First Drive : Nissan LEAF

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

John Slavin

Nissan LEAF (9)

The Nissan LEAF receives its first facelift, and although it doesn’t look much different, it receives a raft of changes that makes it more usable, and affordable, with an innovative battery leasing programme. Most importantly for AROnline readers, it’s made in Britain, adding a small but important chunk of output from Britain’s largest car factory.

The revised car, which is now being built in Sunderland, can travel 15 miles further on a single charge than the outgoing model and, thanks to a 70% more efficient heater, driving in cold weather wont set you back as far as it used to. On our drive the range was only knocked back a couple of miles with the heater active, whereas that would have been ten or more miles in the old car.

Perhaps a more important improvement is the revised suspension. Nissan decided to re-engineer the steering and suspension to better suit European tastes, and the result is a very well-judged ride. The revised LEAF is smooth and comfortable over lumps and bumps and yet remains reasonably flat over them. It also has pleasingly weighted and accurate steering, making for an enjoyable drive.

The revisions couple well with the electric powertrain, too. The LEAF is incredibly quiet and refined even at motorway speeds and, thanks to the way electric motors deliver drive, peak torque of 254Nm is delivered from zero revs. In town the result is excellent performance off the line and, because there are no gears to worry about, getting up to speed and driving in stop/start traffic is a joy.

Nissan hasn’t just tweaked the driving range and suspension, though. Owners of the old car complained that the pale interior trim showed dirt and so Nissan has now fitted black materials, plus those who really want some luxury can get leather upholstery, but they have to pick the top trim level. Previously Nissan only offered one trim, but now there are three – Visia, Acenta and Tekna.

The addition of an entry level Visia model means a more affordable entry price of £20,990 after the £5000 government grant for greener vehicles, but buyers will forgo luxuries like alloy wheels. Mid-level models are equipped much like the outgoing LEAF, which means plenty of gadgetry like a ‘CarWings’ in car computer, a reversing camera and automatic lights.

Moving up to the top ‘Tekna’ trim gets you higher-quality Bose audio, leather upholstery and a rather nifty ‘around-view’ camera, which gives you a birds-eye view of the space you’re parking in and makes tight gaps as simple as child’s play. Regardless of trim the cabin is neatly and logically laid out, but there are none of the plush, soft-touch plastics you might expect, which is a shame.

Nissan has increased rear load space ever so slightly, making for a more useable boot with room for two suitcases, and there’s a little more foot room for rear seat passengers in the revised car, making it that little bit more practical as a family car. Another handy and practical touch is the addition of a light near the charging point to help you hook up to power in the dark.

Nissan LEAF (6)

Finding a place to plug in should be easier in future, too, as infrastructure improves. To help the LEAF keep up it’s now possible to charge from empty to full in four hours using a higher charger which is relatively cheap to install, and should start to appear in more places over the next few years. Expensive fast chargers are relatively rare but are installed in some Nissan dealers and can charge the car from empty to 80% in just 30 minutes.

Most owners will charge their car at home, though, and from the mains it takes about 12 hours from empty to full – but faster chargers can be installed at home and the government will subsidise the cost, making ownership less painful. Nissan launched the revised LEAF in Norway, which is some way ahead of the UK in terms of both infrastructure and the way it incentivises EV ownership.

Owners of electric vehicles in Oslo can park for free and charge their car for free in one of many specialised car parks. On top of that, they can drive in bus lanes. Consequently sales of EVs in Norway are huge – the LEAF was the sixth bestselling car overall in January 2013. It goes to show how electric vehicles can be well integrated into cities and gives a clue as to what the UK’s strategy might be like in a few years.

Regardless of improvements to infrastructure the LEAF is still not a particularly practical proposition for high-mileage drivers – it takes too long to charge. It’s at its best as a commuter car or a town run around, so until charge times are c those who regularly spend hours on the motorway should look elsewhere unless they have a second car.

