20 things from 20,000 miles: driving a Nissan LEAF

by | Feb 19, 2016

I have been leasing a Nissan LEAF now since October 2013 and have just passed the 20,000 mile mark. So after just over 27 months of living with an electric vehicle, it’s an ideal time to share what I’ve learnt.


Like most people, I don’t drive far every day. My electric mileage per year has been around 8,600 with a weekly average of 165 miles and a daily distance of just 23 miles.


Because of this I only need to charge the car every three days.


The running costs last year, including all electricity, were an amazing £75. I charge mainly at work and home.


I keep a spreadsheet of all my costs and mileage which can get quite addictive.


I can get 85 miles out of my Nissan LEAF on average.


I have managed to get up to 95 miles on one charge.


But you do get less miles in winter.


You get more confident the longer you drive and do push it further.


I’ve never run out. I admit to being close (very close) but it hasn’t happened yet.


There’s only been one battery failure – and that was the battery in my key fob!


I have never run anybody down because of the lack of noise – I haven’t even come close.


In all that time there’s only ever been a couple of times that I’ve really not been able to go where I wanted to go. The Lake District was a challenge that I’ve not been prepared to try but the local dealership has allowed me to swap the LEAF for an ICE vehicle for our annual trip.


My wife has a Micra and we have used it to get to more awkward places. We could do without it by hiring a car with the money saved on fuel and tax for the very rare occasion.


Just because I’m driving on electric, it hasn’t replaced my desire to choose public transport when it best fits where I’m going. I am lucky in that I have access to a metro system, which connects to an airport and main line rail, and my car won’t replace that.


Yes I get the train to London but then I would always choose to do that over driving.


I would however be willing to try it and would feel confident in charging on the motorway network thanks to Ecotricity. I wouldn’t be so confident about charging within London though. The same applies in most cities in the UK.


I’m interested in understanding the impact of inner city filling stations, like the one we are planning in Newcastle, and how this will impact on where I decide to charge.


People have stopped staring at the car or asking what is it.


Most popular question is; How far does it go. Standard answer is as far as you want it to go but it could take a while.


I would definitely own another electric car – 100% yes.




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