EPA Rates the 2011 Nissan LEAF at 99 mpg, 73 Mile Range. But Will Also Have FTC Sticker Stating a 96 to 110 Mile Range

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Nissan LEAF is rated at 99 MPGe

The EPA has released its official ratings for the Nissan LEAF on fuel economy, has received a combined 99 mpg (equivalent) rating, based on 106 city and 92 highway, making it the “best in the midsize vehicle class for fuel efficiency and best for the environment” according to Nissan’s media release.   

As for the official range, which we knew ahead of time would be considerably lower than the “estimated 100 miles” based on he LA4 cycle, and was put at 73 miles. Which keeps in line with the EA’s new guidelines to judge performance very conservatively.

To make matters even more confusing on the range however, is that the LEAF will also have a FTC sticker that will put the range at 96 to 110 miles…so who do you believe.  Is not the point of these stickers to avoid this kind of thing?

In talking to the NYT, Mark Perry, director of EV and Advanced Technology, said on the range, “Driving behavior, temperature — those things do affect your range. We’re trying to be very open so folks are making the right decision for them. We don’t want them to be surprised.”

Also of interested is the estimated annual fuel costs, which are pegged at $561.  The estimated time for charging is listed at seven hours on 240V.

“We’re pleased the label clearly demonstrates the Nissan Leaf to be a best-in-class option,” said Scott Becker, senior vice president of finance and administration for Nissan in the Americas. “The label provides consumers with a tool to compare alternative-fuel vehicles to those with a traditional internal combustion engine.”

According to Nissan’s press release, the  MPGe calculation is based on the EPA’s formula of 33.7kW-hrs being equivalent to one gallon gasoline energy…which leads to a whole other discussion of whether or not this number is actually meanful or not (it isn’t…but we won’t get into here).  Although Mark Perry did take a stab at it, “The tough part with an electric vehicle is we have no gallons. We have no gas. But we understand the need to provide a comparison and that’s what the formula does.”   While also adding that while a 12 cents/kWh charge for electricity is assumed for the purposes of issuing a sticker, prices fluctuate significantly from region to region, and time of day.

As of press no word on the LEAF electric compatriot, the Chevrolet Volt, but given these numbers and the EPA formulation, it would not be hard to make a pretty accurate guess.

FULL NISSAN PRESS RELEASE:

EPA Rates THE ALL-ELECTRIC, ZERO-EMISSION, Nissan LEAF ‘Best’ in Class for FUEL Efficiency, Environment

– Nissan LEAF label approved as Nissan prepares for December launch –
.

FRANKLIN, Tenn. ( Nov. 22, 2010) – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved its fuel-economy label for the 100-percent electric Nissan LEAF, rating the vehicle to be “best” in the midsize vehicle class for fuel efficiency and “best” for the environment. The new label shows a best-in-class 99 miles-per-gallon (MPG) equivalent (combined city/highway). The MPG equivalency rating was developed by the EPA as a way to provide a standard so consumers can compare vehicles across the spectrum and make an educated purchase.

The 2011 Nissan LEAF, which uses no gas, was also rated best-in-class for the environment based on emitting zero greenhouse gases or other traditional tailpipe emissions. The label, which will be part of the Nissan LEAF’s Monroney label, is now ready for placement on the vehicles in anticipation of the December launch. After completion of five-cycle testing, the EPA has rated the Nissan LEAF with an MPG equivalent of 106 city, 92 highway for a combined 99 MPGe. This calculation is based on the EPA’s formula of 33.7kW-hrs being equivalent to one gallon gasoline energy. In addition, the label displays a charging time of seven hours on a 240V charge and a driving range of 73 miles, based on the five-cycle tests using varying driving conditions and climate controls. Driving range on the Nissan LEAF, as with all vehicles, varies with real-world driving conditions.

“We’re pleased the label clearly demonstrates the Nissan LEAF to be a best-in-class option, reflecting that it’s a pure electric vehicle, uses no gas, has no tailpipe and has zero emissions,” said Scott Becker, senior vice president, Finance and Administration, Nissan Americas. “The label provides consumers with a tool to compare alternative-fuel vehicles to those with a traditional internal combustion engine and allows them to make an informed purchase decision.”
Sales of the Nissan LEAF will begin in December in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona and Tennessee. In January 2011, sales begin in Texas and Hawaii, with additional market roll-out continuing later in 2011.

In North America, Nissan’s operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program 2010 and has been recognized as a 2010 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. More information on Nissan in North America, the Nissan LEAF and zero emissions can be found at www.nissanusa.com

(EPA photo via ABG, Mark Perry quotes via NYT)

72 Responses

  1. Herm says:

    ahh the famous 30% fudge factor adjustment has been applied, we will see how well it applies to the average EV driver.

    I still like the LA-4 urban cycle, based on data from actual drivers in the LA area, average speeds of 19.6mph.. what the LEAF was intended for, city driving and not a hwy cruiser.

    A good tech writeup here:
    http://69.12.216.103/topics/6031

      (Quote)

  2. Herm said:
    ahh the famous 30% fudge factor adjustment has been applied, we will see how well it applies to the average EV driver.

