.

The good news is that your battery degradation should slow down now based on previous observations. A better charging tactic would have been to have the battery reach maximum charge just prior to departure by setting the end charge timer. Also, charging right when you arrived at work the battery was still hot from the drive in. Setting the end timer at work would have also helped.

Regarding your commute, if you are traveling California freeway speeds you are reducing your driving range considerably. Slowing from 75 mph to 65 will improve your range. Also, Eco mode doesn’t really do anything for you on the freeway. It increases pedal pressure and makes minor changes to climate control usage. If you drive more slowly, it may help you avoid having to stop to charge on the way to work and on the way home.

Finally, the degradation that you are experiencing is within Nissan’s warranty range. You would need to lose two more bars within the first five years for Nissan to provide a warranty replacement battery. A longer range LEAF will be coming in a month or two. You could talk to the dealer about trading in early, but I don’t know what your chances might be of that since you are leasing.

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Donnie September 3, 2015 at 12:35 pm

I drive 28 miles one way to work, for a total of 56 miles, mostly freeway. I can make it round trip on one full charge (setting the cruise at 70 on the freeway), but not quite a full round trip on an 80% charge. Thus, I have been charging at the station at my work up to 80%, and the again at night when I get home to 80%. So two small charges each day. The consensus seems to be that all things being equal, you will increase overall battery life by limiting your max charge to 80%, and charging as few times as possible. Do you know of any research that looks into whether it is better to charge the way I have been doing (two small charges), or charge to 100% at work or home, thus cutting my charges in half. Thanks!

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Ernie Hernandez September 3, 2015 at 9:52 pm

Donnie – Welcome to Living LEAF.

Research regarding Lithium Ion batteries shows that the worst thing to do is charge to 100% and leave unused. Your current management plan is fine, but does require charging at each end. Assuming you have this flexibility, you could plug in at either end and set the end timer for a short time prior to your departure. This provides you with several benefits. One – just one charge per day. Two – The battery cools prior to charging which has shown to prolong battery life. Three – You don’t sit with a 100% charge for an extended period of time, which also helps to prolong battery life.

Regarding charge cycles, research seems to support that 100 charge cycles of 100% is equivalent to 200 charge cycles of 50%. It’s not the number of cycles that matters, it’s how long does the battery sit at 100% before being used that seems to be the biggest factor. Good luck, and enjoy your LEAF!

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Bill Baker February 18, 2017 at 7:50 pm

If I understand it correctly the Nissan Leaf BMS do not really charge the batteries to full voltage from the factory.

I drive a 2013 Leaf.. 74,900 miles one bar down.
52 to 63 round trip depending on route at an average of 39 mph.. max is 58 on hiway
I plug it in after I get home at night and leave in the afternoon for work again.
The onboard battery temps are always low.
I use a 16 amp 220 Bosch electric supply.
Bill

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Ernie Hernandez February 19, 2017 at 2:41 pm

Bill – Welcome to Living LEAF. Thanks for your contribution to this ongoing discussion.

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Rick March 24, 2017 at 8:33 pm

Our 2011 SL with 37.2K miles is down to 9 bars. However, only recently did we learn that always charging to 100% is not a good idea. I wish we had been going to 80% most of the time and possibly have a battery in better conditions.
That said, the car is great and perfect for driving around the general area.

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Ernie Hernandez March 25, 2017 at 3:45 pm

Rick – Welcome to Living LEAF. Glad to hear that you enjoy your LEAF. Keep an eye out for the longer range version coming out later this year.

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Peter Boyall September 9, 2015 at 12:48 pm

Here’s my tracker of the capacity reading every 1000 miles (give or take).

Miles Ah Temp HX
196 65.19 13.4 99.83
992 66.79 12.4 105.95
1963 67.26 15.5 109.16
4002 67.36 19.9 103.88
5049 65.68 23.5 100.53
5419 67.03 20.8 103.05
6125 65 28.1 99.48
7909 67.36 25 104.86
9050 61.99 23 96

Dropped like a stone in the last 1000 miles. Hopefully it will stabilise …

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Ernie Hernandez September 9, 2015 at 12:49 pm

Peter – Welcome to Living LEAF, and thank you for your input. It will help others in their analysis of the LEAF.

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Erik D November 3, 2015 at 4:05 pm

I am a very early adopter with a 2011 Nissan Leaf VIN 3990. I was a very enthusiastic supporter of Nissan and the leaf, ordered my car May 12, 2010, delivered June 15, 2011.

This vehicle has had very poor battery performance. By year 4 <35,000 miles driven I have lost 3 bars.
Current status:
3 QC, Odo(km) 59,592 QC 3 L1/L2 4173, average range between 45 -51 miles at 3.6-3.7m/kWh SOH 67%, 183 GIDS,14.64 kWh remaining on the battery.

My 5 year date is June 2016, Nissan has refused any support until I lose my 4th bar.

Nissan customer support has been awful, dealers claim no responsibility, corporate is more interested in protecting the bottom line rather than customer satisfaction. I will never buy another Nissan product again. looking forward to my next EV from Honda, Toyota, Ford, BMW or Tesla.

I am interested in collecting statistics on average GIDs and SOH at loss of 4th bar. Please help me collect these statistics if anyone has their own stats.

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jb April 10, 2016 at 10:23 am

Erik,

Have you lost your 4th bar yet? we are also very early adopters of Leaf, ordered in 2010 and delivered on June 11th, 2011

We are at 9 bars since last year and average range is around 40 miles depending on how I drive. waiting for the 4th bar to drop. I have not performed the upgrade of the software atleast I am not aware of the upgrade. We took the car to the dealer in 2014 to check the status of the battery.

When I charged my car at fast charging station (just started fast charging few days ago), it delivered 13.3 KWH and said the capacity is at 96%. This is nrg EVGO station.

I heard dealers can reset the bars with software and I am afraid if I take it in, they will do that since I am close to the warranty expiration.

Thanks

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Ernie Hernandez April 10, 2016 at 5:42 pm

jb – Welcome to Living LEAF. As this is not a forum, Erik may or may not check back to answer you. I just bought a 2012 down 3 bars and on a full charge we can get 50 miles or more of real driving range. If you’ve never gone much beyond the low battery warning, there is a reserve after the Very Low Battery Warning. I’ve been thinking of writing up another article on this, but in two previous posts(here and here) I was able to drive 14 miles after the low battery warning, and 7 miles after the very low battery warning. These are distances that resulted in turtle mode and the car coming to a stop. Most people don’t realize that there are at least five miles after the very low warning. Regarding the story about dealers resetting bars, they have no incentive to do so. They make more money when they replace your battery. Why would they not want to?

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JeffnReno April 12, 2016 at 5:14 pm

Maybe they would want to if trying to sell a used LEAF?

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Ernie Hernandez April 17, 2016 at 8:55 pm

JeffnReno – Welcome to Living LEAF. Perhaps you’re right. Although I believe franchised new car dealerships have too much at stake to play games like that. But I could be wrong.

Pamela December 2, 2015 at 9:51 pm

2012 – 30k miles, still 100%. I wonder if the fact that we almost exclusively charge at 110 has anything to do with that?

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Ernie Hernandez December 3, 2015 at 7:53 am

Pamela – Welcome to Living LEAF. Charging exclusively on the trickle charge is not a major factor in battery life. Most significant in reducing life is charging to 100 percent and letting the car sit in a fully charged state. If you live in a moderate climate, that helps. If you charge routinely to 80 percent that helps also. I hope you are enjoying your LEAF!

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Ron December 9, 2015 at 8:59 pm

We bought our 2011 Leaf in December 2011.

We just passed 15,000 miles. I had a short commute before retiring and now we use it around town (Dallas, TX) with occasional longer drives. We charge to 80% overnight when necessary. We only charge to 100% when we have a longer drive. We have an EVGo charger that we bought from them after paying a monthly charge for the first year or so.

We lost our first bar in June 2014 (30 months) and our second bar in September 2015 (45 months). We have had to cut back on some longer drives because the loss of range.

Unless battery degradation happens faster over time, we won’t meet the battery warranty replacement criteria. We love having our Leaf, but don’t plan to upgrade to the 2016 Leaf because we don’t drive very much.

We are considering purchasing a replacement 2015 battery which apparently costs about $6,000 although local Nissan service advisors don’t seem very knowledgeable about this.

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Ernie Hernandez December 9, 2015 at 9:18 pm

Ron – Welcome to Living LEAF. As was mentioned in the article, several factors impact battery degradation, including time and ambient temperature. You’re right – a replacement battery including installation will be around $6,000. If you enjoy your LEAF, and find that its reduced range impacts your day-to-day driving, a roughly $6,000 investment will get you another four years or so of similar driving. Not a bad investment – roughly $1,500 per year. Much less than a new car.

I don’t know if you have a quick charge port or not, but if you do Plugshare.com shows about 30 quick charge stations in the greater Dallas area. You may find that you can easily make those longer trips with the addition of just a few minutes additional charging time while out and about. If not, the time to charge may be more than you wish to wait, although Level 2 charge stations are much more numerous.

Many Nissan employees are not very familiar with the LEAF, whether in sales or service. Should you need assistance with your new battery if you choose to go that way, call 1-877-664-2738 and they can help you make an arrangement with a dealer.

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Bill Z December 12, 2015 at 7:42 am

Mr. Hernandez- Thanks for hosting this site. Hope you can help with my questions. I am currently in the market (Seattle metro) for a used Leaf and seeking as much info as possible re: battery capacity and useful life. I will be driving a mostly highway commute RT of 52 miles. From reading submissions here and elsewhere I hope to be able to charge overnight at home in a garage saving office charging for longer drives as needed. Consensus seems to be that charging patterns significantly affect both capacity and longevity. Do on board systems provide historical charging data? Is data tracked on charging apps or otherwise? Aside from asking/trusting the owner in a private sale what can/should a dealer know about a vehicle sitting on their lot? Any other advice to help me be as savvy a shopper as possible?
Regards – Bill Z

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Ernie Hernandez December 12, 2015 at 5:26 pm

Bill Z – Welcome to Living LEAF. Unfortunately, there is no way for you to verify charging patterns of a pre-owned LEAF other than relying on the word of the owner if buying directly from a private party. If you buy from a dealer, odds are they will know nothing of the history of the vehicle unless it was driven by a dealer principal. Depending upon your location in the Seattle area, due to the hilly nature of the terrain and the cold winters (heater usage), even a round trip commute of 52 miles may be a challenge for a used vehicle, depending upon how many bars of battery capacity remain. That said, as long as you are looking at a LEAF with at least ten bars of battery capacity left, and you are willing to drop your commute speed to 65 miles per hour, you should have no problems. You might find that I’m being too conservative in this recommendation, but I would rather err on the side of caution. In an ideal scenario, your employer will allow you to plug in at work. Even a 120 volt trickle charge over eight hours will provide you the confidence to make your commute easily. I’m not trying to dissuade you from your purchase, but I want you to be aware of the realities of EV ownership. I highly recommend a quick charge port. You will appreciate it the times that you might need it. With the 2016 LEAF right around the corner with its longer range on the top two trim levels, it may act to reduce the asking price of pre-owned LEAFs. We’ll see. Good luck with your search.

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Michael December 15, 2015 at 8:22 am

Bought 2013 Leaf in April, 2014 in Austin, TX. One bar gone at about 12,500 miles. I hadn’t considered that buying a new electric car of last year’s model would mean that the battery was already a year old.

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Ernie Hernandez December 19, 2015 at 1:48 pm

Michael – welcome to Living LEAF. There could have been multiple factors at play here. The age of the battery you already mentioned. If the dealership charged the battery to 100 percent and just let the car sit fully charged, that could be another factor. Finally, the heat of the Austin summer could have played a factor. Your car may not have been one year old when you bought it though. You can check the manufacture date on a sticker on the door jamb of the driver’s door. One sticker will have tire inflation pressures, the other will have the VIN, build date, gross vehicle weight rating, and perhaps some other information. Hope that helps.

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Jose December 19, 2015 at 11:19 pm

Bought 2013 leaf sv in November, 2015. In central California; all bars 100% charge, 91- 84 miles range, is this average range? My daily commute round trip is 21 miles.
What is the best way to charge this unit?

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Ernie Hernandez December 20, 2015 at 2:05 pm

jose – welcome to Living LEAF. Your range will vary based upon your driving style, but if it is showing 84-91 miles generally, you are doing great. The 2013 LEAF has the ability to charge to 80 percent using the charge timer. This will be more than adequate for your commute, so I recommend that you plug in each night and charge to 80 percent. On days that you expect to drive more (weekends perhaps), you can charge to 100 percent, but you don’t want to let the vehicle sit charged to 100 percent without using it.

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Damian December 20, 2015 at 6:09 pm

I have a 2011 Nissan LEAF, purchased new. I live in the Phoenix area. Battery degradation has been a significant problem. I lost my fourth bar at around 30,000 miles. Nissan replaced the battery pack under warranty. A year later, I am now at 42,000 miles. The indicator still shows all 12 bars, but the battery only charges to about 75% of what it did when it was new. Very disappointing because in other respects the LEAF is a good car.

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Ernie Hernandez December 22, 2015 at 11:58 am

Damian, welcome to Living LEAF. I am not familiar with any replacement battery issues. There are LEAF forums that have discussions about this topic that you may wish to check out.

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Gus December 22, 2015 at 11:47 am

Just bought a 2012 Leaf with 8,500 miles; certified from Nissan dealer. It has eleven bars (counting the two red ones). Is the loss of one bar in three years, even at the low mileage, normal? Thanks for this great site!

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Ernie Hernandez December 22, 2015 at 11:53 am

Gus – welcome to Living LEAF. The loss of one battery bar over three years is not uncommon, even with the low mileage that you indicate. Research has shown that time is as much of an element in battery degradation as other factors. While an EV battery is significantly larger than your laptop battery, similar factors are at play. My recommendation is that you set your charge timer to charge the battery to the 80 percent level if you wish to optimize battery life, assuming of course that this will provide optimum range for your daily needs. On those days that you expect to drive more don’t hesitate to charge to 100 percent. Enjoy your LEAF!

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Larry S December 23, 2015 at 7:49 pm

I bought a used 2012 SL with 17k miles on it and it was two bars down. It came from CA and I am in Vegas. I know the heat will degrade it but I would love to see two more bars down, so Nissan can refresh. But if I use my trickle charger I see 80 miles on the guess-o-meter and when I use my Chargepoint 500 charger level 2 it reads charging complete and only reads 56-62 at most. Any clue to this? I do love the car and do have to say that used these sold for very little….$13,200.00 with all costs out the door for a 17k mile car that is loaded with all of the options?

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Ernie Hernandez December 24, 2015 at 10:35 am

Larry – welcome to Living LEAF. You’re right – used LEAFs are a bargain now, especially with the 2016 models just starting to show up on dealer lots. The only reason that I can think of that you would see different readings is that when you use your trickle charger it is charging the battery to 100 percent and when you use the ChargePoint unit you are only charging it to 80 percent. Next time you charge, count the number of bars that are illuminated around the range remaining display (GOM). If this is the case, with the trickle charge all 12 will be illuminated, and with the ChargePoint charger only 10 will be illuminated. If this is the case, the ChargePoint is configured for an 80 percent charge. Check their website or manual to configure to 100 percent if you need it. If your daily drive can be accommodated by an 80 percent charge, and you wish to extend your battery life, leave it in that configuration. If you wish to try to degrade your battery faster you want to charge it to 100 percent every night. The problem with this approach is if you don’t lose 4 bars within 60 months of it’s initial sale date Nissan will not provide a new battery. Also, due to some LEAF owners opting out of a class action suit, some vehicles are not eligible for a battery replacement. Your local dealer can run your VIN and let you know if yours is eligible.