The changes might not be radical, but Nissan has responded to feedback and worked hard to improve the LEAF, and they’ve managed to make what was already the most convincing pure electric vehicle on sale an even more realistic real-world proposition. Furthermore, if the price has been off-putting then new trim levels, coupled with a new option to lease the battery, will make the cost a little less of an issue.

Leasing the battery costs from £70 per month and cuts the list price by £5000, and it adds some extra peace of mind because any battery faults are taken care of at no cost. The revised Nissan LEAF won’t suit everyone, but if you’ve considered one already then these changes might well help you make up your mind.

Nissan LEAF (1)

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

52 Comments

  1. Keith, John – has this website got a clear mission statement? It is clearly your website that you work had to produce to a high standard – that I have complemented Keith on many times. Clearly you have a right to put on it whatever you desire.
    The car you have described here is the very antithesis of everything Austin Rover stood for.
    This car has no soul, no spirit, no character and no personality.
    This is not a critism of your web site – merely a question. What is this car doing on this site when there are plenty of Eco car sites to satisfy those with an interest in such contraptions?

  2. Right Wolsely, this is what Austin Rover stood for…BADLY MADE,DATED CARS KEPT IN PRODUCTION LONG AFTER THEIR SELL BY DATES. Ah that feels better! And yes I have owned AR products, both of which were built with the care and precision of a load of drunks.

    This is yet another boost to Nissan UK’s plant, and further safeguards jobs there, which means as it is a BRITISH car factory, whether you like it or not, it’s relevant here, and as you are an old car nut, you should remember that Datsun/Nissan owe a hell of a lot to Austin, so that makes it even more relevant, because without Austin, there would be no Nissan today.

  3. Very Happy to hear any Nissan Uk news on this website. Nissan have done the UK proud over the last 20 years. If the site relied on updates from MG motors, then the tumbleweed would be blowing across every page!

  4. Hi Wolseley Man,

    It’s Made in Britain, and as such, should be covered by the site. Nissan is now the UK’s largest manufacturer, producing more than half a million cars per year from one factory – and the arrival of the LEAF adds a small, but important, additional model line from it.

    AROnline ceased being exclusively Austin Rover (and BMC, BL etc) years ago, being a wider British car site. Eagle-eyed readers will notice that some of the left-of-centre stuff made overseas is no longer covered here, as it’s off-message. That you’ll now find on Honest John Classics.

  5. Gentleman,

    I think the leaf is amazing…one of my neighbours has one on order (He works for Nissan UK)

    For a second car this is about as perfect as you could want.

    I will bet the routine maintance bill is almost zilch.

    A lot of Europe PV solar cells are NOT optional.

    When the UKs leaders finally accept we need another nuclear plant, and start making it attractive to own one of these they will fly of the shelfs.

    We should be grinning from ear to ear that this pioneering technology is being developed/built here.

    Her Nibs does a 70-90 mile commute every day, and is already thinking this might be a good idea a few years down the line.

    Just as a thought.

    One of my mates has 16 solar cells on an ordinary small house, he gets £1600 a year for selling his electricity, after using what he can.

    I think people who can make one of these work are being blinkered not having a go.

    Yorkie, your on the money as ever…

    Mr. Wolsey, I hear you, BUT, Rover/BL is in the past, this is the future and its happening HERE!!!!

  6. I think the leaf’s problem is that part of the appeal of owning a car, and this was covered in a Rowan Atkinson documentary on car ownership years ago, is that you could be sitting in a queue going to work, but you could just as easily turn off and drive across Europe.

    Most people never do this, but the freedom is part of the appeal.

    For commuting the 15/20 miles or so in and out of work, a car like this would do the job easily. That is where it’s strengths lie, not as a cross continent tourer, but as a short range commuting vehicle.

  7. Although I wouldn’t buy a LEAF as first choice, it is at least built here in the North East and helping the UK economy. Still dont care for the mileage range though and it still seems too expensive. Bit skimpy, not fitting alloys as standard on the Visia model!