    I still like the LA-4 urban cycle, based on data from actual drivers in the LA area, average speeds of 19.6mph.. what the LEAF was intended for, city driving and not a hwy cruiser.

    A good tech writeup here:
    http://69.12.216.103/topics/6031  (Quote)

    I don’t think anyone is really happy with these EPA (or FTC) labels in any of the ‘plug-in’ electric camps.

    The annual cost is a terrible idea, and the range is all over the map. If they felt it necessary to attempt to give out useful information, I would have rather seen a range based on heavy, moderate, and light driving styles/conditions, and then list the kWh/mile beside that…so if a consumer wants to know the cost, they can just do the math with their own.

    Some areas will have ‘time of day’ subsidized programs as low as .4 cents/kWh and others might be north of .30/kWh. Thats some wicked variance.

      (Quote)

  3. SeattleWA says:

    This sticker is going to skin any car that is a plugin. The Volt probably now gets a 25-28 mile rating, its combined MPGE is going to be lucky to beat the Prius & how will it look if the EPA says the Prius is cheaper to operate than a Volt. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

      (Quote)

  4. Herm says:

    I don’t think anyone is really happy with these EPA (or FTC) labels in any of the ‘plug-in’ electric camps.

    Completely agree, the part that irritates me the most is that synthetic MPGe number, what a waste of ink.. Pretty soon solar system installers will start quoting “our system produces 97 oz of gasoline every day”.

    Range is the only useful thing in that sticker, and is based on human drivers actually driving the LEAF (on a dynamometer, watching a computer monitor) in a known pattern. It is useful for comparing to other cars.

    Drivers that use the computer aid in the LEAF to drive properly may get different results, assuming the charge the battery to 100% which is not recommended you do everyday. I am waiting for Gedes to get hold of a LEAF for a few days.

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  5. Ohmie says:

    I like how it rates in the comparison: the indicator is pinned to the extreme, barely still on the chart.

    Economy: 99, Best
    Emissions: 0, Best
    Other pollutants: 10, Best

    Of course, there’s no other way to score it.

    Nice!

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  6. DonC says:

    Range is the only useful thing in that sticker, and is based on human drivers actually driving the LEAF (on a dynamometer, watching a computer monitor) in a known pattern. It is useful for comparing to other cars.

    Yes, the range has the advantage of being related to something people have experience with, the MPG numbers on other stickers. I wish Nissan would stop beating the 100 mile on LA4 since I don’t think that’s realistic — the LA4 urban drive cycle was from 1964, which is almost fifty years ago.

    And yes, MPGe is useless. it’s like saying you could get the juice from X number of apples from Y number of oranges. Huh?

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  7. Van says:

    Where to begin?? Is 34 KWh equivalent to 1 gallon of gas? Not really. A good modern car can get about 40 miles per gallon, and an EV can get about 40 miles per 10 KWh, so the actual equivalent is 10 not 34. What the EPA misses is that folks equate miles per gallon achieved by an engine that is only 30% efficient. 30% of 34 is about 10. :)

    The expected range on 73 miles per charge appears spot on based on actual reported mileage. If you go 15,000 @ 73 per charge, then you would need to pay for 205 charges. Lets say each charge requires 20 KWh and you pay 13.7 cents per KWh. That works out to about $561 dollars.

    And finally if you pay for 20 KWh to go 73 miles, that is 146 MPGe. :)

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  8. Carcus says:

    Is this EPA sticker measuring wall to wheels or battery to wheels?

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  9. bt says:

    SeattleWA is likely close to the reality the Volt will be rated at.

    Just seems to me the EPA had a chance to think outside the box on this one, but just couldn’t get out of the barrel(petro type) in its mindset.

    Chalk this one up to ‘lost opportunity.’

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  10. Carcus says:

    Somebody’s going to have to help me with the math here:

    $561/year divided by .12/kwh = 4,675 kwh/year or 4,675,000 wh/year.

    4,675,000 wh / 15,000 miles = 311.67 wh/mile.

    I can’t get 311.67 wh/mile to work into any of the other MPGe numbers at 33.7kwhs per gallon. (you’d think this would work off of the 99 mpge combined) ?????

    /surely all of this is based off of wall to wheels, if they are going to put a $ value on kwh’s then you are going to pay at the wall, not at the battery. It wouldn’t make any sense to mix in cost estimates unless you are talking about wall to wheels.

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  11. Carcus says:

    add,……

    311.67 wh/mile works out to 108.1 mpgE. That is of course higher than any of the 106/92/99 mpgE ratings (city/hwy/combined) given on the sticker. So how did they figure it was going to take $561 worth of electricity to travel 15,000 miles if they are valuing electricity at .12/kwh?

    /must be something I’m missing here

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  12. DonC says:

    Is this EPA sticker measuring wall to wheels or battery to wheels?

    Wall to wheels. 15,000 miles. 5100 kWh for 15,000 miles. $.11/kWh. $561 per year.

      (Quote)

  13. DonC says:

    The expected range on 73 miles per charge appears spot on based on actual reported mileage. If you go 15,000 @ 73 per charge, then you would need to pay for 205 charges. Lets say each charge requires 20 KWh and you pay 13.7 cents per KWh. That works out to about $561 dollars.

