The wave of support and improved technology for all-electric vehicles is a tide that is raising the entire industry. More cars mean more owners, means more charging stations which mean more cars, and so on. Tesla cracked the code for producing a sufficient number of cars a week. The range is increasing by the month. It is all good. Except, for owners of the Nissan Leaf. They are put out by the claims Nissan made about their cars, one of the first in the electric car category. This week, the angry Leaf-ites expressed their opinions. It caught Gildshire’s interest. MSN Autos and The Drive helped with the research.
What has the all-electric Leaf owners so angry? They claim that the company lied to them about battery charge times and driving ranges. Nissan reportedly told potential buyers, both online and in the showroom, that it would take approximately 40 minutes to charge their vehicles. That would be for an 80% charge under moderate driving conditions. Such a charge would be possible through the use of so-called, “rapid-chargers.” The company later backpedaled a bit, adjusting the projected time needed to charge to 40-60 minutes. But drivers have complained they need up to two and a half hours to recharge.
Range issues have cropped up, as well. Leaf owners claim that Nissan advertised that a single charge would allow the car to go 235 miles before needing to recharge. Drivers say that isn’t close to being accurate, as real-world driving conditions have led to a range of closer to 150 miles.
Nissan backpedaled about this issue, as well. The company responded by changing the goalposts for range performance. Here is what they said:
“The original claim of 235 miles was correct under the New European Driving Cycle, an official means of measurement designed to assess a car’s fuel economy. But carmakers have since moved to a new system called the Worldwide harmonized Light vehicle Test Procedure, and the range is now officially 168 miles.”
If Nissan expected that to mollify Leaf owners they turned out to be mistaken. More than a few prospective owners have chosen to cancel their orders for the vehicles.
Gildshire will stay on top of this story as it develops. It may turn out to be a minor hiccup in the Leaf story. Or, it may turn out to be more important than that.