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Road Trip: 2019 Nissan Leaf Plus

2019 Nissan Leaf Plus

The Greatest Leaf to Date

The 2019 Nissan Leaf Plus is the Leaf that we’ve all been ready for. It’s a compelling stability of vary, high quality, reliability, worth, options, and price.

The Leaf Plus strikes up with the the long-range massive boys

It’s been an extended street. Launched in 2011 the Leaf was the
first mass-market all-electric car and continues to be, regardless of different EV upstarts
making positive factors, the best-selling electrical automotive in historical past with greater than 300,000
bought worldwide. It’s gained about each award for inexperienced cars, together with the
World Inexperienced Automotive award twice.

In 2018, Nissan delivered a totally up to date and improved Leaf.
Despite the fact that it was utterly up to date with a brand new physique, operating gear and new 40-kilowatt-hour
(kWh) battery, it nonetheless left many wanting extra vary. For 2019 the Leaf Plus
was launched with elevated vary and a brand new, bigger 62-kWh battery that
options improved chemistry and sturdiness. For 2019 the 40-kWh Leaf continues to be
provided alongside the 62-kWh Leaf Plus.

Final yr Clear Fleet
Report examined
a 40-kWh Leaf to see the way it carried out as a commuter and as a long-distance
runner. General, we have been happy with the 2018 Leaf’s efficiency, however our street
journey from Monterey Ca. to Lake Tahoe within the Sierra Nevada was nonetheless a problem
that required planning and cautious driving.

Taking to the Street
Once more

This yr we requested Nissan to offer us with a Leaf Plus so
that we might make the identical drive to Lake Tahoe to see if the 62-kWh battery improved
the drive. The Leaf Plus is enhanced not solely with a much bigger, longer-range
battery, however the electrical motor is 46 % extra highly effective with 214 horsepower
and 251 pounds-feet of torque. Quick charging additionally will get a lift with the power
to cost at as much as 100-kW peak and 85-kW nominally.

2019 Nissan Leaf PlusThe ARC takes us the place we need to go

The brand new Leaf Plus has an EPA vary of between 215 to 226
miles relying on the trim degree, which provides it membership within the
still-exclusive 200+ mile membership. The Leaf Plus’s pricing can also be aggressive,
beginning at $36,500; in contrast to the same worth and vary Chevrolet
Bolt and Tesla
Mannequin three, it nonetheless qualifies for the complete $7,500 federal tax credit score. Throw
in state, native, and utility incentives, plus Nissan’s supplier incentives, and a
Leaf Plus can simply find yourself costing beneath $25,000.

With its new, improved vary and capabilities, Clear Fleet Report needed to see if the
new Leaf Plus has improved sufficient that taking a weekend mini-vacation of some
hundred miles can be as straightforward as taking the journey in a standard ICE car.
Wouldn’t it be as much as the duty, or wouldn’t it face the identical nervousness that the journey in
the 40-kWh Leaf journey had created?

With that problem accepted by Nissan, we deliberate this
yr’s journey from the San Jose, California, to Lake Tahoe nestled excessive within the
Sierra Mountains, 242 miles away. This journey would vary from sea degree to extra
7300 ft and again down once more. This journey was the identical as we took final yr in
the 40-kWh Leaf and would stress check the EV to the acute, however was inside the
EPA vary of the Leaf Plus.

Nissan offered a 2019 Leaf Plus SL full with ProPilot
Help. As with final yr’s journey, the route took benefit of the readily
out there DRIVEtheARC charging community that stretches between Monterey and Lake
Tahoe.

DRIVEtheARC Infrastructure

Whereas most Charging for an electrical car occurs at residence, public charging infrastructure is getting a lot better, however continues to be a piece in progress. Producers like Tesla have invested closely in inter-city charging networks with their proprietary SuperCharger community, however by and enormous business normal networks like CHAdeMO and SAE DCFC networks are sparse to nonexistent outdoors of city areas.