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Larry S. August 2, 2016 at 9:04 am

Hi Ernie,

Update, just lost my 3rd bar with now under 23,000 miles. Went to my dealer here in Henderson Nissan NV and was told they don’t have a Leaf certified repair person anymore. They could not do my yearly battery inspection. They sent me a cross town and that dealership had 3 leafs in front of me to be repaired and even though I had a 10 am appointment, it might take half a day to be seen. When they gave me my car back they documented the 3rd bar and would not give me any info on the condition of the battery. They did not charge me for the visit, even though I was out of the 3 year warranty. My question, I know charging it hot and letting it sit 100% charged is not good for the battery, what about keeping it very low …..5 miles or so and not charging it and leaving it in the heat….will that degrade faster? My car was not opted out and my warranty is over 12-16-2017. So I assume I will hit my 4th bar by then. My issue right now is that it charges to about 60-70 miles but drops a lot of mileage very fast, 1 mile trips lose 5 miles even when driving slow with no climate control on Eco mode.

Thanks
Larry S.
Henderson NV

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Ernie Hernandez August 2, 2016 at 10:14 pm

Larry – Welcome to Living LEAF. To my knowledge, it is only when fully charged and left to sit in a hot climate that battery degradation is accelerated. Degradation, I do not believe, will not be accelerated leaving it with a moderate to low charge. My 2012 has 3 bars down but I have not yet run a LEAF Spy analysis, so I don’t really know its exact status. I plan on doing this soon. For the latest on the best lithium ion battery management practices check out batteryuniversity.com.

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Kent January 2, 2016 at 9:17 am

I leased a 2015 Leaf in mid February so I’m coming up on 11 months. As of this morning I have the same number of GIDs (292) as the day I picked it up. The car has over 16k miles on it.

Because I have access to a 110v outlet at work I typically charge the battery to about 65% at home (240v 15amp) and arrive at work with about 25% GID showing on the dash. I typically leave work with about 75% GID.

If the weather is 95F or higher I take my motorcycle and leave the Leaf at home resting somewhere around the 50% SOC marker.

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Ernie Hernandez January 2, 2016 at 5:29 pm

Kent – Welcome to Living LEAF. Thanks for you contribution to the discussion.

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Doug Cheever January 26, 2016 at 7:50 pm

Purchased a 2012 Leaf this December with 31,000 miles and 11 bars. The car probably came from New Jersey.

This car is run in town up and down the steep hills we have here along the Mississippi. Charging to 100% gives about 35 to 40 miles range in 30 degree weather. The display indicates the miles per kw-hr are around 2.5. Doing the division for several different runs indicates the battery is supplying about 16 kw-hr total.

Measuring the total kw-hr input for the 110v charging station gives 19 kw-hrs for a full charge. If 80% charging efficiency is typical at 110 v, the battery capacity again appears to be around 16 kw-hr.

Any idea as to why these calculations and the values displayed are discrepant?

Nissan could confirm that service had not been performed for the charger programming revision released as a campaign several years ago. The local dealer will make that update soon.

Thanks for being a valuable resource. Based on your advice, my plan to purchase a 220 v charging station is now on hold.

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Ernie Hernandez January 31, 2016 at 12:48 pm

Doug – Welcome to Living LEAF. After reviewing your numbers, I’m not sure where you think there is a discrepancy. 2.5 times 16 is 40, which is what the display is showing. Low temperatures reduce the range of the LEAF, or any other vehicle using a lithium ion battery. Look for the range to improve as the weather warms up offering more kWs available.

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Becca Bussert January 29, 2016 at 9:55 am

Hi there. I’m jumping in the conversation with a question. Looking at buying a 2013 Leaf S for 8900, 23.2k miles. Looks like it just recently lost the first bar–dealer photos show 12 bars, and 8 miles later after my test drive, I took photo of dash, and it’s at 11 bars. I assume, from reading this thread that it’s been sitting fully charged, and it’s at approx 2 years, so those factors contribute to the battery loss. The Carfax for this vehicle only notes regular tire rotations/inspections.
I live in Atlanta, and drive all over for my freelance work, but my longest regular commutes are no more than 32 miles out. I occasionally have to sit in traffic, but I usually plan my work schedule to avoid it.
The other car option is also a 2013 Leaf S, 12 bars, 22.8k miles. $8800. The Carfax for this vehicle notes computer updates and A/C hose replacement. Also, the dealer sprayed a can of Raid in it (yuuuuuck!).
They seem like equivalent vehicles, and I’m thinking of going with the first car (11 bars, no bug spray).
What would you advise, and what advice do you have for a new owner? I’ll have to snake an extension cord at my ground level apartment, but there are plenty of charging stations near me, so I’m not too worried about staying charged (at 80%, it would seem).
Thanks for making this forum!

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Ernie Hernandez January 31, 2016 at 12:40 pm

Becca – welcome to Living LEAF. Not being a fan of chemicals in cars, I would opt for the non-Raid LEAF! Your driving pattern is perfect for a LEAF, even a used one with one bar down. Atlanta has done a good job of implementing a charging network. When at home, Nissan recommends against using an extension cord. If you must, get the shortest cord with the heaviest gauge wire that will do the job. The smaller the number, the heavier the gauge. My only recommendation would be to consider a car with a quick charge port. In 2013 this was an option on the S, and it stepped the onboard charge up to 6.6 kW, which will cut your charge time in half on a 220-volt charge station. A quick view of the Autotrader in your area shows some with slightly higher mileage between $9-10K, some with all 12 bars. The small step up in price is worth it in my view. Then perhaps you could get by without having to charge at home, and just charge while you’re running around town. Good luck!

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Marc February 1, 2016 at 11:58 am

I just purchased a used 2012 Leaf SL from Carmax in December with 14K miles. I noticed I have a 11 bars. My real world range is about 40 miles all of it around town at speeds less than 50 mph. I live out side of Atlanta and this is with driving in ECO mode with no heat on. Any ideas what may be wrong or did I buy a Lemon. The car was originally from North Carolina.

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Ernie Hernandez February 1, 2016 at 9:33 pm

Marc – welcome to Living LEAF. In colder weather the range is reduced significantly. That may be a factor in your experience. When you say your real world range is 40 miles, does that mean that you only get 40 miles with zero bars left? Or does it mean that you can drive 40 miles before you feel that you need to recharge. I highly recommend some driving experiences where you take the LEAF down to one bar remaining if you haven’t already. You will find that you gain confidence when you have a better understanding of how many miles you can average per bar of battery charge – not capacity. You will always start with 12 bars with a 100 percent charge, no matter how many battery capacity bars are left. A conservative estimate is that you can generally drive about 5 miles per bar, except perhaps in very cold weather. Adjust that number based on your personal experience and ambient temperature and you may feel more comfortable with your cars range.

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Steve Deckert February 9, 2016 at 12:14 pm

We just bought a 2012 with AHr of 56.35 and SOH at 85%, which would indicate it’s close to losing the first bar. Car only has 10k miles and is from Seattle and has only 5 quick charges, so I’m guessing the degredation has to be time-related.

We’re having no trouble driving it around sub-zero temperatures of Minneapolis, though we don’t drive very far and thus have a second ICE car for longer trips. We’ve only driven the Buick once in the last two weeks though:)

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Ernie Hernandez February 9, 2016 at 2:30 pm

Steve – Welcome to Living LEAF. And thanks for your feedback on battery condition and your cold weather driving experience. Good luck!

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Michael February 23, 2016 at 4:05 pm

Lost 1st bar on my 2013 (bought on Dec. 2013) Nissan Leaf @14717 mile, 26 months. I have another Leaf which bought on Apr 2014 which has more miles and more charging / thermal exposure, but still has all 12 bars. Since both are bought close to each other and not in the summer, I think the battery should degrade similarly. Looking back in LeafSpyPro reading history, I wonder if my 2013 Nissan has defective battery when I bought it.

One thing I noticed is that Dec 2013 Nissan leaf starts with low GID / Ahr number when it was new. I live in Irvine, CA which is closer to the ocean, so we don’t see MANY hot days as in Texas/AZ. There is a discussion on MyNissanLeaf forum from another California orange county user about whether the low GID/Ahr number is a concern or not. He thought it is not since the range is similar to other higher GID/Ahr number, but now I am thinking it might indicates a bad battery which might degrade faster in time. Anyone has similar experience?

http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?t=15743

Disclaimer: My Dec 2013 Nissan Leaf is always in the garage during the night. I have foils on the inside of the garage door (product bought from Amazon just for Leaf) to reduce the heat inside. When outside temp is reaching 85F, I will drive the other gasoline car and leave the leaf in the garage with a fan blowing. I only commute about 10 miles each way, mainly surface street speed even on high way due to traffic. Rarely drive in the 65-75mh range. Also charge only every 2-3 days or so. Other Apr 2014 leaf is for my wife, and she parked her car outside always either at home or at work, and is driven daily no matter what is the outside temp with similar driving pattern except her commute is about 20 miles per day. Her car has normal GID/Ahr reading when new, and has not lost the first bar yet. If the Ahr reading is reliable, then does it mean my car lost almost 10% when I bought it new?

Note: I remember the Apr 2014 Leaf has about ~280, but forgot to write it down since it was inline with what I read from internet forums.

==== Dec 2013 Nissan Leaf
Date Odm bars Ahr SOH Hx GID SOC Charge
2/22/2014 2065 12 61.88 94% 95.37% 268 (95.4%) 97.1% 20.8kwh 4 QC, 79 L2
3.23/2014 3084 12 63.16 96% 97.08% 4 QC, 107 L2
7/18/2014 5770 12 60.19 92% 92.19% 261 92% 20.2hwh 4QC, 205L2
2/23/2016 14717 11 55.69 85% 82.66% 241(85.8%) 97.1% 18.7kwh 4QC 508L2

=== Apr 2014 Nissan Leaf
4/12/2014 230 12 66.78 100% 102.50% 3QC 11 L2
2/20/2016 23213 12 58.51 89% 88.77% 254(90.4%) 97.1% 19.7kwh 3QC 774 L2

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Ernie Hernandez February 24, 2016 at 7:54 am

Michael – welcome to Living LEAF. The one unknown here is how long the car sat on the lot with a 100 percent charge. I think that may have more of an impact than build quality of the battery as the manufacturing process is pretty consistent.

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Dale February 24, 2016 at 3:44 pm

I purchased my leaf new in March 2013. Currently I have just under 29K miles and I am in the process of loosing my first capacity bar. I charge the car off-peak to 80% during the night, top it off when I get up and usually leave prior to it completing the 100% charge. Starting yesterday 2/23/2016, I noticed the first bar loss but after driving for 10 min. or so, the bar 12th bar returns. It stays on during the day and on my commute home. Then it was off again this morning until after I drove for awhile, then it returns. My assumption is this just due to the battery being on the threshold of loosing the referenced 15% of capacity and soon will remain off. My question is, is this common and what have people experienced in the rate of continued decay of battery capacity? I’m wondering if in a year or two I may have issues with my commute due to further capacity loss.

As I stated, I charge to 80% at night using the timer function. Then if I feel the need, I remote start the charger again in the morning prior to leaving to top off the battery. I very seldom allow the batter to reach a full 100% and it is still charging when I disconnect and start my trip.

Thanks in advance for any information.

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Ernie Hernandez March 1, 2016 at 11:34 am

Dale – Welcome to Living LEAF. It sounds like you are optimizing your battery charge schedule for good battery life. Also, since you are approaching three years prior to losing your first battery bar it is unlikely that you are in a hot environment – ie: Arizona. I don’t know how long your commute is, or the type of speeds during your commute, so it’s hard to say if your battery degradation will impact your commute. A useful tool to have is the plugshare.com app on your phone, or just go to plugshare.com. You can find the location of available charging stations, some of which may be located near where you work. This would allow you to charge once you get to work if needed, or perhaps on your lunch break if you don’t need a significant charge. I hope that helps.

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Dale March 4, 2016 at 11:28 am

Ernie,
I apologize for not giving you my location in my first message, I live in the Sacramento area. I was hoping to get some information on the rate of degradation after the first bar occurs. Should I expect a similar decay rate or does it start to occur at faster rate? Just wondering what people have experienced.

Thanks for your response and information,
Dael

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Ernie Hernandez March 8, 2016 at 12:43 pm

Hi Dale,

Everyone’s experience varies based on a number of conditions. As it gets hot during the summer you may see the loss of the second battery bar. It will certainly not be another three years before your next bar loss. If you are finding that you need a 100 percent charge now to complete your commute, it is only a matter of time before the continued degradation will impact it. Again, you might consider charging mid-day if possible.

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MeOhMy March 2, 2016 at 5:31 pm

Allowing the battery to reach 100% in of by itself is not a bad thing… Letting it sit for DAYS or letting it sit in very hot weather is.

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Ernie Hernandez March 3, 2016 at 8:40 pm

MeOhMy – Welcome to Living LEAF. You are absolutely correct. Thanks for that contribution.

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Ced March 11, 2016 at 10:24 pm

Very interesting info.
Wandering if buying a second hand 2012 o 2013 Nissan Leaf for short commute (40-45miles a day) is a smart move. I live in Southern Baja Mexico (temperature during summer months typically around 100/105). I have 240v at home and work but I do not want to living with range fear 😉
Will appreciate your thoughts!

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Ernie Hernandez March 12, 2016 at 11:29 am

Ced – Welcome to Living LEAF. The situation that you describe is one that many find themselves in. The price of a used LEAF is attractive, and the range of your commute could be easily performed by a second hand EV. The items that you need to consider are these: how many bars of battery degradation has the car you are considering already experienced? Also, does the possibility of charging exist at or near your workplace? You would want to buy a LEAF that has lost no more than two of twelve bars of battery capacity. The second question posed is to deal with the possibility that at some point in the future your LEAF may provide adequate power to get you to work, but not get you home. If you own this car for a few years, that is a very real possibility. You may have some service like plugshare.com available to you where you can locate EV charging stations in Baja. Good luck!