    Range is battery to wheels but kWh/100 miles is wall to wheels. So to go 15,000 miles you’d need 5100 kWh (15,000 miles/100 miles X 34 kWh). Mileage will of course vary. For me 5100 kWh would cost less than $175. Just depends on your situation.

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  14. GXT says:

    Wall to wheels. 15,000 miles. 5100 kWh for 15,000 miles. $.11/kWh. $561 per year.  (Quote)

    That works out, but the sticker clearly says the cost is based on $.12/kWh, not .11. So how did they come up with $561?

      (Quote)

  15. DonC says:

    That works out, but the sticker clearly says the cost is based on $.12/kWh, not .11. So how did they come up with $561?

    I didn’t look at the sticker’s estimate for kWh cost. If it’s $.12/kWh then the numbers don’t work. It’s a straightforward calculation. Maybe they use a different mixture of City/Highway when calculating range and cost.

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  16. DonC says:

    The FTC sticker just uses the unadjusted City and Highway numbers that you get from the dynamometer. The difference would be that for the EPA sticker those numbers are adjusted downwards by a 30% factor to reflect real world driving cycles. So the best practice would be to avoid the FTC sticker. Oh well.

    75 miles is not that big of a limitation but it may be off-putting to some. I think Nissan thinks it will be — hence the 100 mile hype on LA4.

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  17. Carcus says:

    I didn’t look at the sticker’s estimate for kWh cost. If it’s $.12/kWh then the numbers don’t work. It’s a straightforward calculation. Maybe they use a different mixture of City/Highway when calculating range and cost.  

    Yep. It works with .11. Looks like somebody effed up.

      (Quote)

  18. DonC says:

    What’s a little disappointing is that the Leaf isn’t any more efficient than the mini-E, which was more or less a brick. Of course that may just represent the fact that the HWY Cycle is more like a rural road so the stickers aren’t going to give a good sense of efficiency at highway speeds.

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  19. xRB says:

    What’s a little disappointing is that the Leaf isn’t any more efficient than the mini-E, which was more or less a brick. Of course that may just represent the fact that the HWY Cycle is more like a rural road so the stickers aren’t going to give a good sense of efficiency at highway speeds.  

    Is there an EPA sticker for the Mini-E?

      (Quote)

  20. xRB says:

    “The average retail price of electricity in the United States in 2008 was 9.74 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh).” (DOE)

    On what basis is some other number being used?

      (Quote)

  21. DonC said:
    What’s a little disappointing is that the Leaf isn’t any more efficient than the mini-E, which was more or less a brick. Of course that may just represent the fact that the HWY Cycle is more like a rural road so the stickers aren’t going to give a good sense of efficiency at highway speeds.  (Quote)

    I’m not sure any cars will be un-brick like using their methodology. Once there is more cars quantified we can use it as a comparable I suppose.

    We will never know, but not sure what kind of range/MPGe they would put on the MINI E given the 500 car field test…seems like the average range Lyle and others was getting was in the 85-95 neighbourhood off of a 35 kWh battery. Put the 30% penalty on that, and it would not be pretty either.

    It is the two sticker thing that really gets me, there should only be one. They both only work to invalidate/undermine the other.

      (Quote)

  22. xRB says:

    OT, whatever the sticker says, most likely a real Leaf is going to need a battery replacement somewhere in the 2 to 4 year time period to remain a usable car.

    Recognizing that fact, a critical questions is: Is the Leaf designed to make replacement a straightforward procedure? Is this change something that dealers will know how to do? Will dealers have the right equipment to do it?

    Manipulating objects of several hundred pounds, up in the air, over your head, is not a capability that comes naturally. There also are high enough voltages involved that the connections couldl be dangerous. Of course, both connections and weight are readily handled with the right design, equipment, and training. Will these critical elements be in place?

    If we don’t have assurance that the batteries can be replaced in a smooth and straightforward way, none of us should have a Leaf.

    Can someone help us with this information? I need reassurance. :) You do too :)

      (Quote)

  23. 21mi._day says:

    OT, whatever the sticker says, most likely a real Leaf is going to need a battery replacement somewhere in the 2 to 4 year time period to remain a usable car.

    Or, you could sell your Leaf to me after 2 years! ;-) I drive 21 miles on my long day – less on other days.

      (Quote)

  24. rvd says:

    73 miles range isn’t pretty
    bad news for Leaf

      (Quote)

  25. DonC says:

    We will never know, but not sure what kind of range/MPGe they would put on the MINI E given the 500 car field test…

    Using the exact same methodology the EPA gave it exactly the same efficiency rating, more or less. Here’s a description:

    “Because BMW wished to ship Mini-e cars from the port, it worked with EPA to develop a sticker format, and EPA testing produced kW·h/mi numbers of 33 and 36 for 100 mi. Dividing by 100 to produce per-mile figures yields 0.33 kW·h/mi-city and 0.36 kWh/mi-highway, including the 30% correction factor. Dividing the mpg equivalent of 33.7 kW·h/gal (based on 33,705 W·h/gal) by 0.33 kW·h/mi-city equals 102 mpg. Dividing 33.7 by 0.36 kW·h/mi-highway equals 94 mpg.

