In an article posted yesterday, we reviewed Nissan’s battery warranty policies for their Leaf line. Today we ask a simple question on behalf of Leaf owners everywhere: how long does it take to charge a Nissan Leaf?

The answer, like it is for most questions in life is: it depends. Charging times can vary greatly by year of the model and which level of charging the owner is using.

Level 1

Every Leaf comes with a level 1 charger that will work with your standard 120-volt electrical outlet at home. Level 1 chargers are the slowest, offering about 5 miles of range per hour plugged in. While it is not recommended as we mentioned here, most drivers (myself included) will plug their cars into their level 1 charging station and allow the car to charge overnight.

Level 2

The next step up from level 1 charging is quite obviously…level 2 charging. Level 2 chargers can be installed in a driver’s home, but they can be a bit pricey. It is also HIGHLY recommended that the driver use an electrician to install a level 2 charger if they are not a licensed electrician themselves. The average level 2 charging station is about twice as fast as the level 1 station, and will fully charge the battery in about four or five hours.

DC Fast Chargers

The fastest way to charge a Leaf is at a DC fast charging station. These are commercial electric car charging stations that may or may not require a fee for their services. The Leaf needs about 30 minutes at a DC fast charging station to be fully charged.

Different Leaves for Different Folks

The above data assumes that the Leaf is a first generation model with a 40 kWh battery (24 or 30 kWh battery for the really old models) and a range of around 150 miles for a full charge. In 2019, Nissan introduced the Nissan Leaf plus. The Leaf plus features a 62 kWh battery capable of reaching distances of up to 226 miles on a single charge! As great as this is and as much as I hope it encourages skeptics that they can get where they are going, there is a catch.

Because the battery is larger and can go farther, it takes MUCH more time to charge. The Nissan Leaf plus can reach an 85% charge at a DC fast charging station in about 45 minutes. If the owner has a level 2 charging station, the car can be charged in about 12 hours. Now here’s the kicker: for a Nissan Leaf Plus to get to a full charge using a level 1 charger, it will take two and a half days!

While this fact may be a deal breaker for some, the fact that it takes this long to charge may not be as bad as it seems. After all, the range is longer so the car won’t need to be charged as much. If the Leaf Plus is a second car, it can even be plugged in on the weekend and forgot about until Monday morning.

What do our readers think of the Leaf’s charging capabilities? Is anyone out there considering a Leaf Plus now that range has improved dramatically? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

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