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Eileen March 17, 2016 at 2:53 pm

I received a letter in the mail yesterday regarding the “additional benefit under warranty” of my 2011 LEAF. Evidently, the amended settlement removes Nissan’s option to repair, instead of replace, the battery. If your 2011 and/or 2012 LEAF experiences capacity loss BELOW nine bars within 60,000 miles or 60 months, whichever occurs first, you are to bring your car to an authorized dealership who will supposedly replace the vehicle battery with the newly developed battery currently being used in the 2015 model year LEAF. So, I have a little over 33,000 miles on my car. I am the original owner f the vehicle purchased in July 2011. I will obviously reach the “60 month” threshold by this July (2016). I called the dealership where I purchased my vehicle yesterday to discuss the settlement letter received. Neither the business office or the service department manager were familiar with the settlement terms. I emailed a copy of the letter. The service manager advised me to come in today to have the car go through approximately an hour of testing to determine if there was an issue with the battery. When I arrived to my appointment, the same service manager went out to my car, turned on my vehicle and said, “Oh, you’re at 9 bars so there’s nothing I can do to help you until the capacity drops one more bar, IF that happens by July 2016. Otherwise, the replacement battery cost is approximately $6000. If you recall, the settlement terms require the bars to be BELOW 9. However, the service manager had said yesterday over the phone that he would need to do this hour long “test” when I got there to determine actual capacity…. yet he determined there would be no need based solely on his looking at the bars. Needless to say I was quite frustrated and felt like something crooked was afoot. When I got home, I decided to do alittle web surfing and have read some allegations that the technicians can successfully raise these bar readings on LEAF vehicles when you bring your vehicle in for “other” services. I suspect it’s possible that they might possibly be doing this in order to avoid the bars dropping below 9 within the 5 year warranty and them having to absorb the cost for the 2015 battery and installation. I only have 5 more months until I’m out of warranty. Does anyone in this group have a recommendation for me as far as where I should go and what I should do from here?? Thanks in advance…

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Ernie Hernandez March 20, 2016 at 4:25 pm

Eileen, welcome to Living LEAF. Nissan has already replaced batteries under the terms of the warranty, so I don’t know that I believe the rumors of dealers manipulating the bars. Why would the dealer want to not get paid by Nissan for doing warranty work? The dealers are franchised by Nissan, they are not Nissan. They would probably prefer that your battery be bad so they get paid to replace it. In any case, the service manager was right. The battery capacity specifically states that you must lost the fourth battery capacity bar within 60 months or 60,000 miles from the original sale date. I’m unsure of what battery test he was talking about. The determination regarding the warranty is the battery capacity bars on the dash. Good luck.

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Martin Bates March 18, 2016 at 7:59 am

Greetings, this has been a great read. We just purchased a used 2011, with 9 bars capacity showing, the car has just over 20,000 miles. My wife’s commute is 22 miles one way at the farthest. I’m curious about the charging to 100 % and not driving it…. We charge it to 100% each night but there will be days here and there where we don’t drive it, and a period later this summer where it will sit in the garage for nearly 2 months. Any advice on this storage period is appreciated. Also, I wonder at what point one would consider getting a new battery pack, provided they are happy with everything else about the car.

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Martin Bates March 18, 2016 at 8:02 am

By the way, all we have at this point is the trickle charger. I’m debating whether to install a Level 2 (240 volt) charger.

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Ernie Hernandez March 20, 2016 at 4:35 pm

Martin – Welcome to Living LEAF. Assuming that the car has been maintained and the annual battery tests were done by the original owner, the battery should qualify for a warranty replacement if it loses the fourth capacity bar within 60 months or 60,000 miles of the original sales date. The dealer can tell you when that was. Regarding your storage period, I haven’t left a LEAF unattended for two months, so I’m unsure how much battery drain will occur while sitting for that period of time. I would suggest leaving it with an 80 percent charge if you can’t charge it remotely via NissanConnect EV – Formerly CarWings. If you have NissanConnect EV enabled, you might try it prior to your departure to make sure that it works to effect a remote charge. If you don’t have an account, it can be set up at Nissanusa.com > Owners > LEAF Owner’s Portal. Finally, you can just set the charge timer to charge once each week to 80 percent. I hope that helps.

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Pankaj Rastogi March 20, 2016 at 1:49 pm

My leaf is a 2011 with 47,637 Miles. We have had it now for about 5 years and ride it 45 miles a day. We live in Southern California with overall yearly average temperatures in the low 70s (Summers are hot in the 80s & 90s Degree F). We have lost 4 bars on the extreme right. That would equate to 60% battery degradation. I have contacted our local Nissan dealer where we purchased the car to see if they will replace the battery. They are planning to conduct a battery test to evaluate if they will be able to replace the battery free of charge. The most I can charge the battery is about 55 miles and I cannot go over 6 bars plus the 2 red cars on the extreme right of the display. We also bought extended battery warranty (96 Months / 100K miles) when we purchased the car. I would appreciate any comments or advice. Thank you in advance.

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Ernie Hernandez March 20, 2016 at 4:15 pm

Pankaj – Welcome to Living LEAF. Your LEAF has a five year, 60,000 mile battery capacity warranty. When you lost the fourth capacity bar (on the far right) this qualified you for the battery replacement under the terms of the warranty as long as you have maintained the vehicle and taken it in for the annual battery checks. There was no extended battery warranty offered, although an extended warranty for the rest of the vehicle was available when purchased from Nissan. I suggest that you look at the paperwork that you were supplied with the extended warranty.

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Eric March 22, 2016 at 6:10 pm

2012 leaf sl. I bought it used 4months ago with 9,800 miles on it. Now it lost its first bar. Soh is 84 percent. Hx went from 70.7 to 69.6 as per leaf spy. I can drive around 60 plus miles with a charge. I charge to 100 percent and I drive less than 15 miles per day most days. Sometimes I drive more. Can I expect this rate of degradation to continue? Is this normal? As long as I can get more than 45 miles per day I will be alright. I am a little concerned. Are 3rd party less expensive batteries coming to market any time soon?

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Ernie Hernandez March 25, 2016 at 12:32 pm

Eric – Welcome to Living LEAF. Your degradation is not abnormal. What is bad for any lithium ion battery is to charge it to 100 percent and then not use it. This applies to your laptop and cell phones too. Unless you know you are going to need additional range the next day, after a typical 15 mile day there is no need to charge it and you will prolong the battery life some. With what you’ve described, I would expect that you can get 45 miles per day out of your car for some years to come.

There are currently no third party batteries available, and I don’t expect we’ll see them anytime soon. The construction and development cost is immense, and those that make them are supplying OEMs with all of their capacity.

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Eric March 22, 2016 at 6:12 pm

How bad is it to plug it in right when I get home? Is level one or level two best? I only have quick charged twice. Is it alright to quick charge?

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Ernie Hernandez March 25, 2016 at 12:35 pm

It is best to let the battery cool before charging. I suggest using the end timer on your car so it is charged closer to when you need it. The car will start charging based on its state. Quick charging is not a problem, and will not degrade the battery faster unless performed multiple times per day on an ongoing basis. Good luck.

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Michael Cheng March 28, 2016 at 1:06 am

Just bought a used 2014 Nissan Leaf S with 26 K miles on it and a full 12 bars. My commute is about 62 miles round trip in So Cal (South Bay to Orange). Given it has already been driven 26 K miles, should I be right to be concerned that I’m just around the corner from losing a baR? From what I’ve read, this would equate to about a 20 percent drop in range, which would make the range around 66 miles on a full charge. That is cutting it quite close! Are these concerns valid or am I overestimating the impact of losing a bar as well as how soon I can expect to lose one? Anyone with experience with the 2014 models? Thanks!

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Ernie Hernandez March 28, 2016 at 3:19 pm

Michael – Welcome to Living LEAF. It seems like time is as much of a factor in degradation as mileage is, so the age of your car is also important. Slowing your driving speed will also give you a little more range. Also, keep in mind that there are three fast chargers nearby – Stadium Nissan, the transit center, and the outlets at Orange. Check plugshare.com for others. If you don’t have a fast charger, perhaps you’ll eventually need to charge at or near work, but that probably won’t be for awhile. Good luck.

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Cheryl April 13, 2016 at 5:26 pm

I have a 2012 Leaf with 10,000 miles. Most of my driving is city driving around Chicago. While I haven’t lost any bars yet, I have noticed that once the charge gets below 50%, it drops pretty quickly. I can go 35 miles or so on the first 1/2 of a charge, and then maybe 15 on the second half. Is this common? Or any idea what may cause this to happen?

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Ernie Hernandez April 17, 2016 at 9:02 pm

Cheryl – Welcome to Living LEAF. In my experience, the rate is relatively linear throughout the driving range. I generally get roughly five miles per bar whether at a full charge or past the half-way point. Is this behavior new, or has it been consistent since you bought your car? You might take it into your service department and have them run the annual battery check if you haven’t done that yet.

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Pete April 14, 2016 at 1:47 am

4/13/2016 2011 Leaf 29k miles, purchased July 2011 and will be taking car into the dealer tomorrow. Battery reading (1st # is the long bars & 2nd #’s are the ones further to the right). Following is a run down on 3 days. On 11th 12/8bars later 5/8bars. On 12th 12/8bars later 11/8bars, later in evening 11/8bars. On 13th 823am 10/6bars, afternoon 8/8bars, 450pm 7/8bars, 5p 6/8bars & 519pm 5/8bars. I also received that Settlement Letter. I will followup on the outcome. I guess Nissan will be checking out the battery. Info: I’m here in Hawaii

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Ernie Hernandez April 17, 2016 at 9:05 pm

Pete – Welcome to Living LEAF. I’m not sure that I totally understand your situation. If you are down to 8 bars, you should be entitled to a new battery unless you opted out of the settlement. Based on your description, it appears that you would qualify.

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tom k April 24, 2016 at 7:19 am

Hi just picked up CPO leaf, they have 0%finance for 60 mo on cpo leafs… anyway trying to figure out battery. Can I get an opinion, I see lots of experience in this thread… Thanks

on leaf I show 11/12 bars — 68miles range in drive 75 miles in Eco

the iphone app for Carwings/connect EV shows 12/12 bars 59 miles range with fan indicator on 68 with it off

the internet PC page for connect EV says 100% charged 12/12 bars 59 range fan on 68.5 fan off

leafspy

90.1% SOC
16.4 kwh
47.62 ah
0 wh
69.4 degree F
212 GIDs 75.4%

bat sts = 52.85 SOH= 80% Hx= 63.44% 392.5V 0.0A
my vin odo=36535 2QCs & 1653 L1/L2s

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Ernie Hernandez April 24, 2016 at 12:51 pm

tom – Welcome to Living LEAF. I’m not really sure what kind of opinion you’re looking for. The range displayed on the Distance til Empty gauge is based on your driving style and terrain, so it will vary for everyone. I don’t have a leafspy, so I don’t know how your numbers compare to the numbers of anyone else. Perhaps someone else can weigh in on that. I just bought a pre-owned 2012 with about 34,000 miles on it. It has nine bars, and fully charged the most I’ve seen on the range display is 69 miles in ECO mode. Hope that helps.

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tom k April 24, 2016 at 3:27 pm

Hi Ernie, thanks for the response, it is helpful, just trying to figure out if the battery life/range pretty much anything I can. Maybe opinion was wrong term, insight might have be a better word. I’ll keep reading and see what I can find out. With a CPO car only a few days in my ownership I’m new to Leafs.

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Don April 25, 2016 at 12:09 pm

Put solar on my house last fall. Currently kicking out 25kwh/day and so I’m ready for an electric car. I have a short commute (15 miles roundtrip) — I was hoping to buy one of the used Leafs — 2011 or 2012 because the price is so favorable. Going on my need of say 25 miles a day (with errands) do you think I’ll be okay for another 10 years on the original 2011 battery? Thanks so much for this site. Gasoline free forever. Very helpful!

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Ernie Hernandez April 25, 2016 at 1:13 pm

Hi Don – Welcome to Living LEAF. Great question! With your solar generation, you absolutely have enough to cover your driving needs easily with plenty left over for the house. Your second question is not as easy to answer because those original battery packs haven’t been around that long. No one knows what the long-term life and performance of these packs will offer. Here is a link to Battery University that talks about what causes lithium ion batteries to die. Particularly, you want to read the summary. In a nutshell, high temperature and high voltage. So don’t leave your car charged at full charge when it’s hot out.

Nissan improved the battery chemistry for the 2013 model year. My recommendation would be to limit your search to a 2013 model or newer. I’ve found Autotrader.com to be a great source of a broad selection of used LEAFs. Make sure you only look at vehicles that offer a free CarFax report so you can see the service history. Good luck!

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Don May 17, 2016 at 6:32 pm

Hi Ernie,
Can’t thank you enough for your time and advice. Just got back from buying a 2014 Leaf S — 23,000 miles, 12 bars, all car fax reports checked out — $10,700 from a guy who has many 2014/2013 Leafs in Anaheim, CA. I almost bought a 2013 for 8700 — but it had 10 bars — so I went a bit beyond my budget. Drives great. Excited not to use gasoline…
Thanks again, Don

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Finn April 25, 2016 at 9:59 pm

Just bought a used 2013 SL with 30K still have 12 bars. My commute is 40 miles each way. I generally get 60+ miles on 80% charge. Pretty conservative driver, mostly country roads with option for highway or side street for commute.

Charge near work and trickle each night. Question is it better to charge right when I get to work or at lunch and drive straight home? I charge usually 80% but occasionally to 100% if running errand afterwards. I’m pretty good at moving car once finished charging. Also what constitutes leaving car at 100%? I’ll move car when fully charged but sometimes it’s just a quick trip then back to office for few hrs.

Thanks

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Ernie Hernandez May 2, 2016 at 10:48 am

Finn – Welcome to Living LEAF. The majority view seems to be to not charge a warm battery, so you would be better to charge at lunch time rather than upon arriving at work, giving the battery time to cool from the morning commute. Also, for those days that you charge to 100 percent, you don’t want to leave it sitting fully charged for any longer than necessary, so starting your charge at lunch seems the best option all around.

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John May 1, 2016 at 6:30 pm

In the 40,000 miles I have driven my 2013 LEAF I’ve noticed a few interesting phenomenon while watching the raw data from LEAFspy over the past 3 years. I should note I am in the Chicagoland area and am still at 60.67 AHr with 20.3 kWh of usable energy at 100% (which is actually 97.1%). This suggests – based on an often reported 21 kWh of usable energy when new – a loss of less than 5% in capacity. Really, these numbers haven’t changed a whole lot since it was brand new. The AHr and corresponding usable energy dip with warmer weather and constant charging to 80%. It seems to love being charged to 100% – which is inverse to the suggested degradation information we’ve all been fed. This is witnessed by a steady improvement in the AHr and usable stored energy. In addition this vehicle displays a very noticeable appreciation for being Quick Charged evidenced by a climb in numbers. Again, this is inverse to what we’ve all been told. The numbers are at their lowest when it is charged to 80% regularly and/or do not drive it as often. This car likes to have its battery exercised.

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Ernie Hernandez May 2, 2016 at 10:43 am

John – Welcome to Living LEAF. And thank you very much for this extremely useful bit of information regarding your personal use of a 2013 LEAF over several years with a significant accumulation of mileage during that time. As we all know by now, Nissan changed the battery chemistry for the 2013 model year and based on your experience in your part of the country, it seems to be providing excellent service.

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Jake in da torres May 2, 2016 at 3:25 pm

I am going to have a 160 mi round trip in the next couple of months. I am a novice in anything EV. I live in the SF bay are and I need to get a good commute car. I know this is a LEAF forum, but would the new SV model be my best bet? My commute will be from Sonoma County to San Mateo County. I have a charging station at work too.

Thanks!

