Nissan Leaf Hubcap Efficiency Test #2!

Welcome back for another episode of Now You Know! Today we repeat our efficiency test of these hub caps for the Nissan Leaf! We do our tests and find out whether they are worth it! Don’t forget to give us a like and if you haven’t already, subscribe! Also, please consider supporting us on Patreon! We have some cool pledge rewards, and we are creating EXCLUSIVE PATREON ONLY content, that you won’t want to miss!

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45 Replies to “Nissan Leaf Hubcap Efficiency Test #2!”

  1. Roger Hudson

    Wheels that actively extract air from inside to out have to be different right to left. turbo wheels. Stylized alloy wheels that look the same on both sides of the car would blow out one side but suck the other side , surely?

  2. Andrew Hart

    If increased battery temperature gives better battery efficiency that might mean that the standard hubcaps were given an unfair advantage. You should reverse the order of the test to see if the efficiency difference remains the same

  3. Rayner Bønå

    Don't rely on the average shown in the car. I've done tests with my Leaf and found it very unrealiably. I'm not sure why, or when, but I believe it has something to do with regen. The test where it showed most inaccurate was "roller-coaster" driving (coasting down hill gaining speed, or regen).
    So it might be more accurate with highway-driving.

    My recommendation is:
    % as you used. If started with same %, I found my Leaf to be very accurate.
    Leafspy APP and OBD2-plug. There you'll find energy used, energy left on battery and SOC with decimals.

    Keep up the good work 🙂

  4. Chrus Ginn

    The Leaf has a claimed CD factor as low as 0.28 and a measured as high as 0.32. Aero hub caps will have proportionally more effect on a more slippery car. The Model 3 has a claimed CD of 0.23

  5. Deveon89

    I never owned a car with a linear fuel gage. The first half always gives me more miles than the second half. Also the tripmeters are usually very unreliable on ICE cars.

  6. Neil Blanchard

    Was the air temperature consistent through the test? Cooler air is more dense, and that means higher drag.

    By the way, actual flat disks would be lower drag than the domed covers you have.

    Also, you should go by the kWh for each charge.

  7. seannz100

    doesnt matter if it isnt linear, so long as its consistent with how non linear it is, my car when displaying just over 1/4 is more like half full, and 3/4 to just over 1/4 is sub 100ks (sub 62miles)

  8. Bill Kerr

    I'm sure others have mentioned it, but using the LeafSpy app and an OBDII adapter can give you very accurate charge and temperature data. In the end, however, the Leaf isn't very aerodynamic. the Model 3 is much more so, but it is heavier.

    Wind drag is by far the biggest load on the battery at highway speeds. The Leaf is much more of a city car, made for low speed driving. Dropping from 65 to 45 will give you More than a 20% increase in efficiency. At lower speeds it is changes in momentum that are most important. Gradual acceleration and slowing gradually (i,e,; anticipating velocity changes) greatly improve miles per kWatt hour. Gathering velocity downhill and letting the car gradually slow on uphill grades also has a surprisingly large impact.

    Most drivers don't care and won't bother, but learning to drive Very efficiently works as well in Teslas, ICE cars, and diesel semi trucks. Practicing it teaches the driver to look far ahead and to carefully meter out throttle, brake, and steering inputs. I spend time on race tracks on both 4 and 2 wheels. I have found that working hard every day to maximize efficiency driving the Leaf has really helped my situational awareness on the track.

    For practical driving I recently bought a Chevy Volt. It lacks many of the efficiency helping information outputs but is MUCH more efficient intrinsically and has that generator backup that keeps you from worrying about running out of electrons. It has a much more efficient regen system than any other car I have tested but it is very difficult to get data out of any of the new EVs. OEMs are keeping the "real numbers" well hidden.

  9. Josh Lemons

    Good job, better than the first time. One thought I had, if it is more aerodynamic with those covers, you would notice the biggest difference the faster you go. In the equation for drag, velocity is squared; so drag increases exponentially with speed. Perhaps if you tested at speeds of 75+ mph, you might see a bigger difference between the two hub caps.

  10. Hervé Fache

    My Leaf battery indicator decreases faster at the extremes, which is scary: I know that 4 bars means less than half of 8 bars, and you really get range anxiety when you are below 4 bars!

  11. Alexis de Wouters

    That's interesting! Honestly I'm sure there is some influence but other parameters, including the temperature of the battery, and as you mentioned, the rest of the car's aerodynamism, are much more important. Probably it'll be more significant on the Model 3 because it is much more aerodynamic than the Leaf, and most probably a little "unaerodynamical influence" would be more important, relatively speaking… Sorry my english sucks :/

  12. 123rkss

    i think Tesla meant 10% increased efficiency of the wheels not of the car. so the caps might have 10% reduced drag compared to bare rims, but the wheels are only a small part of the car's dynamics

  13. E

    The last real question is about Jesses shirt. Does it serve as comedic relief from all the science? Jokes aside, this was better but you need to compare a real rim to those hubs. Those control rims on the leaf are already basically hubs with little holes to start. Compare the hub covers to rim you would see on a Tesla.

  14. Alessandro Seissler

    Tesla Aerowheels are tested and designed via cfd-Simulations and windtunnel testing. Main idea should be to smoothen out turbulent influences by the airstreams flowing around the sideline of the vehicle. So the wheelcaps push the air away from the car, creating a cushion of air over which laminar flow can occur. This of course works best if the underbody of your car works well in conjunction with the sideline – like with spoilers in front of the wheel arches or some kind of winglets to guide the airflow. Greetings from Germany.

  15. Jens Geisler

    The difference for Tesla is way bigger, as they compare it to an aluminium wheel with way bigger openings. The steel wheel you use is allready very closed and efficient. Looking forward to see a comparison on a Model 3 with and without aero caps.

  16. ekhaat

    I think the margin of error in testing this way is too big to have meaningful results.
    I think the best way to measure the difference in drag would be to have an air speed meter (like airplanes) and a display of the instant power consumption of the engine in kW (or Volt and Amps, don't know if that is available on the CAN bus). So you have to find a stretch of undisturbed road 2 miles or so, run the test without the caps 10 times at the same air speed on the same stretch of roar each time, and 10 times with the caps, but alternating each time (one without, one with, one without one with…) to have conditions even out over all the testruns. At each run you would get up to speed, hold it for 10 seconds, log the consumption and the exact air speed while still holding the speed, and go back for the next run.

  17. Karim Benallal

    Great video guys but I think I know why the test didn't go to plan. On your first test video you tested the standard hub caps first on cold battery, then tested the steel hub caps when the battery was warmer and more efficient. In this video you did the opposite so the steel hub caps was compensating the cold battery and the warm battery was compensating for the standard hub caps in energy efficiency . Hope this helped

  18. meomarte

    Thanks for this. I would have hoped for a longer test, but yeah I get the time-element. One other way to amplify the effect of aerodynamics is to drive faster. You had pretty good speed here though. Apart from repeating the test in the opposite order, the cold battery can be eliminated by driving the test in two parts: Pick two days that are weather wise similar enough and each day do one round trip starting with a cold battery. It´s not uncommon for weather to stay very similar for a couple of days. If it´s a longer drive, it would make sense to divide it to two days anyway.

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