2019 Nissan Leaf PlusAll the brand new Leaf Plus are prepared to make use of quick chargers

DRIVEtheARC is a pilot
challenge funded by the New Power and Industrial Know-how Improvement
Group (NEDO), Japan’s most in depth public R&D administration
group, and California’s Workplace of Enterprise and Improvement, Power
Fee and Air Assets Board.

Along with the federal government companions, personal business
collaborating companions embrace Nissan Motor Co., Kanematsu Company and
EVgo.

California is probably the most vital marketplace for plug-in
electrical automobiles within the US, and in Northern California, Monterey and Lake
Tahoe are prime weekend trip locations. DRIVEtheARC has put in 55 DCFC
chargers on main highways between Monterey and Lake Tahoe and provides free
charging to plug-in electrical automobiles that make the most of the CHAdeMO commonplace.

The writer and his spouse have lived within the Bay Space for a lot of
years, and take a number of journeys to Tahoe annually. They’ve a route that they
all the time take and have nice metrics for a way lengthy the journey takes in an ICE automotive,
so the objective was to make their common journey to Tahoe within the 2019 Leaf Plus and
examine the expertise to final yr’s 40-kWh Leaf journey and former journeys in an
ICE.

The itinerary was to start out in San Jose, drive to Brentwood,
CA, to select up a pal who has a residence in Lake Tahoe, spend a number of days in
Tahoe, after which drive again. The route would take them on flat Interstates,
secondary roads, previous Sacramento to Placerville the place they might cease for
lunch, after which up Freeway 50, which is a steep 7,300-foot climb after which down
into the 6,200-foot elevation Lake Tahoe basin. The Leaf would carry three
adults and all their baggage for a complete of 242 miles.

The return journey would take them again downhill on Freeway 50
and onto Interstate 5 and again residence once more on different freeways. This phase was additionally
242 miles.

The whole spherical journey can be about 484 miles. One factor
that may be totally different from their traditional journey to the lake is that they might
drive on the posted velocity limits the complete journey.

And They’re Off

After L2 charging in a single day, the subsequent morning we set off within the Leaf to Lake Tahoe with 234 miles of indicated vary. The primary leg of the journey was on Interstate 680 and Interstate 580, that are comparatively flat interstates. Subsequent, we picked up our passenger in Brentwood after which traveled on rural roads to get onto Interstate 5 to Freeway 50, the place there was a cease for lunch in Placerville whereas the Leaf had its first fast cost at 175 miles. The day of the journey, one of many final Sierra Nevada storms of the season was passing by means of, and temperatures have been dropping quick. We began the day in 80-degree climate with a transparent sky, however by the point we received to Placerville, the temperature had fallen to the mid 40’s with overcast and drizzle. Widespread sense stated that it was prudent to get a 30-minute fast cost whereas we ate lunch. That was all it took to get us to our vacation spot.

2019 Nissan Leaf PlusCalifornia shouldn’t be all the time sunny

For the primary a part of the journey, speeds diversified from 55 mph on
the native roads to 70 mph on Interstate 5. This drive sometimes takes about three
hours in an ICE and, surprisingly, the Leaf pulled into the Placerville fast
charger for lunch at about the identical time that it takes in a daily ICE automotive. So
far, so good. The entire distance of this leg was 175 miles. At this level, the
Leaf Plus had bettered the journey from final yr. One of many issues that all of us
observed was how quiet the Leaf Plus was at velocity. Virtually no street or wind noise;
undoubtedly quieter than the 2018 Leaf. We simply occurred to have a sound meter
app on the smartphone which confirmed the cabin sound was solely 62dB at 65 mph,
which is Rolls Royce quiet!

Lunch took about 40 minutes, and the Leaf completed its solely fast
cost on the uphill leg of the journey in about 30 minutes.