    The numbers also were weighted (55 city/45 highway) to produce a combined mark of 0.34 kW·h/mi, rounded up. Dividing 33.7 kW·h/gal by 0.34 kW·h/mi equals 99 mpg combined, but raw numbers result in a rounding down to 98 mpg.”

      (Quote)

  26. Carcus says:

    The 73 is somewhat disappointing. I would have guessed a little north of 80 based off what we’ve heard so far.

      (Quote)

  27. stuart22 says:

    I think the EPA is infested with OPEC lobbyists.

      (Quote)

  28. DonC says:

    Is there an EPA sticker for the Mini-E?

    I was trying to figure out how to post the image of the sticker when, Duh, I realized the sticker was featured in the article which I quoted for Jay. This has a great description BTW of how all these numbers are calculated. http://www.sae.org/mags/AEI/6559

    The cost of electricity I think comes from a DOE survey. For the last year, 2009, the “real” cost was $.1055/kWh so I don’t have much of an idea where the $.12 came from. Just more mysterious workings of government ….. LOL

      (Quote)

  29. DonC says:

    The 73 is somewhat disappointing. I would have guessed a little north of 80 based off what we’ve heard so far.

    LA4 is the old UDDS and you have to apply the 30% reduction factor. So if it’s 100 miles on LA4 it more or less has to be 70 miles on the EPA range. Honda pointed this out last week in the press release for the Honda Fit Electric — it just came out and said the Fit would have a range of 100 miles on LA4 which would be 70 miles on the EPA sticker.

    I’m just wondering how much screaming there would be if GM had been caught making the same exaggerated claims as Nissan. Everyone would would be all over GM’s case like a bad rash. The roar of criticism of Nissan is, well, absent. Definitely a double standard.

      (Quote)

  30. erg4all says:

    I think that the Annual Electric Cost number is far too arbitrary. They should NOT have a single large font number purporting to be the annual electric cost. I would rather see a 16 row table ranging from 0 cents/kWh (for photovoltaics) up through, say $0.15/kWh. I fear that many people WON’T do the math and that $561 number will stick in their head. Thus, they really don’t see how inexpensive the car is to run. Many, if not all, utilities have a TOU (time of use) rate at night that is far less than the $0.12/kWh. Because the LEAF can be easily charged at night with its internal timer, the night-time rates would be much more indicative of how the average owner will charge the vehicle. For an ICE the cost per gallon of fuel varies a whole lot less than a range of $0.00 to $0.15/kWh so I can see having just one number for annual fuel cost for ICE cars. LIke someone earlier noted the EPA needs to think more “out of the box”.

      (Quote)

  31. Carcus says:

    LA4 is the old UDDS and you have to apply the 30% reduction factor. So if it’s 100 miles on LA4 it more or less has to be 70 miles on the EPA range. Honda pointed this out last week in the press release for the Honda Fit Electric — it just came out and said the Fit would have a range of 100 miles on LA4 which would be 70 miles on the EPA sticker.I’m just wondering how much screaming there would be if GM had been caught making the same exaggerated claims as Nissan. Everyone would would be all over GM’s case like a bad rash. The roar of criticism of Nissan is, well, absent. Definitely a double standard.  

    Oh, brother!

      (Quote)

  32. Carcus says:

    DonC,

    Guess you’ve got the EPA ratings nailed down. So how about telling us what all the numbers on the Volt’s EPA sticker will be?

      (Quote)

  33. Gwido says:

    It is a stupid idea to use MPG (equivalent) to rate an electric cars’s efficiency. The bold number should be the 34 kWh/100m . At least they put it there. And in order to allow comparison to gas cars, the label could include the efficiency in kWh/100m for all cars (in addition to MPG).

    I too am a little bit disappointed that the LEAF is not more efficient than the Mini-e…

      (Quote)

  34. Gwido says:

    I think that the Annual Electric Cost number is far too arbitrary.They should NOT have a single large font number purporting to be the annual electric cost.I would rather see a 16 row table ranging from 0 cents/kWh (for photovoltaics) up through, say $0.15/kWh.I fear that many people WON’T do the math and that $561 number will stick in their head.Thus, they really don’t see how inexpensive the car is to run.”.  

    I think that number is fine. You see the same thing (annual electric cost) on the Energy Guide label for electric appliances.
    And $561 is inexpensive compared to a gas car. The least expensive gas car is the Toyota Prius at $864 annually.

      (Quote)

  35. DonC says:

    Oh, brother!

    Ha ha. You’ve been so thoroughly duped you don’t recognize you’ve been duped. You’ve said that you thought the range would be in the 80s. Why is that? I’ll tell you why. Nissan has so incessantly talked about a 100 mile range that they’ve succeeded in creating an anchor point, a point of reference. So while you know that the LA4 Cycle is very mild, you don’t know exactly how mild it is, so you use the 100 mile range as a reference point and subtract from that. Like maybe 15%, which gives you 80-85 mile range.

    Same trick that automakers use when setting MSRP and when car dealers want you to make the first offer. It’s all about anchor points. And manipulating the anchor points can be deceptive.

