People who bought an electric Nissan Leaf don't seem to be all that happy, especially since some of them have complained the car manufacturer had given them misleading information prior to purchase. Complaints Nissan has obviously refuted.
Some Leaf owners have complained that the car take up to three times longer to charge than Nissan claims on its website, with some long-distance travellers finding themselves waiting up to two and a half hours at service stations while the car recharges. Others have complained that a single charge doesn't produce the 235 miles range they were promised by the company. Nissan, meanwhile says that charging times can vary but has denied any customers have been misled.
Last year Nissan promised that a rapid charger would be able to recharge the car up to 80 per cent within 40 minutes, a claim that was later revised to 40-60 minutes. However drivers claim that the issues arise when rapid-charging the car for a second time within a day. In other words it charges up at home fine, and then again the first rapid charge en-route, but after that the charging speed allegedly slows down - which isn't going to be very helpful for long distance journeys.
John Weatherley, a company director from the Forest of Dean, is one of those affected, and told the BBC that his 300-mile trip to the Lake District was disrupted when he was stuck waiting around for the car to recharge. While he claims he would have been fine with that if Nissan had mentioned this, he's not happy with the 40-60 minute claims. When he complained to the company he was told that the Leaf should only be rapid charged once per journey.
Nissan told the BBC that charging time can vary based on the conditions, including external temperature, how you've been driving and so on. The company claimed that the charging would automatically slow down to prevent the battery getting too hot, which acts as a preservation measure. It also says this is all mentioned in the car's handbook.
Others aren't impressed with the range difference, with the company advertising 235 miles under New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) measurements. However, car makers have also been using Light vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), which lists the Leaf as having 168 miles of range. Motoring magazine What Car? did its own testing and found that the Leaf only has 108 miles of "real world range". Quite a big difference..
The Advertised Standards Agency is set to be mulling over whether to launch an investigation. [BBC News]