What I love - and hate - about my Nissan Leaf: owner review

Nissan Leaf owner Andrew Freeman delivers his verdict after three and a half years and nearly 40,000 miles at the wheel...

Nissan Leaf owner review

Car: Nissan Leaf 30Kw Tekna, 6.6Kw onboard charger

Owner's name: Andrew Freeman

“I’ve owned my Nissan Leaf for three and a half years and driven 39,500 miles in it – which gives you an idea of how well it fits into my life. I love the car, but I also love how much money it has saved me. It makes so much sense on most levels.

“I think you’ll hear most electric car owners say the same things about why they love their cars: the instant torque, the smoothness thanks to the linear power delivery and the ability to pre-heat it in winter are the standouts for me.

“But I’d add one thing to that, because it has surprised me: after this amount of time and this many miles I thought I’d be getting bored of the car, and might be looking to replace it. However, the truth is that I still love driving it. It feels special.

“It’s not a walk in the park, though. I hate the feeling of range anxiety as the ticker runs down indicating how many miles of charge you have, and I’m sorry to say that you can’t trust all public chargers to be working when you get there.

Nissan Leaf - interior

"You don’t have that doubt in your mind when you drive a petrol car – and if I’m honest that’s why we take our 12-year-old Nissan Micra on longer journeys. It’s less hassle to take it on any drive over 40 miles each way, rather than trust the public networks to get home.

“Would knowing that have put me off buying it? At the time, no, as I was too excited to consider anything else. Now? I hope not. The price of a Kia e-Niro or Tesla Model 3 – the cars I really want – worries me, but I will do all I can to remain an electric car driver.

“The best advice I could give anyone considering buying one would be to buy a car that has thermal management of its batteries, to ensure best range, to buy a car with at a 50kW battery and 100Kw rapid charging capabilities, and to insist on a test drive of at least 24 hours. You need to know if the car will fit into your life, and that takes time and experience.

"I actually refused to buy an MG ZS EV because they only offered a test drive up the road and back. Buying an electric car is not a decision to rush – but it can pay off if it fits into your life.”

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