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.

Nissan Leaf 2.zero 8000 miles update

I’ve now had my car just short of 6 months and have clocked up 8000 miles so I thought I’d give an update.

Money I’ve saved

I’ve spent a grand total of £23.42 on fuel since getting the car 😀 Compared to £50 every 5 days, this is quite a significant saving! Having said that… the car cost a small fortune, so it’ll be a while until I’ve saved enough on fuel to justify the cost of the car.

Long journeys

The two longest journeys I’ve completed are 120 miles driving down to Stratford to see the atletics and 127 miles to and from work + a trip out during the weekend.

The 120 miles to Stratford was the first long range journey I made. The car was fully charged when leaving home and I’d made a note of where to top up on the way home at a rapid Ecotricity if necessary. We went A1, M25, M11, with most of the A1 and M25 and M11 at a constant 63mph using adaptive cruse control. After the M11 the drive was a lot slower as we seemed to take a wrong turning so the majority of the drive from the M11 to Stratford was <30 mph.

On the way home, we had a slightly better route out of Stratford to the M11, but then found the M25 was shut before the A1, so took the M11 home. It was quite late so I decided to get home a little quicker by doing 70mph *cough* all the way up the M11 to our junction at Duxford. This cost us quite a bit on the consumption front but was a good test for the car and gave me great confidence in being able to get 120 miles out of the battery when not exactly driving conservatively. We arrived home with 120 miles on the clock + 20% left in the battery 🙂

The second slightly longer trip of 127 miles was a normal commute to and from work + a trip out to Yew Tree Alpacas. I’d driven home from work doing 70mph the whole way home as I was late. I got back to work three days later with 16% left in the battery. I was yet again impressed with the range given I wasn’t exactly driving conservatively!

Weird things I’ve found out

You can’t leave the driver’s door slightly ajar when moving the car! It jumps out of drive/reverse into park… This can also happen if you look around when reversing and the amount of pressure on the drivers seat detects no driver in the seat as mentioned by someone else in this thread I started on SpeakEV https://www.speakev.com/threads/jumped-out-of-gear-4-times-reversing-off-drive.124960/.

Scary moments!

I really like the adaptive cruise control, but you have to be aware at all times when it might “glitch”…

On the way to Stratford I was behind a lorry which was going a little slow at 55mph. I was aware there was going to be a gap in the traffic on my right after the car on my right had finished going past me, so I indicated right to pull into the lane and began to move (after the car on my right was about 1 cars length in front of me). Unfortunately the lorry in front of me had also moved into another lane and the adaptive cruise control noticed the lack of lorry and sped back up to 63mph just at the same moment I was moving into the right hand lane!! The car shot forward so fast I really don’t know how we missed the car in the right hand lane, but luckily I’d put my foot on the break to avoid the impact in front. That was a really scary moment! I realised immediately afterwards that I should have taken the car out of adaptive cruise control mode but it’s just one of those things that you can forget when moving lanes…

I’ve had quite a few of the… car in front goes into slip road on left, but adaptive cruise control is still tracking the car and when the car on the slip road slows down from 60mph to 10mph so does my car!! :/ <– not impressed face

Things I really like about the car

The 100% torque is really handy (if a little addictive)! Driving along at 60 and being able to put your foot down going to go around a lorry, not having to change down a gear to get the car to move is fantastic 🙂

I really like the drivers dashboard. There’s a massive range of displays to choose from (even if I mainly stick with the drive computer page) and it’s modern looking. I also particularly like the satnav popup on the drivers dashboard when using the Nissan satnav.

The blindspot warning is great – can’t see why all new cars don’t have this feature.

I think it takes less time each day to plug and unplug from the charge point than it did to queue and then fill up at the petrol station!

Things I’m not impressed/happy with…

I got really annoyed with the finance company. I made a large lump sum payment towards my loan and after 5 days of checking every day, the payment hadn’t registered in my online account portal. I emailed to find out if the payment had been received and when it would appear on the account and the response I got back said it could take up to the end of the month to show on my account!!

I got really angry with the response from RCI as it should not take more than 2 working days to process any payment and make it show on my account! How do I know whether I’m not being charged interest on the portion of money I’ve paid off? So I paid off the loan less than 30 days later.  I’d always planned to pay it off early (I’ve never kept a loan till the end of the agreement), but I kept it for less than 2 months in the end.

