I’ve driven a Nissan Leaf for three years now. It was my first electric vehicle, and I’ve summarized my thoughts on owning one in the past. In the total time I have leased our Leaf, I’ve only had to replace two worn tires and fix three flat tires. The total cost of maintenance works out to under $300. (Important to note: The Leaf does NOT come with a spare tire.) There are no oil changes to be had with one of these cars, nor have their been any troubles with the electrical components. In fact, a recent article on Forbes cites a study showing that electric vehicles cost less than half as much to drive as their gasoline-powered counterparts.
The Leaf’s range still averages out to about 100 miles to a charge. Range has never been an issue for me, as I use this car to commute around town (averaging 25 miles a day at most). For longer out-of-town drives, we use my wife’s gas-powered Altima.
The Leaf is charged using the standard 120V plug, which takes about 10 hours to top up from a near empty state. In the time we have had our Leaf, we have noticed that our electricity bill has stayed roughly the same as it was before we went “electrical”. (Our electricity bill is dominated by our air conditioner – which is absolutely vital for living in Florida.)
Are there any niggles? The lack of a spare tire is one, and the slight blindspot while looking from the driver side to the passenger rear is another. All in all, I have been incredibly pleased with the Nissan Leaf. So much so that I have decided to renew my lease when the 2018 model becomes available. This new version promises better range and performance, and I look forward to taking one out for a test drive.