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Ernie Hernandez May 2, 2016 at 5:41 pm

Jake – Welcome to Living LEAF. If your commute is 160 miles round trip the LEAF is probably not for you. At least not in its current iteration. Even with the ability to charge at work, there are significant terrain and commute speed challenges that you will face. If you bought a new SV you might be able to make the commute for awhile, charging at work and at home. With climate variables, terrain, and commute speed – along with battery degradation – impacting your commute, you would eventually need to charge in both directions as well. A better bet would be to get a high fuel economy commuter to get you by for now and keep an eye out for the second generation LEAF in a year or two.

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Shawn Birch May 14, 2016 at 8:35 pm

Hi folks, deeply disappointed with Nissan’s commitment to customers who own the first gen LEAF. My LEAF has 27, 000 miles on it and gets just under 30 miles per charge. (Despite reading 62-65 at full capacity. The car is presently at 9 bars and there’s a little over a month left on the warranty. The car is now a glorified golf-cart that cannot go on the highway and has never been able to drive and have climate control without HUGE battery suckage. I contacted Nissan a year ago while it was 10 bars and getting 40m/charge. Now, I’m 1 month off from being out of warranty and Nissan is happy to listen, but does nothing to help. If the battery goes to 8 bars in the next six weeks I have to report to a dealership and I’m assured they’ll replace the battery array. If not…I’m told I’m going to be out $6,500 to replace the battery. This is brutal. For the past year, the car has been useless for anything longer than 15 miles each way. And maybe it would be better if the infrastructure for charging stations was a little more grown out. I live in Los Angeles and while I love my LEAF…I think Nissan has been woeful in their response to my concerns. The most mileage I’ve ever clocked on my LEAF was a round-trip of 52 miles. It has only been driven in ECO and while I wish I could use the A/C…I fear not being able to get home. If anyone has any ideas on how to get Nissan America a little more motivated to help a loyal customer, I’d love to hear from you.

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Ernie Hernandez May 15, 2016 at 9:54 pm

Shawn, Welcome to Living LEAF. I recently purchased a 2012 LEAF with about 34,000 miles and nine bars remaining and easily get 50 miles plus on a full charge in the San Diego area. Driving style, terrain and vehicle load have a lot to do with the range that you get, but this is also true of a gasoline or diesel powered car. The greater Los Angeles area has one of the best charging infrastructures in the nation. While not yet to the same extent as gas stations, a check of the plugshare.com website will give you an overview of where you can find charge stations (both Level 2 and fast charge) near you. The battery capacity warranty has been unchanged since it’s been announced, with the exception of the new 30 kWh battery including an 8 year, 100,000 mile capacity warranty. If you find that your fourth bar drops off shortly after the end of your warranty Nissan may honor it, but if it doesn’t happen soon I don’t know that you will have any recourse with them. Best of luck.

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Matt Conrad May 17, 2016 at 4:59 am

2013 SL

Just lost first capacity bar at 16,677 miles. Still perfectly fine for my 43 mile daily round trip.

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Ernie Hernandez May 17, 2016 at 6:59 am

Matt – Welcome to Living LEAF. Glad to hear your LEAF is still working out for you.

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George M May 18, 2016 at 9:53 pm

I picked up a used CPO 2012 Leaf with 48k miles on it. I bought Leafspy and a ODb2 wifi. After a full level 2 charge, I have:

AHr = 47.87
SOH 72%
393.33V
Hx 52.42%
SOC: 87.3%
185 GID

Shouldn’t my SOC be at 100% after I fully charged the car?
Also, I have only lost 2 bars. I thought that I would lose the 3rd bar at 72.5% SOH, right? Or are the bars based off another statistic?

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Ernie Hernandez May 20, 2016 at 2:01 pm

Hi George – Welcome to Living LEAF. I personally have no familiarity with the LEAFspy app. I’m thinking of picking it up just to get familiar with it. My recommendation would be to ask your question of the apps developer and see what he says.

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Nam June 15, 2016 at 6:52 pm

LeafSpy is interesting for about a day. Doesn’t cost that much. I use it to pump up the tires because it gives near real time air pressure readings. Shows all kinds of stats that I don’t know anything about.

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Nam June 15, 2016 at 6:49 pm

Yes, SOC should be higher. Are you sure the car is set to charge to 100%?

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Richard N May 21, 2016 at 7:25 pm

I leased a new 2012 LEAF in the Seattle area in 12/12. Now have 25,000 miles on it. It just lost the first bar after 3.5 years. My residual lease value is $16,900 if I want to buy the car now. I received an email from a local dealer saying Nissan will allow me to buy the car out of lease with a $10,500 discount in the residual value. They gave me an “Out the Door” price of $6900 including all processing and licensing fees. They even said they would finance at 2.5%. That makes the loan payment less than my lease payment scheduled for the last six months of my lease by about $25. A look at the used LEAF market made me realize why Nissan does this. Seem like I am buying my own car at slightly less than the used car value of it. What is a LEAF with a spent battery (3 to 4 bar loss) worth in today’s USA market? Marketing ads don’t discuss bar loss.

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Ernie Hernandez May 22, 2016 at 1:33 pm

Richard – Welcome to Living LEAF. Nissan has become increasingly more aggressive in their incentivizing lessees to purchase their vehicles off lease. The reason is simple – Nissan does not want all of these LEAF lease returns flooding the market (more than they already have) and depressing used vehicle prices (even more). The answer to your last question is simple – whatever the market dictates. Currently you can find 272 used 2012 LEAFs nationwide (via autotrader.com) with various states of battery degradation, mileage, etc for anywhere from roughly $6,500 to $16,000. Assuming these cars generally sell for something less than asking price, you now have some idea of the market.

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Emile Evans June 3, 2016 at 12:14 am

Purchased a new leaf in Jan 2014, living in Ireland.
29 months later and 20,000 miles; all 12 bars still remaining.

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Ernie Hernandez June 3, 2016 at 9:04 am

Emile – Welcome to Living LEAF. And thanks for your contribution to the discussion!

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Pierre Gervais June 11, 2016 at 5:27 pm

Purchased a used 2012 SL a year ago. 20 000 miles.
Coming from Washington DC area. Now in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada
Now 40 000 miles.
One bar gone but a Leaf Spy test gives an actual capacity of about 80%.
A second bar will probably go in the next coming months.
Charging most of the time at 100% because I need 50 to 60 miles of range.
I am surprised to see some major degradation on 2013 models (up to 3 lost in California Leafs for sale) which should have so called better chemistry.
Hope my english is understandable because I am French Speaking
Still enjoy my car but the better we understand what it still does, price go accordingly.
I could replace my car for one with less degradation and sell it for more “local” commuting when full range will become “too short”.

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Ernie Hernandez June 13, 2016 at 7:43 pm

Pierre – Welcome to Living LEAF. Your English is fine… I don’t think anyone will have any trouble understanding your contribution. As time goes by, EV users (from any make) will be able to look at a broad array of reduced price EVs with partially depleted batteries and say “For this price, and for the way I plan to use it, this used EV will be perfect for my needs.” Just like most drivers today have a range of new and used vehicles available to them. Not everyone is interested in owning the latest, greatest, and newest. Thanks again.

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diego June 14, 2016 at 3:28 am

My wife and I purchased a 2012 brand new. We live in vegas so our summer is very hot and as other early adopters we stated losing bars very fast. We are kinda close to our 5year or 60000 miles warranty. Once we lose another bar our car will become useless, very disappointed, worse customer service ever! never buying a Nissan product ever again. Has anyone have your battery replaced under warranty? any comments appreciated.

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Ernie Hernandez June 14, 2016 at 7:23 am

Diego – Welcome to Living LEAF. As we’ve learned, 2011 and 2012 LEAFs were worse in hot climates. The 2013 recieved improved battery chemistry. If you lose your fourth bar by the 60,000 mile mark within five years you just need to take it in to your dealership for the warranty repair. Good luck.

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Nam June 15, 2016 at 6:49 pm

So far so good. No hassles. They checked it and ordered a new battery today.

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Nam June 15, 2016 at 6:48 pm

I bought a 2011 Leaf new. Just lost the 4th bar last week and took it to the dealer today. They have ordered the battery which should arrive in 8 weeks and will replace it. They said the new battery is better. WooHoo!

From LeafSpy:

AHr = 43.29
SOH 65%
390.42V
Hx 44.89%
SOC: 90.5%
176 GID

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Ernie Hernandez June 15, 2016 at 7:47 pm

Nam – Welcome to Living LEAF. If you don’t mind sharing, when in 2011 did you buy your car, and how many miles did you have on it when the fourth bar dropped? This will help others that may either own a 2011 or are considering purchasing a used one. Thanks.

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David July 9, 2016 at 7:10 pm

I bought my 2014 used Leaf in June. The carfax report stated it had one owner, a lease in Georgia, sold at an auction, brought to Dallas, Texas, with 15,600 miles.
Still has all 12 bars.

LeafSpy:
AHr = 59.81
SOH 91%
395.92V
Hx 91.44%
odo=16,721 mi
SOC: 97.3%, 20.2 kWh (100% charged)
261 GIDs 92.9% – 91 degrees F.
11 QC (9 of them done last month on my trip to pick up the car and bring it home)
680 L1/L2s

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Ernie Hernandez July 10, 2016 at 9:38 am

David – Welcome to Living LEAF. And thanks for your contribution. How did the drive go from Georgia back home?

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David August 12, 2017 at 3:57 pm

Oh, sorry. I never answered your question. It was a Dallas, Tx car dealership that bought it at auction in Georgia. I just picked it up from the Dallas dealership and drove it back home to Beaumont, Tx by way of Austin, Tx in June, 2016.

It was quite the adventure driving from Dallas to Austin to Beaumont.
I charged up at the south-most quick DC charger at a cracker barrell. Stopped at Waxahachie, Tx, which showed to have a charger at the outlet mall. Both chargers were non-functional and I only had 15 miles showing on the guess-o-meter. I called a local Dodge dealership, which didn’t sell EVs, and, due to the potential liability of it, they wouldn’t allow me to plug into a regular 120 v outlet for a little bit of charge. The outlet mall security guard saw me looking for an nearby outlet in the parking lot, and he was nice enough, but couldn’t get in touch with his supervisor to ask if it was okay to charge on their property. I had to call a tow-truck to give me a lift to the nearest Nissan dealership, which was free, as part of my remaining road hazard I had with the Leaf. They dropped me off at the Waco Nissan, which was closed when I got there, but I drove right next door to the Holiday Inn Express, who were kind enough to let me charge to give enough range to make it to the Temple Nissan with a quick DC charger, open 24 hours and free. Was able to make it the rest of the way to Austin that night, where I stayed at my daughter’s house and charged all night.

Started for Beaumont the next day. Charged one last fast DC charge on the outskirts of Austin, enough to make it to McDade, where a free level solar-powered level 2 charger. The next charger was in Hempstead, 77 miles away. I made it to Hempstead, but just short of the in-town trip to the charger. Ran out at a gas station just at the road I needed to turn on. The attendant was super nice and even routed my level 1 charger through a drive-thru window, so it would reach an outlet. I charged for 1.5 hours and made it to the level 2 charger a couple of miles away. Had dinner at a nearby mexican food restaurant while it charged.

Made it to north Houston, where I charged at a Nissan dealership level 2 charger, who were closed but allowed me to charge while the cleaning crew worked, before locking the gate for the night. I could have just made it to the quick DC charger and been fine, but I now know that – didn’t then. Made it to east Houston to the last quick DC charger. The battery had overheated, so had to wait for it to cool while I ate pancakes at a nearby Denny’s, then it charged just fine. Made it home just outside of Beaumont, at 2:30 AM. Ugh. What an experience!

Thanks,

David

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David August 12, 2017 at 3:36 pm

UPDATE: Just lost my first battery capacity bar today, August 12, 2017. It was 105 degrees today, in Southeast Texas. Same 2014 Leaf. Mileage: 26,639. 11 bars now.

LeafSpy:
AHr: 55.58
SOH 84%
395.62 V
Hx 82.41%
odo=26,638 mi
SOC: 96.2%, 18.4 kWh (100% charged)
238 GIDS 83.8% – 90.4 degrees F.
26 QC
1064 L1/L2s

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Eric July 12, 2016 at 10:08 am

Hi all, I have a question.
With battery degradation, will it take shorter time to charge the Leaf to the new “maximum” charge?
Or will it take another 8 hours to get to the full?

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Ernie Hernandez July 12, 2016 at 11:56 am

Hi Eric – Welcome to Living LEAF. That’s a good question, and one I haven’t heard before. Just guessing, I would say that it does not take as long to charge a fully discharged, partially degraded battery. The charge rate is the same as when new, it is just charging to a smaller capacity. I’ve never checked on the time it takes to charge my nine-bar LEAF, but it seems reasonable that it would take less time than to charge a full capacity new battery. Hope that helps.

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Eric July 12, 2016 at 2:02 pm

Thank you. BTW, sorry that I was off topic. My commute is less than 10 miles. So does it mean I could take it for many years till the battery has one or two bars left. And I could probably charge at work too.

Summer is over 100 here, so I will wait till fall to get my used leaf.

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Ernie Hernandez July 12, 2016 at 5:01 pm

My 2012 LEAF has nine bars and I can easily drive 50 miles or more. If you just need to travel a short distance you will be able to use a used LEAF for many years.

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Matthew Carlisle July 14, 2016 at 6:24 pm

I have a 2013 Leaf that lost it’s first bar of capacity today at 28500 miles. I charge once a day, overnight, where I typically charge it to 80% and set the timer to have the charging complete 45 minutes before I leave for work in the morning. I live in Pittsburgh where the weather is fairly temperate but summer does get some hot days. I’m hoping the next bar doesn’t disappear for a while!

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Ernie Hernandez July 15, 2016 at 7:15 am

Hi Matthew – Welcome to Living LEAF. It looks like you have good battery management practices so you are doing what you can to optimize the battery life. We have seeing differing outcomes with varying situations. If you haven’t looked through all of the comments here, they will help to provide some additional info for you.

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Josh July 18, 2016 at 9:06 am

Hi Earnie, thank you very much for moderating the comments here! I have been looking at a used 2013 Nissan Leaf SV with 30k for the past few weeks and I’m pretty hesitant based on some of the longevity comments I’ve seen here. My round-trip commute is 40 miles (38 freeway, 2 miles on street). I drive ~70mph on freeway and wouldn’t say I have a lead foot by any means. The particular car I am looking at has 12 bars (but without using LEAF SPY I couldn’t confirm if that is near 100% or near 85%) so assuming it is just about to lose its first bar, I am worried that within 4-5 years I will not be able to comfortably make my commute especially considering I drive ~15k miles per year. Unfortunately i cannot charge from work. Any thoughts?

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Ernie Hernandez July 19, 2016 at 7:24 am

Hi Josh – Welcome to Living LEAF. You’re right, there are some great values out there on pre-owned LEAFs, and your question is a common one. I bought a 2012 with three bars down. I just put 42 miles on it in similar conditions that you describe (primarily freeway, short city streets) but in one direction I went 65 mph and coming back I went 60. We hit the low battery warning a couple miles from home, but still had one bar left on arrival. You actually have several alternatives. I know you said you can’t charge at work, but look around for some 120 volt outlets in your parking area. If you find a suitable one, ask your employer if you can use it. Explain how little energy it uses and other advantages. This may not be possible though. Second option – buy a LEAF with a quick charge port. It will just take a few minutes to give you any needed additional range. Third option – take lunch out every day (or bring a lunch) and plug in at a 220-volt charge station during your lunch break. Fourth option – drive your LEAF until it won’t make your commute, and replace it with a longer range pre-owned 2016 in 5 years. Keep in mind you have several years before any of these options will be required. Driving electric has really changed our thinking and I truly see huge changes with the upcoming 200-mile cars coming out in the next couple of years. Good luck!

