Nissan leaf 2.zero – 1 year and 16,000 miles update

I’ve now had my Nissan Leaf 2.zero for exactly one year and in that time I’ve driven 16000 miles, so it’s about time I did another update on how I’m finding the car and any issues with it.

First service
The car went in for it’s first service in February to my local dealership as I didn’t fancy a day out in Cambridge. The cost of the first year service was £149. I tried ringing around to see if there was a cheaper 1st year service but there seems to be no competition between the dealerships – all of them quoted £149.

When I picked up the car after the service, the dealership had included a page on signing up for the next three services at a fixed rate of £427 which at first glance didn’t seem too good but then I realised later that night it actually worked out significantly cheaper than paying for the next three services individually. The next three services are major, minor, major with the cost of a major being £199 and a minor £149, so £120 saving using a service plan. The only trouble about signing up to the service plan is that it’s effectively locked me in to keeping the car for another 3 years! Not sure whether that’s a wise decision or not…

Winter vs. Summer range
The range in winter is around 33% less than the summer! Whereas in the summer the GOM (guess-o-meter) was displaying 150 miles when fully charged, in the winter when the temperature is less than 5C, it’s consistently 100 miles on the GOM and I certainly wouldn’t drive it beyond 90 miles!! Having said that, my cabin temperature is set to 24C and it’s set to pre-heat in the mornings, so I don’t think 100 mile range in the winter is all that bad 😀

Pre-heating
Pre-heating the car in the mornings has meant I haven’t had to scrape the car once this winter! It’s lovely being able to walk out of the house in -4C weather without a coat or jacket and get straight into a 24C car – AHHHH 😀

Eco button
In the last week I have started to use the eco button every time I drive the car. The eco button has the effect of sucking the life out of the car but it should mean I keep my license clean! The car without the eco button enabled is a beast and makes it very tempting to prove a point to every Audi driver at roundabouts.

Even with the eco button enabled, if you really need the extra power you can press the accelerator beyond the first stopping point and it’ll give you the same power as if the eco button were disabled while the accelerator is within the “second zone” (as I term it).

Issues with the seat
In the 8000 mile update, I mentioned that I was having problems with the drivers seat and pains in the leg – this is still an issue. If I hadn’t had a holiday in October, I think I would have sold the car then and there as the pain was immense but luckily having the holiday helped to give me a little bit of a break. However I still get pain and there was a day last week where I just couldn’t find a comfortable position in the seat for the entire journey home 🙁

Drivers sun visor
I asked in two Nissan garages if there was a way to extend/pull out the sun visor and was told no, it’s by design! HAHAHAHA, it’s terrible and I’ve had to build mark 2* of my makeshift sun visor extender since I last posted a picture.

* To see mk1, see my 600 mile update

Lowest state of charge
Monday this week I got to work with only 5% remaining!! I was a wee bit nervous when the 10% warning came on to the screen and the GOM read 14 miles with 6 miles still to go to work! Luckily switching the lights on to side lights and the heating off helped but I’d rather not have a repeat of that again any time soon.

eek!

Money spent on one year of driving
Over the last year I’ve spent a grand total of £53.17 on electricity at home, £10 while charging out and about (two rapid charges in Bury St. Edmunds) and the £149 on the first year service (excluding the cost of the service plan I’ve paid up front for the next three years). £212.17 for an entire year of driving – not bad! In comparison I would have spent in the region of £3000 to drive my old car for another year.

Final notes
The paint on the leaf is TERRIBLE!! I’ve got some serious paint scratches in a year compared to only minor scrapes on my ceed in 10 years despite driving it harshly through some shrubs.

I have to keep my car cleaner than the ceed because of all the sensors! Hahaha, no longer can I wait a year until the next service to get the car cleaned!

There is more competition in the electric car market since I purchased my vehicle and I’d love to be able to afford to trade up but I’ve committed to another three years with this one – hopefully it’ll grow on me more over the coming years.

Leaf 2.Zero 600 miles In

I’ve now had my car for a week and a half and have clocked up 600 miles. It’s been an interesting week since I wrote the last post and there’s a few things I’ve noticed with the car over that time…

The drivers sun visor is seriously small compared to the one I had in my 57 plate KIA cee’d! I drive North in the morning and South on the way home from work, so the sun is always on the right side of my face. The sun visor in the Nissan Leaf 2.Zero is so short when pushed around to the driver’s door side that it doesn’t even reach my forehead and therefore is effectively useless. I’ve had to “Blue Peter” style myself a workaround (a.k.a cut a box apart and stuff it into the sun visor holding strap – see below!).

I tested out the anti-lock braking for an Audi driver on the way home at a roundabout this week… I wasn’t going very fast when the Audi driver decided to try and go across the roundabout in front of me when he shouldn’t have. I’m guessing the ALB kicked in because of the weight of the car and the fact that I put my foot right down on the brake to stop the potential collision that was about to happen.

I got the TCU fixed by the dealer last weekend, but still couldn’t get the NissanConnect website to verify ownership. Sat in my car on three occasions and waited over 10 minutes with the whirley-gig saying checking, but no luck. Ended up emailing NissanConnect on Saturday and had to send them a copy of the V5 inside page but by Wednesday evening they’d verified I owned the vehicle and the service was activated. It’s not the greatest of apps – partly because it’s incredibly slow to send / receive requests from the car – but it’s useful to see remotely how much battery charge the vehicle has left and on the odd occasion switch the heating on.

When I took the vehicle to the dealer at the weekend, I also got them to check the faulty tyre pressure monitor. They reset the monitor from the car dashboard – not exactly what I’d hoped for and I thought it wouldn’t cure it. On the way home the warning re-appeared, so the car has to go back for a new sensor in April.

The adaptive cruise control is incredibly useful – I’ve used it on every journey I’ve made this week. It did take a bit of getting used to. The main thing was wondering why the car was going slowly one morning, only to remember it was matching the speed of the really slow car infront. I have found that on my long journey to and from work, when the cars in cruise control mode there’s nowhere to rest my right foot. The gap between the accelerator and the side of the car is too small to put my foot between. It’s therefore a little uncomfortable when driving for long periods of time on cruise control as I’m not sure where to rest my foot. If I move my leg towards the chair (as if I’m sitting at a table), I feel I’m not close enough to the pedals to react in time if there was a problem.

Scheduling the car to be warm when leaving work is awesome!! Not only is the company paying for my lovely warm car by way of the free electricity, but getting in a car preheated to 23.5C when it’s 5C outside is so nice 🙂

That’s it so far this week, but if I notice anything else in the coming weeks/months – I’ll be sure to put another post up.

Price I’ve paid for petrol since mid 2008

I’ve kept track of the price I’ve paid for petrol since mid 2008. I started collecting the data when I noticed the price of petrol had risen a fair bit from when I got my first car. Here’s the full spreadsheet for the anyone who wants to look at the details, but some key facts:

  • I’ve spent over £17,610 on fuel since the 21st May 2008!
  • That’s over 14500 litres of fuel
  • The highest price I’ve paid is 140.9 pence (ouch!)
  • The lowest price I’ve paid, 85.9 pence
  • And one time I managed to fill my car with 52.63 litres of petrol (and I thought it had a 50 litre tank until then!)

(For the eagle eyed – there appears to be an anomaly on the 6th May 2012, but other than that, all the other points are correct)