Patrick Rall's picture

The 2011 Nissan Leaf gets EPA rating of 99mpg

The Environmental Protection Agency has rolled out their mileage ratings for the 2011 Nissan Leaf has received an impressive 99 miles per gallon – from a drivetrain that does use “gallons” of anything. This includes 106mpg around town and 92mpg on the highway.

The EPA announcement also rated the 2011 Leaf as having a 73 mile range on a single, 7 hour charge (at 240V) and listed the Leaf as yielding an average annual electric cost of $561. This is a number that real world tests have proven can be surpassed by the 2011 Leaf but when you take into account the various factors like weather and driving styles, 73 was the final average.

Rating the MPG of the 2011 Nissan Leaf electric car

The question, how exactly do you give a car a rating in miles per gallon when the vehicle doesn’t have an engine that runs on gallons of anything? Nissan explains that the EPA uses a formula that ends up comparing 33.7kWhs to 1 US gallon of gasoline. The Nissan Leaf uses a 24kWh battery pack and can go 73 miles on a single charge, so if the Leaf was equipped with a 33.7kWh battery (essentially one electric gallon), it would travel 99 miles.

Ultimately, a 99mpg rating doesn’t mean all that much, as the actual driving distances in the real world by real consumers will make or break the electric car revolution but this EPA system seems to provide a decent basis for comparison - until a bunch of people complain about it not being good enough and come up with their own systems, insisting that those systems should be used instead.

In addition to the EPA sticker claiming 99mpg and a 73 mile range on a single charge, the 2011 Nissan Leaf will also come with a sticker from the Federal Trade Commission stating that the electric Nissan has a range of 96 to 110 miles on a 7 hour charge.

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