Long-term report: Our Nissan Leaf proves EVs can be road trip companions

A quick thank you to my mum before I get stuck into this month’s report about the all-electric long-term Nissan Leaf we currently have on our fleet.

Let me explain.

Door-to-door, the journey from our house to hers is 115 miles – in other words, a 230-mile round trip that we tend to do in a day.

The distance OU19XMG can travel on a single charge is 239 miles, which doesn’t really leave much leeway in case of hold-ups, diversions or whatever.

Nissan Leaf
Nissan Leaf

I’ve explained this a couple of times to mum in recent weeks – and shortly before the current lockdown, she kindly had an additional socket fitted in her garage that would enable me to replenish the car’s battery whilst visiting.

A couple of days after hearing the news, I jumped into the Leaf and headed off to see her. And in fairness, this was the first journey of any significant length I had tackled since taking possession of the car, what with Covid, working from home and so on.

It certainly didn’t disappoint on the longer trip. It’s comfortable and spacious and the two hours flew by as I headed along the motorway and then tackled the A and B roads that lead to her place. It feels assured and composed on major highways and doesn’t put a foot wrong on slower roads either.

It’s fair to say that most people who see the car are impressed with the way our Leaf looks. I think its predecessor was a bit of an ugly duckling – it was almost trying to showcase its EV technology via a quirky outward appearance – but the new Leaf is sharp and easy on the eye.

The one thing that perhaps could be said of our particular model is that the combination of magnetic red paintwork and metallic blue accents is a tad unusual.

Helping to enhance its appearance are 17-inch alloy wheels, a gloss black B-pillar, chrome door handles and body-coloured door mirrors.

The longer trip to mum’s gave me plenty of opportunity to explore and enjoy some of the audio and technology features of the car. Its Bose premium music system is a joy to behold – the Ken Bruce Show on Radio 2 has never sounded better!

And one of my other favourite features is Intelligent Around View Monitor – just brilliant.

Nissan Leaf
Nissan Leaf

For the uninitiated it’s a very clever piece of kit that helps drivers to park more easily by better understanding the vehicle’s surroundings through a virtual bird’s-eye view from above the vehicle.

Around View Monitor helps the driver visually confirm the vehicle’s position relative to the lines around parking spaces and adjacent objects, allowing you to maneuvre into parking spots with more ease.

One thing I have noticed in writing these reports is that I tend to talk less and less about the fact the car is electric. It’s just a fact of life to me now; it’s an enjoyable car to drive, and charging is no hassle.

Nissan Leaf
Nissan Leaf

Pulling up at our local Tesco the other day enabled me to give it an hour or so of juice; other than that, and as I have explained in previous dispatches, it’s just a question of using the correct lead to attach it to a normal three-pin socket at home while I work.

A couple of news-based items to finish with, connected to the bigger picture around electric vehicles. You may have seen in the papers that ‘green number plates’ are on their way – number plates with a lime green flash down one side that could lead to local authorities incentivising EV ownership.

And of course, the government has said that sales of new petrol and diesel cars will have been phased out by 2030 – so cars like the Nissan Leaf are the way forward for all of us, even mum!

  • Model (as tested): Nissan Leaf e+ 3.ZERO

  • Price: £37,320

  • Motor: 62kWh electric motor

  • Power: 214bhp

  • Torque: 340Nm

  • Max speed: 98mph

  • 0-60mph: 6.7 seconds

  • Range: 239 miles (combined)

  • Emissions: 0g/km

  • Mileage: 11,206