It is often quoted by the press and Nissan themselves that a Nissan LEAF can take up to 7 hours to charge from empty using a 240v power source. As I’ve used the vehicle I have come to the conclusion that such a time estimate is very conservative and that charge times are shorter.
Last night after arriving home from a trip to Nashville the car displayed a low battery warning and was flashing just 5 miles of range left as I pulled into the garage. The total time to recharge the vehicle was just 3 hours 46 minutes. I only charged the vehicle to an 80% charge level as recommended by Nissan to extend battery life, but I know from experience that the extra 20% takes just over an hour to accomplish. So the true charge time from almost empty to full would be 5 hours. My average charge time this month is just 1.8 hours. The common conception that EV’s spend all night charging is a myth! The Nissan LEAF also offers fast charging at special 480v charge stations that can charge to 80% in less than 30 minutes.
The best part about last night’s trip to the Bombay Palace in Nashville other than the food? It only cost $1.27 in electric to make the return trip. In my previous vehicle, a Chevy Malibu, it would have cost at least $7 in gas.
Update:2012-09-23 I charged from low battery warning to 100% battery capacity last night in 4 Hours 55 Minutes, which confirms my previous estimate.