    Chelsea Sexton has long maintained that one of the worst things a manufacturer can do is overhype the range of its EV. In her view it’s better to provide a good real world number than some theoretical range than real regular drivers — no early adopter nuts — will get in the real world. Seems like Nissan wan’t listening because they’re worried that if you admit the range is 70 miles too many people will conclude the range is too short. We’ll see how it works out. So what we got was the 100 mile range number and then some fairly vague double talk about how that might be less .. or more … depending on other factors. But clearly the anchor point they intended to set was 100 miles.

    In this regard note that the mini-W, using the same standards applied to the Leaf, had a range of 100 miles. Not 70 miles but 100 miles. And some mini-E drivers said that in winter during highway driving that range dropped to 50 — before battery degradation started. Don’t you think that you’re going to have a few unhappy campers if the range of their Leaf turns out to be 35 miles rather than the promised 100 miles?

      (Quote)

  36. DonC says:

    Guess you’ve got the EPA ratings nailed down. So how about telling us what all the numbers on the Volt’s EPA sticker will be?

    I’ll guess. No problem. Efficiency wise it will be about the same in CD Mode. Slightly worse on the City Cycle and better on the Highway Cycle. Maybe 104 MPGe City and 100 MPGe Highway. My guess is combined MPG will be 38 in CS Mode. Hard to even guess what the EPA will do for MPGe since it hasn’t said whether it will use the J1711 procedure.

    AER maybe 36, or a little better than half the Leaf’s. Note this is a real range not a range plus a “turtle” range.

      (Quote)

  37. JEff says:

    Thing is, lower than average off-peak TOU rates are tied to higher than average on-peak TOU rates. For many people, maybe most people, going to a TOU rate schedule might be more expensive with the increase in cost for normal household on-peak use exceeding the savings for off-peak charging of an EV.

    As you say – “many people WON’T do the math”. I agree with you on that, especially because doing the math can be very difficult when evaluating a TOU rate.

    I fear that many people WON’T do the math and that $561 number will stick in their head. Thus, they really don’t see how inexpensive the car is to run. Many, if not all, utilities have a TOU (time of use) rate at night that is far less than the $0.12/kWh. Because the LEAF can be easily charged at night with its internal timer, the night-time rates would be much more indicative of how the average owner will charge the vehicle.  

      (Quote)

  38. JEff says:

    Why are you looking at 2008? That was 2 years ago.

    Serendipity, perhaps, but EIA estimates that the average cost per kwhr for August 2010 was 12.02 cents. And for August 2009 it was 12 cents. So it’s not an unreasonable number to use.

    However, 10 cents (essentially the 2008 average you quote) would also be a reasonable number to have used, and would make it easier for people to ‘do the math’ and adjust for their own current utility rate.

    “The average retail price of electricity in the United States in 2008 was 9.74 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh).” (DOE)On what basis is some other number being used?  

      (Quote)

  39. Future Leaf Driver says:

    Ha ha. You’ve been so thoroughly duped you don’t recognize you’ve been duped. You’ve said that you thought the range would be in the 80s. Why is that? I’ll tell you why. Nissan has so incessantly talked about a 100 mile range that they’ve succeeded in creating an anchor point, a point of reference. So while you know that the LA4 Cycle is very mild, you don’t know exactly how mild it is, so you use the 100 mile range as a reference point and subtract from that. Like maybe 15%, which gives you 80-85 mile range.
    Same trick that automakers use when setting MSRP and when car dealers want you to make the first offer. It’s all about anchor points. And manipulating the anchor points can be deceptive.
    Chelsea Sexton has long maintained that one of the worst things a manufacturer can do is overhype the range of its EV. In her view it’s better to provide a good real world number than some theoretical range than real regular drivers — no early adopter nuts — will get in the real world. Seems like Nissan wan’t listening because they’re worried that if you admit the range is 70 miles too many people will conclude the range is too short. We’ll see how it works out. So what we got was the 100 mile range number and then some fairly vague double talk about how that might be less .. or more … depending on other factors. But clearly the anchor point they intended to set was 100 miles.In this regard note that the mini-W, using the same standards applied to the Leaf, had a range of 100 miles. Not 70 miles but 100 miles. And some mini-E drivers said that in winter during highway driving that range dropped to 50 — before battery degradation started. Don’t you think that you’re going to have a few unhappy campers if the range of their Leaf turns out to be 35 miles rather than the promised 100 miles?  

    Hasn’t Nissan quoted ranges figures from 47 to 137 miles pending driving habits & climates variables? What’s the big deal with this EPA info?

    GO EV!!! GO LEAF!!!

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  40. Future Leaf Driver says:

    I’ll guess. No problem. Efficiency wise it will be about the same in CD Mode. Slightly worse on the City Cycle and better on the Highway Cycle. Maybe 104 MPGe City and 100 MPGe Highway. My guess is combined MPG will be 38 in CS Mode. Hard to even guess what the EPA will do for MPGe since it hasn’t said whether it will use the J1711 procedure.
    AER maybe 36, or a little better than half the Leaf’s. Note this is a real range not a range plus a “turtle” range.  

    The Volt’s range better be great for $41,000.00 dollars!!!

    GO PURE EV!!! GO LEAF!!!

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  41. rvd says:

    Definitely a double standard.


    What are you talking about? GM lied SO MANY times just about everything! Price, range, mileage, power-train, CS mode, you name it. I can not remember if they told truth ever.

