A Nissan Leaf road test by The Wall Street Journal showed that the vehicle’s driving range is strongly linked to outdoor temperature.
Writer Jonathon Welsh, who drove the vehicle for one day, found that its range dropped quickly in the harsh 20-degree weather of Detroit. When the car was delivered, he said, it displayed a driving range of 93 miles. When he turned on the heat and drove 22.6 miles from his office to his home, the vehicle’s range plummeted to 44 miles. After driving the vehicle for a day and putting just 49.5 miles on the odometer, the Leaf’s range indicator showed just eight miles remaining.
It sounds as if the use of the heater had a significant effect on the vehicle’s range. Welsh writes that he turned the blower up to two notches out of a possible seven on the first day. When the next morning’s temperature dropped to 12 degrees, he still didn’t turn the blower up full blast (which he said he would have done in his own gas-burning car).
For obvious reasons, the first five states to get the Nissan Leaf will be California, Washington, Oregon, Tennessee and Arizona.