Nissan can now tack-on range as a plaguing issue among LEAF owners. Various sources estimated the LEAF’s range at 100 miles, give or take weather and terrain conditions. Unfortunately, some LEAF drivers in the United States have been left stranded due to the vehicle’s unpredictable range.
A lot of factors go into just how much range a driver can get with a Nissan LEAF, but the general consensus over at the MyNissanLEAF forum, makes it seem like the vehicle’s reported 100-mile range is false. Many drivers have had their trips come to a screeching halt due to range issues. Drivers found their vehicle going into “turtle” mode — marked by an orange turtle icon on the Leaf’s dash — and would then be followed by the car shutting down to prevent battery damage.
The Nissan LEAF is supposed to gradually warn the driver, verbally and visually, before the turtle icon switches on. However, this hasn’t been the case for some owners. Here’s what one LEAF owner from San Diego had happen to him on the road last month:
“Went from 17 to —- to turtle to dead in about 5 miles. 2.3 miles from dealer. 4.2 miles from home. Part of me is amused that I may go down in history as the first dumbass to drive the car into submission. But I am slightly shaky and upset as I thought there should have been no problem getting home.”
Another LEAF owner left a Seattle airport last month for a 15-mile drive home. The vehicle indicated that it had enough juice to last for 26 miles:
Around downtown the range is down to 8 miles (still plenty to get home, which was by then 5 miles away). At the ship-canal bridge it went into turtle, I barely got off the freeway. 2 Mile from home and after about half the distance it told I would have from the airport, i.e. 13 actual miles driven, it went dead. I actually managed to drive 400 yards in turtle mode. 10:30 pm, wife and screaming kids in the car (which was blocking the right lane of a busy road), just came back from the east coast, cars zooming by and honking, several near misses.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency stated that the LEAF had a range of 73 miles. Various LEAF owners over at MyNissanLeaf report 60 to 80 miles of range on a daily basis.
Katherine Zachary, a spokesperson for Nissan, said that while Nissan has reports of a couple of “isolated” events, the car company does not see a trend of unexpected shutdowns among LEAF owners.