No matter what kind of car I drive (or drives me) in the future, I’ll always remember my 2012 Nissan Leaf.  Since its introduction in 2010, the Nissan Leaf has become the world’s best selling all-electric vehicle (EV) of all time. I’ve become accustomed to the whole concept of charging a vehicle as opposed to filling up at the gas station. So much so that I get frustrated when I have to fill up my wife’s gas guzzler. I will always have at least one EV from here on out thanks to this little miracle of a car. In an effort to convince any doubters that you too can go all-electric we pose the question: can you charge a Nissan Leaf on 110v?

The answer to this question is a simple and resounding yes! There are no doubt hundreds of thousands of Nissan Leaf owners (including myself) who charge their cars this way. Every once in a while I will use a public level-2 or DC fast charger, but the vast majority of the time, I just plug my factory level-1 charger into the outlet in my garage.

For purposes of writing, it is important to note that the terms 110v and 120v can be used almost interchangeably. This is because typical North American outlets oscillate between 110v and 120v depending on power drops and transmission losses. For an excellent summary of this phenomenon, please see this writing from hunker.com.

Nissan Leaf Charge Time on 110v

Now the (sort of) bad news. It takes a LONG time to fully charge the Nissan Leaf on 110v. As we noted here, you will be able to achieve around 5 miles of range per hour plugged in with a level-1 charger. Although not recommended because it may lead to premature battery degradation, most drivers who use a level-1 charger plug their cars in and allow them to charge overnight. Set it and forget it!

Is Trickle Charging Bad for the Nissan Leaf?

In a strict sense, no. Charging your Leaf using a level-1 charger is no better or worse for your battery than using a faster charger. That being said, problems can arise when you do like I do and leave your car plugged in AFTER it has achieved a full charge. In order to prevent the aforementioned premature battery degradation, Nissan recommends that you only charge your car to between 50% and 80% capacity. This is the figure at which lithium-ion batteries perform the best. If the battery is charged beyond this, the heat generated by charging the battery may damage it over time. Conversely, operating your vehicle below 20% capacity, it will put more stress on it and also lead to gradual degradation.

One tip I as a Leaf owner can offer is to schedule your charging sessions. Plug your car in when you get home from work and unplug it right before you go to bed for example. With a little bit of planning, you can ensure that you always have enough juice without damaging your battery.

What do our readers think? Any tips or tricks for any potential Nissan Leaf buyers that you recommend? Please leave us a comment below and let us know.

Source | Image: NissanUSA