I’m finding the drivers seat gives me pains in my left leg in two points. It appears to be where the side wall of the seat contacts with my leg and there doesn’t appear to be any way to sit in the seat to avoid this. This problem is still ongoing.

Electric car charing points don’t tend to have a roof like petrol stations do, so if it’s raining and you need to plug in, you’re going to get wet 🙁  (Haha – my colleagues do laugh at this one!)

Would I buy the car again?

I’m torn on this…

Electric cars are definately the future and I won’t be going back to an ICE vehicle. However, whether I’d choose a Nissan again given the problem with the finance company, the lack of help from the dealer with the seat + the bits not working on the car when I got it – I’m not sure I would go Nissan again… That said, perhaps it was the dealer chain I bought the car from? I went to Letchworth recently to use their free charging point and the sales guy who moved the demonstrator out of the charge point spot was really helpful (helped me get my car on charge when I had issues with the charge point) + the service guy who came to look at the problem I had with one of the interior panels sorted a problem out there and then!

I had second thoughts on my car after getting it, thinking I’d trade it in for another car as soon as the 2019 Hyundai or KIA electric vehicle was released but I’ve decided to keep this one 🙂 So I guess that says it all… despite the problems, I’ve become attached to it.

Tesla Powerwall and Rolec Car Charger

Last Friday we have our Tesla Powerwall installed and at the same time the electricians installed my Rolec car charger.  I was most excited about the Powerwall as I’ll hardly use the car charger and the Powerwall has an API which means I can add extra data to my home monitoring 😀

The whole process from emailing Tesla with some questions to getting the Powerwall has taken a while, mostly because we had to get some electrics fitted in the house before asking for a quote from Tesla.

The sign-up process is quick – fill in a brief form and pay a deposit by card.  The quote process after signing up is a lot more involved… You walk around your house taking lots of pictures and writing descriptions of where you’d like the Powerwall installed.  I’d prefer they sent out someone and I think it would have taken just as long for them to walk around my house assessing the various locations and Solar equipment as it took me to fill in the form – 2 and a half hours!  If you’re in the same boat, take pictures with a phone and fill the form in later on a laptop – you’ll save yourself a lot of hassle.

Once the quote form is filled in it goes off to your local installer (mine was 50 odd miles away) who takes a look and tells Tesla how much for their part installing the Powerwall will be.  I found this bit a little odd as we’d given various locations in the house where the Powerwall could go, but we weren’t told where it would go, so ended up asking for our installers details to contact him directly.

After you’re happy with the quote (cost of Powerwall + Installation) your installer then sends a request to the DNO who decides whether you can output from the Powerwall at 3.68 or 5kW.  This bit is the slowest part in the whole process and took around 8 weeks…!  Luckily our DNO was happy for us to output at 5kW from the battery (apologies if this isn’t the correct technical speak!  I’m no good with electrickery).

Mark Cawood (of Cawoods Electricians) and his team arrived around 8:30am on Friday morning.  You don’t get a sense of the size or weight of the Powerwall until you see it in person being lifted out the back of a van!

By 1:30pm the Powerwall and charging point were installed and the Powerwall just needed configuring.  I was surprised the process of configuring the Powerwall was so complicated and problematic.  It took around 30 minutes of trying various connections (wifi, ethernet and 3G) and filling the same form in 5 times to get the Powerwall correctly configured and setup.

By 2:30pm Mark and the guys had cleared up, given us a full demo of how to use the car charger, including some useful tips on how to store the charge cable, made sure we had access on our mobiles to the Tesla app and our Powerwall data and said their goodbyes.

I’d highly recommend Mark and the team if you’re looking to get a Powerwall or solar panels installed.  They were very friendly, tidied up and did a neat job of all the cable runs, answered loads(!) of questions we had, made sure we were able to see our Powerwall on the various devices we own and made sure I knew how to use the car charger.

Since installing the Powerwall we’ve used a grand total of 23 units, far less than our normal 60 odd units.  We’ve even had two complete 100% self-powered days where the solar and Powerwall have provided 100% of our power requirements for the day.

As for the car charger – I haven’t used it yet – still reads 0.26kWh consumed!  I’m trying to spend as little as possible on fuel during the spring-summer months since charging at work is free 😉