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WyrTwister July 30, 2016 at 4:05 pm

I read heat is the enemy of the 24 kwh battery .

God bless
Wyr

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Ernie Hernandez July 30, 2016 at 4:08 pm

Wyr – Welcome to Living LEAF. Only half right. Heat is the enemy of any battery.

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Kramy August 3, 2016 at 3:22 pm

Hey, I’m a computer tech. We typically mod stuff to make it run better, faster, and more reliable.

Question – has anyone modded their leaf battery compartment? I have read that they are sealed? If these things overheat and degrade (unlike water cooled Tesla batteries), then why not flood the battery compartment with a cooling solution like non capacitive mineral oil?

It wrecks havoc on certain rubbers and seals, but not all. Has anyone tested such a thing?
https://www.pugetsystems.com/submerged.php

-Kramy

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Ernie Hernandez August 6, 2016 at 4:32 pm

Kramy – Welcome to Living LEAF. I know of no one that has tried anything similar. It would add significant weight, have unknown seal interactions as you mentioned, and provide untested results. Sounds like a science experiment that someone with significant funds and a curious mind might take on.

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Brad August 4, 2016 at 9:49 am

Bought my 2014 Nissan Leaf new in July 2014. Today, August 4th had my first bar degrade. We went on a vacation for two weeks which left the car idle. When I got back I noticed a pretty significant drop in efficiency – everything seemed to be taking more battery but there was no change in the capacity… until today.

How does Nissan’s battery replacement warranty work? How much does it need to lose in how much time to get a new one so I know what to watch for?

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Ernie Hernandez August 6, 2016 at 4:28 pm

Brad – Welcome to Living LEAF. Just letting the car sit for a couple weeks shouldn’t have been a problem, unless you left it with a 100 percent charge. Even then, I wouldn’t think that the effect would be hugely noticeable. Nissan’s capacity warranty kicks when if you lose four bars within 5 years or 60,000 miles.

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John L August 6, 2016 at 4:41 am

I’m new to the Leaf community having just bought a 2011 Leaf SV with 38K miles. I’m waiting for the upgrade so that Leaf Spy will work again, but the battery shows 10 bars and a range of 67 miles after an 80% charge. The previous owner stated that he was religious about using the timer for 80% charges and almost never charged to 100%. My actual experience (two days in Massachusetts in summer) is that I’m getting 62 a 68 miles if I observe the speed limit and don’t use AC. Since neither of us has a commute (work from home most days) a range of more than 40 miles or so will cover us 90% of the time so this car is fine for us. And, the kids love love it! Seems that buying one used is a great bargain assuming that the battery holds up. If not it looks like the total cost of ownership will approach that of driving a new ICE car assuming that the new $6K battery lasts 40,000 miles and nothing else goes wrong. Thanks for the website – it has been a great resource as we considered buying a used leaf.

Now, does anyone know how to get rid of old cigarette odor without simply masking the odor with other fragrance?

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Ernie Hernandez August 6, 2016 at 4:25 pm

John – Welcome to Living LEAF. Glad to hear that the car is working out for you. I agree that a used LEAF can be a tremendous value, and work really well for someone that operates primarily within its capability parameters. Also, thank you for the kind words!

Regarding odor removal, not really sure if there’s a good way to accomplish this. When I picked up my second LEAF the salesman had just finished smoking a cigarette and the smell clung to his clothes, which were now in my new car. Not the best presentation. Just remember that Google is your friend, and you may find a solution.

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Joshua August 7, 2016 at 11:14 am

This was a great read, article and comments. I’m in the market for a used leaf and came a used 2012 SL with 50k miles and still showing 12 capacity bars and on the test drive a range of ~90 miles on what looks to be a full charge. The carfax didn’t show a battery replacement. Should I be leery of the lack of visoble degredation? This vehicle is in SoCal and according to the carfax was serviced locally as well.

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Ernie Hernandez August 7, 2016 at 11:45 am

Joshua – Welcome to Living LEAF. Carfax is a great resource for info, but I don’t know how quickly it’s updated (after just checking, it seems to be within a day or two). If this car was just picked up at auction and the battery replaced, it may not yet show that on Carfax. Also, there is the possibility (however slight) that the car has not lost a bar yet. The only way to know for sure would be to perform a LEAF Spy analysis to check the battery condition to see if it’s near losing a bar. Perhaps it would help to think of it this way – would you still buy this car if it was an eleven bar car? Hope that helps.

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Carlo August 8, 2016 at 10:29 pm

Hi, I’m looking for some advice if anyone (Ernie..?) can be so kind?

I’ve been reading a bunch of posts – thanks to all for posting info. Very helpful, especially Ernie.
I just purchased a used 2012 LEAF. Around 24k miles on the clock, and has lost 2 bars by the looks of it. I failed to do enough research on the pro’s and con’s of driving an EV but nonetheless here I am…

Usage – daily commute around LA – 26mi each way if I use freeway. Or 16mi e/w across town.
Don’t have a personal charger only pay ones (240v) at the apartment I live and same (240v) at the office.

‘Fully Charged’ – starting from apartment get approx 65-70mi on the range – but reality…
– Tried the through town this morning – arrived at office with approx 34mi range left, 1hr journey (the overall journey is more uphill though I feel).
Re-charged at the office – 240v (only reached 60mi range – seems like my office charger doesn’t charge as fully as the apartment one. Is that common?)
– Return journey – via freeway – started with around 60mi range – 26mi journey – arrived home with about 54mi left 🙂 All due to a very long steep hill on the way home to regenerate…

So my questions are;
1. Am I best to charge just before I set out rather than when I get to work/home? i.e. early morning and after lunch/afternoon? Rather than let the car/battery sit overnight?

2. It seemed like Eco mode was good for regenerating on the way home. But I read you wrote Eco mode is not really beneficial for the freeway? What about my downhill part…?

3. Any other tips for maximising my capable distances?

Right now it’s not just a bit of range anxiety but also the costs of charging at these charge points. At home they charge $2.50 USD per hour. Office $2 p/hr. That’s costing me around $7+ per day… $40 per week.
I had a rental car and spent less in gas than my predicted spend on electricity!
That said – perhaps I didn’t need to charge again when I got home if I did truly have 50+miles left….

Any advice very welcome. Thanks in advance

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Ernie Hernandez August 9, 2016 at 8:41 am

Carlo – Welcome to Living LEAF. You fall into that situation where you can’t charge using your own electricity, which is the least expensive solution. I highly recommend downloading the plugshare app to your phone. This will show you all the charging stations near you. You can filter the results on your phone to filter out “requires fee” to show only free charging stations to see if there are any near your home or workplace. You can also access via plugshare.com on any computer.

Regarding charging at home vs. at the office – not all charging stations charge at the same rate. Picture the electricity going through a small, medium or large hose and you get the idea. Perhaps your work charge station charges at a slower rate.

Regarding ECO mode – when driving steady state speeds on a level road, ECO mode provides no advantage. ECO mode provides recharging when you lift your foot off of the throttle, and also when going down hill. So your long, steep hill on the way home will definitely benefit by using ECO mode, especially if it’s a long uninterrupted stretch of downhill.

One final note, most automobile dealerships that have electric cars offer free 240-volt charging. So if you live or work near a dealership you might try that. If it is a non-Nissan dealership it is always a nice courtesy to go inside to the reception desk and ask if you can use their charge station.

One last thing – your through town journey is painfully long, probably due to lots of traffic lights. If you can drive 65 mph on the freeway you might make better time and still do okay range-wise. If you go much faster it will use up lots of juice, especially considering that is the uphill direction. You might try it out and see how it goes. And it looks like you might be able to get away with just charging at home or at the office rather than both which should end up saving you some money.

One really last thing :), don’t be afraid to drive it down to just one bar on the “gas gauge”. Performance remains the same all the way to empty and you will have at least ten miles of range after you get the low battery warning (likely more). Check out my post on low battery warning.

Good luck!

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Carlo August 9, 2016 at 11:05 am

Dear Ernie,
Thank you kindly for the advice.

This morning I attempted the freeway to the office. 10 miles longer (26miles) than through town.
I felt that the two methods seem to work OK as follows;
Where traffic flows and any uphill – drive in D.
And where traffic is a bit stop-start and any downhill – driving in Eco.

Despite the extra 10 miles on the journey and a very steep incline at one point on the 405, with a short but steep downhill and some stop-start on the 101, I managed to arrive at the office with around 31mi left. Almost the same a going through town but 10mi longer.

I’m going to charge at work this afternoon, to avoid losing time/standing charge.
It’s ChargePoint at the office.
And SemaConnect at home. The SemaConnect does seem to give a better charge.
Tomorrow I’ll try to charge in the morning before work and see if I get less degradation like the overnight.

PS; I counted properly the battery bars and seem to only have 9 remaining (lost 3 total)… These are the things I should have read about before!

Thanks again for your kind help.

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Ernie Hernandez August 9, 2016 at 11:36 am

Carlo, You’re welcome. Keep in mind that if you lose that ninth bar prior to the five year point (based on date of sale which your dealer can provide for you) your car should qualify for a replacement battery. Your dealer can tell you if your car will qualify.

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Carlo August 9, 2016 at 10:45 pm

Thanks Ernie!
Does that warranty/battery replacement still apply even though I purchased the vehicle from a used car dealer (not Nissan) and that the vehicle was originally from Hawaii, now in Cali? I’m new to the US so it’s all a major learning curve!

Elizabeth August 12, 2016 at 7:30 am

Well, you all talked me out of it. I have been looking at used 2012 Leafs which are running about $8000 in Florida right now. I test drove one and loved it, but it, like the other ones here, have 9 bars left. Air conditioning is not optional in Florida in the summer and there are a shockingly low number of public chargers in Palm Beach County. I’d love to go electric right now, but I can’t afford to buy a car that will become useless within a year or two (or cost me $6000 for a new battery pack). Guess I’ll just save my money for a couple years and hope the 200+ range and more stable batteries will materialize. Thanks for all the great information! Very helpful!

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Ernie Hernandez August 12, 2016 at 7:42 am

Elizabeth – Welcome to Living LEAF. I’m pleased to hear that you’re considering going electric. Keep in mind Nissan’s battery capacity warranty. Nissan will replace the traction battery if you lose four bars within five years or 60,000 miles. If you find a relatively low mileage 2012 that has already lost three bars, you will have two years to lose one more bar, getting your battery replaced by Nissan. If you don’t want to take that chance, look for an early LEAF that has already had it’s battery replaced. It will likely go for more than $8,000, but probably significantly less than $14,000. For a slightly higher initial price, you will get new LEAF range. Good luck with whatever decision you make.

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phil August 16, 2016 at 9:23 pm

Bought a 2011 SV with 69500 miles about a month and a half ago.
We’ve put about 1,000 miles on him in the last 45 days.
I bought and highly recommend LE Link and Leaf Spy Pro.

At full charge, I’ve got 190 GIDs, and a range of about 50 miles.

I paid $5900 — similar ICE-based used cars from 2011 with 70k miles are about double that, so this a pretty cost effective introduction to living with an EV vehicle.

We will see how well our 5 year old Leaf stands up to Minnesota winters in a bit, but for now, we are fans.

The cost of a replacement battery pack dropped to 5499 not that long ago, and by the time our range drops to the point that we need to worry about it, I’m hopeful that the cost will drop further.

In the meantime, diverting as many miles as possible from our 2013 CRV, and Loving our Leaf!

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Ernie Hernandez August 17, 2016 at 7:49 am

Phil – Welcome to Living LEAF. Thanks so much for your contribution! In Southern California we haven’t seen prices drop to that level yet, although there’s one on Autotrader right now for $6,900. Prices will likely drop again when the 60 kWh battery LEAF comes out. Be prepared for lower available range when the very cold temps hit. I’m not a scientist, but I’ve read that range is reduced in cold weather but comes back when it warms up. Also, I just checked online and found a battery pack for just over $5,000, but you would still need the installation kit and labor, but it’s good to see the prices coming down. I’ve not heard of LE Link before. I’ll check it out. Thanks again.

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roy coston August 20, 2016 at 9:27 am

Thanks for your posts. I’m going to purchase a 2013 Leaf (lease returns). Can you give a brief review of differences of S, SV, SL. Also should I consider mileage of 15k or 30 or 40k. I’m retired but I live in Vegas. Unable to determine bars left. Thanks Roy

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Ernie Hernandez August 20, 2016 at 11:51 am

Roy – Welcome to Living LEAF. A pre-owned LEAF can be a great value, or it can be a headache, as you can see by previous commenter’s experiences. I’ll start my answer by discussing your last sentence first. If you look at the image at the top of this post, it clearly shows that this car has lost one bar, or segment, at the far right of the image. A brand new LEAF will show two red segments, and ten white segments, for a total of twelve. You need only count the white ones to see how many there are. This image shows only nine white bars. The more bars missing, the less the driving range will be, so the less you should pay for the car.

Regarding the differences among the trim levels, I’ll try to keep it brief. The S and SV had optional quick charge ports, which was standard on the SL. This is easily seen by opening the charge port lid and checking inside. If there are two hinged covers, you have both standard and quick charge ports. If just one on the right, it is only the standard charge port. The S without a quick charge port will charge more slowly on the standard port than either an SV or SL.

I just pulled up the plugshare.com map for Las Vegas, and most of the above likely will not matter for you. There is only one fast charge station in Las Vegas available for LEAF so you will not likely want to drive out of your way just to use it. For your reference it’s at Autonation Nissan on Sahara. Vegas does have a pretty robust 240-volt charge station network though. If you’ve never been to plugshare.com, I recommend it. You can see where you can charge your car while away from home on this site.

Among other differences, SV and SL have Brake mode (or B mode) which allow for more regenerative braking offering a slight range benefit. SV has 16 inch alloy wheels, SL 17 inch alloys. S has steel wheels with wheel covers. LED headlights are standard on the SL, Optional on the SV, as are fog lights. S and SV have cloth interior, SL is leather. Auto on/off headlights are standard on the SL, optional on SV. Both SV and SL add a navigation system. Some SVs and SLs had a four camera 360 degree view to see all around the car while parking. Some SVs and SLs had an optional Bose audio system. That’s about it.

Currently Autotrader.com shows five 2013 LEAFs for sale in Vegas, all SVs. Prices range from $8,000 to $11,000 based on mileage, and all at Volvo of Las Vegas. What is more important than the mileage is how many bars are left, as discussed above. One of the low mileage cars has only nine bars, while most others have 11. All other things being equal, buy a car with more bars.

Good luck with your decision.

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Joe August 21, 2016 at 10:29 pm

I bought a 2013 LEAF SV about a year and a half ago with ~20K miles in the Bay Area. At 29,200 miles, I lost my first capacity bar and just lost my second at 36,675 miles. The car is now about 3.5 years old….wondering if I will lose another two bars before my warranty is up. What are other people’s experience with the 2013 model?

