What first name would you like to appear in the review?
What is the make and model of your EV?
Nissan LEAF 62kWh
What year was your EV registered?
How long have you owned your EV?
What is the mileage on your EV?
5,000 – 10,000 miles
How many EVs have you owned?
This is my 3rd
What is the average mileage range you achieve from your EV when fully charged?
Why did you choose this car?
This is my wife’s third Nissan LEAF. The first was in 2016, so we consider ourselves to be ‘early adopters’. At the time, there was little choice of practical EVs and the LEAF provided a decent amount of space, four doors (good for handling grandchildren) and boot capacity. We were very happy with that car which had a 30kW battery but the range was half that of the present vehicle.
When the lease expired I was hoping we could acquire a Tesla Model 3 but they were not yet available so replaced the vehicle with the newer ‘conventional’ shape LEAF 40kWh. Before the lease on that one expired, the dealer offered to replace it with the 62kWh car for no additional monthly payment, which was really a ‘no brainer’. We have always undertaken longish journeys in our EVs (it is the vehicle of choice generally, our second car is a Volvo estate) and the present car will deliver anything from 200 to 250 miles depending on temperature and driving style.
Positives – List 3 or more reasons why you love this car.
- My wife Hilary absolutely loves it!!
- Easy to drive
- Comfortable for long journeys
- Good standard of technology including iPhone app
- Ability to warm the car on cold days before driving off
- Cheap to run (especially with solar panels on the house)
- For a hatchback saloon, quite superb performance
- On a warmish day and economical driving will easily return average fuel consumption of 4.4kWh/mile
- The all-around cameras with ‘birds eye’ view and electronic rear view mirror makes parking extremely easy
- Single pedal operation!
Negatives – List 3 or more things that you really don’t like about this car.
- The technology is a bit clunky and not very intuitive
- The sat nav is not brilliant and the screen is small by current standards
- The window pillars are thick = blind spots
- The app enables charging to be started but for some strange reason, charging can’t be stopped from the app
- The LEAF, while an excellent pioneering EV, is beginning to show its age (which is not to say that it isn’t still a very pleasant car to own).
Rate your EV out of 5.
Surprise us! Tell us something surprising about this car?
How easy it is to get on with. Grandson when little used to call it “Nannie’s quietly car”. Look of surprise from a Subaru owner when the LEAF left it at the traffic lights. Although EVs are more widespread, we still get people asking about ‘how we get on with it’ and spout all the usual reasons why they won’t go electric.
To be honest, it’s hard to come up with something original. The LEAF is, when all is said and done, an ordinary hatchback that does its job exceptionally well because it is electric. It does everything it is expected to and more.
Just thought of one more thing: if coming back from the London/Oxford direction towards Cheltenham, we reach the top of the Cotswold escarpment and it’s downhill more or less all the way home. We were cutting it very fine on one occasion with a ten-mile range showing with 14 miles remaining on our journey. When we reached home, the range remaining was 24 miles, the long downhill stretches were putting in more energy than we were using!
What car are you interested in next and why?
Such range is available now compared with six years ago. We have test driven the Volvo EV, Tesla Model 3, Skoda ENYAQ & the Ford Mustang EV, the latter was a cracking car. Looking forward to the new Nissan Ariya, initial reviews are very good. Our dealer has promised us a ‘first look’ when they get one. To be honest, we are open-minded but want something bigger, ideally a 300 mile range and we will sell the Volvo V70 which is now getting on a bit (250k miles on the clock after 10 years ownership from new) and be a one-car family. Retirement means we don’t really need two ‘everyday’ cars anymore
What home charging unit do you use? Would you recommend it to others and why?
The charger is a free-standing Chargemaster 7kW (32amp) Type 2 untethered charger that has been in place for over six years. It’s not clever but does its job. Via Zap-Map we offer our charger to other users and we do get requests from time to time and we are always happy to help
Rate your home charging unit out of 5.
What home electricity supplier & tariff do you use? Would you recommend it to others and why?
Octopus – great company, easy to deal with, great online handling of bills etc. and they buy the power we generate from the solar panels. Top marks to them.
Rate your electricity supplier out of 5.
What public charging networks do you use? Would you recommend them to others and why?
We use several and have a number of apps and RFID cards. Can I firstly make an observation about public charging? The number of apps and cards needed for maximum access to chargers is irritating. Zap-Map is attempting to become an aggregator in a similar way to aggregators in Europe, which are pretty effective.
For instance, you can cross France and Germany with just a couple of cards and gain access to chargers from a range of energy providers. In our view, Instavolt is by far the best network, exceptionally easy to use and accepts debit cards (although we do have an Instavolt RFID key fob), they also have quite excellent customer service.
bp pulse (formerly Chargemaster) is less reliable than it should be, otherwise that too would be near the top. Others we use fairly regularly are Pod Point, Mer, the former Electric Highway which is appallingly unreliable (although to be fair they were the first national network), hopefully Osprey will make a difference. Also, hopefully the monopoly of motorway service areas enjoyed by Ecotricity is a thing of the past. We have also found Tesla white-label destination chargers (i.e. at hotels) to generally be trouble-free.
Who do you insure your EV with? Would you recommend them to others and why?
With the AA. AA is a broker and because I am a former member of staff, I get staff rates still. To be honest, I have always found AA to be particularly helpful when I have needed to make a claim (albeit a long time since that has been necessary!). My view is that a broker such as the AA is a good solution as they will step in to help in the event of a dispute with your insurer.
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