Should I Buy The All-Electric Nissan Leaf

family on vacation

Which Is the Best-Selling EV Globally?


In all probability you have come across the iconic Nissan Leaf, one of the best-selling electric cars globally, with more than 400,000 zero-emission Leaf’s on the road.  The battery electric vehicle (BEV) was first introduced in 2010 in Japan & the United States and in 2011 in the UK.   Since its launch, the electric car has defined the EV sector and continues to do so.

It has the unique distinction of being the first mass-market electric car in the world.  Since its launch, the ubiquitous EV has won numerous prestigious awards, to include, the 2018 World Green Car at the New York International Auto Show for the second generation Leaf.  The first generation Nissan Leaf won the 2011 World Car of the Year.

As recently as March 2019, the car was named the 2019 Canadian Green Car of the Year award by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada at the Vancouver International Auto Show.  This year the Nissan Leaf also won the Green Car’s Journal’s 2019 Connected Green Car of the Year at the Washington Auto Show. 


The Nissan Leaf 2019 Variants


The electrified march of the Nissan Leaf continues unabated.  In 2018, it was the top selling electric vehicle in Europe.  For 2019, the Nissan Leaf has two versions, the Nissan Leaf and the Nissan Leaf e+ to include the following variants (prices start at £27,995 to include the £3,500 PiCG incentive):

Nissan Leaf Hatch Electric
Nissan Leaf All-Electric Car
  • Nissan Leaf 40 kWh Acenta 
  • Nissan Leaf 40 kWh N-Connecta
  • Nissan Leaf 40 kWh Tekna 
  • Nissan Leaf 62 kWh e+ Tekna 

Key features


  • 40 kWh and 60 kWh lithium-ion battery with an NEDC range up to 168 miles and 239 miles respectively 
  • 5 doors and 5 seats.  So easy to get adults and kids in and out effortlessly
  • Boot capacity up to 400 litres  (enough to fit in the all the sports gear and more)
  • Maximum speed up to 98 mph

e-zoomed can help you save money and source your perfect Nissan Leaf.  Click here! 


Reviews


An affordable electric car with a range that is suitable for most EV drivers.  An excellent first electric car to own as a step towards zero emission motoring:

  • Top Gear: 8/10
  • What Car?: 4/5
  • Auto Express: 4/5

Nissan Leaf EV

Real World Experience Of Owning And Driving A Nissan Leaf 


We at e-zoomed are always keen to learn about real life experiences of driving an EV.  We encourage electric car drivers to get in touch with us to share their EV driving experience.  

We come across a number of EV drivers that have recently introduced electric driving in their lifestyle.  However, to come across a family that has been driving an EV since 2014 caught our attention.  The family owns a 2014 second generation Nissan Leaf acquired in December 2014. 

We asked them to share their electric driving experience with us candidly!


  • What is the size of the family?
    • we are a family of 6.  Mum, dad and 4 children aged between 8 and 14 years

  • Where does the family live? 
    • in a village near Truro, Cornwall

  • How many cars does the family have? 
    • two cars 

  • Is the EV the primary or secondary car? 
    • it is the primary car, used by mum during the week with the kids.  The electric car is so much easier to drive and park
    • dad gets to drive the EV over the weekends and prefers it to the second car, a 9 seater Vauxhall Vivaro.  The EV is more economical to drive 

  • Was it purchased new or used?
    • new

  • Who was the key decision maker for the purchase? 
    • mum
    • we only seriously considered an electric car after we had used the Leaf for 7 days on a trial basis from the dealership


  • Did you buy at a local dealership or online? 
    • yes – Nissan dealer near Truro

  • Which other cars did you consider? 
    • this was the only electric car.  We also looked at conventional petrol cars 

  • How long did the ‘discovery’/ purchase process take? 
    • about 3 months from starting to look at different vehicles, but we decided within about a fortnight from taking the Leaf on a 7 day test drive

  • When did you first come across an electric vehicle? 
    • a friend at work had said he had done the 7 day test drive and was equally interested.  This sparked our interest to “give it a go” for a week

