What does battery limit mean

When the Nissan Leaf was taken over for the first time, disillusionment spreads. The world's best-selling electric car estimates the possible range at 212 kilometers despite a full battery. The Leaf should create up to 250 kilometers. This is a damper, precisely because the insufficient range is one of the main reasons why the spread of electric cars is making slow progress. Otherwise, however, the Leaf is quite a car that is suitable for everyday use. It offers enough space for four people, has a sufficiently large trunk (up to 720 liters) and accelerates quickly. Even the workmanship in the interior is good. At first glance, the Leaf is no different from a conventional car.

But this test is primarily about whether the electric car is at least partially able to keep the range that it promises. The distance to be covered is 130 kilometers. That should not be a problem. The first twelve tough kilometers in the city center are at least promising. The energy consumption levels off at 14.3 kWh per 100 kilometers. The vehicle's display also shows that the additional consumption from heating and light is limited: they draw less than 0.5 kW from the battery. It is also reloaded again and again while driving when the Leaf brakes or decelerates. The driver can even set how strong this so-called recuperation should work. Nevertheless, the range has already shrunk to 194 kilometers. By 18 kilometers, although only twelve were covered. With a queasy feeling, I head out on the highway for the next 45 kilometers. At 130 km / h, according to the information display on the speedometer, the energy consumption is in the range of 30 kWh per 100 kilometers. The remaining range drops rapidly. With only 73 kilometers left in the battery, the electric car arrives in the middle of the test lap. That could be tight until the goal. Fortunately, only country roads and city traffic now come. The on-board computer quickly notices that the speed and thus the energy requirement is falling. The estimated range climbs to 80 kilometers.

Editor's note

Some of the products presented in "Mobile Life" were made available to the editors by the manufacturers for test purposes and / or presented on trips to which journalists were invited.

The stop and go in the city center that soon follows shows that electric cars are made for the city: According to the on-board computer, the average power consumption is now 16.3 kWh per 100 kilometers again. After 130 kilometers the Leaf reaches its destination. Remaining range: 33 kilometers. The manufacturer's NEDC specification was missed by almost 90 kilometers. In a test in city traffic, the Leaf would have actually reached the 212 kilometers indicated at the start of the journey.

What does this mean for the driver? And how does the Leaf compare to petrol or diesel? After calculating back and forth, the electricity costs are 6.70 euros per 100 kilometers. For this you get 6.5 liters of diesel or 5.5 liters of gasoline. The Leaf is therefore more economical on the road than many gasoline-powered vehicles. Diesel are even easier on the wallet. But their environmental record doesn't necessarily look better.