Starting and ending normal charging for a Nissan Leaf is, of course, a crucial part of driving an EV. As these vehicles become more popular, people will start getting used to how to plug them in.
In the meantime, here’s a quick refresher on how to start and end the Nissan Leaf’s normal charging.
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What is a normal charge for an electric car?
There are three main ways to charge the Nissan Leaf.
- Normal charge
- Trickle charge
- Quick charge (if applicable)
There’s also a fourth way available on some 40 kWh and 62 kWh models.
- V2X charge/discharge (if applicable)
Normal charging is just what it sounds like. It’s a standard charger for topping up the Li-ion batteries you find in electric cars. Most EV chargers are “normal”.
Trickle charging uses the equipment provided with the car to connect to a home’s mains electrical supply. You can get some charge back into your batteries using the 110-120 V, 15 A circuits in a home. This takes much longer but might be necessary for emergencies. Ensure the circuit has a circuit breaker to avoid electrical overload.
Quick charging requires a dedicated charging port; you can’t do it on all Nissan Leaf models. It will charge the batteries faster than a normal charge. However, regular use of quick charging will wear the Li-ion batteries out much quicker.
Finally, V2X (‘Vehicle-to-Everything’) charging is fitted to some models. You’ll find it on some Nissan Leaf cars with an installed quick charging port. V2X is a two-way (‘bi-directional’) charging technology. Charge passes to or from the Leaf. This can be useful because it helps prevent overcharging. Any ‘extra’ charge goes back into the local grid. It’s still considered an emerging technology and may not become mainstream.
How to start a normal charge on the Nissan Leaf
You’ll need to be near an electric car charger to start a normal charge on the Nissan Leaf. This could be at your home, a parking lot, or services.
- Bring the Leaf to a safe stop next to the charger.
- Put the car in Park by pressing the P position switch.
- Apply the parking brake.
- Switch the power switch (in the center console) to the OFF position.
- If the power switch is left switched on, the battery won’t charge.
- Unlock the charge port by pressing the button.
- Exit the car and walk around to the charging port.
- Open the charge port lid and lift it until it locks into place. Then open the normal charger cap.
- Take the charge connector (the plug from the charger) and connect it to the Leaf’s charge port (on the right), locking the connector. Follow any instructions on the charger itself.
- You’ll hear a single beep to confirm the connection has been successful.
- When the charging system activates, you should hear two beeps. This could be triggered by charging starting or the car waiting for the charging timer.
- The three charging status indicator lights on the dashboard behind the windshield will change. The lights illuminate depending on how you’re charging the car. See the owner’s manual for more details.
- If you like, you could activate the Nissan Leaf’s charge connector lock. It can be set to AUTO, LOCK, or UNLOCK.
- AUTO: the charger connection is locked until charging completes.
- LOCK: the charge connector remains locked.
- UNLOCK: the charge connector isn’t locked.
- Your Nissan Leaf is now charging normally.
How to stop normal charging for the Nissan Leaf
Here’s how to end a Nissan Leaf’s normal charge. You don’t have to wait until the car is fully charged. You can remove the charge connector at any time.
- Check that the charge connector lock isn’t engaged.
- If it is, either:
- Enter the car and select UNLOCK in the EV settings, or
- Press and hold the charge port lid opener button on the Intelligent Key. The charge connector will unlock for 30 seconds before locking again, or
- Push the charge port lid switch. You have 30 seconds before it locks once more.
- If it is, either:
- Remove the charger from the charge port by pressing the button on the connector. Release the connector’s lock and remove it from your Leaf.
- Ensure you store it properly.
- Close the cap and lid.
- The Nissan Leaf is now charged.
Here is a quick view of the Nissan Leaf’s owner’s manual.