Nissan Leaf - Some questions early in the search for a new car

nheather

Distinguished Member
My wife’s car if overdue for replacement - she likes the idea of a Nissan Leaf, her friend has one, she has been in and likes it.

Fine with that but this is the only EV we have talked about and neither of us really know much about what is on the market.

A couple of questions if I may

  1. What other EVs should we look at, comparable ones, similar price range
  2. Those that have a Leaf already, did you go for the standard battery or the bigger E+ battery. There is a significant price difference which is swaying my wife at the moment so interested in hearing your experiences.
Cheers,

Nigel
 

spinaltap

Distinguished Member
 

LV426

Administrator
Staff member
Speaking as a non-Nissan EV user for well over two years:

1: Similar price point; range to empty at WLTP figure 193, real life 170-220 miles (climate and driving style dependent as with them all) falls between the two Leafs; more efficient (less power use, so less cost if you pay for power) and broadly equivalent size/features, but not as quick 0-60 (efficiency over performace was a design factor) = Hyundai Ioniq (which is what I have). I'd certainly recommend - but that's without any personal experience of any others.

2: You only need the extra range afforded by the big battery if you need the extra range afforded by the big battery. By which I mean - if it is essential that frequently you will need to drive for in excess of 3 hours at motorway/A speeds (or 5 or 6 hours on regular roads) without stopping.

In a more typical scenario, many might rarely if ever stray more than 100 miles from home. If you can charge it at home and your pattern is that you rarely go more than, say, 70 miles away (so, each way; 140 total) in a day, then you have no need for the extra capacity, nor any need for roadside charging, either. The smaller Leaf battery will do that without anxiety. And it won't take any time to refuel; it happens while you sleep/eat/watch TV/etc. Your time cost is the few seconds it takes to plug in and unplug it; the cash cost is based on what your domestic tariff is; and you start out every morning with it full. If you do go further, but there is a charging opportunity at destination, then you can charge as you work/visit relative/shop etc. The cash cost there varies from £0 (free) upwards.

Don't be persuaded by an argument that goes something like but once in a blue moon I'll need to go to {destination} which is hundreds of miles away so I'll need range for that. Because you don't. On those rare (if they are rare) instances you do have the "inconvenience" of (an) enforced stop(s) en route every 2 or 3 hours, during which time you refresh yourself while you refresh your battery.

Quoted from a post on another forum: ".....range anxiety is only for those who don't have an EV. Once you've had your vehicle for a few weeks, you'll quickly learn what it can and can't do in terms of range. You'll learn where the chargers are and where they are not, and adapt..... " and I'd agree with that entirely. You learn not only this, but that (for example) that even on a 25 minute visit to Tesco, it's worth plugging in for 25 minutes, because it will either take 25 minutes off the time taken for the next charge or it will delay the need for it, or it will save you the domestic cost of a few units of power; so you make the most of every opportunity that arises.

Of course, if long trips are a regular feature, then it may be a different thing.

So - questions are: typical (note - not exceptional) driving pattern? Opportunity to charge at home (garage or off-street parking) yes/no?
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
Thanks,

An electric car wouldn’t work for me at the moment. My wife‘s daily commute is no more than 20 round trip.

Yes it would be parked near a fast charging point to be installed on our house.

We will have two cars, the current other car can do 700 miles on a tank, so not relying on the EV for that once in a blue moon journey.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

domtheone

Distinguished Member
Interesting post @LV426

The don’t be persuaded bit could very well be me Lol. 15 mile round trip to work. 25 mile round trip to my Dads. 80 mile round trip to my Mum. 5-20 mile round trips for everything else. That’s 95%

The other 5% is 6-12 times a year i head to either The Peaks, Snowdonia, The Lakes or Scotland (once a year).

Sometimes at crazy hours (middle of the night set off etc).

What’s putting me off is those rate long trips (probably be a novelty/exciting for a while, arranging the charging stops etc though and the higher cost forgetting about overall cost for a sec) of leasing these (admittedly expensive) cars.