It’s fascinating to notice that in final yr’s Leaf journey,
after the lunchtime fast cost, the 40-kWh battery’s temperature was fairly a
bit greater than it was earlier than we fast charged. This yr, the Leaf Plus’s
temperature was rock regular in the midst of the gauge, and by no means moved throughout
the entire journey. The automotive charged as much as 80 % capability in 30 minutes, so we started
the subsequent leg on Freeway 50, Placerville to Lake Tahoe, which is probably the most
difficult a part of the journey.

This a part of the journey is 67 miles and has an elevation achieve
of about 700 ft each 10 miles. The street begins off as a four-lane street with
a velocity restrict of 55, however as Freeway 50 will increase in elevation, it turns into a
slender winding street that’s a lot slower. Little did we all know what was ready
for us on this final leg of the journey.

As much as the Sierra to the Lake

Because the Leaf progressed up the grade, confidence elevated. The Leaf stayed up with visitors, and by the seems to be on different drivers’ faces, they appeared stunned that this EV was holding its personal on this mountain street.

2019 Nissan Leaf PlusWhen the climate cleared, the lake was as glowing as ever

The final a part of Freeway 50 to Lake Tahoe is the narrowest
piece of the journey, and all the visitors was a lot slower than the remaining. The upper
we went, the extra our confidence waned and the darker it turned, with the
drizzle quickly turning to sleet, then to mild snow, and eventually right into a blizzard
with reducing visibility.

It took greater than an hour to journey the final 47 miles.
Throughout this a part of the journey, ProPilot Help stopped working with an error as a result of
its radar sensor was blocked with snow. The e-Pedal stored working, permitting one
pedal driving, regardless of the heavy, sluggish visitors and restricted visibility. This
a part of the journey was a little bit of a white-knuckle expertise primarily as a result of the
passengers have been on the sting of their seats from the blizzard.

Lastly, the Leaf Plus and its passengers arrived on the
lodge in Lake Tahoe at about 5:30 p.m., which ended up being about an hour
longer than the standard time pushed in an ICE automotive. We have been glad we arrived when
we did as a result of by the point we made it into the outskirts of Lake Tahoe, we noticed
that chain management was in impact. Regardless of the street circumstances and the Professional Pilot
not working, the automotive remained secure and in management. With snug heated
seats and a very good heater, the cabin was heat and toasty on this final leg
of the journey.

Benefit from the Lake

The subsequent morning the Leaf nonetheless had about 120 miles of vary, and all was nicely. Due to the DRIVEtheARC and the elevated vary of Leaf Plus, the entire value of gasoline for the journey thus far was $zero.00!

With the remaining vary we had we from charging in
Placerville, we have been capable of drive round Tahoe for the remainder of our keep
with out charging.

2019 Nissan Leaf PlusA fuel station with EV charging!

There’s a saying in Lake Tahoe that “When you don’t just like the
climate at the moment, simply wait till tomorrow.” Positive sufficient, the subsequent morning it was
snowing early, however by 9 a.m., the storm had handed, the solar got here out, and by
noontime, all the snow on the bottom had melted with the lake wanting spectacular.

The afternoon earlier than our journey again, I visited the
DRIVEtheARC DCFC in South Lake Tahoe to prime off the battery. The charging
stations are situated at a Cease & Store fuel station which appears to be an
wonderful place for them. Granted there have been solely two DCFC stations in comparison with
12 fuel pumps, however I’m guessing that over time that ratio will probably be reversed. The
DCFC session lasted 45 minutes and ended with a 90 % cost. The subsequent
morning the Leaf Plus was topped off on the lodge’s vacation spot charger, and we
have been able to go.

The route house would take the Leaf Plus on the identical picturesque
route down Freeway 50 to Sacramento, then on Interstate 5 to Brentwood, and again
to San Jose on Interstate 680.

Downhill Sure

The journey again was sunny and heat and was on a Thursday so we anticipated that it might be a reasonably leisurely downhill drive, no less than till we acquired into Sacramento. The indicated vary on the Leaf was 247 miles once we left, so there was an opportunity that we’d truly make it house on one cost, however we knew that there have been a number of vital hills to cross within the “flatlands,” so it was going to be a problem.

