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Nissan Leaf electric car to get a software upgrade

Consumer Reports News: February 14, 2012 12:08 PM

Nissan North America plans to update its all-electric Nissan Leaf car with new software that promises to improve performance—specifically, how the battery-powered car estimates its range, or distance it can travel before the car runs out of power.

According to the technical service bulletin from Nissan, the software update will be available to owners of 2011 and 2012 Nissan Leaf vehicles free of charge. What's more: the free upgrade can be performed at an owner's home or business "provided there is a suitable and safe work area," said the Nissan bulletin.

Among improvements to range estimations of the electric car, the software update will also:

  • Add a new in-car safety feature, alerting Leaf drivers if a door is open while the car is not in "Park"
  • Improve connectivity to CARWINGS, the wireless service that connects Leaf owners to their vehicles via the Internet
  • Improve the car's heating, ventilation and air condition control and operation
  • Improve the Leaf's in-car informational displays
  • Improve the accuracy of charging time estimates displayed by the dash display and via the Leaf's CARWINGS connection

Consumer Reports' car testers are looking forward to seeing how the software update may affect the performance of our 2011 Nissan Leaf—especially given our own issues regarding the battery-powered car's charging time and driving range. (For more insights, see: More observations from living with the Nissan Leaf.)

If you're considering an all-electric car, such as the Leaf and 2012 Mitsubitshi i-MiEV, or other fuel-efficient vehicles, check out Consumer Reports' Guide to alternative fuels and Guide to fuel economy for more information.

Related:

Technical Service Bulletins [Nissan]
Nissan Announces Voluntary Service Campaign For 2011/12 Leaf [Green Car Reports]

Paul Eng

   

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