Not sure if i’d want to install a decent charge thing on my side wall either (with me just leasing every 2 years) so it would be a pain with wires trailing everywhere to charge (although maybe only need to charge 1-2 times a week - might be able to persuade work to fit an electric charger lol).

My current lease runs out in 7 months so soon time to start looking for the next deal.

Apologies for piggy backing here @nheather
 

IronGiant

Moderator
Thanks,

An electric car wouldn’t work for me at the moment. My wife‘s daily commute is no more than 20 round trip.

Yes it would be parked near a fast charging point to be installed on our house.

We will have two cars, the current other car can do 700 miles on a tank, so not relying on the EV for that once in a blue moon journey.

Cheers,

Nigel
In that case a "low" capacity next generation EV would be perfect for you Nigel :thumbsup: Mrs IG had the first generation Leaf with a 24kW battery. The realistic range in that was ~ 80 miles which, with a daily commute of 10 miles, meant she easily got a week's commute out of it. The new Leaf has a 40kW battery, with a realistic range (I gather) of ~138 miles, so you should be able to do the same :smashin:.

And like you we have a second ICE car that can do the longer journeys.
 

scarty16

Well-known Member
Not sure if i’d want to install a decent charge thing on my side wall either (with me just leasing every 2 years) so it would be a pain with wires trailing everywhere to charge (although maybe only need to charge 1-2 times a week - might be able to persuade work to fit an electric charger lol).
We have had a hybrid for over 2.5 years and we have a charger on the wall by the front door.

1. It is great to be able to get up in the morning to a "full tank", no faffing about going to petrol stations (last liquid dinosaur fill up was February).

2. It is great to be paid to fill up the car by the electricity company (octopus energy), lets see shell pay me to take petrol of their hands.

3. Once you drive an EV you don't want to go back to an ICE, and I am a complete Petrol head, my car is a WRX STi - will be swapping when it reaches 50,000 miles as I like to sweat my assets.

4. It is great to Virtue Signal to the neighbours as well, nothing like a bit of oneupmanship.
 

LV426

Administrator
Staff member
... Once you drive an EV you don't want to go back to an ICE....
I'd agree with that.

Undoubtedly there are those for whom the din of a farting/popping exhaust or the gurgle of a huge V8 and/or a smooth, well-executed manipulation of gears and clutches to eke the most out of their ICE causes pleasure and satisfaction. It's not me. Gliding along effortlessly and almost silently is much more my "thing".
 

wongataa

Well-known Member
The other 5% is 6-12 times a year i head to either The Peaks, Snowdonia, The Lakes or Scotland (once a year).

Sometimes at crazy hours (middle of the night set off etc).

What’s putting me off is those rate long trips (probably be a novelty/exciting for a while, arranging the charging stops etc though and the higher cost forgetting about overall cost for a sec) of leasing these (admittedly expensive) cars.
Assuming you plan those occaisional long trips in advance there is always the option of hiring a petrol/diesel vehicle if your car is a lower range EV and you don't want to plan charging stops.
 

domtheone

Distinguished Member
Assuming you plan those occaisional long trips in advance there is always the option of hiring a petrol/diesel vehicle if your car is a lower range EV and you don't want to plan charging stops.
Some are planned in advance but a lot of more spur of the moment.

The weather often dictates so it's hard to plan on lovely weather more than a couple of days in advance .

Apart from when we're on lockdown when we seem to get great weather for weeks on end but can't take advantage:facepalm::D
 

Doug the D

Member
My wife’s car if overdue for replacement - she likes the idea of a Nissan Leaf, her friend has one, she has been in and likes it.

Fine with that but this is the only EV we have talked about and neither of us really know much about what is on the market.

