Nissan Leaf 2 review - the basics for an EV newbie
07-08-18, 11:14 - Views: 2901
The Nissan Leaf 2 arrived yesterday. This is what I’ve learned so far, in my first 24 hours.
The car was delivered by a nice chap from Nissan on Monday. He called about an hour before delivery to let me know that he was ‘topping up’ at a charging point about 14 miles away, just so it wouldn’t be too close to empty when it arrived.
When he got to mine there was about 70 miles left on the battery. Immediately I worried about charging. How is it done? Will it work? As I’ve got the Leaf for only a week, I haven’t applied for any Government grants (something I hear EV owners talk about it) to buy a home charging kit (also known as ‘pods’).
No probs, said the man from Nissan. The Leaf comes with two ‘plug sockets’. They live at the front of the car, in a small flap.
The socket on the left is for ‘rapid’ charging at roadside charge points. I’ll be finding out about this over the next few days when I hit the road for longer journeys.
For now though, the socket on the right is the one for me. This is the ‘slow’ charging point, for overnight charging from a regular wall socket.
Luckily, where I live I have a drive and a garage with an electric wall socket, so I’m able to easily charge the Leaf overnight. If I lived in a flat or a house without off-street parking, it would be a case of getting a very long lead.
With the charger lead found in the boot (very roomy) I stuck it in my garage wall socket, and connected the other, rounded end to the Leaf. Immediately three blue lights on the screen started to blink, indicating that the car was being charged (much like a battery indicator on a smart phone starts to move when it’s charging).
Relieved that it seemed to work, I decided to unplug the Leaf and take it for its first spin. The charger wouldn’t come out. It really just would not budge. Ten minutes, some manual flicking and a few Google searches later, it turns out there’s a charger release button on the key fob. Makes sense - to stop anyone from randomly, or accidentally (or maliciously) unplugging your charger. I guess it was a newbie schoolboy error.
How do you drive the Nissan Electric Leaf 2?
Like most modern cars, there’s a power button to press rather than using a key. Once the power is on, it sounds like….. Nothing. Zero sound. Eerie.
In answer to a question from @Bev about how the pedals differ to normal cars. It’s also an automatic, so two pedals - one on the left for braking, the one on the right for accelerating. Except, the Leaf 2 has a feature called the ‘e-pedal’. Switch this on, and the accelerator doubles as the brakes! It accelerates as usual when depressed, but when you lift your foot to slow down it actually applies the brakes too.
The e-pedal is said to be more battery-efficient, because the added braking from the motor means you have to use the actual brake less, effectively reducing wasted energy. It will take some getting used to. Luckily it can be switched off (looping in @woz who wanted to know this).
There’s also an ‘Eco’ button which is supposed to deliver more range - that is, more miles and battery efficiency. The Leaf 2 is such a nippy car (acceleration is 7.9 seconds to get from 0-62mph) that I found this a bit sluggish, so have switched it off for now.
Apart from the odd e-pedal, driving the Leaf 2 feels straightforward. The ‘gear stick’ is round and flat. But only use it to change to ‘Drive’ or ‘Reverse’ mode. To get into neutral you press the ‘P’ button in the middle, which is ‘Park’ mode.
The last thing I did last night was plug the charger back in. It takes about 14 hours to charge it completely from a 'normal' 3kW three-pin wall socket to get the battery back to 100%. [NOTE this has been updated, as charging info originally stated that the slow charger was 6.6kW].
This morning the dashboard told me I have a 155 mile range. Which for my daily commute, is way more than I need.
On a single charge, the Leaf 2 officially has a range of 168 miles, using the WLTP (Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure) benchmark.
You may also like: Nissan Leaf 2 - apps and maps and how charge it when on the road
Over the next few days I’ll be finding out what all the different EV apps to; how to find the right charger when on the road; how good is the Leaf for hitting the shops or going away; how owners can get a home charging point; should I buy one. We will also be looking at fuel efficiency and the cost of charging the Leaf with Pure Planet as your home supplier.
Got any questions about the Leaf 2 which I can help answer? Get them in the replies below.
Last edited by Marc; 10-08-18 at 09:43. Reason: Correction about charger wattage
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