Nissan LEAF Acenta 30kWh, Ian Crowder – Living with an EV: Getting started

Nissan LEAF Accenta 30kW, Ian Crowder - Living with an EV: Getting started

What name would you like to appear in your article?
Ian Crowder


What was/is the make and model of your first EV?
Nissan LEAF Acenta 30kWh


Why did you buy the car you did?
Part of my job was doing some work in the fast-emerging electric vehicle and charging field. This was 2016, when there was not a lot of choices – either a Tesla S or a Nissan LEAF, basically. At the time, my wife had a MINI but while a fun car, it became increasingly impractical for ferrying grandchildren around so I arranged a test drive ‘in a larger car with four doors’ for her.


On the way to the dealer, she quizzed me on what it was we were going to see and I said, “An electric Nissan LEAF”. Her first reaction was horror: “What do I want one of those for? Sounds too complicated!” But, she had only driven out of the car park when she said “I want one!!”so,  that is how it came about. We were in all truth, ‘early adopters’ with ‘the only LEAF in the village’!!!


What got you into an EV in the first place?
As mentioned earlier, I was taking a growing interest in EVs and had been following their progress for some time. I found that I was writing a lot in my professional capacity about EVs, EV charging and felt that I (or rather we, as a family) should have one so could comment with conviction and first-hand understanding.


Nissan LEAF Acenta 30kW, Ian Crowder - Living with an EV: Getting started


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Initially, what did you find most confusing about EV ownership and how did you solve that?
To be honest, while the car was a joy to drive, the charging network was much more sparse than it is now. Chargers were provided by a range of providers and the most confusing and frustrating aspect was having so many apps and RFID cards to access them all. It was particularly frustrating coming to a charger for which we had no app, then finding we had to download it, load an account with cash or link it to the bank account before being able to start the charger.


Nevertheless, we did many long journeys in the car – i.e. to family in Lancashire (from Gloucestershire) which entailed one, possibly two, stops on the way to charge up. While a growing number of chargers now accept a contactless debit card, the frustration today is the growing likelihood of finding a charger either in use or out of order. Nevertheless, we are now on our third EV and would never go back.


What sources of information helped you e.g. people, groups, websites etc?
I had some inside track at the time but a knowledge of Chargemaster (now bp pulse) with whom my employer was working with, gave a lot of insight. We were involved with the launch of the EV Experience Centre in Milton Keynes, an excellent innovation.


Nissan LEAF Acenta 30kW, Ian Crowder - Living with an EV: Getting started


What are your top 3 pieces of advice for those people considering their first EV?

  1. Think about what you will be using the car for and adapt your choice to suit (i.e. a local runabout doesn’t necessarily need the range of a car you will habitually take on long trips)
  2. Think about how you will finance it: lease or lease purchase? Buy? Monthly all-inclusive payment (basically, rent i.e. Volvo)
  3. How will you charge it at home? There are smart chargers available now which will help gain the best and most economical home use of energy.


See other getting started reports here


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