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Ernie Hernandez August 22, 2016 at 7:31 am

Joe – Welcome to Living LEAF. This isn’t so much a forum, as it is a site that people visit for info. Your best bet is to scroll up through these comments and read others experiences to date. You will find a wide variety of ownership experiences, model years, driving situations, etc. New comments are added to this thread on a regular basis so I suggest checking back periodically also. Best of luck.

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Mark September 7, 2016 at 3:35 am

Hi, I Have a 2013, 63 Plate, England, Nissan Leaf, Acenta model which has done 44,500 miles, used for 110 mile journey to work every day, still has 100% capacity.

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Ernie Hernandez September 7, 2016 at 10:03 am

Mark – Welcome to Living LEAF. And thank you for your contribution. Many of the previous comments pertained to the 2011 and 2012 models. As we all (hopefully) know, the 2013 model year debuted improved battery chemistry. Your experience is a testament to that improved battery. Thanks again.

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sakuma September 16, 2016 at 5:59 am

Hi, I’m living in Japan, fukushima.
I bought a 2013 leaf type x.
Now, with 72,000miles, still 12 segment, about 3 years.
81 miles at 80% charge. 103miles at full charge.

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Ernie Hernandez September 16, 2016 at 9:48 am

Sakuma – Welcome to Living LEAF. Yet another testament to the improved 2013 LEAF battery chemistry. Thanks for your input.

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Dr. P September 29, 2016 at 6:29 pm

Aloha! I am tiptoeing into the EV world, as I contemplate purchasing a used 2012 Leaf. Thanks to your website, I immediately asked the dealer to photo the dash read out and sure enough, this Leaf has lost 9 bars already, with just 30,000 miles. So I am wondering IF purchasing a used Leaf will still entitle me to utilize the battery warranty that Nissan offered for 2011-2012 models that loose more than 9 bars in 60 months or 60,000 miles.
Mahalo nui loa for all that you are doing!

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Dr. P September 30, 2016 at 2:05 pm

OK, I just called Nissan and got a super helpful representative that confirmed that the warranty follows the car. The 2012 I am considering to buy is covered until January 24, 2018 and we have a Leaf certified dealership here on our island that will do the exchange!! Looks like I am going Electric and looking forward to driving my new Leaf!! I will check in here regularly, because you are doing such a magnificent job of unfolding this new movement!! Mahalo nui loa!

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Ernie Hernandez September 30, 2016 at 4:06 pm

Dr. P – Welcome to Living LEAF. Sorry I didn’t get a chance to get back to you before now. It looks like you found the answer to your warranty questions. My 2012 is down three bars and I easily get 50 miles. As soon as the fourth bar drops (within the first 60 months) it takes about 4-6 weeks to get the replacement under warranty. Best of luck.

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Stephen Shepherd October 3, 2016 at 11:03 pm

Nissan denied my battery warranty replacement because I was over 60k miles when I arrived at the dealer. I have a 2011 Leaf that I bought in July of that year. I live in Arizona and have suffered from the climate challenges that the Leaf batteries have. Had to replace the first battery after about 26k miles through Nissan’s warranty. The second battery lost 4 bars almost exactly at 60k miles. I brought the car to the dealer and they said they would have to get approval to change the second battery under warranty because the mileage was 60022 as recorded with my android photo and about 60055 when I arrived at the dealer. At first the dealer said I was approved and the new battery would arrive in about one week, then I get a call saying Nissan would not replace the battery under warranty. I did appeal to the corporate office and was denied and told there were no other appeals. I feel like I purchased a very expensive golf cart ($36K) and now can make trips to the neighborhood grocery store or a few trips around the block. I figure I get about 40 mile per charge and dare not venture far. The dealer tells me it has a trade in value of about $4k so no reason to trade it now. Nissan said they are not supporting the older model Leaf with it’s new larger capacity improved battery so paying $7k for a battery that is flawed doesn’t make sense to me. Hoping an after market solution come along, but aware of any. I never thought Nissan would abandon it’s early adopters but I guess they don’t worry about future business as I will NEVER buy another Nissan product. I have a Nissan truck also but that’s it for me. BUYER BEWARE!!!!

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Ernie Hernandez October 4, 2016 at 9:38 am

Stephen, Welcome to Living LEAF. The battery warranty applies to the original battery, but not the replacement battery. I’m surprised that the dealer originally said that it would be replaced. Replacement parts rarely, if ever, carry the same warranty as the original vehicle warranty. This is a common practice of all manufacturers, not just Nissan. That is a policy that you can check with on whatever vehicle you choose to replace your LEAF with. Good luck.

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Stephen May 20, 2017 at 1:23 pm

Got a notice about a recall on my 2011 leaf and when I called, the dealer told me Nissan is offering to replace my battery at no cost. I am very happy Nissan stepped up and did the right thing.

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Ernie Hernandez May 20, 2017 at 2:20 pm

Stephen – Welcome to Living LEAF. Enjoy the extended range that your new battery provides!

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Stephen Shepherd October 8, 2016 at 9:57 am

I have been buying and owned cars for 40 years and have never had a major component fail and then fail again so early in the vehicles life. Do you think this is the new norm for Nissan? I have owned 5 Toyota’s, 1 Ford, 1 Infinity, 1 Scion, 2 Nissan’s, 1 Lexus, 1 Chevy and 1 Leaf and have never been told that the manufacturer would back their product until now. Of the cars I have owned the Leaf was the second most expensive. I have told as many people as I can of my experience because I think there is a lot of wishful thinking and hype out there as it relates to Nissan battery life, especially in warm climates. It’s a great car in theory but in the real world the battery is not ready for practical use.

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Ken October 22, 2016 at 7:45 pm

Bought a used 2013 Leaf in April and it was missing one capacity bar but still charged to 88 miles. I drive a 52 mile roundtrip each day and had plenty of charge to make it. Now i have lost another bar and does to 75 miles a charge but i still make it with some left each day. The car was sold new in Texas and i live in Georgia and i think the heat we have here is really degrading the battery as now I’m only getting 73 miles to a charger hope battery warranty works as Nissan says as i believe i will need it soon. Otherwise love the car!!!

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Ernie Hernandez October 24, 2016 at 3:38 pm

Ken – Welcome to Living LEAF. Heat is one of the biggest factors in degradation, probably more than any other single factor. My father-in-law just replaced his battery under warranty. He has a 2011 or 2012 with mileage around 35,000. He said his range showed about 50-55 miles on a full charge just prior to the fourth bar dropping.

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Mark October 22, 2016 at 9:13 pm

Hi, bought my first leaf 10 days ago. A 2013 SL with just over 13k miles.

Have all the battery bars and I got leafspy and an obdii scanner and discovered my SOH is 92%.

My wife and I both work at home, and have an ICE SUV. the Leaf will be our primary car and so far we love it even more than we thought we would.

I doubt our SUV will see more than about 50 miles a month. Now that we have the Leaf.

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Ernie Hernandez October 24, 2016 at 3:42 pm

Mark – Welcome to Living LEAF. I’ve found that once someone drives a LEAF for any length of time, they really enjoy it. I’ve heard similar stories to yours, in that once the LEAF is in the household, the other car use drops significantly. I’m really looking forward to the 60kWh 2018. Nissan hasn’t confirmed it yet, but it will be out sometime next year providing a range of over 200 miles.

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Hai N. October 24, 2016 at 6:40 am

Bought a used 2013 in March 2016 with 23K miles and all 12 bars and still 12 as of today after putting in around 1K miles. I’ve been charging it up to 80%.

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Ernie Hernandez October 24, 2016 at 3:35 pm

Hai, welcome to Living LEAF. Thanks for your contribution.

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Xiu N December 1, 2016 at 11:33 am

2013 leaf S with charger package. Lost 1 bar around 44K mile. Current mileage 46K.

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Ernie Hernandez December 1, 2016 at 11:50 am

Xiu – Welcome to Living LEAF. Thanks for your contribution to this ongoing discussion.

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Hao December 22, 2016 at 12:51 pm

Hi everyone,

Just quick question on leasing new leaf comparing to buy used 2013 leaf for about 8999 . which one do you recommend? How long is the warranty is it 7 years or 5 years ?

Thanks in advanced

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Ernie Hernandez January 7, 2017 at 5:49 pm

Hao, Welcome to Living LEAF. Everyone has different needs so it would be difficult to recommend whether a used LEAF acquisition or a new LEAF would make more sense. The LEAF has many different warranties. Comprehensive warranty is three years or 36,000 miles. Powertrain is five years or 60,000 miles. Battery degradation on the 24 kWh battery is five years, but it is eight years on the 30 kWh. I hope that helps.

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David S January 13, 2017 at 1:01 pm

I have an 85 mile commute every day to work. I work for a utility company that has EV charging, so charging it once I get here would not be a problem. I would have another level 2 charger at home. My question is, would it be unreasonable to expect the new 2016 or 2017 LEAF with the 30kwh battery to make the trip? I have a lot of great financial incentives through work, the dealership, and through federal tax credits to get one, but I really worry about battery degradation and not being able to make down the road. I also worry about cold winter days and getting less range. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

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Ernie Hernandez January 16, 2017 at 3:07 pm

David – Welcome to Living LEAF. You mention cold winter days, so I assume that may be a factor for you. You will easily make the commute in moderate weather. As I live in San Diego it never gets really cold so I have no first-hand experience of range reduction in cold environments, but you can look through the comments on this post and review others’ experiences. Over time you will see reduced range due to degradation so I would expect that in the winter you may need to charge part way. My go to site for charge locations is plugshare.com. You might go to their site and see how many fast chargers are between your home and your office to see what your options might be when that time comes. Also keep in mind that there may be a larger network by the time you need it. Also, Nissan has confirmed the 60 kWh 2018 LEAF to come out late this year. If you are in no hurry, you might wait for that and put this concern to rest. Best of luck.

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Jack January 15, 2017 at 11:59 am

Just purchased a new 2016 Leaf SV a week ago. I love driving it so much that I already put 500 miles on it. Recently got the Leafspy Pro also and still learning how to read the stats to help me prolong the battery life. Overall I’m happy with the mileage (126 miles on 1 charge at best). I commute 80 round trip a day and was wondering if the number of times I charge on L1/L2 will affect the overall battery life. I tend to plug in at work from time to time at due to mileage anxiety even though I know I don’t really need to. Thanks for any advice you guys can give me.

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Ernie Hernandez January 16, 2017 at 3:18 pm

Jack – Welcome to Living LEAF. I agree, the LEAF is fun to drive. Charging using 120 volt or 240 volt does not impact battery life. It is best not to charge a warm battery, so if you wish to charge at work you should let the car cool prior to charging using the timer function so you don’t have to go out and plug in (assuming you can leave your car plugged in at work). Also, you might try running your car down to one bar periodically just to give yourself confidence in the car. I’ve written a couple articles about the “bottom of the tank” experience. If you are interested, you can read them here. Best of luck.

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Joe EVer January 18, 2017 at 2:35 pm

I drive a 2013 LEAF S that is 3 years and 2 months old. I lost my first bar recently around 24,000 miles. In fact, I just noticed it the other day. Since I always charge to 100%, I saw that the capacity bars and range bars did not line-up anymore. I went to count the capacity bars and sure enough I only had 11 (2 red, 9 white). Hmm, I used to have one more!

I live in South Florida so it is not unexpected that a 3 year old EV battery for a car that gets used every single day has degraded over time. I have a little less than 2 years left to lose 3 more bars to qualify for warranty assistance.

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Ernie Hernandez January 18, 2017 at 3:36 pm

Joe – Welcome to Living LEAF. Thanks for your feedback. It will help others that come to this site. Keep us posted on your eventual battery degradation. That will help even more readers.

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Gamunu Jay January 21, 2017 at 2:59 am

I use Nissan leaf 2013 model and from last wk its showing at 100% charge possible traveling is as 125Km. Right side 12 blue and white bars are ok and far end white bars only 10 what does it means. any thing I can do to extend the lifespan of th baterry,

regards
gamunu

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Ernie Hernandez January 22, 2017 at 1:43 pm

Gamunu, welcome to Living LEAF. To the right of the 12 blue and white bars are the twelve battery capacity bars. The 10 at the top are white and the two at the bottom are red, for a total of twelve. As the battery capacity is reduced, these bars will go away from the top to the bottom. If you have 10 white bars, you have little or no battery degradation. If you only have 8 white bars and the two red bars, you have already lost two bars of battery capacity. You can read about actions that will help prolong battery life in the article above. Best of luck.

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Bob A. January 21, 2017 at 9:06 pm

I’m looking at leasing a new Leaf versus buying a used one. My daily commute is 6.7 miles each way. I can pick up a 2011 Leaf SL for $5200-5500 with 39k miles and 9 bars of battery life left or I can lease a new 2017 S base model for zero down (after CA rebate) at $238/mo for 36 months. I’m leaning towards rolling the dice with the 2011 since my commute is so short. Even if I get two good years our of the 2011 model, I’ll be playing with house money in year 3.

Look forward to everyone’s comments and suggestions.

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Ernie Hernandez January 22, 2017 at 1:51 pm

Bob – Welcome to Living LEAF. As this is not a forum, but a blog post, you are unlikely to get any more responses than my own, but others may also chime in over time. In my view you are an ideal candidate for the 2011 LEAF that you described. Your initial cost is low and the existing battery condition will get you back and forth to your job for many years to come. I think that car will get you well beyond three years should you continue to work at the same place. Maintenance and repair costs on electric cars, including LEAF, are very low. With the money you save on gas and reduced maintenance costs, you can upgrade to a lease on a new LEAF in a few years. By then the range will be much longer allowing you to travel almost anywhere on electricity. Best of luck!

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Oguz Kaya January 28, 2017 at 9:50 pm

I have 2013 Nissan Leaf and I love my car. I put roughly 42000 miles and as of today 1/28/17 I lost my first battery degradation segment. It seems like I still get the same driving distance and some occasions leaf showa around 90 miles. As long as it stays this level I am happy.

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Ernie Hernandez January 29, 2017 at 1:27 pm

Oguz – Welcome to Living LEAF. Thanks for your contribution.

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Denny February 7, 2017 at 2:35 pm

I live in Southern CA. We have about 25K on our 2015 Leaf S and still have all bars of battery life. My wife drives about 45 miles round trip per day to work. We set the cars end timer and trickle charge it each night (less on weekends) to 100%. Last week we received a “Motor power is limited” message on the dash. Car lost a lot of power. Dealership says that a cell went bad and Nissan is debating whether to replace just the bad cell or the whole battery. From research, I see that these kind of problems are rare, I’m just wondering if the bad cell problem had anything to with our charging habits.

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Ernie Hernandez February 7, 2017 at 5:19 pm

Denny – Welcome to Living LEAF. This is a pretty rare issue. Just so you know, if you ever use up all of your juice (all twelve bars are gone) and are “running on fumes” you will get this same indication and you will have about 1/4 mile to get safely off the road. You will have already seen a low battery warning, and a very low battery warning though. To answer your question, it is highly unlikely that your charging protocol had anything to do with this. Nissan builds the batteries in a clean room, but even Intel builds a bad chip every once in awhile in this type of environment. Your charging protocol is pretty much what I recommend and it should serve you well and optimize battery life. Best of luck!

