My Life With The Nissan Leaf
Now there are major changes to road tax bands, the only way we can pay £0 to drive our cars on the road is by driving a car with zero emissions ……… the future of motoring is electric. There are so many fears surrounding electric cars, the main one being range….. no one wants to run out of electricity on the way home! I decided to live with the leaf for a week to experience life with electricity ………
The Nissan Leaf looks like a normal car! It has the familiar frog eye headlights I love and a distinctive body shape. I knew it was no ordinary car when I was told to report to Account Manager Rob for vital advice before I left. I had a charging demonstration …… and …….I realised just how silly the rest of the Rivervale Car Leasing team think I am when Rob also showed me where the indicators were ……… thank you Rob!
Now I knew where everything was located and how the Leaf worked I was good to make my first purely electric drive home!
Firstly, it’s all keyless! Don’t worry about your keys being hidden underneath the mountains of vital objects in your unnecessarily large handbag! Once switched on the Leaf plays you a little tune, I really like this welcome to the car!
Then I noticed how quiet the Leaf really was, this makes for a peaceful drive but also means you can creep up on pedestrians who don’t realise you are there – be careful! Next I noticed how fast the Leaf felt, with a 0-62 mph of 11.50 seconds I was prepared to be patient when I put my foot down. Patience was not needed, without the constraints of a combustion engine the Leaf was ready to go the second it was turned on. Although it’s not for the lovers of speed with a top speed of 87 mph!
Once on the road the Leaf feels like driving any other automatic car with everything you would expect; Bluetooth connectivity, air con, steering wheel mounted controls, ISOFIX ready and waiting and the windows ……. Electric! Handling was amazing in the Leaf! Usually parking is disastrous for me, but for some reason in this car I became a parking pro! The seats are also very comfortable with great lumbar support and a high position you could easily drive every one of the miles in your range and not suffer from a numb bum!
There on the dashboard was the thing we all fear ……….. the range display. This tells you how far you have got to go before you will slowly roll to an embarrassing stop! Be warned this value can change based on whether you are using the radio/heating or air con ….. the more gadgets you have on the go the lower the number you will see in the range display.
There are currently 8787 charging points in the UK and you can find the location of all of them at Zap Map, at a fast charge you could get 80% charge in 30 minutes. Ideal if you are on a longer journey. For a lot of electric car owners one of the joys is being able to recharge from the comfort of your own home. I decided to charge at home. Of course you can lock the Leaf and leave if to charge – Due to my high level of love for the leaf ……… and parking restrictions down my road that meant I was risking a fine ……… I chose to stay right by my leaf’s side. See how I found charging the leaf and whether I saved any money in my video ……………
So who would the Leaf be ideal for?
People who have a secure area for charging overnight would save a lot of money with an electric vehicle. With a cheaper rate overnight, you just need to plug in and wake up to a fully charged car! Of course if there is the odd night you don’t make it home for any reason you will just have to pray your Leaf has enough energy left in the morning!
People who have a long commute might struggle to get on with the Leaf, although with the ever expanding network of charging points with a little planning your Leaf could take you anywhere!
Has this review convinced you to turn over a new leaf!?! The leaf used in this review is available from Rivervale Approved Used Cars ……….
The comments above do not necessarily reflect Rivervale's views unless clearly stated.
24 July 2015
Written by Natalie Faughy