Voyaging with a 40kwh Nissan Leaf

I probably can’t add too much to this, but we bought a 40kwh Leaf in September last year, having done a fair amount of research and test driving in May (I won’t go into details of the appalling experience I had with Glyn Hopkin…)

We had been car free for 4 years but with ageing parents and families outside London and a dog, it was getting a bit impractical, so we took the plunge. Like some others we can’t charge at home as we have on street parking but luckily friends round the corner bought around the same time as us and have a driveway & garage so had a charger fitted.

We don’t use the car during the week as we live and work in London and I do my 11 mile commute by bike (my partner also does her local gardening job by bike) so we’re not charging on a regular basis, but our costs are low.

The car itself is comfortable, has plenty of room (we’ve just done our first camping trip) and is lovely to drive.

Lots of people talk about range anxiety but for me it just makes me plan my route a bit more carefully. So far we haven’t been caught out but I’m sure it will happen! If you are travelling long distances on a daily basis it may not be time for you to go electric yet, but for weekend travelling it works really well. This weekend we did our longest trip so far from East London to the Peak District (189 miles). We stopped once to charge at Grantham which gave us plenty of juice for local driving around over the weekend. A downhill drive & a bit of a boost at a National Trust property on Sunday morning got us back to the services at Leicester Forest for a rapid charge & then home.

I would say that the charging infrastructure needs some improvement - unless you’re driving a Tesla. For example at Grantham there were 2 Electric Highway chargers but at least 8 Tesla ones with another 6 being installed while we were there!