Leaf test drives in the UK

Discussion in 'Nissan/Infiniti Hybrids and EVs' started by Flaninacupboard, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. Flaninacupboard

    Flaninacupboard Senior Member

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    I spoke to my local(ish, it's about 25 miles) dealer yesterday, and apparently they are getting their dealer demo vehicle in this week, so i am booked for a test drive next weekend.
    Can't afford to buy one right now, since we regularly exceed 100 miles in a day we'd need two cars and just can't afford that. But i am really interested to see what it's like, and start thinking about whether Nissan or Tesla deserve my money in a few years...
     
  2. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    I'm not impressed that they bumped up the price by £2,000 just days before the official release date.

    OK they'll agree the old price to the ones who have already left a deposit, but I think it stinks that they advertise at £24k (after £5k Government incentive) and then stick it upto £26k days before release when they hope nobody is looking.

    Obviously they don't believe there's going to be a problem selling them otherwise they wouldn't have increased the cost - but it's still sharp practice in my eyes.
     
  3. Flaninacupboard

    Flaninacupboard Senior Member

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    Yep, a pretty crappy move, but it's definitely nicer than the i-miev, and since mitsubishi didn't drop their price "market value" justifies the increase.

    It'll be funny to ask to plug in my car while testing theirs :)
     
  4. Flaninacupboard

    Flaninacupboard Senior Member

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    Had my test drive today! The interior of the car is really good, makes the gen3 seem like a rattly plastic tub. The quietness is fantastic. our roads are pretty poor, and the gen3 is noisy over about 40mph. gliding along at 60+ and the leaf is just silent. I guess it's all those batteries under you :) We burned through a charge fairly quickly, and the angry Nav voice started telling us we had a low battery and needed to recharge. I'd intended to plug in at home (we had it a couple of hours) but the portable EVSE units are not ready! We still made it back to the dealers with something like 11 miles range left though.

    The ride is good, the power is good, the visibility is good, the boot is not very long, but pretty deep, plenty of legroom front and back. There's some decent hills around here, and hills which feel strained and noisy in the prius are effortless in the leaf. Sitcking to the limits i didn't see more than 40kw of drive power being used. After the 25 mile drive home i popped open the bonnet to take a look and absolutely everything inside was STONE COLD! not that suprising i suppose, it was only two degrees outside, it was just not what i was expecting.

    I like it a lot, EV's are great, i want one now, but it's range is too short and i can't afford it. Leaf Gen2 is gonna be sweet...
     
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  5. LeafTalk UK

    LeafTalk UK New Member

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    Glad you enjoyed your test drive. EV's are the future. :D

    Like I mentioned elsewhere someone gave you wrong information regarding the EVSE.

    Some dealers might not have all the info yet.

    Check the UK forum for more details of LEAF chargers for UK drivers.

    The first UK LEAF will be delivered to a customer on Monday. :D

    BTW, how much did your Plug-in conversion cost?
     
  6. Flaninacupboard

    Flaninacupboard Senior Member

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    It was $2499 plus shipping, plus a lot of time and effort! :)
     
  7. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    Just got back from my Leaf test drive and I must say I'm very impressed.

    The Leaf was just like a normal car to drive, very light and smooth and SO quiet. It was in no way like driving the Prius in EV - it was just as quiet but flew. The Leaf goes like the clappers (well taking into account its 105 bhp) and was so much better than the Prius EV mode we all know and enjoy.

    The test drive was in Halifax Halifax, West Yorkshire - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaand I drove the Leaf up and down some very very steep hills, along motorways and in traffic and other than the complete lack of sound it was just like any other car. It has a regen braking system like the Prius which didn't seem to add much to the range, maybe 1 mile going down long steep hills, though turning off the a/c would add a mile or two more!?! One thing I noticed was how quiet the Leaf was compared to the Prius. Road noise is similar but it was quiet in that it didn't whine when on regen braking, there were no hums, clicks or whires when sat in traffic. Just silence.

    It didn't have that dreadful artificial noise maker at low speeds though forgot to ask if there was a switch for it. The boot/trunk was larger than I thought, though still smaller than the Prius and the rear leg room was good but rear headroom again was not brilliant. I had about an inch to spare above my head when in the rear and I'm 5'11".

    I seriously think Toyota should pull their finger out with releasing the Plug In Prius as I think the Leaf might have one over on them. When we had finished the test drive the range indicator was about a mile short of what it predicted at the start of the test drive and the distance covered - and as I said above - I gave it some welly up and down some very steep hills. If anyone has been to Halifax they'll know what I mean.

    At the end of the test drive the car was put on the fast charger which takes about 30 mins to give it 80% charge.

    So would I recommend you book a test drive too? You bet. Do I still love my Prius? Sure, but as David Cameron once said to Tony Blair "You were the future once" and I'm wondering if that's how I now feel about my Prius? :D

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. marzprius

    marzprius Junior Member

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    Lucky Bums! It'll probably be close to a year before we see one around here.
     
  9. Flaninacupboard

    Flaninacupboard Senior Member

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    Yeah, the feeling first driving the P was "i am in the future!" and it now seems a little antiquated with it's dino juice. Even after the plugin upgrade i am still reliant on the stuff :(

    What did you think of it's potential as a work vehicle, or was that not why you were looking?
     
  10. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    That was the main reason for looking at it. I took many pictures of the interior, measured the seat width etc etc. I think it probably could be a taxi (esp after I saw a post on here of the Japanese Leaf cabs!) BUT and it's a very big but, it just couldn't work for me without a fast charger somewhere in my town. I'm guessing a 70 mile usable range (maybe a little more) but this would only cover half a days work. I would NEED to recharge halfway through the day somehow and two Leafs is just never going to happen.

    Since getting home and posting the above I have been on the phone to the various council departments about seeing if one can be installed somewhere in my town. They're about £25k to install so not for me to finance and of course something the council are not keen on either. They have plenty of money for their own ideas but always quote how skint they are for anything else. Am not gonna give up too easily and am waiting to hear back from my MP to see what else I could do.

    The charger is the first hurdle as I've then got to try and twist Nissans arm into a good deal. Still, I think with the way petrol is going here and the savings on fuel and servicing I'd make on the Leaf it could indeed be viable. I have some loyal customers who like the Prius and I think I'd get more with the 'green' Leaf, esp if I source the electricity from renewable sources.

    I find you've got to get a niche customer in this job and so many of my colleagues have gone down the E class Merc route hoping to get rich pickings. Trouble is there are so many after that market and none after the rich 'green' market or the 'green' pound£ which the Prius has only just touched the surface of.
     
  11. Flaninacupboard

    Flaninacupboard Senior Member

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    Hah, that's funny they think they'll get more/better paid jobs with an e-class. I've been in the back of lots of them recently and wasn't really impressed. At the airport i try to line myself up with a more interesting looking taxi, because you'll be able to have a better conversation. I certainly wouldn't pay extra to go in one. a Leaf on the other hand....

    I still can't understand why the fast chargers are so expensive, that price really needs to come down.
     
  12. lopezjm2001

    lopezjm2001 Senior Member

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    A fast charger would be great, in Australia I get credited for solar power going into the grid from my solar panels at three times the standard tariff rate. So using a Nissan Leaf would allow me to travel at near free of charge. Just have to pay for the little maintenance services for the Leaf. Unfortunately only the Mitsubishi Imiev is available in Australia and is way too expensive at AU$60K.
     
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