Nissan LEAF 30kWh 2013 electric car owner review

Nissan LEAF 30kWh 2013 electric car owner review

Joanne Reynolds drives a Nissan LEAF 30kWh 2016 electric car.

This is Joanne’s second electric car, she’s owned the Nissan LEAF for under 3 years and drives 20,000-30,000 miles per year. The current mileage is between 90,000-100,000 miles and she achieves 100 miles range from a full charge.


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Why did you choose the Nissan LEAF?

I am an Essex-based freelance Ecological Field Surveyor and fairly frequently when I am ‘out in the field’ it’s quite literally some remote field that I’ve driven into and some distance from a public charger. You can’t be relying on unreliable piston-vehicle mechanics from some long-gone era when you’re self-employed and here around the South East at the usual 60-mile/hour road speeds my LEAF’s ‘range’ is quite sufficient, even if I need a recharge on the homeward leg. The price of second-hand Nissan LEAFs have always been cheap when considering their reliability and advanced digital features.


Positives – List 3 or more reasons why you love this electric car.

  • Reliability – when you rely on your transport for your business you need something reliable, & that immediately rules out one of those last millennium piston vehicles & their energy inefficiencies
  • The £3k/year I’m saving in fuel alone, let alone the repair bills I’ve avoided
  • Turning up to a free supermarket charger, restocking of my snack bag and reading the background information to the job I am going to (sent to me en route). Completing reports, using my laptop online for timesheets and responding to company/client emails whilst charging.
  • I love the more relaxed lifestyle that I now have without engine noise or cabin fumes. I can listen to the radio without it needing to be so loud to drown out an engine noise.
  • I must admit, I do laugh seeing roadside debris that’s dropped off ICE cars (fan belts, timing chains, exhausts & rubber hoses). I’ve even had a large van passing me on the M25 dragging it’s exhaust behind it, falling off and hurtling towards me.


Nissan LEAF 30kWh 2013 electric car owner review


Negatives – List 3 or more things that you really don’t like about this electric car.

I would have preferred a modern EV with battery cooling for longevity if I could have afforded it. But now I love my Nissan LEAF and wouldn’t change it.


Have you experienced any faults with the car? If so, what have they been?

No warranty or MOT issues yet and not yet had to replace any brake pads, discs or tyres.


What are the standout tech features of your Nissan LEAF?

  • The sat nav’s inbuilt ‘address book’ and extensive ‘points of interest’ etc. allows your battery’s remaining range to be easily compared to remaining miles to your destination
  • Touch-free phone integration. Not yet used the speech recognition.
  • The ability to have the available chargers in the area that you are in to be updated over the air giving you a greater choice of chargers, especially in an emergency
  • Loads more that was ahead of it’s time too!


Nissan LEAF 30kWh 2013 electric car owner review


Surprise us! Tell us something people wouldn’t readily know about this Nissan LEAF.

Mine seems to be fitted with a ‘winter battery warming’ charging feature that I’ve only just come across myself! In winter I often set off without the battery being at a temperature sufficient to be efficient.


What electric car are you interested in next and why?

The carport’s entrance at the end of the back garden limits the size of car that can be manoeuvred in (reverse-ways) and because the charge point is on the far side of the adjacent shed the charge port needs to be on the front ‘nose’ facing out. So I think it would probably be either a second-hand Renault Zoe for it’s greater range or if I could afford it, a second-hand 39kW Hyundai Kona for it’s battery cooling and expected longer lifespan.


What home charging unit do you use? Would you recommend it to others and why?

Yes, I would highly recommend having home charging if it’s achievable for you. Mine is an untethered 6.6kW Type 2 connector socket from Chargemaster installed (and metered) years before we went electro-vehicular in 2019, on the far side of the shed at the end of the garden (which handily adjoins a cul-de-sac road at the back of our old terraced urban home).


The lead back to the home is unfortunately only 20Amp/4kW, but never mind, it’s all quite sufficient for many miles worth of cheap overnight charging. I should know having last year done 3.5GW of cheap overnight home charging, at a cost of only about £420 and equating to roughly 15,000 of my 24,000 miles last year (the rest being charging on the public network).


Rate your home charging unit out of 5.


What home electricity supplier & tariff do you use? Would you recommend it to others and why?

Economy 10 tariff – which I’d recommend to any EV owner for it’s 5 hours of overnight cheap rate, not to mention the sometimes useful 3 hours of afternoon cheap rate and 2 hours of cheap evening rate, REGARDLESS of your retailer. We happen to have been with our locally-based Green Energy UK retailer for many years (who’ve been absolutely phenomenally helpful with our solar PV).


Rate your electricity supplier out of 5.


What public charging networks would you recommend to others and why?

When you’re self-employed you need receipts for the taxman. The nearest thing to mainland Europe’s envious inter-operable ‘roaming’ charging standards seems to be Shell Recharge’s arrangements with a vast number of operators including Instavolt, GeniePoint, IONITY & Osprey. So to get everything on my monthly Shell Recharge receipt I’ve decided to standardise using just their partnering charge point operators and use Shell Recharge to start my recharging sessions whichever operator I’m at. Even for my 100 mile-range (limited) Nissan LEAF there are no end of their operator’s rapid chargers around which just goes to prove what nonsense it is to hear pistonhead allegations about the ‘lack of public rapid charging infrastructure’ there is 🙂


List your top 3 favourite public charging networks (in order of preference).

  • NewMotion/Shell Recharge
  • Instavolt/ChargePoint
  • Osprey.


Who do you insure your electric car with? Would you recommend them to others and why?

Direct Line – they include business class one insurance as standard.


Rate your insurance provider out of 5.


Estimate how much money you save per month owning and running a Nissan LEAF compared to a petrol/diesel car.



See other owner reviews here


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