This test was to drive the Nissan Leaf at as close as possible to 70mph to assess range at that speed. The test was performed on the A38 from Saltash to Ashburton and back to Saltash, a distance of 55 miles. This road is a dual-carriageway A-road and has a speed limit of 70 mph. Time of day was 11am on a weekday and traffic was light allowing the target speed of 70mph to be maintained fairly comfortably. Some short periods of 65mph were required for traffic, however, for the vast majority of the test speed was maintained at 65-70mph regardless of hills. Weather was 15 degs C and sunny. Climate control was OFF.
The car was charged to 100% and showed 100 miles in D and 110 miles in Eco at the start.
There is little point describing the drive itself. It was completely routine and uneventful. Driving technique was not particularly Eco and a normal driving style in D was used throughout. Estimated range reading through the test suggested that the car would have a total range at that speed of between 70 and 80 miles. This was borne out at the end of the test. On my return to Saltash I had done 54.7 miles, there were 3 bars of the State of Charge meter remaining and the estimated range was 24 miles… suggesting a total range at 70mph of 78 miles to completely dead.
I was impressed with this figure. It shows that if you have a commute of between 50 and 60 miles then it is possible to do it at normal motorway speeds. Personally, because I like to have a healthy reserve for all eventualities, I would not plan on any trip at that speed over 50 miles but you can always slow down to extend your range should you need to.
All in all a very encouraging test for me.