  • Your motivation to acquire the EV? 
    • ease of driving
    • ease of running, because it meant no more visits to petrol stations
    • economy of driving. We already had solar panels on our house, so we took the opinion we would be running the car on sunshine!
    • finally, the Nissan customer experience from Town and Country near Truro was a thoroughly informative and helpful factor in our decision 

  • For what is the car most often used? 
    • school run, local journeys, kids activities and clubs, private business journeys  
    • occasionally trips to Plymouth (65 miles away) when there are just 5 or less going

  • Things you love about your EV? 
    • ease of driving
    • maintenance free (mostly!)
    • cost of running

  • Things you would like to change or dislike about your EV? 
    • greater range, but that is improving all the time
    • bigger model with 6 seats
    • price to come down to the 20-25K bracket

  • Where do you mostly charge your EV? 
    • nearly always at home

  • Is there good public charging infrastructure where you live i.e. in your village or town? 
    • not really.  Some are around, but that is why we have only ventured to Plymouth in it where it can be charged at a public site on arrival

  • How often do you need to charge your Nissan Leaf?  
    • every day or other day mostly

  • Do you charge the battery to full for each charge?
    • yes, to full

  • For home charging do you have dedicated charging equipment?  If so, which one? 

  • Do you carry a spare cable in your car?  If so, how many metres? 
    • yes, it’s the standard Nissan one about 4 metres long

  • What time do you charge? 
    • majority of time evening/ overnight

  • What is the real world mileage you achieve from your EV?  How much lower than the NEDC/ WLTP range published by the manufacturer? 
    • about 70 miles.  It was supposed to be 100 miles

  • Do you find switch on the heating or air-conditioning has a significant negative impact on range?
    • a little, probably 5-10 less miles

  • How many miles do you drive a year in your EV? 
    • 10K

  • What is the average distance per trip? 
    • 5-8 miles

  • Do you use green or renewable energy?  If so, who is the supplier? Do you have any specific EV tariff? 
    • no, just a normal supplier (Igloo), though we regularly shop around. We have previously had solar panels on our house, but have recently moved

  • Have household electricity bills increased significantly? 
    • yes, but I have come to the view that the increased bills are less than the amount we would have been spending on fuel for a conventional car

  • How much longer do you expect to own the current EV? Would you look to buy another EV or revert to an internal combustion engine (petrol or diesel)? 
    • we have looked at the New Leaf, but we think the price is too high to warrant the cost of change at the moment.  Mum definitely wants to have an EV next when we need to replace this Leaf

  • Have you taken the EV on weekend trips?  Your experiences?
    • yes, just the two of us for weekend trips.  The location of the trip was chosen based on the range of the car! It was an easy experience, just needed more careful planning

  • How do the children view the EV? 
    • they like it.  3 boys in the back is a bit of a squeeze, but it is never for very long journeys

  • If you could buy any EV, which one would you buy? 
    • with money out of the equation, probably the Jaguar I-PACE or Tesla Model X, but as I haven’t actually test-driven them, I might find I don’t like them or the positive aspects we love about this Leaf are not fully repeated in those versions. We have tested the new Leaf though and did like it

  • Do you find driving an EV smoother than a petrol or diesel engine? 
    • yes.  Easier on legs, knees, ankles, wrists.  This is important for mum, and would be equally so for anyone else with similar conditions or arthritis issues.

  • Do your friends or colleagues ask you about your EV?  Do you find them also assessing the potential of acquiring an EV? 
    • yes, many have expressed “envy” over it

  • Have you or would you recommend an EV to your friends and colleagues? If yes, why?  If not, why? 
    • yes we have.  2 main reasons, cost of running and easy of running (overnight charging)

It Is True: Once An EV Owner, Always An EV Owner


What is most striking in my conversations with owners of electric cars, is their certainty to never return to driving conventional diesel or petrol cars.  EVs have come a long way since 2014, however, it is clear that even a 2014 electric car has served the family well. This is testament to the  overall value proposition of EVs, positioning electric cars as the far better alternative to polluting diesel and petrol cars.  So go on, get your family in a Nissan Leaf EV and never look back!



Author

Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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