    Nissan so far screwed up just once IMHO, and I am sure this is gonna bite their asses as well. However, by all means arguments of 100 miles vs 73 is still much better than bogus 230MPG claim from GM.

    Let’s just wait see how Volt’s sticker compares to Prius now.

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  42. Future Leaf Driver says:

    OT, whatever the sticker says, most likely a real Leaf is going to need a battery replacement somewhere in the 2 to 4 year time period to remain a usable car.Recognizing that fact, a critical questions is:Is the Leaf designed to make replacement a straightforward procedure?Is this change something that dealers will know how to do?Will dealers have the right equipment to do it?Manipulating objects of several hundred pounds, up in the air, over your head, is not a capability that comes naturally.There also are high enough voltages involved that the connections couldl be dangerous.Of course, both connections and weight are readily handled with the right design, equipment, and training.Will these critical elements be in place?If we don’t have assurance that the batteries can be replaced in a smooth and straightforward way, none of us should have a Leaf.Can someone help us with this information?I need reassurance. You do too   

    Nissan LEAF’s battery is to last 8 years @ 70~80% capacity. Battery replacement modules will be swapped out should the packs require that at the yearly battery checkup. Dealers will be trained to perform this service, not end user. (Source – Nissan Electric Drive Tour – Nov.13, 2010.)

    If anyone has the chance/ability to attend a “Nissan Electric Drive Tour” in your area, I’d suggest you go. You’ll learn a lot of first hand knowledge right from Nissan rather than what’s assumed/taken for granted/take for granted or without proof/etc.

    GO PURE EV!!! GO LEAF!!!

      (Quote)

  43. Future Leaf Driver says:


    What are you talking about? GM lied SO MANY times just about everything! Price, range, mileage, power-train, CS mode, you name it. I can not remember if they told truth ever.Nissan so far screwed up just once IMHO, and I am sure this is gonna bite their asses as well. However, by all means arguments of 100 miles vs 73 is still much better than bogus 230MPG claim from GM.Let’s just wait see how Volt’s sticker compares to Prius now.  

    Ya, you can maybe forgive the range, mileage, CS mode, etc – but how do you make a mistake of $11000.00 dollars. This will be the one issue that will curb sales for the volt while Nissan, Mitsu, etc. sell their EV offerings for under $30K.

    GO PURE EV!!! GO AFFORDABLE LEAF!!! (~$20K in CA!!!)

      (Quote)

  44. xRB says:

    Completely agree, the part that irritates me the most is that synthetic MPGe number, what a waste of ink.

    .
    Yes, yes, yes.

      (Quote)

  45. Herm says:

    Ya, you can maybe forgive the range, mileage, CS mode, etc – but how do you make a mistake of $11000.00 dollars.

    Download the 60 page pdf SAE magazine on the Volt’s development and you will understand where the cost is coming from.. pretty good and colorful read BTW, it is good fun read:

    http://pages.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/sae/10EVSD1104/offline/sae_10EVSD1104_pdf.zip

      (Quote)

  46. Carcus says:

    One thing that hasn’t been mentioned yet is “eco mode”.

    We have heard from Nissan reps that eco mode will increase the range 10% — which would be just north of 80 miles. (73 miles x 1.1 = 80.3).

    From what I remember, test drives have reported the eco mode to be ok. (i.e., not too lethargic, as opposed to the Honda CR-Z where everyone says the eco mode sucks).

      (Quote)

  47. Carcus says:

    where the cost is coming from..

    The huge problem for GM is that it isn’t likely that the Volt can drop much in price. Where as there is a high likely-hood that the Leaf can come down to hold a $25,000 price tag after the tax credits are gone.

    Once the dust settles and the early adopter frenzy is over….. you can probably make a viable case for a $25,000 Leaf, but it’ll be impossible to justify a $41,000 Volt — regardless of gas prices.

    Of course, the first and always rebuttle to this is that GM will get the price down through volume and evolution. That’s how the Volt is justified. This is just Gen 1. By gen2 or certainly gen3 this thing is going to be really cheap … right ???!!!

    Wrong.

    Check the track records….

    Which of these have fallen appreciably in price:

    Toyota hybrids
    Honda hybrids
    Ford hybrids
    GM hybrids

    Answer: None. None of these have fallen. Now why in the world is GM’s new hybrid going to all of the sudden drop 30% or 40% in price?

    The only thing you can hope for is that the Volt’s battery pack will fall off maybe $4,000 or $5,000 in price. And that only gets the Volt down to $37,000 or $36,000. No where near cheap enough to compete in the mainstream market — especially considering the battery price drop will show up in a bigger way on BEV’s with larger batteries.

      (Quote)

  48. rvd says:

    60 page pdf SAE magazine on the Volt’s development

    nice pics, but I guess pretty much any car is engineered similarly nowadays

      (Quote)

  49. Carcus said:
    One thing that hasn’t been mentioned yet is “eco mode”.

    We have heard from Nissan reps that eco mode will increase the range 10% — which would be just north of 80 miles. (73 miles x 1.1 = 80.3).