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Jason February 8, 2017 at 2:11 am

2012 Leaf, I’m near Melbourne, Australia. 2nd hand July 2016 with 12 bars and just shy of 20,000km on the ODO. Using Leaf Spy the SoH=85%, Ahr=56.38, Hx=82.39%.
As of today it has 27,673km and 11 bars. Leaf Spy shows SoH=81% (actually dropped to 80% then gone up again), Ahr=53.12, Hx=64.12%.
Usually charge to 80% and never really been to low battery point. Mostly driving around town but 100km drive for service and charge to 100% for these trips plus have ability to charge mid way of needed. SoH drop in <9 months seems a lot. Australia only imported one model in 2012, the car was originally purchased in 2014, so good chance it was sitting in a dealer yard with high SoC and no use. I love driving an EV and would certainly be buying another one when this one is no longer fit for purpose.
A few observations. The Nissan battery report is a joke, star rating should be a detail of the actual figures. When i got my car service the SoH went from 83% to 90% and then dropped to 81% over the next few days. The capacity bars stayed on 11. Ahr and Hx didn't really change, but then Hx dropped from ~78.5% to ~65.5% over the same period. What did Nissan do in the service?
When you plug the EVSE in and the lights on the dash cycle, that counts+1 on the Leaf Spy L1/L2 counter, so I take it that my has actually done 1/2 as many L1/L2 as what is being reported. There are no L3 near me so I have not done any of those.
I am averaging 0.163 kW/Km (6.148Km/kW) wall to wheels, and as best I can figure it or I have used 1,064kW at a cost of AUD $165.97, which is $0.03/Km very cheap to run. Hope someone finds this information useful.

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Ernie Hernandez February 8, 2017 at 4:42 pm

Jason – Welcome to Living LEAF. As you can see, the comments now likely provide more useful information than the original post, especially due to thoughtful and complete comments such as yours. With the internet providing global access to information easily, I’m sure that many will find your contribution helpful. Thanks for the feedback, and keep an eye out for the next generation LEAF, which will provide a significant range improvement.

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Felix Cordeiro-Benson February 12, 2017 at 2:14 pm

I am thinking about trading in my 2012 Prius II which has a value of 8000 for 2011-2013 Nissan Leaf with quick charger. I am budgeting 600-8000 to do this. My commute is 7..5 miles one way and 15 miles round trip. Occasionally I commute 35 miles roundtrip. Would the Nissan leaf work for me until I can another Leaf with about 200 miles in 2020.

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Ernie Hernandez February 12, 2017 at 5:11 pm

Felix – Welcome to Living LEAF. First, the LEAF will work extremely well for someone in your situation. Autotrader shows many LEAFs available in your price range in many parts of the country. To optimize your driving range, look for a LEAF that has as many bars as possible on the far right of the range display. Here is an example of a LEAF with all twelve bars:
LEAF with all twelve bars
Here is an example of a LEAF missing one bar:
LEAF down one bar
With your short commute, even if your LEAF loses a few bars over the next three years you will still easily be able to get back and forth to work. Good luck!

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BDC February 16, 2017 at 8:27 am

After 2.5 years, out 2014 Leaf has 28,932 miles and 100% battery life remailing/0% degradation loss.

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Ernie Hernandez February 19, 2017 at 2:42 pm

BDC – Welcome to Living LEAF. Glad to hear about your great experience so far. Keep us posted.

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BrewLeaf in MD February 25, 2017 at 6:35 pm

I recently purchased a used 2013 Nissan Leaf S with 30K miles (under $9K). It was from Carmax, and while the sales folks are nice, they don’t know much about EV’s. I was grateful to all of the online stories and information from the EV guinea pigs from 2011, 2012 and 2013. I was also fortunate to be able to consult with my cousin, who just traded in his 2012 Leaf for a 2016 last year (and drives in NYC area).

My Leaf has 11 bars (counting 2 red). It doesn’t have a Level 3 charge port, so it has never had the 30 minute charge. It loves the Level 2 charge (regularly charges faster than time listed on the dash). I am looking into getting the Level 2 installed at home as there is a rebate program in Maryland (50% up to $900), but so far it hasn’t been an issue to trickle charge. I work from home 3-4 days a week and have a pretty regular routine.

I have two apps that I used to locate charging stations near me (ChargePoint in Towson and SemaConnect in Columbia). Free charging at Towson University and Public Library, plus several “Green” establishments. These are great, and my office has two SemaConnect charging stations. So far it looks like there are only two of us with EV’s–hope that talking to fellow employees will encourage some to take the leap.

Best part is that my kids feel like we are doing something positive for the environment beyond recycling. I’m hopeful this inspires them, as it has me, to seek more ways to conserve energy, and ultimately to become more active in efforts to “save the planet”.

Thank you
BrewLeaf

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Ernie Hernandez February 26, 2017 at 5:41 pm

BrewLeaf – Welcome to Living LEAF. It sounds as if your situation is almost perfect for a pre-owned EV. Working from home is not only a great convenience, but it also reduces time behind the wheel which in turn reduces pollution. I’m pleased to hear that your family is also interested and involved in ways to make our world a better place to live. We can all contribute to a better planet in our own ways.

Thanks for your contribution. Perhaps others will see that an EV, new or used, might be right for them too. Best of luck.

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Kyaw March 12, 2017 at 8:33 pm

Dear Ernie,

This has been a great resource and thank you for all your hard work! I’m a doctor from London, UK and I have just bought a 2012 Leaf with 9000 miles on the odometer from an authorised Nissan dealership here in the U.K. for £7000 (~$8500). It still has 12 full bars of battery capacity and the car had one previous owner (no info available on the charging habits of the precious owner). I shall keep you updated about when I first encounter battery degradation. My car is just coming to the end of its battery warranty so I’m hoping the car will give me at least three good years before it falls to 8 battery bars and I have to start considering a new battery or change of car. I shall take on. Pars all the tips from yourself and other Leaf owners about battery preservation. I did want to ask if any of your other readers have had any problems setting up the Nissan EV Control from their car. I’ve set up an account and downloaded the app but can’t seem to get past the stage in entering my account details in the Leaf via Carwings. Every time I encounter an error message saying my account details are not recognised by the system. Would you be able to shed any light on this at all. Once again fantastic work, much appreciated by all Leaf owners.

Cheers,

Kyaw

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Ernie Hernandez March 12, 2017 at 9:27 pm

Kyaw – Welcome to Living LEAF and thank you for the kind words. First let me wish you good luck with your recent LEAF acquisition! I’m sure that you will find, as many others have found before you, that the transition to an electric car is much easier than expected with many advantages. Regarding your Carwings issue – the short answer is I’m not really sure. In the US, the telecommunications system known as 2G is no longer supported as of the end of 2016. I understand that the 2G network in the UK is still operational. Nissan transitioned from the old CarWings app to a newer NissanConnect EV app. Frankly, I personally don’t use it so I can’t shed much light on the subject. I really should do some research though, as this situation will face many in the coming years. When I Googled the term NissanConnect EV in UK this is the first result that I got:
https://youplus.nissan.co.uk/GB/en/YouPlus/ConnectedServices.html
It is Nissan’s corporate site explaining the services. You’ll notice that there are red “Click to Call” and “Click to Chat” icons on the page. I’m sure the Nissan support folks can provide much more assistance than I could. Best of luck!

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Gladys March 15, 2017 at 9:27 am

I have a 2013 Nissan Leaf with a little over 22,000 miles and I have already lost two bars. In addition it is also using 3 miles for every 1 mile that I drive with nothing on!!! I bought my car to commute in and now I am afraid to even drive it in town.

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Ernie Hernandez March 18, 2017 at 2:42 pm

Gladys – Welcome to Living LEAF. There are many criteria that determine your range – ambient temperature, driving style, terrain, etc. Rather than using the numerical range indicator, a better guide might be the number of bars of juice remaining “in the tank”. I’ve found that a pretty conservative estimate is about five miles of driving for every bar remaining. Perhaps this will give you a little more confidence driving around town. Keep in mind that performance is the same near empty as it is with a full battery. If you haven’t read this yet, here is an article about driving near the “bottom of the tank.” Generally you will find that when the Low Battery Warning comes on you still have well over ten miles of range left. Best of luck.

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Amy K March 24, 2017 at 1:03 pm

I have a 2012 Nissan Leaf SV manufactured November 2011. I purchased it certified pre-owned at 36,000 miles at the end of February 2015. I am in Massachusetts, USA and I believe the car was leased in Massachusetts the previous 3 years. It did sit on the dealer lot December 2014 through February 2015 but even if it was at 100% charge that doesn’t seem to have hurt the battery much due to our cold winters. My car

* lost the top battery bar at 39879 miles, July 22 2015
* lost the second battery bar at 50,225 miles, August 2 2016

At my last LeafSpy reading the car was at 56,318 miles, 75% state of health. According to my internet reading I’ll lose that third bar at 72.5%, likely in Autumn.

I drive about 10,000 miles each year. I charge the car to 80% overnight in the summer and to 100% in the winter. My commute is 38 miles round trip, and in the winter after charging to 100% overnight and then driving to work and back I have 17-22 miles remaining on the gauge. My commute is primarily on 55 mile per hour roads, though congestion means I’m frequently driving more slowly. In the winter if I drive another 10 miles after work (e.g. to dinner and back) the low battery warning comes on with 7-10 miles remaining. I’m too chicken to keep driving past that, so my “comfortable range” in the winter is less than 50 miles. When I say winter I mean a day that hovers around freezing, between 22 and 40 degrees F and 2-3 bars on the Leaf’s battery temperature gauge.

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Ernie Hernandez March 24, 2017 at 1:09 pm

Amy – Welcome to Living LEAF. It is the thoroughness of comments such as yours that make this site infinitely more helpful to those that seek more information about EV ownership. Thanks ever so much for taking the time to provide this information, as it will be helpful to many. And some day, when you’re feeling brave, make sure to take your car down to the very low battery warning (near home). If you haven’t read my articles yet on “exploring the bottom of the tank“, I highly recommend them. Best of luck with your future EV driving!

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Barry April 6, 2017 at 2:58 pm

I have a 2011 nissan leaf I bought used May 2016 with 10 bars left counting the red bars. I have only put 1,021 miles on the car and never fast charge at all only 110v charging and I just dropped to 9 bars counting the red bars or 7 white bars today. Is that normal my car only has 41,021 miles on it. do I need to replace the battery?

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Ernie Hernandez April 6, 2017 at 3:11 pm

Barry – Welcome to Living LEAF. One of the challenges of buying a used LEAF (or any electric car for that matter) is that it is extremely difficult to determine exactly how much the battery has degenerated over its lifetime to date. If the current LEAF owner is accommodating, there is an app that you can purchase for your phone through either iTunes or the Google Play Store called LEAFspy Pro. You will need to buy an OBD II adapter also and plug this into the car, and in conjunction with the app you can get a more precise reading on the condition of the battery than can be had from the coarse 12 bars displayed on the dash. More can be learned from the developer of the app or various other websites that discuss this app. To answer your first question, there’s really no such thing as normal when it comes to battery degradation, as there are so many factors that impact degradation including the previous charging history, whether the car came from a hot or cold climate, etc. Some LEAFs have been known to go over 100,000 miles prior to losing a bar (although this would be relatively rare) while others in hot climates can lose their first bar much more quickly. To answer your final question, if the LEAF goes as far as you need it to you do not need to replace the battery. The battery will continue to degrade over time (just like your laptop or cell phone battery). The degradation tends to slow over time. The real question is this: Will this vehicle take me where I need to go in its present condition? When that answer becomes no, then it is time to either replace the battery or replace the car. Best of luck with your LEAF ownership.

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Barry April 6, 2017 at 4:21 pm

thanks for the reply the previous owner was in the pacific northwest like I am where the weather is moderate granted the leaf is 6 years old. Nissan said my 5 year 60,000 mile warranty expired last july of 2016. so I guess if you look at it from that standard for the original owner its good that it took that long. but for me who just bought the car it kinda sucks lol. also in the winter months at 80% charge before the bar dropped I was only getting 9-15 miles per charge I wasn’t going till empty though I was charging it again when it hit 4 blue bars left. in the summer I was getting 20-30 miles to the same charge. Is the leaf working the way it should be? I had the battery tested last may and it passed. I did pay very little for this car from the dealer so I don’t feel to ripped off I guess.

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Ernie Hernandez April 6, 2017 at 8:56 pm

Hi Barry,

I guess what really matters is what you want the LEAF to accomplish. If you’re just using it for errands around town, and it is accomplishing that task for you, then it’ll work out fine. Each blue bar remaining when you charge is good for at least five miles, so you really have another twenty miles to go before you totally run out of juice. If you wish to be conservative (which it sounds like you do), you can easily take it down another bar or two before becoming too concerned about running out of juice. Another thing that will give you more confidence is downloading the plugshare app to your phone. It’s free, and it will show you where all of the charge stations are in your area. I highly recommend establishing accounts with whatever networks are in your area. It’s kind of like the old days of having different gas cards for different gas stations. Since you’re in the Pacific Northwest, you will likely find that there are many charge stations near you, which will help you increase your driving range if you need it. You can also just go to plugshare.com on your computer and see where charge stations are if that’s easier. You will find as the temperature warms up your range will go back up to what it was before. Using the heater takes energy, and that comes from the same battery that powers the car. Here is a link to an article I wrote that talks about finding charging stations. Once again, best of luck with your LEAF ownership.

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Barry April 8, 2017 at 11:23 am

Ernie,
Thanks again for the reply I guess your right it has saved me alot of money in gas of the year I have owned it. Also I have been putting that money I would of spent on gas in my savings account so that has helped as well. I did list it for sale before I posted here and I was surprised at how many people are interested in this car even with the battery degradation it doesn’t seem to bother them because of where I’m located there are charging stations all over the place. and yes I just normally use it for going to the grocery store or taking the kids to swim practice or school. I also have a 1997 ford truck and that thing only gets 10 to 14 miles to the gallon and I keep from driving that gas hog by having this car. So I’m going to un list it and keep driving it plus nissan is in the works of trying to get me a new battery for my car to replace this one. So I hope they are able to do that for me. thanks for the replies it made the choice to keep the car easier than going to a newer used electric and starting all over again.

Brian April 10, 2017 at 5:28 pm

I own a 2013 Nissan Leaf (purchased in August 2013) in Minnesota. I still have all 12 bars on the display and haven’t really noticed degradation yet having just crossed over 46000 miles.

I picked up an OBDII reader today and the LeafSpy Lite is reporting that I’ve got:
AHr=57.66
SOH= 88%

Based on what I’ve read, I am likely getting very close to losing my first bar…not bad though for 44 months of use and 46K miles.

