November 29, 2022

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How to Charge a Nissan Leaf

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A hand plugging a charger into a Nissan LeafIntroduced in 2010, the Nissan Leaf is a popular, compact all-electric vehicle. When researching EV options, you may be curious about all things charging. Continue reading to learn how to charge a Nissan Leaf and get information on battery options, charging times, and locating a charging station in your area.

Table of Contents 

Nissan Leaf Battery Options

The Nissan Leaf has two different battery options:

According to EPA estimates, a Leaf’s 40-kilowatt hour (kWh) battery delivers up to 149 miles of range on a single charge. This model has 147 horsepower and offers 123 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) city.

The 60 kWh battery option provides more range — an estimated 226 miles per full charge. The Leaf’s larger 214 horsepower 160-kW motor makes this a better choice for road warriors who regularly take longer trips. Its 118 MPGe city is comparable to the smaller battery.

These numbers may vary among the different trim levels.

How to Charge a Leaf

To charge the Leaf, turn off the power and open the charging port lid at the front of the car. The Leaf has two charging ports. A cap on the right covers the J1772 connection for Level 1 and Level 2 charging. The cap on the left covers the CHAdeMO connection for Level 3 fast charging.

Unlatch the appropriate cap, plug the charger into the port, and wait for the beep that indicates charging is initialized. Depending on the type of charger used, the vehicle will stop charging automatically once the battery is full or when it reaches 80% capacity. Or, you can stop the charging session when you’re ready to get on the road.

At-Home Charging

There are two options for charging your Leaf at home. All you need is a steady power source and a nearby parking place. If you don’t have a garage, you’ll also need electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) that’s weather-sealed and rated for the outdoors.

Some apartment complexes and residential buildings have charging units for residents with EVs. Consult your property manager to confirm your options.

Level 1: 120-Volt Slow Charge

A Level 1 charger comes with the purchase of a new Nissan Leaf. It taps into your home’s alternating current (AC) electricity. While the plug goes into a regular household receptacle, it requires a dedicated 15-amp circuit for use. Ensure no other appliances are connected to the circuit to prevent system overload.

This charging option provides a “trickle” charge and is typically used only in a pinch. It will add roughly 2-5 miles of range per hour and is not a good long-term solution for charging your Leaf.

Level 2: 240-Volt Home Charger

To use a Level 2 charger at home, a licensed electrician must install an EVSE wall unit. Nissan has partnered with Wallbox to make this setup process easy, although other options are available. Choose from a 48-amp hardwired connection or opt for a 40-amp variety that can be hardwired or plugged into a dedicated outlet. Both use a universally compatible J1772 connector.

Other Level 2 chargers connect to a 240-volt outlet similar to what clothes dryers use and a dedicated 50-amp circuit for a quicker charge than a 120-volt connection. They can add up to 25 miles of range per hour of charging.

Public Charging

There are two main options for charging on the road. The NissanConnect EV & Services app is available through the car’s infotainment system to help you find those options on the go. Other third-party charging apps provide maps that can guide you to EV charging stations.

2022 Nissan Leaf at public charging station

Level 2: Public Chargers

Public charging stations are widely available in populated areas. They’re usually easy to find at grocery stores, hotels, shopping centers, office parks, and more. When you arrive, attach your Leaf to the charger using the J1772 connector. It will automatically stop charging when the battery is full.

Public chargers are operated by companies in the growing pool of charging networks, such as Electrify America, Chargepoint, or EVgo. In most cases, you must initialize the charging session using the charging network’s app, even if the station offers free charging. Charging fees are applied to your account with that network.

Level 3: DC Fast Charging

Fast chargers deliver a direct current (DC) to your battery for a quick boost to the vehicle’s range. There are 6,000 public DC fast charging stations in the United States, and such stations usually have multiple chargers. Most charging stations have a CHAdeMO connector and the newer — and much more common — CCS connector.

CHAdeMO technology came on the scene in 2010. However, as EV standards evolve, so do the charging systems. Leaf vehicles model year 2023 and older are still fitted for CHAdeMO connectors. However, it’s unclear if Nissan will convert future models to CCS, as they’ve done with the new Ariya crossover EV.

When you pull up to a DC fast charging station, pop open the CHAdeMO cap inside the charging port lid, then insert the CHAdeMO plug and follow the steps to initialize the charging session. These fast chargers will fill 80% of your battery in about 45 minutes.

Charging Times

Charging times vary based on the type of charger and battery type. The time it takes to charge the battery depends on the charger’s output, environmental factors, and battery temperature. Cold EV batteries take longer to charge, so keep this in mind during winter months or if you live in a cooler region.

  • Level 1 charging can take up to 2-3 days to fill either battery.
  • Level 2 chargers can fill an empty 40-kWh battery in approximately 8 hours.
  • Level 2 chargers can fill an empty 60-kWh battery in approximately 11.5 hours.
  • Level 3 fast chargers can fill an empty 40-kWh battery to 80% capacity in about 40 minutes.
  • Level 3 fast chargers can fill an empty 60-kWh battery to 80% capacity in about 40-60 minutes.

Where to Charge

You can charge a Nissan Leaf at home or any public charging station with a J1772 or CHAdeMO connector.

Nissan partners with EVgo to offer Leaf drivers charging credits for fast charging stations. If you purchase a 2023 model, you may qualify for a $100 charging credit. This amount equates to roughly 12 fast-charging sessions. EVgo operates Level 2 and Level 3 DC Fast Chargers at more than 850 locations in 30 states.

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