2018 Nissan Leaf – Eco Mode



I’ve been driving the 2018 Nissan Leaf for 2 months now, and this whole time I’ve been driving with Eco mode on. Curious about what benefit it provides, I decided to turn it off and see how the miles/kWh changed.

40 Replies to “2018 Nissan Leaf – Eco Mode”

  1. suavilica

    I've been driving my 2019 leaf for 3 weeks now. 1331 miles on it already. Been testing and playing different modes and most efficient mode seems to be on D with ECO & EPadel "OFF". I will keep testing and keep you posted. Please respond if you disagree or agree to my comment above. Thanks!

  2. John Klein

    There are other benefits to ECO mode and B mode than efficiency. When you have icy roads, the ECO and B modes help you slip less because the accelerator is more gradual and less likely to need traction control, and the stopping energy goes into the battery more, and not just into the tires and brakes.

  3. Jeremy Kirkwood

    I have had a similar experience with a 2016 Camry Hybrid. I have tested it on and off for the last month and the results seem to indicate a mile or two mpg better in eco but when I drive efficiently without eco I can do better at 5 mpg better. Mine is very dependent on AC usage as well.

  4. TriXie Kat

    I drive my 2014 Leaf SV all the time, and over the last month I came to the same conclusion as you.. I think it is because you a better coast mode so to speak. (you use less pedal)

  5. Nisco Racing

    Temperature is a BIG efficiency factor!!!
    Did Nissan update the software in between the test!?
    This test is very incomplete and slightly misleading…. all i hear is eco-mode eco-mode eco-mode.

  6. TRY to HELP you

    one pedal driving on or off each time? also, when the temperature outside starts warming up, you will see efficiency increase. 6 mi per kwh, btw, is insane for that car. very hard to believe…. do you do absolutely zero highway driving during that time? thanks for sharing your experience!

  7. Bill Kerr

    Yep. The problem with Eco mode on most EVs is that in addition to making response soft (good for efficiency) it increases the effect of regen, leading to countless little trips into regen when the driver isn't really intending to slow down. Regen is great when you need to slow down from speed but at its very best it is only recapturing about 25% of the energy it takes away from the momentum of the car. It is much less efficient at lower speeds even though you can feel the braking effect. If you ever are in regen when you are trying to maintain a steady pace on flat-ish roads you are throwing away energy.

    I used to hypermile my '11 LEAF, pretty much had to.Talking to others with that inclination (disease?) I learned that what I'm paying for in kilowatts is momentum. The very most efficient way to come to a stop is to let the car coast to a stop in neutral, using every last bit of momentum for forward motion. Of course, that's seldom practical or legal. It emphasizes that any time you work to slow the car you are wasting energy.

    Don't get me wrong. Regen is better than friction brakes. At least you get something back, but not as much as you think. Today I drive a Chevy Volt. I only use Low (Eco) when going down a hill, and then only if I really need to. On gradual hills w/o traffic I shift to neutral or hold the power meter at zero to bank the free energy. My car is supposed to get 53 miles range but I get better than 70 miles any time I'm even half way trying. The little max-regen paddle on the back of the steering wheel comes in to play when slowing in traffic.

    EV manufacturers would get better range if the default mode were zero regen on throttle lift but strong regen in the brake pedal before the friction brakes kick in. Regen is a good tool, but not the right tool for every job.

  8. Nigel Weir

    Renault Zoe on eco mode for over 2 years, update of software management and no eco mode , surprise getting better miles . Read that ordinary mode uses battery cooling system better , heat of battery increased in winter in non eco mode which meant I was warmer in car and the battery was at better temperature and therefore was more efficient , so now getting easily 10-15 miles more . So eco mode on an ev same as ice car just pointless , slows car ,heating crap with the addition of keeping battery cooler in winter . Role in summer see effect, ps ireland summer 15-20degrees c , winter -5-+10 degrees c winter

  9. James

    Slow acceleration is not more efficient. It doesn't make sense in physics terms. The only thing that matters is not decelerating again afterwards. This is only achievable when there are no other cars on the road. So, to negotiate a route, you accelerate up to the speed that you can take all corners and roundabouts at, say 24 mph. Also the slower, the better re wind resistance. I also try to stay in D where there is minimal re-gen braking. If you can manage to stay D and not use your brakes again this is more efficient than using re-gen. It forces you to accelerate only up to speeds where you would naturally coast to a stop or corner at an appropriate speed.
    I only use Eco mode to save on wear and tear.

  10. Jim Thompson

    6+ mi/kWh seems a bit much. That would give you a theoretical range of 240 miles. And with temps in the 30s? I have a 2015 Leaf and if hyper-mile I can get 5.1 mi/kWh in the summer. In the winter on clean roads with all accessories off I struggle to get 4 mi/kWh. With the heater and lights on it is closer to 3. Are you sure about your numbers? I am really curious.

  11. 6EQUJ5

    Try using ego mode again. You've only had the Leaf for two months. Maybe, the computer got used to you. That could be the answer. Use ego mode for a complete week again – see what happens.

  12. Conan McLynn

    The best I've achieved is 4 miles/kwh! I drive in a regular non aggressive way but can't get any better than 4miles/kwh. Any suggestions? Also how do I get that regen section on my screen? I can't find that anywhere in the menu.

