A key selling point of Nissan's new Leaf electric vehicle is its 100-mile range. Delivering that distance on a full battery will allay most cases of range anxiety, Nissan reckons.
But real-world performance will vary wildly. In fact, Nissan says the Leaf will deliver only half of that range under driving conditions a lot of people find typical.
Consider the following scenarios outlined during a recent Leaf test drive:
-- If your Leaf is stuck in stop-and-go traffic, doing 15 mph on a cold winter day with the heater on, you can count on a range of around 62 miles, said the car's chief engineer, Hidetoshi Kadota.
-- If it's a hot day, in the 90s, and you're cruising down the road at 48 mph, your full-charge range would be about 70 miles before having to plug in again to juice up the lithium ion batteries.
-- If the weather's perfect with no need for air conditioning, you can get 105 miles in normal city-highway driving. And when touring the countryside at a steady 38 mph, the range climbs to 138 miles.
"Depending on the way you use the air conditioning and the driving mode, the autonomy varies largely," Kadota said. "This is a physical characteristic of electric vehicles."