Nissan Leaf: Estimating Range

I was driving myself crazy. I’d keep trying to guess how my car was doing. Did an experiment to put my brain to rest:

  • X-Axis is Battery% – that’s why its right-to-left.
  • Y-Axis is either Trip-Miles or Estimated Miles, same units
  • This is a 2015 Leaf, 11 Capacity Bars. I don’t have LeafSPY available at the moment (someone borrowed the dongle)
  • Eco Mode, temp 48 degrees (or so), dry.
  • Using Cruise Control at speed limit whenever possible.
  • The “Lap” was a 12.4 mile loop with TJ Unitarian at one end. Relatively flat; easy traffic; and fast (for me) charger to get me to 100% to start.
  • Laps 1 and 2 were without heater or lights; as was Lap 4.
  • Lap 3 – I turned on headlights, seat heater, and steering wheel heater. (but not the main heat)
  • Between Lap 3 and 4 – car sat for 2 hours as I attended the EvolveKY MeetUp.
  • Lap 4 done identical to laps 1 and 2 to verify pattery
  • Lap 5 – I turned on the heat (and headlights). It was 48 outside; inside set for 70, so only a 20 degree jump. Note that inside of car had been heated by sunlight already, not a cold morning start.
  • Lap 6 – I got the LBW just as I started it. Different route for the second part – I headed home.


  • The car is optimistic for the first couple of miles. (green)
    • It would have gotten 84 miles, maybe, if it had stayed like that.
  • Eyeballing battery use and odometer leads to a pretty solid line – better estimation than the Guess-O-Meter which jumps ALL over the place.
  • I expected the heater to shunt the line over, but i did NOT expect it to “recover” (pink).
  • Looks like when LBW kicks in, a different estimation starts to be used that is more pessimistic. (yellow)
  • Then it stops giving numbers.
  • I got home at 74.6 miles, but later without charger drove around the block a few times, up to about 76 miles. Never got to Turtle. I suspect (based on age + capacity bars) my battery is mis-calibrated, and there’s more than it thinks there is.
  • The first 3 laps all showed 4.5 miles per KWH. Using that number, puts me at 16 to 17 kWH of available battery for sure.
  • Using Seat Heaters and Steering Wheel Heaters .. could NOT tell the difference in the range. Yay!

I had been hoping that it would be colder.. my “range calculation” in my head (looking at odometer for 90%, 80%, 70%, etc) was giving me a 50 mile range or so. However, it was a nicer day.. Or the car knew it needed to perform.

If anybody wants to watch the boring data videos, they are and (assuming that the upload succeeds). Captured with a Hero6 in Timelapse Video mode.

Author: sunnywiz


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