  13. Richard Petek

    This 6,0 or 6,2 miles per kWh, the difference is 3%. Convert this to metric and it will be 10,36 or 10,02 kWh/km. The difference is tiny; it is within the measurement error.
    And yes, eco-mode doesn't matter as long as you recuperate the energy when you slow down (and don't do many fast acceleration/deceleration cycles). In my opinion it is made for people who don't know how to ECO drive, which obviously doesn't apply to you.

    #rapidgate? Many people would like to use the Leaf as a family car and drive it also on holidays beyond 300 miles. If you don't do it, fine, but don't have opinions on others, and you and I know that a Tesla costs two or three times more.

    So before you make opinions about #rapidgate, take a day off if you can and make a long-ish trip. I suggest, make a trip to a location about 80 miles far with a fast charger on each end, if possible with a motorway/freeway connection, drive any speed above 60 mph that you like and do 2 times back and forth trip so there you will be never far from your home and you will have 3 fast charges. 4×80 miles shouldn't be that bad, agree? You can test any other way too, if you like, it just should be 300 miles in one trip.
    Good luck, come back and report. Tell also the battery temperature in the next morning.

    But you can also watch the "Bjorn Nyland Leaf 40 long version" video and you will know what I mean. And consider, that test was made at freezing temperatures in Norway (down to -10°C).
    Imagine what will happen in a summer at +25°C and more.

  14. JoeyRodz74

    When you enable Eco mode, you get:
    – Shallower throttle response during acceleration
    – More regenerative braking on throttle liftoff
    – Reduced consumption by components like the cabin heater

    In my opinion, more regenerative braking reduces efficiency. That's because you don't coast as much. Without Eco mode, you glide farther forward and that is always more efficient than regenerating power back in to then use it again in propelling you forward.

    I, too, have been able to get higher efficiency without Eco mode on. This is highly dependent on your driving style or mood that day.

    A 6.3kWh/mile trip is already very good but to see what makes it get the best efficiency, try this:
    1. Find a flat, open road
    2. Bring your speed up to 50 MPH
    3. Once steady at that speed, reset your efficiency meter
    4. Slow down to ~35 MPH and drive normally
    5. You will likely note a 7kWh/M or more efficiency. Tweak your driving to keep as high as possible.

    The difference here is that you're starting at the top of the scale and your averages will be higher. Any driving move you make will be very quickly reflected in your average, giving you nearly instant feedback on what works best.

  15. David Boling

    Using the EcoMode function is just adding an additional energy conversation step – trying to harvest the motion energy wasted in stopping and reducing speed into a small (very small) charge back to the battery, and also keeping a limiter on acceleration speed, but it's akin to driving with your brakes on at all times. You never really get the full benefits of the initial power that is originally created from the battery to the electric drive motor. The more energy conversations you can minimize, the less power lost/more power saved. Each conversation loses energy in heat and inefficiencies.

  16. IMHO

    ECO mode increases the amount of regen, which actually is less efficient if you are use to driving an ICE vehicle efficiently. Every time regen occurs instead of coasting, there is an energy loss. Regen is only more efficient than using the mechanical brakes, so if you can coast as much as possible and then engage regen to stop, you will use less energy.

    One pedal driving, once you master it, will also be very efficient.

  17. H Sig

    I only use ECO mode when I'm going downhill for it creates more regen when on. Other factors are in play with your efficiency being better with ECO mode off, just common sense physics.

  18. Robert Zysblat

    Interesting. So i switched off the Eco, and the GOM immediately showed a drop of 5% on my mileage range. Is this something you noticed? Also what's the difference with B mode rather than D Mode? Thanks

  19. Ryan Ford

    Use e-pedal in town, propilot on the highway. forget about eco mode unless your battery is less than 10% SOC. b-mode is useful for extra regen when you are coasting down a hill with a stop at the bottom.

  20. Willem

    The only thing ECO mode does is giving you a different throttle response. It eases your throttle pedal moves and gives you a max power of (something in the range of) 80kW instead of the 110kW. So if you step on the pedal all the time I think ECO is actually way more efficient.

    But if your driving style is very easy anyway, never or rarely giving it full pedal then ECO mode doesn't make any sense.

  21. Leaf Babe

    I've had my 2018 Nissan Leaf for 10 days now and I totally agree with you, just so much fun to drive without Eco mode.
    Already managed a couple of 300 mile trips with 3 rapid charges for each at speeds of around 70mph (officer), third successive rapid was a bit slower, but acceptable. Take note of what Nissan say; rapid charge to 80% within 40 to 60 minutes. The rapid charge rate when the battery charge gets over 75% tapers off quite steeply and rapid charging when the battery is over 80% charge causes a lot of heating. For long trips requiring 3 successive rapid charges (or more), only rapid charge to 80% max which helps keep the battery temperature lower for the next rapid charge. The battery temperature when the rapid charger is first connected determines the charge rate that's delivered, and once the battery gets hot due to rapid charging over 80% or driving over 70mph (officer) for any distance, or both, it does take a long time to cool down.
    For 200 mile dashes you can flex the Leaf's muscles, it's so smooth and quiet at speed you can easily end up going much faster than intended.

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