With the higher-capacity 6.6Kw charger (an option) and a 32-amp power supply...
Ride and Handling
This is a well-engineered car with very competent ride and handling. It’s no limousine, but the ride quality is very acceptable by the standards of a normal family car. It shrugs off potholes better than many cars of a similar size, and holds onto the corners reasonably well. It is the nature of driving an electric car that with one eye constantly hovering over the economy and remaining battery state, you’re unlikely to be rushing headlong into the bends anyway.
While it is not exactly what you might call a ‘driver’s car’, your passengers will probably love it. That is because it is smooth, quiet and refined, and unlikely to be driven exuberantly enough to make it lean on a bendy road, so anyone in the back is pretty well assured of a comfortable trip.
Ease of Use
Charging time is shorter than it used to be. With the higher-capacity 6.6Kw charger (an option) and a 32-amp power supply (not your standard household ring main, then) the full-recharge time is now halved from eight hours to four hours. The car can be plugged into a normal domestic 13-amp plug using the cable that comes with the car, but if the battery level is low you must resign yourself to a long recharge taking 12 hours. A network of rapid chargers is slowly spreading across the country, including at motorway services and Nissan dealer, where an 80 per cent recharge takes 30 minutes. The car’s charging point is located under the Nissan badge on the nose.
The Leaf is exempt from road tax and can be driven in central London without paying the congestion charge. Nissan claims its daily running cost works out a 2p a mile, based on being recharged overnight on an economy tariff.
There is nothing complicated about driving an electric car. Simply switch on, it tells you it’s ready (as there’s no engine sound, of course) and you press the accelerator pedal to go. It is fully automatic, and there are dashboard aids to help you drive in a manner that helps maximise battery life.