We began out with the Professional Pilot help set at 55 mph for the primary a part of the drive on the slender winding part of Freeway 50. At first, we have been getting handed by all of the pickups and SUVs of the locals, however as we drove additional with Professional Pilot we have been in a position to stick with the visitors. Professional Pilot Help is likely one of the higher L2 autonomous help techniques on the market at the moment; it is rather clean, with good acceleration and deceleration relying on the visitors. It by no means received confused like another L2 methods, jamming on the brakes or flooring it when there was a transparent area in visitors. As soon as we received to Sacramento and degree roads, our miles/kWh had elevated to 7.5 m/kWh in comparison with three.2 kWh going up. Issues have been wanting good that we’d be capable of make it residence on one cost.

The 2019 Nissan Leaf Plus is the Leaf that we have all been waiting for. It’s a compelling balance of range, quality, reliability, value, features, and cost.Our power effectivity stayed robust all through the journey

Our velocity elevated on the Interstate 5 to 70-75 mph. Once we
arrived in Brentwood to drop our passenger off, the Leaf Plus nonetheless an power
financial system of 6.2 m/kWh. The estimated vary was right down to 70 miles by then, and we
nonetheless had two vital units of hills to traverse and a complete of 65 miles to
go.

The Leaf Plus is alleged to maintain about 10 % of its
battery capability in reserve, however we haven’t had the prospect to discover how a lot
vary is absolutely left with the vary estimate at zero. By the point we obtained to
Livermore on Interstate 580, the indicated vary and our remaining distance to
house was too near name, so we determined to cease at a DRIVEtheARC DCFC and
take 15 minutes of cost simply to be protected.

One of many gadgets on which we needed to match the Leaf Plus
to the 2018 Leaf was the way it behaved on lengthy journeys with a number of fast fees. The
early 40-kWh Leafs had very conservative quick-charging profiles that throttled
the cost fee and modestly elevated cost occasions after a number of quick fees.

The 40-kWh battery additionally ran hotter than earlier Leaf
batteries, and that led to considerations by some house owners that battery degradation
can be accelerated.

Nissan up to date the charging profiles on mid-2018 and later 40-kWh
Leafs to be extra aggressive, and a number of other house owners who monitor their 2018 Leafs
intently have reported that regardless of the battery operating hotter, that degradation
has truly been decreased in comparison with earlier variations of the Leaf battery.

Throughout our time with the Leaf Plus, we discovered that with the
quicker DCFC port, charging periods are extra highly effective and cost the battery
greater than with the sooner 40-kWh Leaf. A number of charging periods over a brief
interval aren’t throttled and, most apparently, the battery temperature of
the Leaf Plus 62-kWh battery keep just about rock strong in the midst of the
gauge no matter how the automotive is pushed or the variety of fast fees. This
is sweet information and actually calls into query the entire lively vs. passive
cooling debate. Whereas it’s too early to evaluate the sturdiness of the 62-kWh Leaf
Plus battery, the development in comparison with the 40-kWh battery exhibits a constructive
development.

After that temporary cease, the Leaf Plus was off once more and made
it house protected with vary to spare.

Classes Discovered from this Journey?

•Whereas taking longer to return to market than everybody would
have favored, the 2019 Leaf Plus is the most effective Leaf thus far.

•This journey proved that trip and weekend journeys of about
250 miles are very achievable with the 2019 Leaf Plus.

•With the 2019 Leaf Plus becoming a member of the 200+ mile membership, vary
nervousness has turn out to be a factor of the previous.

2019 Nissan Leaf PlusWe discovered the Leaf inside was whisper silent

•In California, the DCFC networks that make journeys straightforward even
in difficult terrains routine are being constructed out shortly. As California goes,
so goes the nation, which signifies that long-range journey in a BEV is on the cusp
of being routine in different areas throughout the U.S. too.

•The 2019 Leaf Plus efficiency throughout our Tahoe journey exhibits
that you simply that may go the space in a well-equipped BEV for round $36Okay or
much less.

