Living with the LEAF: Charging Efficiency

A Guest Blog by Plug’n Drive Volunteer Glennengineer

Nissan LEAF chargingI charge the LEAF in my garage using the standard 120 volt cord set (Level 1) that comes with every electric car.  The actual charger which converts Alternating Current (AC) from the grid into Direct Current (DC) for the car’s battery is built-in to the car.

Through my observations, the LEAF charges at about 1.3 KW using 120 volts. As observed in the data below there is a significant difference between the amount of energy used (measured by the LEAF) and the amount of energy supplied TO the charger (measured by my KWH meter) In fact the efficiency ranges between 70% – 80%.

The data  below shows a loss of 3KW over 10 hours or 300 watts/hour.

The significance of this is that charging times will be always be longer than expected if based on the KWH driven.  Next time we will examine the Km/KWH or driving efficiency.

VEHICLE/TRIP Drove (Km) Km/KWH KWH Used CHARGE KWH
LEAF around town (Aurora) 65 6.4 10.2 13.2
LEAF to Keswick 86 7.1 12.1 15.3
LEAF to Newmarket 25 6.5 3.8 5.5