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Can the Nissan LEAF use a Tesla charger?
Is the world’s all-time, best-selling, highway-capable, EV compatible with the world’s most popular charging unit?
The Nissan LEAF might be the world’s best-selling EV to date but that doesn’t mean you can just pull up to any Tesla Charging station and expect to top up. Tesla may be the more familiar electric vehicle company but Nissan has actually silently succeeded where Elon Musk hasn’t.
The Nissan LEAF is today’s most popular electric vehicle running on highways and city streets. There are 400,000 units sold worldwide. Nearly 130,000 of these sold in the U.S. and another 100,000 in Japan. The rest are evenly sold outside these territories especially in Europe.
Although, the Tesla S is hot on its heels and any let-up in the Nissan LEAF’s marketing drive might change its position from first to second.
Why Can’t The Nissan LEAF Use A Tesla Charger?
So, if it’s the most popular EV in the world, why can’t the Nissan LEAF use a Tesla Charger?
First off, Tesla charging stations use a proprietary charging device specifically for their own vehicles. This was not always the case.
Elon Musk actually offered a solution back when manufacturers were still debating over the design of their EVs. Elon Musk offered a universal design that could benefit everyone in the long run. Others chose not to heed that call and created their own vehicles accordingly with charging ports unique to their own specs.
The one thing they didn’t count on was Tesla’s success.
Tesla’s charging connector ends with a proprietary port that is unlike what others have produced. Tesla wants to provide the most efficient charging port and charging station for EVs.
Others weren’t keen to follow relying instead on their own designs.
Nissan chose to do the same thing. This led to the incompatibility of on-board charging systems and charging port systems. Thus, the answer to the question if the Nissan LEAF can use a Tesla charger is a big NO.
Charging Your Nissan LEAF
The Nissan LEAF is powered by the energy stored in its batteries. Just like the fuel in combustion engine cars, this energy is eventually depleted with constant use.
There are two inlets for the Nissan LEAF – the Type 2 and the CHAdeMO. The Type 2 inlet is for home use or for slow, public, AC charging points. These inlets are found under the center flap of the car’s grille.
For rapid charging, use the CHAdeMO.
You need to ensure that you are using the correct connector to the right inlet. The Nissan LEAF starts charging once plugged into an AC or DC port.
The Nissan LEAF also has a 6.6kW onboard charger for a Type 2 AC charger aside from the 50kW DC charger. This prevents your car from charging above 6.6kW if plugged into a fast charger above the rated output.
How Long Does It Take To Charge A Nissan LEAF?
Rapid Charging 50kW takes around 40 minutes from zero to a hundred. The Fast Charging at 7kW to 22kW takes around 6 hours. While the slow charger at 3kW will take 14 hours.
Rapid chargers are going to cut off before reaching 100% to protect the battery.
Other external factors like the ambient temperature, age, and condition of the battery, condition of the charger and condition of the car plays a part in the charging efficiency.
Charging at home is the most popular way to power up. You can do this overnight just like what you would do with your mobile phone.
The Tesla Charging Station
The Tesla Charger for EVs looks very simple. It’s designed to look that way to enhance its user-friendly appeal.
But underneath that streamlined appearance is a complicated mess of parts.
Tesla Superchargers can provide two cars with 150kW of power. It takes 20 minutes to charge a Tesla S Model to 50% full power from zero. 40 minutes will give you 80% and if you wait long enough, 100 percent at only 15 minutes over an hour of charging.
New Tesla Superchargers are expected to provide more power and shorter charging times at a slated 350kW rating. This is perhaps in anticipation of Tesla’s future models, one of which is the Tesla Cybertruck.
The Tesla Supercharging Station Owes Its Success To The Success Of Gas Stations
Surprisingly, this is not the main reason why Tesla’s charging stations are the most popular in the world. Tesla took a look at the bigger picture and found the reason why EVs aren’t as popular as combustion engine cars. The reason: availability of charging stations.
Cities have lots of gas stations to make it very convenient for cars to refuel. Aside from that, these stations have convenience stores, restaurants, shops and all that. Tesla took this modern model of what a gas station is and applied it to their own charging stations. Voila! People started buying more Tesla EVs.
There are also plans of providing Urban superchargers that are smaller, more compact than the average supercharger. These are designed to be deployed in cities and have a 72kW power rating.
Another Tesla innovation, the solar panels on roofs is used to offset the energy usage of these charging stations as well as provide shade to EVs.
Tesla continues its drive to get auto manufacturers to create a standardized port and charging system so everyone can benefit from the network Elon Musk’s company has already started.
There are currently 1800 stations with 15,000 chargers available today.
Charging stations nowadays look the same as any gas station with all the amenities offered like restaurants, shops and a waiting station for while your Tesla EV charges.
Getting To Know The Nissan LEAF
We’ve discussed extensively about can the Nissan Leaf use a Tesla charger or not, but have we taken the time to get to know the Nissan LEAF yet or why it’s so popular?
