The Nissan Leaf Trip

Hi. I have been driving a Nissan Leaf (30kwh) for 2 years now and have covered 23000 miles. My partner and I had taken one out for a test drive several years earlier (a 24kwh) and loved the experience, setting it firmly in our minds as a goal for the future. However, at that time there was hardly anywhere to charge it (I live in a flat and cannot park near to home, so cannot have a home charger), and the range was not quite enough for my needs.

So when Nissan contacted me half way through the lease of my petrol car offering me an upgrade, I boldly told them I was only interested in a 30kwh Leaf. Amazingly, they put together a great deal and I was able to swap to electric much earlier than I expected. My partner was now working in Bristol and had started getting the bus to work, and we were able to go from a two petrol car family, to a one EV family.

The cost savings have been significant, as I no longer pay road tax, and servicing is less than £100 each time. My fuel costs vary between £5-50 per month, depending on how many freebies I get. Although my fueling costs are higher because I use the public network rather than at home, I do get these freebies from time to time which often evens things out. I used to pay around £120 each month on petrol.

As well as the clear benefits of knowing I can travel around as much as I like without worrying about adding to emissions, the car is just good fun to drive, and incredibly easy.

I do about 250 miles in a normal week and need to charge 2-3 times. We have had some longer trips too. Bristol to Norfolk and Lincoln, and to Wales, to Cornwall and to Yorkshire. One holiday week took in 1050 miles and cost just £14.15.

I do spend some times waiting at the charger, but often use this time to make calls, go for a walk or do some reading. Mostly though, I’ll have a wee and a coffee, or charge while I’m doing other things nearby. The rapid chargers can top the car up in less than half an hour. One of the regular pumps I use is at my workplace, so can fuel up while I’m working too.

You do need to think differently and make sure you plan for longer journeys, but I have never yet run out of juice. Not everywhere in the country is well served with chargers so people need to do some research before going ahead, as there are different types of chargers. Also, as with petrol vehicles, getting the right car for your needs will make all the difference to how well it works out for you.

From next year, there is going to be a huge choice available, and I’m really looking forwards to choosing my next one when the lease on this one runs out next summer. For sure though, we will stay with EV, and are proof that you don’t have to have a home charger for it to work well.