Nissan LEAF 24kWh – Getting started with an electric car

Nissan LEAF - Getting started with an electric car

Russ started his electric car journey with a Nissan LEAF 24kWh Tekna.


Why did you buy a Nissan LEAF?

In this case, it was all down to timing. Nissan were offering £1,000 scrappage and £1,000 deposit contribution on all their used cars at the time. It made my trade-in (of a 14 year old Volvo) worth looking at and made it a bit of a no-brainer to go for the LEAF. I think the dealer had inflated the price a bit, so it wasn’t quite the bargain it could have been.


What got you into an electric car in the first place?

We’d toyed with the idea for a couple of years but the horror stories we’d read about range, battery degradation and all the other stories that are still doing the rounds, had put us off. However, looking to improve our environmental footprint, I really got into my research and looked at the truths about EV ownership. Groups on Facebook were a real help and when we did buy, it was a completely informed decision. The idea of having a car that we could fill up at home on a 100% green electric tariff, all the while potentially saving money, just made a great deal of sense to us.


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Initially, what did you find most confusing about electric car ownership and how did you solve that?

The most confusing for us was the sheer volume of apps needed for all the charging companies. We signed up for every single one, some on a subscription. We even changed our electricity provider to Ecotricity so that we could get a discount on their chargers. It was then remembering which chargers were where and what was needed to use them.


In the end, we realised that having the charger at home covered about 90% of our charging needs and so cancelled a few subscriptions and changed to a better value, green electricity tariff. There are several chargers near here that are Pod Point, so they’re simple and free to use. If I’m travelling further afield, I check what chargers are around and make sure I’ve either topped up if needed or just got the right app.


Nissan LEAF - Getting started with an electric car


What sources of information helped you e.g. people, groups, websites etc?

For me, the UK Nissan LEAF Owners Group on Facebook was (and still is) invaluable. There’s a combination of dealers, experts, real world users and people that have had their cars for years and have experienced any issue you may have had. Any question on there always received a balanced and helpful response. I’ve found the majority of dealers, even now, having just bought a new LEAF, still have little or no clue about the cars and the real world usage of them.


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

Realistically look at the range and think how many miles a day do you genuinely do. Having a car that will do 300 miles on a charge is great, but if you don’t need that in one run, then there’s plenty of options out there. Yes, we all may do more miles every now and then but the charging network is getting better and longer journeys aren’t quite as seat-pinching as they were.


If you have the option to charge at home, then do it! Try and get an electricity tariff that gives you a lower rate so you can charge your car overnight, for example. Knowing that you can plug in and charge when you get home is a game changer and seriously reduces ‘range anxiety’.


If you can’t charge at home, get to know your local chargers well. Find out if there are any free ones nearby or where you shop. Look to see if there are any deals that are available for charging with a specific provider. Also learn when these places are busy, so you know when’s best to nip in for a quick top up.


Nissan LEAF - Getting started with an electric car


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