  8. The reduction in NOx emissions etc will drive cars this way. It is a lot easier to reduce NOx and sulphur oxides from a power station than it is from a car exhaust. Obviously, the big prioblem is the amount of energy that can be stored in a battery (energy density) which is still very low.

    The Leaf will suit pensioners who go from home to the shops with the odd visit to the grandkids, or those people who commute up to 20 miles per day. (That will leave me out completely as a goodly proportion of my trips are more than 100 miles.)

    There are also recharge time issues. What if you get home with a near flat battery and then need to go out urgently for some reason and cover another 20 miles? The existing electricity distribution network won’t cope with masses of these cars and no do we have the power generation capacity.

    As for the “soul” of the car, most new cars are pretty soul-less so that is nothing new. But there is a trend towards the “disposable” car where it is treated the same as a fridge or washing machine. No-one goes, “ah, remember that tricity fridge we had in the 1970s…” but many say, “ah, remember that Dolomite / Mini / whatever”. This is, unfortunately, the way of the modern world.

    Do I want a Leaf – no, I’d prefer my 1980 Dolomite back.

  9. I have to say I rather liked the predecessor I drove at teh ARO 10th aniversary at Gaydon.. Although my dad was impoerssed when I told him he should get one, it would suit him as a daily runner, he has plenty of ‘second’ cars should he need to do a long trip!

  10. I know Renault are doing something similar with their electric offering allowing the user to lease the expensive batteries for 70 quid per month (the price depends on how you treat them apparently). What I don’t understand is that once the battery is leased and considering the governments 5K grant, why is the cars price still 15K for what must be a far simpler design that has far fewer components than an IC engine’d equivalent.

  11. Seems to be a well-thought-out commuter.

    I guess if you live in a big city this makes a lot of sense- if its an only car it would be possible to hire a car for the occasional weekend.

  12. @12. They may be simpler in component count terms or even complexity of build, but the systems developed to make the car usable will be absolutely cutting edge and therefore comparatively expensive. All the systems in the car will have to be optimised far more carefully to ensure they have minimal impact on the battery, demonstrated by the statement in the story about the heater.
    We are really at ‘genesis’ point as far as cars like this are concerned, they will get cheaper eventually but right now someone has to take the hit (not me though!)
    I wouldn’t be surprised if Nissan made a loss on each one.

  13. This is the thing, certainly in the suburbs many people have a 2 car household. A car like this for commuting, and a ridiculous car for the other trips.

  14. @9 Comical Engineer – that’s an intersting comment you make about “soul-less” cars. I tend to agree. These days many people choose their cars like they would a TV or Fridge Freezer!

    I seem to recall a few years ago the Top Gear team tested a small Hyundai (Getz?) and described the marketing of the car to be like shifting white goods.

  15. @12,dont be too sure that these cars are simpler just because they have batteries,and they will be expensive to repair.
    Not salient to this topic,but we have just had a 62 plate RX300h wrote off,for bonnet,front bumper 2 headlights and a wing,thats panel and paint not structure damage or airbags.
    £1500 for the grille badge. A £43k car.

  16. It’s a second car, you know run to the shops, school run type of thing. If you want to go on a mega trip you take the petrol car it really is that simple. Keith you and the gang keep writing it and if it suits me I’ll read it.

  17. @5,Its not pioneering technology,electric cars have been available for years and this thing does not move the goalposts one neutron.Its sells 55,000 worldwide,possibly to filmstars into green issues(or awash with narcism)so all in all the car is small beer.
    Terrific it keeps workers in jobs so i wont fault Nissan for believing in the UK and investing here-just as the japenese economy is in freefall again.The car is nothing to get excited about,i like my car to run on demand anytime any place and not prat about plugging it in,if i was concious about the enviroment and only wanted to potter round town i would smoke around in a one litre 106 or even better a 106D running on chip fat and curry oil-a sustainable car run almost for free without having to buy a stupifyingly expensive short range car carrying toxic metals in its batteries that have been mined which in itself are detrimental to the enviroment.
    In the real world analysis does this car make any sense?especially its birth to death carbon footprint?

