All about charging the Leaf
This page is in early stages of development and needs further editing to achieve an accurate consensus view. Please stick with facts and add references if needed.
What are the two charging ports for?
The leaf has two charging ports, one for fast charging, one for slow charging.
This port takes the 230V AC power via an EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment) which switches the power on and off and usually provides ground fault detection.
There is a battery charger in your Leaf. For Gen 1 (2011 and 2012) the charger is located within the hump behind the rear seats. For Gen 2 (late 2012 onwards) it is part of an integrated stack sitting on top of the motor.
The maximum charging power is limited by the charger fitted to the car and the EVSE capacity. The EVSE signals to the car the maximum capacity it can deliver and the charge rate is the lower of the car or EVSE capability.
- In a GEN 1 Leaf it's a 3.3 kW charger (maybe 3.6 kW).
- In a GEN 2 Leaf it's usually a 3.6 kW but some newer models from the UK have a 6.6 kW charger. The 6.6 kW charger is unlikely to be seen in Japanese imports.
You can plug in at home two ways.
A 10A standard 3 pin home plug
This will take up to 12 hours for a full charge. For many people this is fast enough as they only need it to be full by the morning.
A caravan type plug
This will take up to 6 hours on a 16A.
Fast or Rapid Charging
The term "fast" charging might be confused with the 6.6 kW options or even a 16A vs 8A charge. This section is about DC fast charging.
For the Leaf the rapid charging option uses the CHAdeMO standard. The current chargers deliver up to 50 kW (400V at 125A). The Leaf controls the charge current up to the maximum setting of the charger which might be set to stop charging at 80% or allow more with Max typically stopping around 95%.
- The Gen 1 and Gen 2 24 kWh Leafs start to reduce the charge rate above 50%. The charge rates above 80% are significantly reduced and an extra 10% charge takes much longer than when starting at a low state of charge.
- The Gen 1 has a firmware issue where the 80% level seen by the charger is less than 80%. This is not a charger fault.
- The Gen 2 30 kWh Leafs sustain a higher charge rate to beyond 80% and start to taper at about 85% [needs references]
How do I charge when I'm away from home?
Should I buy a charger for home
You may be best to hold off until you see what your usage pattern is.
Many people find that a wired charger that charges faster, say 3 hours, vs a standard plug at 6 hours, for typically daily use really makes no difference if those hours are 11pm to 2am or 11pm to 5am.
A faster charger port at home is good if you often need a fast turnaround, i.e. home for lunch, need to charge and ready to go quickly. However most people do < 100km per day and just plug in each night. Done.