Nissan Leaf charge times

How long does a Nissan Leaf take to charge and what’s the cost? Keep reading for charging details on first and second-generation models

James Wilson
Aug 18, 2021

Charging times are a very big deal for a huge proportion of drivers considering going electric and can make the difference between choosing a plug-in car or sticking with petrol or diesel power. Fortunately, car manufacturers know this and are constantly working to reduce the time it takes to add charge back into their battery packs.

To help you get a clear picture of living with a Nissan Leaf, here we take a closer look at the charge times of both the first and second generations of the Nissan Leaf. We will also run through other information such as the types of charging connectors, how battery capacity impacts charge times, what kind of range Nissan claims you can get on a full charge, and rough costs for a full charge.

Along the way, there might be acronyms and words that look like utter gibberish (such as CHAdeMO) but fear not; these will be explained. One of the most important things to get your head around when talking about electric cars is power - which is commonly referred to in Watts or ‘W’ for short. Watts are to power what miles per hour are to speed, as they are the most common unit used.

Electric cars are normally quoted with a kilo-Watt or kW value for their power, much like a petrol or diesel car comes with a hp or horsepower figure. There is often a kWh figure too. This is for the battery and not only gives a good indication of how far you will be able to go on a full charge but also how long it will take to charge.

Say you were using a 7kW charger (the kind of charger you should be able to fit at home) and were charging a 60kWh battery pack, a rough estimate is that it would take just under nine hours to charge from 0% to 100% (you get this by dividing 60 by 7). Maths like this should best be thought of as a guide, however, as there are many other factors that need to be taken into account, so it's always worth checking manufacturer figures for charging times.

First-generation Nissan Leaf (2010 to 2017)

2010-2017 NISSAN LEAF BUYERS' GUIDE

The original Nissan Leaf uses two different charging plug types; a ‘Type 1’ connector and a ‘CHAdeMO’. When charging an electric vehicle (EV), you need to have a charging cable connector that matches the plug on your car. Not all charging points have the right connectors, so it is important to make sure that any charging points you're considering using are compatible with the car before starting a long journey.

The Type 1 connector was only really used on the first mainstream electric cars (like the original Nissan Leaf) but isn’t used much in Europe anymore. This type can handle power ranging from 3kW (roughly what you get from a typical household plug) to 7kW, which is commonly referred to as a ‘fast’ charging speed. Be aware that 'rapid' chargers are much quicker still.

If you get a home wallbox installed to charge your car, it will typically offer a power supply of up to 7kW. Power supplies more than this are usually found at commercial charging points, as they need meaty electronic cables that most homes don’t have. Type 1 connectors are limited by the fact they cannot handle ‘rapid’ charging, which is where the CHAdeMO comes in.

The CHAdeMO is an entirely different design that sits next to the Type 1 socket under a flap at the front of a Nissan Leaf. It can handle up to 50kW of power, so can facilitate much faster replenishment of a battery than a Type 1 connector, meaning faster charging times.

First-generation Nissan Leaf batteries and ranges

Right from its launch in 2011, the Nissan Leaf was available with a 24kWh battery pack which promised a maximum range of 109 miles. This made a modest jump up to 124 miles as part of updates in 2013. At that time, Nissan also introduced support for 6.6kW fast charging via the Type 1 connector. 

Understanding onboard chargers is a bit of a dry topic. In simple terms, it is like having the electrical components normally found in a wallbox or public charging point in your car. It is useful if you are in need of charge but don’t have access to a fast charging point.

In 2015 there was an even bigger jump, upping the claimed range to 155 miles. The increase was a result of Nissan fitting a new 30kWh battery pack. It wasn’t standard on all trims so don’t expect all 2015 to 2017 Leafs to come with the higher range.

First-generation Nissan Leaf charge times

Below is a handy table summarising the different charge times of the Nissan Leaf with a 24kWh battery and a 30kWh battery. It is considered good practice to only rapid charge an EV battery up to around 80% - to avoid unduly reducing the life of the battery - which is why the rapid charge times are slightly different.