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Ernie Hernandez April 10, 2017 at 10:19 pm

Brian – Welcome to Living LEAF. Thanks for your contribution to this discussion. Your experience will help to inform others that might be thinking of getting a LEAF. All the best, Ernie

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Larry S. April 16, 2017 at 1:35 pm

Hi Ernie,
I contacted you about 8 months ago with 3 bars down on my 2012 with 25,000 miles.
I am in Nevada…..well today the fourth bar went….now to 8. My warranty expires in December, I am getting 60 miles on the clock after charging, but it quickly decreases to the 40’s after just a couple of miles of travel. Would you suggest to wait after the hot summer or have it done right away. I have adjusted to keeping my distances in check. Do you know if Nissan is replacing the packs with the 2017 models? And will waiting be beneficial to getting the newer packs? Do the newest packs have a name to ask for?
Thanks,
Larry

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Ernie Hernandez April 16, 2017 at 1:45 pm

Hi Larry,
I guess if it were me, and the car was currently meeting my needs, I’d probably wait until later this year to replace the battery. If it’s a pain driving due to requiring extra stops for charging all the time, I’d replace the battery now. Also, Nissan will replace the battery with current technology, so you don’t need to ask for anything special. Enjoy your new battery when you get it!

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MechaBill April 18, 2017 at 12:31 am

I just want to point out that phone batteries are intentionally designed to be overcharged, resulting in loss of capacity. The reason is that the phone has a lifetime of only 5 or 7 years max, more commonly being changed over every 3 or 4 years. Therefore, they intentionally run the battery hard to give you more charge for those first few years.

In contrast, car batteries *should* be designed to be much more conservatively charged because their ownership periods are much longer than phones. I think the early Volts for instance, only charged to about half capacity. The Leaf, I think, charges up to 22kWH of the total 24 kWH capacity.

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Alison April 18, 2017 at 7:59 pm

Hello: My coworker, who bought a used 2012 Leaf about 2 years ago, told me today that the mechanic at the local Nissan dealership told her that the Leaf needs to be “driven like a golf cart” in order to keep battery degradation at bay. After hearing that, and reading many comments on this site, I am now freaking out about even buying my 2015 Leaf (the mid range model, an SL, I believe). I can’t believe that bars are lost after such a short period of time for some owners. So far, I have all bars (about 15k miles, I drive about 17 miles one way to work every day). I am surprised at comments about not charging to 100% and then letting the car sit. Sit for how long? I charge to 100% almost every day. Who knew there was so much to know and think about as a Leaf owner? Not me, apparently. I love the car, but am quickly growing disillusioned after reading the comments. I still owe more than the blue book on this car. Guess I should have done my research before buying it. Lesson learned. Sheesh!

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Ernie Hernandez April 23, 2017 at 12:51 pm

Alison – Welcome to Living LEAF. For your commute of 34 miles round trip the LEAF is a great car for you, which I’m sure that you’ve discovered in your ownership so far. The comment about driving it like a golf cart to reduce battery degradation is not accurate. Your driving style does not impact the battery at all. Regarding the info about charging to 100 percent, it’s fine to charge it every night and drive it to work the next day. You don’t want to charge it to 100 percent and leave it fully charged and undriven for weeks – that is what these comments refer to. What you need to pay attention to is how much of your charge you are using every day. If you generally use six bars or less of your “tank”, you will be able to use your LEAF for several more years before battery degradation becomes a factor for you to be concerned about. Good luck with the rest of your LEAF ownership.

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anonymous April 21, 2017 at 12:34 pm

Purchased a 2013 Leaf S one month ago coming off a 3-year lease from GA. Had 40k miles with all 12 bars. Used car lot, clean carfax, $8,000 out the door. Leaf Spy said 84% soh, 23 QC’s, 1500+ level 1/2 charges.

Today, lost first bar at 41k miles. Range was 86 miles at 100%, now says 82. Used primarily as a daily commuter with a 45 mile round trip. So far, very happy with this purchase and hoping to get at least 3 good years from it. Then either get a new lizard battery or another used Leaf.

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Ernie Hernandez April 23, 2017 at 12:53 pm

anonymous – Welcome to Living LEAF. If the LEAF is serving your purpose now, it will likely to continue serving that purpose for quite some time before capacity loss becomes an issue.

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Paul April 28, 2017 at 2:36 pm

Bought used 2014 leaf last year at 25000 miles for 11.5k. It just lost it’s first bar at 39000 so 3 years on it. I’m happy with that.

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Ernie Hernandez April 28, 2017 at 6:06 pm

Paul – Welcome to Living LEAF. And thank you for your contribution to this discussion. Moving forward, many will be buying used LEAFs, so your experience may help them in making a decision.

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Sheree April 29, 2017 at 6:02 pm

Anyone have experience with the EVSE upgrade for the charging cord ? Is it safe for the Nissan leaf battery. it’s much cheaper than the 600 dollar turbo cord but is it safe for the car. Please advise

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Ernie Hernandez May 12, 2017 at 11:36 am

Sheree – Welcome to Living LEAF. Sorry about the delay in responding. The aftermarket EVSE upgrade from evseupgrade.com has been used for years by many LEAF owners.

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Kathy May 13, 2017 at 8:34 am

Question – New to the Leaf. Going on a trip. The airport is 15 miles away. If I do not plug in there, will the battery deplete while sitting for four days or will I be okay getting home.

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Ernie Hernandez May 14, 2017 at 5:02 pm

Kathy – Welcome to Living LEAF. Your car will be fine while you’re gone. My guess is that it will show exactly the same range when you return as it does when you park it. If you left it sitting for a month or more you might notice a small depletion in the range but it wouldn’t be huge. All the best!

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Valerie L Bateman June 28, 2017 at 8:29 am

I have a 2012 Leaf with 7 bars and 79k miles. I am totally ticked about the help I got from Nissan in dealing with the battery degradation. I bought at the height, paid full price, financed for 6 years, so the car is not even paid for yet and blue book value is far less than balance due. Given these facts, I think that Nissan should have been more sympathetic and provided more information about options. And I really don’t understand why there is no proration of the battery cost, given that if my battery totally fails before 1ook, they will replace it, but they offer nothing for lost bars. I can’t imagine I would ever want to buy anything from Nissan again and luckily there are other choices out there now. Very disappointed.

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Ernie Hernandez June 28, 2017 at 10:29 am

Valerie – Welcome to Living LEAF. Based on your situation, my guess is that you live in a hot climate part of the country. Nissan improved the battery chemistry starting in the 2013 model year. I would suggest that you go the your nearest dealership and ask to speak to the corporate Nissan rep when he next comes to the store. It may take some time to arrange this as they are responsible for many Nissan stores. Present your case to him personally. I’m not saying that they will be able to do anything to help you in your situation, but sometimes a calm approach with a real person in front of you can make difference. Best of luck.

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Ken M July 4, 2017 at 1:01 pm

I’m considering the purchase of a 2011 with 45K miles because it’s so cheap. At $3800, I figure if it has 2 years of life left in the battery, it’s a worthwhile investment. The question is – will I get 2 years? LeafSpy says it has 55 mile range left with 190 GIDs, 70% left, with Hx of 50%. I commute 25 miles to work, and plan to charge both at work and home.

So am I likely to still have at least 30 miles capacity after another 30,000 miles (75K total)?

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Ernie Hernandez July 10, 2017 at 9:06 am

Ken – Welcome to Living LEAF. Sorry about the delay in responding, I was out of the country for a few days. Previous experience and lithium ion battery studies seem to show a decrease in the rate of degradation over time. But with such a low price for this particular LEAF, I would think that it would be worth the risk with the idea that if it doesn’t work out, you could sell it and buy another.

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Mike B July 14, 2017 at 11:38 am

I have a 2014 Leaf in Phoenix, AZ. 19K miles and normally recharge at home with the Level 1 after 37 months. It initially indicated 93 at 100% but I rarely got all that on the road, even though I indicate 4.0 m/Kwhr. I have had the Leaf for 37 months and I am down 2 bars. But this week I drove it and driving it down to 30% to get real miles instead of projected. I was at 43 miles at 31% or 62 mile range. That should be 67% of original capacity even though I only show 2 bars missing. Time to start talking with the dealership. I am waiting for the Bluetooth scanner to get here to add Leafspy, but last year someone else at a car show had one and said my battery was much lower than the 12 bars it showed then. I don’t think that the bars of capacity on mine are keeping with my dropping. I love my Leaf and was even drive it to Tucson in the past and have switched from the 3 year lease to an extra 5 year purchase, so at least one battery change is a given for me.

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Ernie Hernandez July 15, 2017 at 11:02 am

Mike – Welcome to Living LEAF. Thanks for the feedback.

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Pkozushko July 21, 2017 at 1:09 pm

The LI-ION battery capacity level guage just dropped one bar at 44000 miles on my 2013 Leaf. I’m a pretty conservative driver and rarely use the quick charge. I’m curious to know when it will drop another bar. I live near Portland OR where the climate is mild. Winter range is slightly lower than spring and summer.

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Ernie Hernandez July 21, 2017 at 1:38 pm

Pkozushko – Welcome to Living LEAF. I’ve learned that predicting such things is generally like predicting the weather… not very reliable (unless you live in Portland, where rain is a safe bet during much of the year!) As you noted, you live in an environment that is not hostile to your battery life. We’ve learned that quick charging is not necessarily bad for the LEAF. What is worse is charging to 100 percent and then letting it sit without driving for days or weeks. As long as you’re not doing that, you should expect a slow continuing degradation. Sorry I can’t be more specific. All the best on your future ownership.

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Sam August 11, 2017 at 3:10 pm

I have a Nissan Leaf 2016 SL in Phoenix, AZ. I bought it in May, 1016 and by May, 2017 it had dropped two bars. Just two days ago it dropped the third bar. It was just under 22,000 miles when the third bar dropped. It was a 30kWH battery.

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Ernie Hernandez August 11, 2017 at 7:01 pm

Sam – Welcome to Living LEAF. I know that you live in Phoenix, but I thought that the newer chemistry batteries were supposed to prove longer lasting than the first gen battery packs. Your current experience tends to put a damper on that thought. I would take it in to Nissan and talk with them, just to see if they’d like to take a closer look at your particular situation. Although not a battery replacement contender yet, it seems headed in that direction. My primary concern though is that this shouldn’t be happening according to Nissan. Let me know what you find out if you don’t mind.

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Kait October 5, 2017 at 10:44 am

I’ve recently moved from TN to VA and noticed that after charging (reg 110 is all we have ever used as we are military/renters) that it appears we have lost another bar on our 2011 Leaf with 49,000, leaving only 7 bars. Honestly, we were quite ignorant when we purchased this vehicle and did not fully understand the intricacies of what we were dealing with (clearly, because we barely made it home from where it was purchased in Costa Mesa, CA to Vista, CA–first red flag). My concern is that it seems to coincide perfectly with our move. This sudden change seems like more than coincidence. Does anyone know if there is any way the change in power source could have caused this?

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Ernie Hernandez October 5, 2017 at 3:33 pm

Kait – Welcome to Living LEAF. It is highly unlikely that the change in power source is the cause here. Utilities are very well regulated so that power will be uniform across the country. Your situation is one that I would definitely attribute to coincidence. Some individuals propose that there is no such thing as coincidence, but it happens daily and often we just don’t notice it. If I were a betting man I would wager that if you still lived in TN you would have lost the bar by now. Experience seems to show that degradation slows over time. If this is true for you, your car should show little degradation from its current level in the near term. All the best.

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Tamer October 15, 2017 at 4:45 am

Hi all,

Im currently looking for a used NIssan Leaf (2013-2014). my search led me to 2 cars. 1. 2013 , SV model with 40kmiles on it – still gives 12 bar battery. the other option is a 2014 S model with 20 k miles on it . the 2013 SV model is also costs around $1k less than the 2014 S model.
of course id like to get the SV model instead of the S (better options, costs less but 40k miles), however im afraid the battery will quickly degrade as per the commenst I have been seeing. Please let me know your opinion and which one you think I should go for .
thanks

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Ernie Hernandez October 22, 2017 at 4:46 pm

Tamer – Welcome to Living LEAF. You are facing the dilemma that all auto buyers have at some point – when faced with two options, which one is better? The ’13 has a battery that is one year older, has been charged more cycles, and has twice the mileage. These all will contribute to battery degradation. The ’14 is one year newer, has half the miles, but has fewer features and costs $1,000 more. While the answer is not crystal clear, these considerations should guide your choice: what is more important, driving range or creature comforts? Without a doubt the 2013 will lose a battery capacity bar before the 2014 will. If you can still perform all of your daily driving routines with reduced battery capacity, you will save some money up front. If you will use most of the current range available to you now, the decision is easy – go with the 2014. Good luck!

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Ron Watts October 27, 2017 at 12:15 pm

We bought a 2012 Nissan LEAF in 2014. It was a lease return, and initially we had about 75 miles of range, when the car had 27k miles on it, no bars lost. Two years later, it has about a 50 mile range, with only one bar missing. This is a 33% range loss from our initial purchase, although the bars show a 1/12 battery loss; it is a 41% range loss from the factory specs. Nissan does some creative bookkeeping to keep from replacing batteries in cars who have lost up to half of their range, but the battery bars fail to show it. We tried repeatedly to get help from Nissan without any success. We tried to buy a new battery outright, but they (two dealers and Nissan Customer Service) refused to sell one to us, claiming that we had to lose four bars first! If we had lost four bars, they would have replaced the battery for free, so I’m not sure what Nissan’s battery pricing means to anyone whatsoever. Needless to say, if I can’t get a warranty that specifically addresses range, and not the fictitious “battery bars”, I won’t be buying another one, and neither should anyone else. The warranty should be based on battery capacity, not on stupid bars that don’t reflect actual battery storage. I ran our car down to the last bar, and it took a total of 15kw to fill it up to a full charge. 15kw does NOT equal 24kw, and the 9kw difference does NOT equal one bar of capacity. This is not what I expect from a reputable car company. How would you like an ICE vehicle that told you that you had a 90% full gas tank but your resulting mpg had fallen from 36 to 20?

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Ernie Hernandez October 29, 2017 at 4:54 pm

Ron – Welcome to Living LEAF. I’m not really sure why Nissan wouldn’t sell you a battery. My recommendation would be to speak with the regional Nissan representative the next time he comes to one of your two stores.

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Ernie Hernandez January 7, 2017 at 5:44 pm

Darren – Welcome to Living LEAF. I don’t believe that Nissan designed the LEAF battery to have a short lifespan. I think it more likely that their research did not predict the lifespan issues that they have seen. Certainly degradation induced battery replacements under warranty are expensive to Nissan, which led, I believe, to the partnership with LG Chem on the next generation LEAF battery. I was not aware that you could not buy a replacement battery in Canada. If so, that is a Canadian Nissan policy as it is not a global Nissan policy. Good luck with the remainder of your LEAF ownership.

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Ernie Hernandez August 10, 2016 at 7:36 am

Yes. You can call 1-800-nissan1 for more information.

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Dr. P September 29, 2016 at 9:53 pm

Mahalo! I will call tomorrow. If you think others would be interested in knowing if new purchasers of the used Leaf can still qualify I will let you know.

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Dr. P September 29, 2016 at 9:57 pm

I just remembered one more question. Taking into account all of the great info you and others have shared about how to maximize your batteries and range, if your 2012 Leaf already has lost 3 bars, would you expect to be able to utilize it in a 40 mile radius for another few years if you followed these charging tips and drove conservatively? At what point is a new battery pack imperative for driving?

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