Nissan Leaf – Long Distance Electric Car?
After just over 3 years as an electric car driver, with over 30,000 miles clocked up in a smart EV, I consider myself to be somewhat of an expert. Range anxiety? Been there.
Running out of charge on the motorway after an unscheduled diversion, in the rain? I’ve got the t-shirt.
So, why would I be considering going back for more EV ownership pain? Well, apart from the fuel cost savings and the environmental impact, the technology has advanced considerably since the early days, when Run Your Fleet were participants in the CABLED scheme. Back then, our prototype Run Your Fleet smart car (as seen on TV!) was only compatible with the Mennekes slow charge method, which ruled it out as a long distance electric car.
Our Electric car of Choice
Now, the world’s best- selling electric car is the Nissan LEAF, and the demonstration version currently in the Run Your Fleet car park is in Acenta spec, with a 6.6kW on board charger, and rapid charge capability. When combined with the charging stations provided by Ecotricity as part of their Electric Highway Network, this transforms the EV ownership experience, making a cross-country EV journey more viable.
Nissan UK have been kind enough to provide this LEAF on a month long demonstration basis, during which I have reacquainted myself with the pros and cons of EV ownership; from inactive charging stations (huge con) to meeting new people and answering their EV questions whilst waiting for the vehicle to charge (pro/con depending on the person). After two weeks behind the wheel, I now feel confident enough to embark on a journey from the Run Your Fleet offices in Henley In Arden, via Bewdley, to a family event in the Welsh Marches, equipped with only an overnight bag, an Ecotricity Highway membership card, the Charge My Car smartphone app, and accompanied by my girlfriend and fellow brave adventurer of the EV Highway, Sheree Jenkins.
I’ve enquired at the Talbot Bed and Breakfast in Berriew, Powys as to the availability of a plug, checked with Ecotricity that the charging stations along the way are working, got the AA on speed dial, and a glove box full of Haribo, Beef Space Raiders and Lucozade (for emergency sustenance).
What could possibly go wrong?
Find out more next week.