  18. Thanks Keith, I wasn’t sure – and you have provided a sound and valid answere to my question. I appreciate it.
    Not sure I deserved being shouted at @2 or have my appearance ridiculed @19.
    Kindest regards to you all.

  19. Well look, I don’t like the Leaf, it stinks of beards and sandals in the same way the Pious does, BUT, if this is the future of motoring, then we must embrace it. Hats off to Nissan for investing in the UK, but please, please, please, make the cars SEXIER! The ‘Leaf’ looks like a Bournemouth special – the kind of car someone with slacks and grey slip-ons might drive (I know this is the Pious demography). Make it as sexy as a BMW or Audi and we’ll be queuing up! I’ve tried a beard, and it’s ITCHY.

  20. If this is boring car, then change the way one looks at it. The concensus is that it’s a town car and that means stuck in traffic, stop start running and all the brain numbing things that happen in town driving. One can have the most exciting car in the world but, in town you will still be BORED!

    My wifes a District Nurse in an urban area and she’s tried one and the thing is SO relaxing to drive for her, I can’t shut her up about it. At the moment it’s too pricey for her to go and get one but wait awhile and there will be one on the drive!

  21. Given that character is something that makes a car stand out from the crowd, I would say that he Leaf has more character than most of the other cars on sale added together. I can’t see the point of buying a car that can only travel 100 miles a day, but as a second car it could work.

  22. @27 Just a slightly different view on what constitutes the character of a car. I believe it is relative to appearance but surely is also relative to the dynamics of the car – the handling, road holding, bias tendencies (oversteer/ under steer ect), clutch response, steering feel, suspension competence, gear change slickness, acceleration, braking response, body taughtness, interior quality and individuality……….
    I know most of these things have been absorbed by Mr Blobby and the ‘ don’t let’s look too different’ crowd but if you try hard enough you will still find cars with ‘character’. The BMW Mini, most Alfas and ……..hang on, I’ll think of something……….er. ………er.

  23. @29,Cars of character are few and far between,there is so much intervention fitted in cars now they may as well have rack and neurofen steering,ABS,ESP,brake assist and active suspension all make for an artificial driving experience.
    The MK1 Cavalier was one of the sweetest steering cars of its time,suspension setups are such that that you cant do without PAS now.Even hydro-mechanical steering is coming back now because elctro cant replicate the feel properly-and no wonder with upwards of 950NM or assistance,this coupled with a reliance on these aids makes drivers take more risks.
    You are right,the package as an whole makes for character,the leaf is just product.

  24. I think the Leaf has been styled blandly, because it’s so radical under the bonnet.

    There was a great episode of “Yes Minister” years ago. Hacker MP was being advised about the backdrop for an TV policy announcment. The advise was “If you’re introducing a radical new and worrying policy, sit in front of walnut panelling with a portrait of the queen. If you’re serving up the same old hogwash, sit in front of an abstract modern painting.”

  25. Dear All,

    My lovely neighbours take deliver of thiers this coming Wednesday.

    He works for Nissan…so its cheap motoring….and I am looking forward to having a go.

    A few snippets….A full charge giving a range (new model) of 121 miles (call it 100 miles) is £2. A litre of diesel is £1.40 somthing where we live.

    The range discussion…all welcome break service stations have charging points….30 mins for a top up.

    Lots of cities (MK for example) have top up charging points.

    Most Nissan stealers.

    It dawned on me today, to get the benefits of el cheapo motoring, you have to learn to use this to get the best from it.

    If this thread is still alive in a couple of weeks…may I please update?

  26. Live in Milton Keynes, pay £50pa and you get free charging and parking in the city centre!

    MK is a leader in electric car charging points, we have them scattered across the town… but so far I have only seen two Leaf’s (or Leaves) using the spaces in the last two years.

  27. @34, Engineer,

    I guess they have to provide those places to give an incentive (albeit not a very good one if town centre parking is so cheap).