It’s time to get to know the Nissan LEAF and why it’s the world’s all-time, best-selling, highway-capable, EV.
The Nissan LEAF has been in production since 2010. It was simultaneously introduced to both the Japanese and American car market in December of that year.
Nissan designed the LEAF to cater to the needs of the market instead of treating it as a social experiment like what Tesla did. It had the conventional looks of what was readily available in the market and it came as a 5 door hatchback that appealed to young people and small families.
In fact, if you saw a Nissan LEAF on the road, you probably wouldn’t give it a second look. Beside another contemporary combustion engine production car, the Nissan LEAF would most probably be ignored.
It is a front motor, front-wheel-drive, compact car fit for city and highway driving. Fully charged, it can cover a range of 243 kilometers.
The Nissan LEAF has oversized front headlights with bulging arches to enhance its aerodynamic qualities.
The batteries are situated perfectly in the middle providing it with that satisfying solid driving feel everyone is looking for.
Inside, it is roomy and can comfortably seat 5 adults. There is also enough cargo space if you fold the rear seats which is accessible if you raise the hatch. The grey interior is a bit lacking in luxury. For a car that’s meant to be practical, it fits right in perfectly.
There is also an infotainment console that delivers as it is supposed to. Everything else inside the Nissan LEAF is basically what you’d find inside a conventional production combustion engine car sans the engine up front and a tailpipe behind it.
The Nissan LEAF comes at a base price of under $40,000 which is very affordable and is considered one of its biggest selling points.
The Nissan LEAF Is A Very Safe Car For Your Family
All Nissan LEAF cars come with seatbelts and airbags. In the event of a crash, airbags deploy and the main battery system is disconnected to avoid further damage.
There have been little to no reports of Nissan LEAFs exploding. Reports of airbag failure to deploy are also at less than 1% which is remarkable for any production car today. There have been very reports of battery failure for the Nissan LEAF.
The LEAF’s turning radius though has a lot of room for improvement as it is very wide for a car as small as this. The cargo space is limited and leaves a lot to be desired. This is especially true for small families who have to pack enough luggage for trips.
The Nissan LEAF has excellent driving stability. The LEAF has a well-balanced body. You can find the batteries situated right under the seats. The suspension is rigid enough to provide a comfortable ride with a full load of people and luggage.
Lastly, the Nissan LEAF has a pedestrian warning system that allows it to alert people that it is nearby. The regenerative braking system helps this small car stop on a dime. The sticky tires reduce the braking distance greatly. Aftermarket tires can improve that further.
The most surprising thing is how quick the Nissan LEAF can be.
The Nissan LEAF’s Racing Potential
The Nissan LEAF has a drag coefficient of 0.28. coupled with a 214 horsepower engine with 250 lb/ft of torque and you’re looking at a powerful, albeit very small, EV.
It can match Tesla’s under 10 seconds 0-60 capability on the tarmac.
Nissan even has LEAFs fully fitted with bigger engines, lighter body panels, and roll cages ready for racing! So when it comes to potential, the LEAF has lots.
That’s even more reason for the buying public to get a LEAF not just for practical reasons but also for recreational activities.
Who knows, maybe in 2020 we’ll finally see EVs holding a race not just for promotional purposes. This could even be the beginning of a trend in sports EVs in the market.
Wouldn’t that be something? An EV sports car with all the stylings of a modern combustion engine sports car thanks to something as unobtrusive as the Nissan LEAF?
Awards The Nissan LEAF Has Won
The Nissan LEAF has indeed captured the world’s imagination of the potential of EVs. It has the awards to back it up. The 2010 Green Car Vision Award, 2011 European Car of the Year, World Car of the Year (2011), and the 2011–2012 Car of the Year Japan.
Although, to the manufacturers, selling 400,000 units to the world is an award in itself. Surprisingly, for a Japanese car, and an EV at that, its biggest buyer base is the US. Japan comes in second.
These awards won’t be the last. Nissan has more improvements for the LEAF. This includes other EVs that are currently in development to date.
Whatever Happened To The Toyota Prius?
If there’s any EV that seems to have been left out of the race now that EVs are cool, it would be the Toyota Prius. The Prius’ sales has steadily declined since 2012. It was a much-maligned car due to how ahead of its time it was. It was considered uncool. This image seriously affected its sales.
When is the Th!nk coming back?
The Th!nkEV was one of the first EVs to come out from Sweden. They were one of the best designed EVs in the market then. The Th!nk continues to pique the interest of buyers who are interested in early EVs. The Th!nk with its success early on in the game is still a prized possession for its owners.
Is There Any Chance A Universal Charging Station Will Be Made Available Soon?
EVs are now a more popular car choice for consumers. Several car manufacturers have come to the conclusion that building a network of charging stations is in their best interest. The irony of it is now they are more open to working with Tesla who they once shunned. 2020 will see more EV stations.