Model/batteryUK domestic three-pin plug (3kW)Wallbox (7kW)Commercial charging point (50kW)
Nissan Leaf 24kWh8-10 hours4 hours30 minutes (to 80% charge)
Nissan Leaf 30kWh11-13 hours5 hours45 minutes (to 80% charge)

First-generation Nissan Leaf battery charge costs

Below are indicative costs for fully charging a Nissan Leaf. The maths is fairly simple; you take the cost of your electricity and multiply it by the kWh rating of an electric car’s battery. At the time of writing electricity roughly costs an average of 17p per kWh in the UK.

As a result, around £5 should be enough to top up a first-generation Nissan Leaf at home. Assume that this gives you a realistic 100-mile real-world range and the cost is 5p per mile. In comparison, a petrol supermini that offers 40mpg real-world fuel economy, such as a 1.0-litre Ford Fiesta is likely to cost around 15p per mile in fuel, while a diesel hatchback such as a 2.0 TDI VW Golf is likely to cost around 12p per mile to fuel.

Consequently, charging a Nissan Leaf at home is likely to be much cheaper on a per-mile basis than fuelling a similarly sized petrol or diesel car. Be aware, however, that using public chargers for electric cars is much more expensive - although you can sometimes find free chargers.

Model/batteryCost
Nissan Leaf 24kWh£4.08
Nissan Leaf 30kWh£5.10

Second-generation Nissan Leaf (2018 to present)

2018-PRESENT NISSAN LEAF BUYERS' GUIDE

The second-generation Nissan Leaf is vastly different from the car it replaced. Changes that affect its charging process include the move from a Type 1 charging connector to a Type 2 version. Type 2 is currently the European standard - so all new electric cars sold in Europe have to have one.

The Type 2 connector can handle slow, fast, and rapid charging, so offers much greater flexibility than the Type 1 version. As before, a CHAdeMO connector is included as well, should you wish to use it.

Second-generation Nissan Leaf batteries and ranges

There are two batteries to choose from with the latest Nissan Leaf. The smaller version is a 40kWh battery which promises up to 168 miles of range from a full charge. The larger is rated at 62kWh and promises up to 239 miles of range. All models with the 62kWh battery have ‘e+’ in their name, so you'll easily be able to tell which is which.

In truth, the increase in range from first to second generation is larger than these figures suggest. The reason for this is that the test that cars are put through to establish their official range was toughened up in 2017 to make the numbers more realistic - it is known as WLTP. Prior to this, the previous test gave much less realistic figures.

However, even with this newer Leaf, you should still expect to achieve slightly fewer miles per charge in the real world, due to factors such as the weather impacting battery performance. That said, if you drive in a city with lots of stop-start traffic you might find you exceed the claimed range, due to regenerative braking putting energy that would otherwise be wasted when slowing down, back into the battery pack.

Second-generation Nissan Leaf charge times

Below are the battery charging times for the second-generation Nissan Leaf. There is an additional column for 100kW charging. This is only available on e+ models and allows you to add a lot of charge in a much shorter time. While this is impressive, there aren’t a lot of 100kW chargers in the UK to actually use, especially with a CHAdeMO connector.

Model/batteryUK domestic three-pin plug (3kW)Wallbox (7kW)Commercial charging point (50kW)Commercial charging point (100kW)
Nissan Leaf 40kWh14-16 hours7.5 hours60 minutes (20% to 80% charge)n/a
Nissan Leaf e+ 62kWh21-23 hours11.5 hours90 minutes (20% to 80% charge)35 minutes (10% to 80% charge)

Second-generation Nissan Leaf battery charge costs

Being that the newer Nissan Leafs have bigger batteries than before, they cost more to charge than their previous versions. Still, the extra cost is directly linked to you getting extra miles from a charge, so you're paying more but getting more range in exchange. The figures have again been worked out using 17p per kWh.

As with the first-generation model charging at home should prove much cheaper than fuelling a petrol or diesel car, with approximate costs of 5p per mile for electricity, compared with 12-15p per mile for the petrol and diesel examples mentioned above.

Model/batteryCost
Nissan Leaf 40kWh£6.80
Nissan Leaf e+ 62kWh£10.54

 

 

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