    People often complain about politicians forcing the public onto public transport before that public transport is enhanced sufficiently to cater for demand- I guess the MK brass have pre-empted that possible complaint re- getting people into electric cars by providing spaces before they are needed.

  28. We have a leaf. We swapped my partners A class for it a month ago. The monthly payments are around £40 a month more than the A class, but her fuel costs have gone from £250 a month to less than £30. It costs £1.57 a day to charge, and we often charge it for free at a number of public charge points. It happily cruises with other traffic on the motorway at true motorway speed, seats four in comfort and I can only compare the drive to an E class I hired a few years ago its that smooth and quiet.
    If you want a reason to go eletric then it has to be financial. The amount you’ll save on fuel you could easily fund a second car for the longer journeys. Servicing is £130 every year and its zero road tax. Insurance was £10 a year more than the merc.
    And before anyone says it, the A class was an A160 Blue efficency, supposedly the most economical car Mercedes sold at the time (2009)
    Yes it’s soulless, but then so is a current Golf or Focus or Megane or Astra et al
    And we don’t have to put £50 of fuel in it every 5 days!

    And of course I don’t now about British cars or cars with soul – that’s why my first car was a Morris and I have a Rover engined Norfolk built Lotus Elise parked next to the Leaf

  29. Toxic metals in the battery that have to be mined? it a lithium ion battery FFS one of the most abundant minerals on the planet found and not mined in dried out lake beds.

    People dissing this car should take it for a test drive, its a super car to drive, its like a magic carpet, its smooth as silk and so comfortable, getting back in to my petrol car afterwards felt terrible.

    To charge this car costs about £1.50 and you can fast charge it in 20 mins at any Nissan dealer for free, its a perfect commuting car, they warranty the battery for 8 years, they pick you up and charge you up if you run out of juice.

    You can get a second hand leaf for under 15K now, if you wait for the new one to come out in June they will drop even lower, next year you could get one for 10K.

    If you have a 30-40 mile commute to work and you can get a Leaf for 10K and charge it at work (zerocarbonwold) provide free charge points for the workplace, you can essentially travel for free.

    Even if you dont want one of the cars go and test drive it, oh and it also goes like stink up to 60 too, you will leave many cars standing, this is so much fun, and it climbs hills like a trojan.

    In the future the argument will turn, people will say your not taking your petrol powered car on holiday are you? surely your taking your EV?

  30. Hi Simon,

    This is intresting.

    What is the range best/worst case?

    Have you ever taken it for a long drive and used (for instance) the welcome break fast charge….

    My other half really likes these and I can see why 🙂

    Great choice, and good on you for popping this write up on.

    Jezza

  31. An interesting car, and it’s great to see an up to date product made over here.
    But I can’t shake the feeling that it’s a con…

  32. @Jeremy
    Best/worst case Range, we’ve yet to do less than 75miles on a charge, and that was 4 up with heating on. If your going to the limits you drive in eco mode (limits the power so it drains the batter quicker)which is like driving a 1.6L rather than a 2.5L (nissan quote the torque in D as 280Nm, the same as their 2.5 v6)
    Best we’ve had is over 90 (the system saves a bit of battery so you dont just stop when it drops to zero). A lot is to do with how you drive it. Floor it all the time and it goes down fast, just like petrol or diesel. Take it steady and sit behind white van man on the M-way and you’ll go much further. I did a 32 mile trip the other day and the range only dropped by 18miles.
    Charging. Battery capacity from completely flat is 24KWH, so just multiply that by your per unit rate on your electric bill. Most of the time you dont charge from empty anyway, so it doesn’t need that much. The cars computer has a timer you can set so you just plug it in when you get home and it charges itself when the cheap overnight electric kicks in.
    I’ve used a few rapid chargers and they are all similar. Its a mega volts/amps DC charge that’s pre-set to stop at 80% to prevent risk of battery damage/overheating. You just plug it in and press start on the charger. take a stroll in to the services, have a mooch around smiths, get a coffee and vivst the loo, come out and your redy to go. It really isn’t an inconvenience. If you drive carefully you’ll stop every hour and a half or so (if you have kids this is about as far as you get anyway). The recovery is really good as its a dedicated service from Axa. fortunatly we haven’t used it but it does give you the peace of mind to brave journeys were you know you will need to charge to get back. There are still a few gaps in the network so some longer runs aren’t possible yet (the A1 is a bit of a dead spot)but its being sorted so shouldn’t be an issue for much longer.