•The rumor that Leafs are usually not capable of endure a number of DCFC
periods with out extreme cost time slowdowns is completely unfounded. The
most vital problem is that a bigger battery can imply longer cost
occasions whatever the cost price. The issue for all BEVs is that the
bigger the battery, the longer time it should take. As infrastructure and BEV
cost charges improve, charging occasions will enhance, however the legal guidelines of physics
apply and the larger the battery, the longer it should all the time take. The Leaf Plus
can reap the benefits of the newer and quicker DCFC models now coming on-line with out
any cost throttling penalties.

• Now in its second yr of availability, Nissan’s ProPilot
Help is a top-tier answer that gives the identical providers as all different Degree
2 autonomous driving options from different automakers.

•The 2019 Leaf Plus is a compelling stability of vary, high quality,
reliability, worth, options, and price that’s aggressive with any mainstream BEV
available on the market immediately.

Would Clear
Fleet Report Advocate Driving a Leaf Cross-country?

As we stated final yr once we examined the 40-kWh Leaf, no, we
wouldn’t. However then once more, we might not advocate driving any BEV cross-country
until the driving force has the endurance and braveness to take action. Driving a BEV of any
make immediately lengthy distance is just like the cross-country journeys of the 1950s and 60s. It’s
a leisurely journey that gives the chance to see the surroundings and benefit from the
countryside. It nonetheless requires planning, endurance, and to anticipate the
sudden, however it’s quick turning into extra mainstream. In case your objective is to drive a
lengthy distance shortly, then drive an ICE hybrid or, higher but, fly.

2019 Nissan Leaf PlusThe Leaf Plus can journey additional, however let’s depart the cross-country journeys for the old-fashioned automobiles

Even with the in depth Tesla SuperCharger community, the
nationwide BEV charging infrastructure continues to be not there, however with the brand new
charging infrastructure quickly coming on-line, issues are enhancing every day.

Nevertheless, for trip and weekend journeys round 500 miles
roundtrip on main highways and concrete areas, the Leaf Plus is a wonderful protected
selection. As a every day driver commuter automotive, the 2019 Leaf Plus continues to be the perfect
selection of any BEV available on the market at this time.

Associated Tales You May Take pleasure in—Our Historical past with the Nissan Leaf

First Drive: 2019
Nissan Leaf Plus

Tech: Specs
for the 2019 Nissan Leaf Plus

CES Information: 2019
Nissan Leaf Plus Goes the Distance

Street Check: 2018
Nissan Leaf

Unique: Paperwork
from Nissan Leaf Battery Software program Replace

Comparability Check: 2018
Chevrolet Bolt vs. 2018 Nissan Leaf

Street Journey: 2018 Nissan
Leaf

Flash Drive: 2018
Nissan Leaf (Steve’s view)

Flash Drive: 2018
Nissan Leaf (John’s view)

Street Check: 2016
Nissan Leaf (Michael’s view)

Street Check: 2016
Nissan Leaf (John’s view)

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Disclosure:

Clear Fleet Report is loaned
free check automobiles from automakers to guage, sometimes for every week at a time.
Our street exams are based mostly on this one-week drive of a brand new car. Due to
this we don’t handle points similar to long-term reliability or complete value of
possession. As well as, we are sometimes invited to producer occasions
highlighting new automobiles or know-how. As a part of these occasions we could also be
provided free transportation, lodging or meals. We do our greatest to current our
unvarnished evaluations of automobiles and information irrespective of those inducements.

Our
focus is on automobiles that provide the perfect gasoline financial system of their class, which
leads us to emphasise electrical automobiles, plug-in hybrids, hybrids and diesels. We
additionally function these environment friendly gas-powered automobiles which might be among the many prime mpg
automobiles of their class. As well as, we goal to supply critiques and information on
superior know-how and the choice gasoline car market. We welcome any
suggestions from car house owners and are devoted to offering a discussion board for
various viewpoints. Please tell us your views at writer@cleanfleetreport.com.

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