Friday, 3 March 2017

Our Nissan Leaf: experience so far

It's getting on for a year now since we bought our first electric car, an ex-demo Nissan Leaf. So far it's done exactly what we wanted and expected. First and foremost, "it's just a car". It's not some weird experience to get into and drive, you just get in press the button and drive it like any other automatic car. We have had no technical issues with it yet, and it still seems to behave exactly the same way it did when we bought it. I'm not sure how many miles we've done, but it must be around 8,000 I think.


1) It's just a car
2) It gets you to where you want to go
3) It's comfy and quiet
4) It's cheaper to run than our diesel burner (quite a bit cheaper, but sorry no I don't have exact figures)
5) The traction control is pretty good in the snow
6) There is almost nothing to service/worry about servicing
7) It has good ground clearance (which matters where we live)
8) It does 0-60mph in just over 9 seconds (we timed it very precisely using an Android phone stopwatch and the speedometer)


1) People assume that you believe that you are saving the world by driving an electric car
2) People feel the need to point out that the electricity that you use generates carbon dioxide
3) People feel the need to point out that electric cars are crap (even though they've never owned one)
4) It is only capable of doing about 95% of the trips that we do (we drive our other car for the longer trips)
5) There are no fast chargers around Aberystwyth
6) I don't get to drive it much (I usually drive the diesel burner)


I like it. It's cheap to run, and hopefully will be cheap to maintain due to all the complicated bits that are missing (like the engine, clutch and transmission). It's irritating that everyone assumes that you are a naive tree-hugger who doesn't have a clue about anything technical because you own an electric car. It's pretty much the ideal second car as far as I can see: the range limit (about 85 miles if you drive conservatively on hilly Welsh roads) is a bit limiting and precludes it from being our only car, although if there were one or two more public fast chargers around it would be a lot more viable. If it had a range of (say) 200 miles then I think I would be happy to have it as an only car. Nissan say here that this is going to happen soon, but we'll wait for an ex-demo/secondhand one I expect. Please don't bother telling me that I'm an idiot for buying this car, there are many other better reasons for calling me an idiot.