    From what I remember, test drives have reported the eco mode to be ok. (i.e., not too lethargic, as opposed to the Honda CR-Z where everyone says the eco mode sucks).  (Quote)

    That is an interesting point. The EPA will pretty much test any slight difference in engine choices for fuel economy in a petrol car, whether it be even a tenth of a point in displacement, or a turbo, extra cylinders, etc. Features like the eco mode on the LEAF (and other electrics), would fundamentally change the power draw from the battery over the same EPA test.

    …which leads us right back to the discussion that these EPA stickers, regardless of what plug-in they are evaluating, have a lot of flaws and still need refining..

      (Quote)

  50. Future Leaf Driver says:

    The huge problem for GMis that it isn’t likely that the Volt can drop much in price.Where as there is a high likely-hood that the Leaf can come down to hold a $25,000 price tag after the tax credits are gone.Once the dust settles and the early adopter frenzy is over…..you can probably make a viable case for a $25,000 Leaf,but it’ll be impossible to justify a $41,000 Volt — regardless of gas prices.Of course, the first and always rebuttle to this is that GM will get the price down through volume and evolution.That’s how the Volt is justified.This is just Gen 1.By gen2 or certainly gen3 this thing is going to be really cheap … right ???!!!Wrong.Check the track records….Which of these have fallen appreciably in price:Toyota hybrids
    Honda hybrids
    Ford hybrids
    GM hybridsAnswer:None. None of these have fallen.Now why in the world is GM’s new hybrid going to all of the sudden drop30% or 40% in price?The only thing you can hope for is that the Volt’s battery pack will fall off maybe $4,000 or $5,000 in price. And that only gets the Volt down to $37,000 or $36,000.No where near cheap enough to compete in the mainstream market — especially considering the battery price drop will show up in a bigger way on BEV’s with larger batteries.  

    That’s why the slightly over $30K EV Cruze is sure to be announced to compete with the LEAF, price!

    GO EV!!! GO AFFORDABLE LEAF!

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  51. Herm says:

    One thing that hasn’t been mentioned yet is “eco mode”.

    Did the EPA use eco mode?.. the tester is watching a computer monitor that tells him to accelerate or slow down, he is not watching the economy helper in the LEAFs dash.. perhaps worth a few more miles of range.

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  52. Herm says:

    That’s why the slightly over $30K EV Cruze is sure to be announced to compete with the LEAF, price!GO EV!!! GO AFFORDABLE LEAF!

    God knows if the Cruze BEV will ever be sold in the US, and no idea on the cost either.. also the design has not been optimized for electric like the LEAF was.

      (Quote)

  53. mark smith says:

    Is this EPA sticker measuring wall to wheels or battery to wheels?  (Quote)

    Surely the phrase is “well to wheels”! – as it was an oil related phrase (oil well to car wheels)

      (Quote)

  54. GeorgeS says:

    Sorry I’m late to the discussion.

    Does the EPA really use a constant 30% fudge factor?

    I thought they actually ran the car thru 3 additional and very specific driving cycles that include higher speed, A/C and colder temperatures, then factored these test results into the baseline, pure HWY test.

    The procedure is called out here:

    http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/fe_test_schedules.shtml

    There is no mention of an arbitrary 30% correction.

      (Quote)

  55. Gwido says:

    Surely the phrase is “well to wheels”! – as it was an oil related phrase (oil well to car wheels)  

    I think Carcus said “wall to wheels” in reference to the electric plug on the wall. Meaning it includes any EVSE and charger inefficiencies. That’s what the consumer needs to know to calculate the electric costs.

      (Quote)

  56. JEff says:

    Thanks for that reference.

    It was good to see that “EPA is currently working to establish somewhat different testing criteria for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids.”, it addresses the concerns of many that the guidelines in place for ICE vehicles are not necessarily appropriate for EVs and hybrids.

    Does the EPA really use a constant 30% fudge factor?I thought they actually ran the car thru 3 additional and very specific driving cycles that include higher speed, A/C and colder temperatures, then factored these test results into the baseline, pure HWY test.The procedure is called out here:http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/fe_test_schedules.shtmlThere is no mention of an arbitrary 30% correction.  

      (Quote)

  57. GeorgeS said:
    Sorry I’m late to the discussion.

    Does the EPA really use a constant 30% fudge factor?

    I thought they actually ran the car thru 3 additional and very specific driving cycles that include higher speed, A/C and colder temperatures, then factored these test results into the baseline, pure HWY test.

    The procedure is called out here:

    http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/fe_test_schedules.shtml

    There is no mention of an arbitrary 30% correction.  (Quote)

    Hey George,

    Your right, there is no bottom line that says to take the final results and then shave 30% off. We don’t really have any published methodology yet for pure EVs (at least I don’t think we do), but for all the tests they do, we knew ahead of these sticker, that it basically works out to be about 30% off the LA4 (give or take a couple points)…so I think that is why people picked up on it.

      (Quote)

  58. GeorgeS says:

    Hey George,Your right, there is no bottom line that says to take the final results and then shave 30% off.We don’t really have any published methodology yet for pure EVs (at least I don’t think we do), but for all the tests they do, we knew ahead of these sticker, that it basically works out to be about 30% off the LA4 (give or take a couple points)…so I think that is why people picked up on it.  

