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2013 Nissan Leaf gets 75-mile range (actually 84) in new EPA test

Numbers may not lie, but they sure do get confusing at times. Today’s example, the estimated updated energy efficiency numbers for the just-released 2013 Nissan Leaf. The 2012 Leaf was rated at 99 MPGe combined, 106 city and 92 highway with a 73-mile range. The 2013 model gets 130 in the city, 102 on the highway and has a 75 mile range. Sounds like quite the improvement, right?

The issue is that the EPA has a new testing methodology for plug-in vehicles, and
Travis Parman, director of corporate communications for Nissan of the Americas, said, “this new EPA testing methodology means this is not an apples-to-apples comparison.”

What it all boils down to is that the 2013 Leaf has two charging modes: the default “100-percent Long Distance Mode” that maximizes range and an optional “80-percent Long Life Mode” that Nissan says will optimize long-term battery health. The EPA test, which is being used for the first time on the 2013 Leaf, blends these two modes. Previously, EPA range estimates were always based on 100-percent charges, whether the cars had another charging mode or not.
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