  33. Simon,
    There is a very cool gent called Kieth who runs this very cool site.
    It would be really appreciated by those of us that are open to a good idea, let alone one thats made here…if you could let us all know just what its like after say a year.
    My other half, truthfully would buy one of these if I won the lotto 🙂
    Cool car

  34. It’s a brilliant concept – my round commute every day is about 60 miles, so this would fit well. It would have to look a bit less like a ‘Noddy’ car though.

    My only worry around the longer distance journeys is that at the moment the charging situation may be okay when nobody has these cars, but will it become a problem if take-up mushrooms?

    Filling up with petrol takes minutes in a packed petrol station, except when people fanny about buying groceries, and I accept it will only take 20 – 30 minutes at a service station to juice up, but what if loads of people have the same idea?

    Same with the inner city charge points and those fortunate enough to have provisions at work – fine for now, and cheap whilst the government is all excited about promoting ‘green’ motoring, but what about further down the line when there isn’t enough revenue coming in from oil?

    I’m already waiting for a U-turn on zero road tax, and reinstatement of a flat rate for every car, regardless of emissions, perhaps based instead on weight on power output.

    Petrol powered cars could quickly become the cheaper and more sensible, convenient option again whilst those less fortunate queue, tempers boiling, to get their oversized go-karts charged up!

    Hopefully battery advances over the coming years will negate this, and perhaps there could be some clever automatic re-charging process pulled from the car’s own motion.

  35. @43, consulgt,

    You wouldn’t need to top up away from home with your commute- if you can that’s a bonus but you should be well within range.

    I think most means of charging for a short period can restore a fairly high proportion of juice- I think its a bit like stuffing a suitcase- easy for the first few items but getting the last few bits in takes far more energy (or time if you are referring to battery charging).

  36. It just sounds like you are justifying and excusing this cars shortcomings,namely its range and charge times.Its ok if you want to amble round a services (sooner have my throat slashed) or have fifty pisses and run the risk of being accused of cottaging,but this car is an expensive purchase for what a second hand smart car can do or an IQ or Berlingo van.
    If the car suits your needs its fine,i could not justify its high purchase price,and having to worry or think how far im gonna get,or be stuck in a traffic jam because of a huge pile up on a freezing day for five hours on the M62.
    Not to mention the loss of battery efficiency at around 20% a year,there are too many minus points for me with this car and that is beforei mention how it looks,the Ampera wins hands down for me and looks good too,i have seen a couple of black one near me and i like them,and you are guaranteed to get home.

  37. Keep calm Francis!

    Justifying owning a car for doing exactly what you need it to do, is hardly worth a rant against. As for excusing its shortcomings. What shortcomings? If you need a car to do what a Leaf does and it is sold/bought as such, then I think one should explain where the shortcomings are. For your purposes, it obviously fails to deliver but, why the remarks as to infer it’s a rubbish/fit car for purpose for many others.

    As I’ve commented, it’s a very unrubbish car for those that need/want it. However, I would love to try or have a comparison test done against its close relative the Zo-e which seems to be bit of a steal at the price Renault are asking.

  38. I dont rant,and im calm i just think its useless for me and indulgent for the money and what owners expect of it, its the smug righteousness that really gets on my nerves….

  39. Francis

    There is no smugness going on with anyone and this assumption from others that you have to be a lottery winner to own this car is not true, you can pick one up second hand for under 15K if this seems expensive to some then remember your running costs for this car can be practically nill.

