Written by R.E. Lord

Nissan LeafDoes the Nissan LEAF live up to its claim of 100 miles per charge (MPC)?

We've been hearing for over a year now that the new, all-electric Nissan LEAF will be capable of attaining a range of 100 miles for every full charge of its battery back. The skeptics claimed this range was unlikely or only obtainable with strict, hypermiling while driving.

Now that the car is set to be unleashed to the public and several "real" folks have had a chance to drive the car for an extended period of time, it seems that the claims of 100 MPC are actually quite realistic.

Nick Chambers at PluginCars.com was able to get 116 miles on a full charge while driving the LEAF.  Although Nick claims he wasn't taking any extreme measures, he does concede that "I didn't drive aggressively and I did spend most of the time going five miles per hour under the posted speed limits, but we had the A/C on for much of the trip. It wasn't like I was driving like an obsessed hypermiler."

Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield at AllCarsElectric.com also gave the LEAF a go trying to reach the 100 mile mark, and for most part was quite successful.  She had the chance to drive the car around Portugal for the day and, although she was restricted a bit for time to finish the test, determined that the 100 mile goal would more or less be attainable in real-world conditions.

AutoBlogGreen has a nice overview of the Nissan LEAF with some discussion of performance and range, though they did not actually test the 100 mile per charge claim in this article.  They did, however, point out some of the feature implemented in the LEAF to help alleviate "range anxiety".  They mention (as Nick Chambers also did) that the car provides a great deal of feedback to keep you informed of the car's battery status: "The dashboard can tell the driver his average distance per kWh (something the Volt can only do through GM's OnStar website) and also has a constantly updated "distance to empty" number, which is a point-in-time reading based on how you're driving right then."

As the Nissan LEAF hits consumers over the course of the next year we'll certainly begin to hear more about what it's like to drive (and charge) the car on a daily basis and see if the projected numbers continue to hold up.