Replacing my Nissan Leaf

By | May 9, 2016

Still have another year to run with my Leaf, but the boy scout in me means that I’m getting ready for when I have to hand him back.
In my last article I rambled (that is the title of the blog after all) on about what worked and what didn’t regarding my Leaf ownership.
While reading it back a while later I noticed that I mostly rambled in a negative way, but today I’m a little more positive.
Of course the overall dealership/stealership experience is unchanged. They still try to sell you unneeded service and convince you that free service has some kind of “eligibility” requirement.
During my last visit for a service they suggested a list of things be performed which sounded plausible – until I checked what the scheduled service was supposed to be. Removing the “suggestions” took the potential bill from $200+ to $25. Something that was part of the service was an annual battery check, but I was told that they could only do them at certain times during the life of the car – and this wasn’t one of those times.
I didn’t bother pushing it as it just reinforced my distrust. The car will be going back next year, so it won’t really affect me anyway 🙂

Which brings me to the much more positive parts.
Honestly, the Leaf has been great fun to drive. Sitting down and trying to quantify what makes me say that got me a (not so) little list.

  • Single pedal driving – until you have tried this it doesn’t make much sense. Using the max regen setting (B-mode) really slows the car down when you lift off the go pedal and you can use this instead of the brakes when slowing down in traffic. It sounds silly but it really does make for a much more relaxing experience on a heavy traffic day.
  • Silence can’t be overstated. The quietness of the drive was eerie to start with, but now is assumed. Driving an ICE car now is a noisy experience, when I’m stuck with that again I seem to be more sensitive to all the extra sounds and smells that are part of gas powered vehicles – by the way, ICE is what we hip EV drivers call Internal Combustion Engine.
  • Charging at home. This can’t be overstated either. Leaving home each morning with a “full tank” quickly became the norm. I remember back to my truck where gassing up was a chore on the way to work. I’m so happy never to have that issue. This also applies if I use most of the battery during the day, I can come home for dinner and fill up again ready to head out for the evening.
    I have to say this really did spoil me.
  • Having a stink free garage. Now that the car in garage has no smelly fuel in it, our garage is an almost pleasant place. Obviously many people have a stink free garage, but only because they can’t fit a car in there due to all the junk. When our other car is in there you really can smell the difference. It’s also noticeable in the start up process as I can start the car before opening the garage door.

I did encounter what I would call a first world problem however.
In winter I would schedule the AC/Heater to come on about 30 minutes before leaving for work, the car would be lovely and toasty for me. This was a wonderful thing. The Leaf uses an efficient heat pump for its AC/Heater which really saves battery and range on the road, however, in an enclosed space like a garage it has limited ability to dump the cold air from inside the car.
This meant that while the inside of the car was lovely and warm, the enclosed garage was noticeably colder than outside the house, so I would shiver through the garage while unplugging before warming up in the car 🙂
As I mentioned – first world problem.

So all of those things are what I love about my Leaf. You may have noticed that none of them are specific to the Leaf itself. That really is the problem I have and also the problem that Nissan has. They really need to understand more about what people think about their car.

OK, this long ramble needs to answer the question from the start. What will I replace my Leaf with?
That is an answer in two parts.

  • The first part is easy and will also explain why I need another ramble to answer the second part.
    I’ve put my deposit/reservation down on a Tesla Model 3 or Model ☰ if you like.
  • As that will be not be delivered until the end of 2017 that means I must get something to fill the gap between anding back the Leaf and taking delivery of my Model ☰
    Hence the extra ramble.

Why the Tesla Model ☰?
The list of what I like about the Leaf really answers that. Its a list of what is good about an EV, not what’s good about the Leaf specifically. That is where Tesla shines, they make great cars that just happen to be electric.

I feel another ramble coming on about that too……