2018 Nissan Leaf Charging Options – Europe

Waiting for the Leaf

I keep wanting to know more about the car I’m buying and so I scan all of the reviews and reports coming out about the new 2018 Nissan Leaf. I wonder how it’s going to be with longer journeys using the fast chargers while travelling. I hear stories that you get to a charging point and find it isn’t working. There are also tales of when you get to a place there’s only one charging point and somebody else is using it. It’s also possible somebody using an internal combustion engine (ICE) has parked in the electric car charging spot. This is what’s known as being “Iced”. So I’ve been seeing what I can do to have more charge points available when I do have the car and I want to go on a longer road trip. What about connecting to Type 2 chargers? I’ve been checking out electric vehicle charger maps and there are one or two services to choose from. I signed up prematurely with ChargeMap. Gives me a change to test out planning for the long drives to places. Also got a card from IBIL which has a couple of chargers in petrol stations around Spain. A wee bit of due diligence and testing things out.

Trip to France

The trip we do regularly is to a place in the French side of the Pyrenees. The usual route takes us towards Perpignan and there we turn west and go towards Les Angles and Matemale up in the mountains. The last part of the journey is quite a climb and I was wondering how we would cope with the 2018 Nissan Leaf. It’s true when you’re going uphill using an electric car, or any car for that matter, you use more fuel. There are not too many hills in the first half of the journey from Perpignan but some of the energy would get used. Would it leave me having range anxiety on the last part of the journey? What would be useful, would be to have somewhere to plug-in before just before we start climbing the mountain. Looking at ChargeMap there were not too many suitable chargers along that route. I had filtered down the chargers that would connect to a Nissan Leaf. The good news is that I found out today the 2018 Nissan Leaf is equipped with a Type 2 charging socket. The previous versions were type 1 and I hadn’t seen any details anywhere saying that the Type 2 Menneke was now installed. So I went back to the ChargeMap and found there are a number of chargers along the route I could now use. These type two charging spots will not give me a fast charge, but if I stop for an hour and put in some kilometres it could make all the difference.

Cables for charging a Nissan Leaf

It’s good I have to wait before I can install my home charger in the garage. If I had got ahead of myself and put in a type 1 charger I would be kicking myself. I need to wait until just before the car is due to leave the showroom to come home with me to get the mostly free installation of an EVSE – Electric Vehicle Service Equipment. Nissan will be paying up to €1000 for this installation. Now I can ensure that the charger will have a Type 2 connection. The only thing is getting an electrician who will do the job when I want it done and quickly. Got to have the job done properly.

I’ve also been looking at cables I might need while travelling on a road trip. Having a cable which will plug into a normal mains European socket (Shuko) is useful. Such a cable comes with the Nissan Leaf this will allow me to charge up just about anywhere. It might take a long time, but useful nonetheless.

Seeing as I can connect up to Type 2 charging points I’m wondering if it might be useful to have an extension lead in case of “Icing” (blocked by a ICE car). If the cable tethered to the charging point is not long enough I could still get a charge even if I can’t get as close to the charging post as I would like. Initially I had been looking to see if it’s possible to buy a conversion from type 1 toType 2 when I thought that the Nissan Leaf was equipped with a Type 1 socket. It is possible to buy these cables, but I don’t need one now. It was while searching the EV Cables web site I found the information about Type 2 socket on the 2018 Nissan Leaf. Hunted for the info on the Nissan site and found nothing at all.

Best charging options

Nissan Leaf Charging Europe

The CHAdeMO connection point will be the preferred charging point while on a road trip. 40 or 50 Kilowatts is bound to be quicker isn’t it. Plugging into a Type 2 if necessary will also be useful though. The Type 2 will only go at a maximum of what’s allowed by the charging capability of the car which is around 7 kWh. This is even the case where the charging point goes up to 22 kW. I really can’t wait to get out on the road and get a few kilometres under the belt to see how it all works out. So I’m looking forward to becoming an electric car owner and driver. It is just murder having to be patient while Nissan cranks out the vehicles from there Sunderland production plant.

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