Leaf owners and future owners --
I am not a Leaf-hater -- I've seen way too much complaining in these forums, so I want to say up front that this is a fantastic, revolutionary car, no matter how much Nissan oversold expectations. We are driving revolutionary vehicles, and we should appreciate it. Yes, the heat takes longer to warm the car, deal with it people!
That said, Nissan really has gone too far in its posted battery capacity and range expectations. They are much lower than advertised.
I drove off the dealership lot with 93 "miles" (owners know what I mean by "miles" instead of miles), but I have not seen that number since. 100 percent charge will get me 75-80 miles in non-Eco mode, and maybe 85 in Eco mode as I drive away from home. An 80 percent charge -- which apparently now is the RECOMMENDED daily charge to keep your battery as fresh as possible (news to me until I bought this thing) -- will only get you 70, maybe a few more in Eco mode.
How, then, can Nissan say that a full charge starts at 100 miles? We have a battery that at full capacity is about 20 percent less than what was advertised. Maybe the car's price should be 20 percent lower also?
As far as range goes, I have started to measure this by real miles vs. "Nissan miles." I think this is a more useful measure than detailing five or six different factors that will affect your range (wind resistance, climate control, blah blah). A Nissan mile is the unit that goes down (and up!) on this useless gauge we have in the car. That mile might equal half a real mile, or even .75 real miles, but it is almost never equivalent to a real (or road) mile.
My estimates now, with my limited driving time, is that you have to take your Nissan miles, subtract about 10 or even 20-25 miles depending on where you're driving and how many people you're carrying, and THEN you have a real range to talk about. What this means in practice is that the car has a realistic range of 50 miles on the highway, going real speeds (55 mph for your highway estimates Nissan? come on). One real world example: I start with an 80 percent charge from Berkeley, thinking it is plenty to get me into San Francisco and back. The trip (including all side trips) is only 41 real road miles. I start with 69 on the gauge, I return with FOUR miles, and nearly in "turtle mode." Whew. That's a -24 real miles to "Nissan miles" difference.
To be honest, I'm OK with 50 miles, especially since I get more like 70 when I'm off the highway. But I'm not OK with Nissan's overblown estimates that they are passing through their naive sales people in order to sell more cars. They HAVE people lined up to buy this car -- by overselling this, they are risking severe backlash once buyers realize that they have paid 40K for a car that goes 50 miles, instead of 100.
I would like to hear from other people to see if my battery capacity issues are common or maybe it's just my charger and particular car? I'd also like to hear from anyone who might know how much more battery degradation occurs when you charge at 100 percent every day, instead of the 80 percent recommended charge. I have yet to hear from Nissan about this, even though I've asked. My wife has a 50 mile commute that is too risky to do on an 80 percent charge. Again, real range estimates from Nissan would have made me think twice.