Our cars: Nissan Leaf - November
Week ending November 11
Miles driven this week 140
The second Future Car Challenge was held on Saturday, November 5 and I took part in our long-term Leaf. This year, 64 vehicles completed the 60-mile route from Brighton to London, all aiming to use as little energy as possible.
Scenic as it was, much of the route didn’t suit the Leaf. It was impressively swift and refined on country roads and dual carriageways through Sussex and Surrey, but the range was reading just 29 miles as we crossed the M25. At this point we had 19 miles left to our destination in Regent Street, then a further 12 from central London to Teddington. The maths didn’t add up.
Fortunately, this was when the Leaf’s regenerative braking came into its own. Slow, stop-start traffic is where it is most efficient: the moment you lift off the accelerator pedal the electric motor acts as a generator, recharging the battery as it slows you down.
Thanks to this we managed to reach complete the trip. We didn’t win a prize, although, in different hands, a Nissan Leaf won two categories in the event.
Week ending November 4
Miles driven this week 20
Whenever I borrow the Leaf for my five-mile urban commute, I appreciate its combination of comfort, refinement and brisk off-the-line performance. It’s ideal for driving in town, and even helps me relax after a long day on the end of a keyboard.
It helps my brain relax a bit too much, though, because I can never remember the correct charging procedure (you have to attach the lead to the charging point first, then the car). Still, I’m sure someone with a better memory or who drives the car every day wouldn’t have a problem.
In other news, one of the rear numberplate lights has come loose. I’ve popped it back into its mounting, so hopefully it’ll stay put.