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US EPA rates Nissan LEAF fuel economy as 99 mpg-equivalent (combined); 73-mile range

After completion of five-cycle testing, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has rated the battery-electric Nissan LEAF with an mpg-equivalent rating of 106 city, 92 highway for a combined 99 mpge. The new fuel economy label also notes consumption of 34 kWh per 100 miles.

EPA fuel economy label for the LEAF. Click to enlarge.

Projected annual electric cost is $561. The label also puts the LEAF as best in the mid-size car class in terms of fuel economy, greenhouse gas emissions, and emissions of criteria pollutants.

In addition, the fuel economy 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. 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.

—Scott Becker, senior vice president, Finance and Administration, Nissan Americas



I'm surprised the Leaf's ratings came out before the Volt's.


Only 3 miles per kWh when Tesla Roadsters are EPA rated at 4.4 miles per kWh (ie 50% higher)?

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I don’t think the EPA has made an official test of the Tesla Roadster but Tesla has calculated one using EPA methodology. I can’t find the official EPA rating. For all I know the Leaf is the first EV that gets an official EPA rating.

The good thing about EPA’s LEAF fuel label is that is shows you only spend 561 USD on electricity to drive 15000 miles. This is about 1300 USD less than you would spend in an average gasoline vehicle. Now include an additional savings of 200 USD per year in oil changes and brake system maintenance and the Leaf will save you about 1500 USD per year or 15000 USD in the 10 years the car is build to last. This makes the Leaf an economic car even without incentives. I think the EPA label does a good job in communicating that message at the car dealer.


You can't really believe manufacturers, they just cannot avoid "optimizing" their results in these tests.
So you had better let the EPA run the tests.

I imagine they are running the tests with the AC on, and with a fairly heavy foot, hence the rather disappointing results.

I am sure that the sort of people who buy Leafs (Leaves) will get better mileage than this as they are likely to be enthusiasts who want to demonstrate how green they are and that they did the right thing by buying an EV.

However, when their spouses/children drive their Leaves, the results might be more like the EPA's results.

Will S


Do you have an official link for that number?

If it is true, then;

1. The Tesla is a two seater, so there are fewer compromises to make in aerodynamics.

2. Same for weight, as the Leaf is about 800 pounds heavier.

Interestingly enough, the Leaf's Cd is .29, while the Tesla's is .34.

CdA is what really matters, though, and the Leaf achieves a "CdA of 7.02 sq ft…which puts the LEAF behind the Volt @ 6.51 sq ft, with both lagging the current coefficient king-the 2011 Prius at 5.84 sq ft."

Anyone have a verifiable CdA for Tesla?

Will S


With our Prius, I tended to get far better than the EPA rating (mid 50s to 60mpg), and the wife a couple mpg under. She's learned a little over time, now she's achieving just above EPA rating. When gas prices are higher, people tend to pay more attention (at least when prices have risen quickly - proverbial frog in a cooking pot otherwise).



245 miles on EPA combined cycle using 56 kWh.


The EPA rated the 1998 Rav4-EV charge range at 125 miles:


and the over dozen year newer 2011 Leaf at 73 miles?

GM certainty knew which EV battery chemistry to sell to Chevron Oil for burial.

Just get manufactured EVs SOLD so they can't be crushed/ buried again and affordable EV parts/batteries are available for enhancements and product improvement.


I understand that since 2008 the EPA has changed the test to run cars on a more aggressive drive cycle, so resulting in lower mpg (or mpkWh).

I guess we'll have to wait to see what people get in the real world. The Tesla folk don't seem to be doing too badly in terms of real-world mileage.


Is the annual electric cost of $561 in the EPA fuel economy label for the LEAF right?



The 2008 EPA change sent my Sonata from a rated 30 to 29 mpg(-3%), yet it still gets over 30 mpg.

The EPA estimated 73 miles(-27%) of Nissan's 100 mpc(charge) range will hurt Leaf sales, just as a equivalent 99 mpg, not 100 mpg, marketing number.

Practical EVs were technically and mass production-wise available since Toyota's 1998 RAV4-EV, yet GM found a way to bury key EV battery patents and turn back the clock.

Europe has decades of inexpensive, safe, electric 200+ mph Eurail passes while the US has convicted GM busing http://culturechange.org/issue10/taken-for-a-ride.htm

Especially since Gov Motors is a proven 'too big to fail', it's very likely that the new lies mirror the old.


correction to the above comment


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Maybe EPA includes regenerative power in the economy data as they should as this is costless kWh but not in the kWh use per 100 miles figure. That should be able to explain it.


This makes me wonder if they took power plant efficiency into account. I don't think so.


SJC, it is rumored that the EV fear, uncertainty, and doubt estimates are calculated on gasoline-powered laptops.


One way is to put a gallon of gasoline in a generator and charge the car, then see how far it will go. That is more honest.

Will S

clett, the link you supplied is actually from a Tesla engineer who recounted Tesla testing, not EPA testing;

And you are correct, the changed EPA standards mean that one can't compare previous ratings with one car with new ratings on another car.

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