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Nissan leaf

(24 Posts)
MadameJosephine Thu 24-Oct-13 18:53:43

Anybody drive a leaf? I'm thinking of getting one a salary sacrifice scheme at work. Just wondering if anybody had any experience of them. I'm worried I'll forget to plug it in and run out of juice on the way to work!

TTmum Fri 25-Oct-13 14:33:14

Hi I have a Nissan Leaf and have had it for 2 years now and love it. The car is my main car - we also have a Trabant we converted ourselves....
The 2011 Leafs have a theoretical range of 100 miles, the 2013 ones I think are 120 - mine (a 2011), on normal driving gets about 80. Steep hills and Motorways reduce range - just as they increas the fuel consuption of a petrol/diesel car. Plugging in overnight does have to become the norm - but it becomes a habit to pull up, pop the filler flap, get the lead and plug in. You can have a faster charge outlet put on your home where the lead is integral to the charger unit which means you don't have to get the lead they give you out of the car!!! We live in Bristol and can get to Oxford, or the south coast on a charge. There are more and more fast charge units going up around the country where you can recharge in about 20 minutes. Some of them you need to sign up to a scheme, but - at the moment - most offer free cards and free electricity to charge.
I have 3 children and we have been camping with the car, and even taken her to France - camping (with tents erected over there) and plugging in to the campsites electric to charge her up.
In short I love it, I've never run out of electricity and to be rescued, she does the equivalent of about 200 mpg and I've saved so much on fuel costs. New Leafs you can buy the batteries outright or you can lease them, which reduces the cost to buy the car but you pay (I think) about £100 a month to lease the batteries, but then - if there is a problem with the batteries - they replace them. My battery life is still good 2 years on (I have NO loss of range), they have a 5yr warranty...... If you do have a problem with the batteries they are replaced as cells (think of it as having 30 odd normal car batteries running your car - if one is 'unwell' you can replace one of them, not the whole 30 odd). They are NOT Lead acid 'normal, car batteries but I hope it's a reasonable illustration.
I hope this gives you an overview - I love my car and wouldn't be without her!!

WMittens Fri 25-Oct-13 17:12:14


I've saved so much on fuel costs.

but you pay (I think) about £100 a month to lease the batteries,

I was going to ask if it saves you over £100 a month on fuel, but I've just had a look at the Nissan site and it says battery rental is £70/month for a maximum of 7500 miles per year (based on a 3 year lease). Assuming diesel is £1.39 (current average) and a comparable car gets 55mpg, that £70 gets about 610 miles worth of diesel, or 7320 miles per year. I don't see there's a huge scope for saving?

The 180 miles difference costs about £21 in diesel.

I found an article (on 2012's electricity prices) saying it cost about £2 to fill from flat - with your estimate of 80 miles from a full charge, the 7500 miles in a year would cost about £187 over the year, making the fuel costs about £166 more than a 55mpg diesel.

AKAK81 Fri 25-Oct-13 20:58:08

I was interested to read your figures WM so I went one step further to see if it really does make sense to get an electric car. I compared it over a 3 year PCP against a Kia cee'd 1.4 diesel assuming 55mpg which seems to be a real world figure. Taking into account everything including RFL insurance, servicing and fuel I make the leaf 110 quid a year cheaper over 7500 miles pa. 110 quid saving for the inconvenience of an 80 mile range and the risk of running out of juice. I see no reason why you'd buy a new one - perhaps a 2nd hand one makes more sense but it would seem the smart money would buy a cee'd.

WMittens Fri 25-Oct-13 21:50:13

Nice one AKAK, very useful to know how they compare.

AKAK81 Fri 25-Oct-13 22:12:09

Interestingly the leaf was much more expensive to insure for me £340 vs £200.

TTmum Fri 25-Oct-13 22:25:46

wow - my brand new Leaf costs me £150 - the same as my 2.0 litre 10 year old car diesel car.

TTmum Fri 25-Oct-13 22:28:53

woah - what happened? I poste a long response here and it' s gone!!!

TTmum Fri 25-Oct-13 22:43:58

Rats the basics were
1) Leaf costs about 3p a mile if you pay for all your fuel (no solar panels and you don't fill up at free public charge points) and you charge in day time and 1p a mile if you charge with economy7 a diesel at 55mpg costs 11p a mile
2) If your car really does 55mpg REAL TIME - not the manufacturers quoted then yes you'll not save much in fuel (my AVERAGE charge range is 100miles) I use the 80 (which I get on a run) as most people want to know if they can see their great aunt Agnes who lives x miles away.... but
servicing costs are much lower - no oil, filters, tappits, exhaust, CAT, clutch, and even brakes last much longer...
3) an electric car uses NO fuel if you are stuck in traffic - which I often am. A fossil fuel car's economy decreases massively in around town driving where an electric car's is better
4) you can fill up for free if you use most public charging points - you can't do that with petrol or diesel!!! well not legally!
I have never run out of fuel - however I recently rescued a motorcyclist and gave him a lift to a petrol station, as he had!
5) I save a bit more as I have solar panels and I often top up at public charge points
6) the Leaf is well spec'd - we couldn't buy a new diesel car 2 years ago which had the same high spec as a Leaf for anywhere near the amount our Leaf cost....
I think that was it - it's getting late now and the wine has obviously taken over as I managed to delete the last post rather than send it!!! I'll try to keep up with this, but I'm at the out-laws for the weekend... x

TTmum Fri 25-Oct-13 22:47:08

MadameJosephine - if you want I could possibly try to put you in touch with a leaf owner in your area - to let you know the realities for your area???

WMittens Fri 25-Oct-13 22:55:12

and even brakes last much longer...

