Thought I'd revive this thread a bit in hopes of helping other folks like me who google "Nissan Leaf bike rack".
We're taking our first road trip in our Leaf (2013 SV) this weekend. Going down to the beach and will need to drive just about 200 miles. I've been studying plugshare and making my route, but we have also been considering whether to take our bikes or rent some there.
I have a Saris Bones 3 that I used prior to getting our Leaf. I got it out today to test it on the Leaf. I was able to mount it and it seemed pretty secure. I know some folks said that they weren't sure it would work with the Leaf. I was able to get it to fit. I did have to open the hatch all the way and slide the upper clips in from the side, but it worked. It was a bit of a pain, though. The side clips had to go over the bottom of the glass or they would just slide down. i didn't love that placement, but it seems to have worked fine. I checked Saris ' site and they do not give their approval for using the Bones on the Leaf. I read somewhere (maybe in this thread) about the panels on the Leaf being too lightweight so maybe that's why. Not sure.
Anyway, I tested it out with 3 bikes and remembered how I hate loading bikes on bike racks — we also have a big old beater van that holds them fine inside. Got them all loaded and secure and took the whole kit and kaboodle for a very short test spin to Trader Joes. Our Leaf does not have a back-up camera (we're considering an aftermarket one — just got the Leaf in June — but have been doing okay without). As expected it was really hard to see out of the back window. There was a little bouncing and rattling that made me a bit anxious and I remembered that I don't really like to drive with a bike rack either. Got to Trader Joes without incident (just 3.5 miles), shopped, and returned home without incident, too. It really seemed to do okay.
After I unloaded the groceries I unloaded the bikes. Although it's a very short trip (7 miles roundtrip) I wanted to see if I lost much efficiency with the bike rack on, so I made the same trip, the same way, and parked in the same parking place.
With the bike rack and bikes I started out at 69% charge, drove 3.5 miles to TJs and had 63%. Shopped and left with 63% came home (why it was 3.4 one way and 3.5 the other I don't know) and ended up in my driveway with 58%.
After I offloaded the groceries and bikes and rack I did the same trip again. I started this time with 65% (I charged a little to try to get up about where I was before), drove 3.5 mi to TJs and got there with 62%. Left and came home and had 57%. I went the same route each time.
The trip to TJs has a big uphill section. The return has that same section as a downhill (duh) and I usually am able to gain 1% point back through regeneration on it if that gives you an idea of the type of hill. It's significant, but not a mountain or anything. So it looks like the bike rack and bikes reduced the efficiency on that uphill ride to TJs. I used 6% with the bikes. Without the bikes I used 3%. The bikes didn't seem to make a difference on the way home. Used 5% both times. That hill and the bikes are the only thing I can think of that would be different. I was in ECO and B both times and tried to drive the same.
Talked it over with the spouse and we agreed that we'd just rent bikes when we get there. I think it will make the ride more pleasant to not carry them and they won't be a drag on our range. I think I could use the Saris if I needed to for a short trip (like someone else was using the van). I can't recommend buying a Saris Bones since Saris doesn't endorse it with the Leaf, but if you've already got one in the garage it seemed to work for me.