    Thx Jay,
    Are you sure it is 30% off LA4??? or is it 30% off the EPA city and EPA HWY cycles. I remember reading about the 30% correction but can’t find a link. -GSB

      (Quote)

  59. GeorgeS said:
    Thx Jay,
    Are you sure it is 30% off LA4??? or is it 30% off the EPA city and EPA HWY cycles. I remember reading about the 30% correction but can’t find a link. -GSB  (Quote)

    I really can’t say, it was just an obtuse statement from a GM exec. I don’t really think the 30% is a real number in any way, just something that approximates what the EPA’s end result will be from LA4 benchmark, thats why I really didn’t want to mention it at all in the thread.

    Once the EPA gets all the data points out, I am pretty sure no one will ever use LA4 references again, it was just something to fill the void.

      (Quote)

  60. gsned57 says:

    This sticker is going to skin any car that is a plugin.The Volt probably now gets a 25-28 mile rating, its combined MPGE is going to be lucky to beat the Prius & how will it look if the EPA says the Prius is cheaper to operate than a Volt.Stupid, stupid, stupid.  

    GM stated that the Volt actually got 40 miles both city and highway during preliminary tests using the EPA cycle. I wish I could find where they said that but it was a few months ago somewhere at the GM-VOLT website. Following Dr. Lyles driving habits he has a nearly %100 highway commute at 65+ MPH and heat set to 72 degrees and gets about 37MPC. By those accounts I think the volt will be very close to the 40 MPC highway and city numbers. Only time will tell

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  61. Carcus says:

    Is the EPA wrongly applying combustion engine rating techniques to electric cars?

    Why The EPA Is Wrong about the 2011 Leaf Range And Nissan Is Right
    http://www.allcarselectric.com/blog/1051877_why-the-epa-is-wrong-about-the-2011-leaf-range-and-nissan-is-right

      (Quote)

  62. GeorgeS says:

    I went back and studied the 5 cycle test at the link I posted above. My guess is that they actually ran the full 5 cycles (the last 3 tests should include the so called 30% correction). If you look at the one table on the site, you will see that the last test is the cold weather test. In the table, it says this test is run w/ A/C off but it doesn’t say anything about the heater. Of course when this test was invented it was to test the effects of cold start on ICE emissions and obviously an EV has no ICE emissions.

    However, what does apply to EV’s is the effect of cabin heating. In the case of the ICE the cabin heating is just tapping a free source of energy (ICE waste heat), but for the EV this is a big tapper on the battery. I can see where this would have could possibly make the last test have a pretty big effect on EV mileage.

    What we really need is an explanation from the EPA on how they conducted the test.

      (Quote)

  63. GeorgeS says:

    And one other last second comment:

    If they actually soaked the battery to the 20degf temp for the last test this would effect the test results even more.

      (Quote)

  64. jw huber says:

    My return email from the EPA on the Leaf EPA sticker.

    Dear JW Huber,

    Thanks for your comments on the Nissan Leaf numbers. In fact, 33.7 kilowatt-hours is equivalent to 1 gallon of gasoline in terms of energy content, which is the scientific basis of the calculation of MPGe. We know that one gallon of gasoline produces roughly 115,000 Btus of energy, or in electrical terms, 33.7 Kw-hrs.

    We test electric vehicles basically by running them over the City and Highway drive cycles until they can run no more, and by measuring the total recharge energy in watt-hours we determine a watt-hrs per mile value, which can then be used to determine the MPG-equivalent.

    Let’s say the Leaf drove 73 miles and used 20 kilowatt-hours doing so, per your example below. In terms of energy content, 20 kilowatt-hours is equivalent to about 0.6 gallons of gas (20.0/33.7), yielding an MPG-equivalent of about 122 (73 miles / 0.6 gallons).

    This is a good scientific way of equating the two fuels that deals only in scientific facts, allows comparison of electric vehicles to other vehicles on a consistent and level playing field, and is free of unnecessary assumptions.

    I hope this helps clarify the methodology, but please let me know if you have any additional questions.

    Sincerely,
    Rob French
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
    Office of Transportation and Air Quality
    2000 Traverwood Drive
    Ann Arbor, MI, 48105

      (Quote)

  65. jw huber says:

    The EPA figures 122 MPGe on the Leaf using 20 KW of the battery under the normal 80 percent rule of charging specs dictated by Nissan.

      (Quote)

  66. jr23 says:

    electricity in NE us is .15 to 18 cents a kw
    how many mpg does the tow truck get if you drive too far or leave the lights on
    we need the clean diesels that are all over world except USA
    ford,gm international the Japanese
    why are we not given the option? IE the transit connect an nice small truck 24mpg diesel 40 to 50mpg and it could be run on bio

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  67. Greg says:

    Finally recieved my Leaf in March. Just using the charger that came with the car. Works just fine. I charge from 8 pm to 8 am and have a full take every morning. Average about 40 miles per day. Which still saves me about $10 a day in gas cost from using my SUV. Still wouldn’t mind a free charger. I figure my leaf gets 166 mpg compared to the my SUV and gas costing $3.80 p/g.

      (Quote)

  68. First off I want to say terrific blog! I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your head prior to writing. I have had a hard time clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts out. I do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are generally lost just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or tips? Appreciate it!

      (Quote)

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