I think regenerative braking is a great solution, it makes so much sense I almost want a hybrid or EV just for that.

however I recently rescued a motorcyclist and gave him a lift to a petrol station, as he had!

In the biker's defence, it's not necessarily the range* but the warning method that's to blame - he probably hadn't switched off from the reserve tank at last fill up.

*Although that can be abysmal - my current bike has a tank range of about 60 miles grin

TTmum Fri 25-Oct-13 22:58:12

Oh £0 car tax too - and there is talk of reducing the Carbon emissions for the lowest tax level - however as an electric car is 0g CO2 (at the tail pipe - as it doesn't have one - and produces no local CO2 levels)!! then it'll not go that low.....
I really... must... sleep now.....half term ahead -and days out in my Leaf to enjoy! smile

AKAK81 Fri 25-Oct-13 23:02:45

Interesting points there TT. The fuel consumption figures I used were real world figures not manufacturer ones. Nissan quote Leaf service costs to be around £11 per month. That is more expensive than the cee'd for example. What servicing costs have you seen?

TTmum Sat 26-Oct-13 09:13:34

Hi - yes the first service was about £180 ish. However with a cee'd your not really comparing like with like. Though the Leaf looks a small car it is Tardis like. It is my MAIN car we can get my 3 kids in the back and my hubby in the front! We have gone for a weeks camping as a family with it both with and without carrying the camping equipment. No roof box as the bikes are on the roof!
I'm sorry but I can't see that in a cee'd???
One nice thing about the leaf is you can wake up - notice its icy/wet/cold press a button on your smartphone and the car will start warming up, defrosting and demisting while you have your coffee and shower - though in the real mumsnet world that's usually get the kids up, washed, dressed, etc before downing a quick slurp of coffee as you run around wink
I also think we have a responsibility to reduce our carbon emissions for our children. Though I'm not a tree hugger - last time I did that I got a splinter so I don't like trees! wink
In the long run, it's down to personal preference I wanted to let people know you can run an electric car as a main car with a family and still burn off Audi TT's at the lights if your in that sort if mood! grin

AKAK81 Sat 26-Oct-13 14:17:35

The cee'd is actually bigger than the Leaf in all interior dimensions except front headroom where the Leaf has slightly more. There's very little between the two although the cee'd has more front legroom, more rear legroom, more rear headroom and a bigger boot. They're actually very good cars to compare. Both are very slow though. Even the slowest TT would leave either standing at the lights as if they were in reverse (and I hate TTs with a passion) I'm not being deliberately difficult by the way just trying to make a good comparison between the two. For me the sums just don't add up to justify the inconvenience. Even if I could use 100% free electricity I'd be looking at £300 per year saving which just wouldn't be worth it for the potential inconvenience - certainly not for a main car. My advice to anyone considering a plug in electric would be to compare all the figures and see if it really does make sense in your own circumstances. For anyone thinking of spending £20k on one of these outright I'd say buy a BMW 330i touring for £12k and put the rest in the bank. It'll cost an extra £1k a year in fuel and leave you £5k for any additional servicing/insurance/repair costs but gets you so much more car.

MadameJosephine Sat 26-Oct-13 20:09:53

Wow, thanks so much for all your responses! I wasn't expecting many replies so have only just checked
For me the numbers work out really well, on the salary sacrifice from work once you take into account the savings on tax and NI the leaf will cost me a £220 a month reduction in net pay. That includes all servicing, insurance, breakdown cover etc, all I'd have to pay for in the electricity. At the moment I spend about £160 a month on petrol alone! I think I'm going to go ahead and order one, I'm sure the 'range anxiety' will wear off after a bit as I get used to charging it.

TTmum I'm in north east, midway between Newcastle and Sunderland and travel to both regularly,If you know anybody in the area who could give me some tips that would be great, thanks

AKAK81 Sat 26-Oct-13 22:51:39

That sounds like a pretty good deal. How many miles a year do you do? Is it just the Leaf that's available or other non electric cars - if so have you done the figures on that?

AKAK81 Sat 26-Oct-13 23:05:45

Just thought I'd have a look at a plug in Prius. Based on 7.5k miles pa its approx £3k more per year over 3 years than a Leaf! You could run a really nice car for that!

MadameJosephine Sun 27-Oct-13 11:20:56

The £220 a month lease is based on 11000 miles a year which is what I've averaged over the last few years. I work for the NHS and in my trust you can get just about any car as long as the emissions are below a certain limit. I was looking at a VW Up! before I thought about the leaf and that would have been £200 a month so the leaf is working out the best deal. For the next 2 years zero emission cars don't attract any company car tax either so that's an extra bonus

AKAK81 Sun 27-Oct-13 12:04:06

Do you do many business miles? We looked at this for a relative who does 3500 miles pa on nhs business. Due to the mileage allowance dropping with the salary sacrifice scheme vs a private car it worked out much more expensive through the nhs. The difference was over £9k across the three years.

MadameJosephine Sun 27-Oct-13 15:58:01

I used to but never more than about 1000 p.a. I have recently changed roles and I am purely hospital based now so that's not an issue any more

AKAK81 Sun 27-Oct-13 20:29:11

That makes sense then otherwise the difference in mileage income can be significant.

YouveCatToBeKittenMe Sun 27-Oct-13 20:30:45

I wouldn't like to be driving a leaf at the moment
They're all over the road here grin

cris295 Sat 14-Mar-15 17:04:40

hi have a peugeot ion i charge it at my local council office for FREE so thats 60 miles of driving for free on a single charge twice a week i don't pay anything for battery rental how many other people can say the same im now getting a nissan leaf but without the battery contract so thats another 12000 miles per year that won't cost me anything in fuel as its free so it does make sense over a petrol or diesel car

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