    The battery in this car does not drop off 20% per year and in fact Nissan guarantee that it wont for 8 years, I have a lot of experience with Lithium Polymer batteries and this just isnt the case as the batteries are managed very conservatively in this car to prolong their life.

    Just because a car seems useless to you doesnt mean its useless, this is new technology and sure it costs more for that but it is the future whether you want to argue the fuel is hydrogen or battery powered, electric transport is the future, early adopters of these cars are experiencing this today, people really need to reserve judgement on this car until they have a go, book a test drive in one and I guarantee your opinion will change, OK you may not still want one but your opinion will change.

    To give you an idea on efficiencies to take an electric car 100 miles it takes roughly 26KWH of energy, to do the same trip in the best diesel car it uses 115KWH of energy, energy prices of all types are going up however electrical energy is relatively cheap still and is a very efficient medium to use, fossil fuel being used in any ICE to power a car is so wasteful and expensive.

    I will agree the styling of the Leaf isnt great but it is a super nice car to drive and once you have got the car you can run it for pennies, the charging network is growing at a rapid rate making the range a none issue for most, if you have regular long range trips then this car may not be for you but for 90% of the population this car is a great choice.

    I admit that some of the key benefits for electric vehicles may not be around for ever such as free road tax and no congestion charging etc, so what better reason to reap the benefit now

  40. The problem is that the car doesn’t do what you need it to . A range of 90 miles ( if you are lucky ) is pathetic , and the thought of how one would feel being stuck in traffic and watching the range steadily diminish even though you are making little progress is very worrying. My only experience of this was with a Tesla my son had on approval . Its nominal range was 192 miles . in practice, we did about 95 miles and then , stuck 30 miles from home , had to put into a fortuitously placed friend’s house and charge it for 16 hours . Electric cars without a backup means of propulsion are wholly misconceived and a recipe fro trouble. Why else would the Axa recovery arrangement have been made ?

  41. @ No 49.

    If youve not tried a leaf how do you know? This is NOT the same as a tesla.

    APART from when we use my big estate car to go to our 2nd home in France, day to day the leaf would suit either me or her nibs day to day.

    As a second car or a city car, what a brilliant idea.

    Now I understand somehow this site works with Honest John.co.uk….he rates the toyota hybrid system…

    400miles+ used as taxis.

    This technology is in its infancy, youve read how a new owner is getting along with it.

    Nissan should be praised….instead of making a good car that is very similar to everyone elses, and being forced to sell on price, they are carving out a niche, and investing in the UK…which was the start of this thread.

    As a 2nd car (we live in the sticks) an EV or GM Ampera would be ideal….no DPF filter…no dual mass flywheel….no clutch…no oil changes.

    The only fly on the ointment in the UK…is that our dim politicians are sitting on the fence with a new nuke power station, so our infrastructure will struggle to cope if these REALLY take off….UNLESS you get your cheque book out and put LOTS of solar PV panels on your roof.

    🙂

    This technology is different to the standard car, so you need to make it work. different means learning to live with it.

    For what its worth, I like the look of the leaf, and the fact its a smooth nippy drive and comparing it to a Merc E class is the ultimate compliment.

  42. I do 4 miles a day in my GTI , I’m paying £292 a month for a car that can do 150 mph where permitted and it sits in my garage for 16 hours a day and then sits at work for 8 hours through the week , and it goes to the supermarket on a saturday. The leaf would suit me fine if I could afford one , Thats if I could get a charging point fitted into my coucil lock up (it is away from my house so no chance of running a cable there)Ive already seen 2 in Berwick upon Tweed where I live so some people have went for it – the best thing about it is that its made in Sunderland , like me 🙂

  43. I think many of the pro electric car folk are forgetting a key element of modern life. Right now, you may enjoy your almost free (other than the disproportionate cost of the car) motoring, but get real. The government must get revenue from motorists – they absolutely must, or the country will go bust faster than we are already!
    When there is enough electric vehicles on the road to affect the income – you will be taxed in some way in order to generate the same income.
    To not accept this is foolhardy in my view.

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