A couple of questions if I may

  1. What other EVs should we look at, comparable ones, similar price range
  2. Those that have a Leaf already, did you go for the standard battery or the bigger E+ battery. There is a significant price difference which is swaying my wife at the moment so interested in hearing your experiences.
Cheers,

Nigel
Hi Nigel, I know you've already said that you won't go down the EV route at the moment, but I'll put my experiences as a new Leaf driver here anyway - it might be interesting/ useful for others if not you :)

My wife is leasing a N-Tekna Leaf (not the top-of-the-range, but near) through her work on a salary sacrifice for the next 3 years. Our experiences after a few weeks look a bit like this:

Charging - the biggest issue for most non EV owners; but it's easy. For some reason, non-EV drivers, (including myself in the past) have this hang-up about charging a car. There seems to be this odd creating of problems that simply don't exist, a typical one was mentioned by @domtheone; 'cables trailing everywhere'. It's really not a problem. It's one cable going between 2 points, it's not 'trailing everywhere' at all. No different to have the lawnmower cable out or a hosepipe.
As mentioned above my @LV426, it's quite good going to Tesco, parking up in your own 'special' bay pop the cable in and come out to find the car is fully charged - the company that installed them at 800-odd Tesco superstores (Pod Point) don't even charge you money - it's free!

I also think that when I look at the whole 'I spend 5 minutes filling up with diesel and I get 500+ miles range' point, in actual fact, my wife or I probably spend less than 5 minutes connecting a cable from the house to the car three times to get the near 500 miles of range too. The difference being, no matter how expensive your electricity tariff is, it will never cost you £70+ to travel 500 miles...

Cost of ownership - I don't see a great deal of point in discussing this too much, as people have different budgets and I think that 'value for money' is very subjective. I don't think I'd buy this car from new, but then, the same applies to ICE cars too. It's not an EV thing, it's a wallet thing.

Performance - I'm a petrol head. I've never owned a big V8-engined car, but I think I'd like to before they die out. My company car is a 150 bhp 2.0 litre diesel Audi A3. I would say that the Leaf is faster off the mark, simply due to having no gears to change and having all the torque available at once (although the traction control prevents it from simply wheel-spinning when pulling away from every junction!).
My wife is 100% convinced that her Leaf will do my Audi in a drag race, so we might be heading to a local airfield to put her money where her mouth is at some point soon! I will admit that when I was following my wife driving the Leaf on my motorbike recently, I planned to overtake her soon after pulling onto a main NSL road, I carried out my mirror check, glanced over my shoulder and when I looked forward, she'd taken off at a much more rapid pace than I'd imagined! Perhaps she is right about the speed...

Personal feelings - I honestly don't think that I'd go back to owning/ driving an ICE car now. My next company car will be a dirty diesel, but that's the company's choice, I don't get to choose my next car :(
However, when I'm in a position to do so (after promotion, when that happens), I 100% won't want an ICE car.
I tell everyone that asks about the Leaf, my main feeling above all else is that I feel like I'm driving in the future! The amount of gadgets, the quality of the screens, the finish is excellent, I could go on. It might not look the best car from the outside (although my wife's car is much less offensive on the eye than previous generations), inside is a nice place to be.
Would I want a Leaf myself? Yes...But it would have to be the fast motor/ bigger battery version - a petrol head still has standards y'know ;)

I'm so convinced by the Leaf that I'm even looking at replacing my motorbike with an electric version. Brand new, they're still prohibitively expensive for me (I can't justify £15-20K+ on a toy), but there are some making their way onto the secondhand market...
 

domtheone

Distinguished Member
I do like the idea of charging at Tesco’s. Even if its only the go slow charge thats free. I’m there at least once a week. More when the upstairs Costa reopens. 1 Tesco has them in the entire Notts area currently. I guess that should change in the next 6 months.
 

Doug the D

Member
I do like the idea of charging at Tesco’s. Even if its only the go slow charge thats free. I’m there at least once a week. More when the upstairs Costa reopens. 1 Tesco has them in the entire Notts area currently. I guess that should change in the next 6 months.
They are 7kWh chargers (the same as our home charger). I drive 10 miles to my local Tesco, and if I'm in the shop for 30 mins or so, it's enough to give me back the power it took to get me there.

We only have one fast charger locally, a 50kWh CHAdeMO connecter, that pretty much fills the battery from 30% to 100% in 90 minutes or so - we've only used it once. I might be wrong, but I think the Leaf only allows for 22kWh charging anyway, so most of the CHAdeMO charger isn't being utilised anyway?
 

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