Our cars: Nissan Leaf - April
Week ending April 27
Driven this week 50 miles
Nissan Leaf review
Driving the Leaf in London certainly has its benefits.
I had yet another early morning meeting in Westminster, central London, the other day. One of the major bonuses of an electric car there is that you don't have to pay to park an electric car in a meter bay. As long as you don't exceed the normal time limit.
According to the website there was no need to register, so I just went along and parked. Of course, I feared the worse when I returned: would an unobservant parking attendant give me a ticket anyway? No - it was all good.
So I then glided back on the 10 mile trip to What Car? HQ and I didn't have to pay for the capital's congestion charge either. So a free trip into town. Save for about 50p's worth of electricity of course.
Week ending April 20
Driven this week 140 miles
Two early morning trips into central London were easy fodder for our Nissan Leaf – it being quiet, comfortable and free from the London Congestion Charge.
As we've said before, the Nissan's really terrific in town, but what struck me this week is that the electric powertrain is only partly responsible for this. The Leaf's urban abilities also have a lot to do with its other strengths – the cabin's comfort and visibility for a start.
The other major factor for me is its extremely compliant ride; it levels the road out far better than most conventional hatches. Some of my central London routes were strewn with potholes and repair scars, yet the Leaf soaked up most without fuss and in an admirable way.
We found out recently that Nissan is going to build a regular hatch next year at its Sunderland factory. If it's as good to drive as the Leaf, it will be something to look forward to.
Week ending April 13
Driven this week 40 miles
Nissan Leaf review
In cold weather the range of our Leaf has been limited, so it often spends an entire day plugged into its charge point, just so it can be used later that evening.
Fortunately, the warmer weather has increased usability between charges, so I seized the opportunity to take our Leaf out for lunch.
With a remaining 30 miles indicated, I set off to ASDA in Kingston-upon-Thames, knowing that this particular supermarket has two electric vehicle charging points- and that I could still make it back to the office if both were taken.
Upon arrival, the range had dipped to 22 miles (due to the use of air-conditioning and ‘eco’ mode switched off). Both charging bays were free, so I plugged it in.
I returned 30 minutes later to find the Leaf’s range had returned to 30 miles. It just goes to show that a short charge is all that is needed, when the car is used for short runs- like trips to the supermarket.
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