Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Nissan Leaf - Picking up our test vehicle

Well, that was a bit of a disaster. I left work early to call into the Nissan dealership as arranged to pick up my Nissan Leaf for our extended 4 day trial, and when the guy went to check the car it had 8 miles range left!

Now, they would have gladly rescheduled, but they offered me a car with 40 miles range on it as an alternative to do my 20 mile trip home. It was raining hard, and I knew the last 10 miles of my journey contained a lot of hills.

But I didn't want to reschedule - these 4 days are a good 4 days for the test, so it should give us a good impression of what it is like to live with the car.

Well, the 30 minute journey home taught me what "range anxiety" really is. I tried to minimise my use of the window fan, with it regularly steaming up. I drove at about 50 mph, slowing up the traffic.

I made it home with 11 miles to spare! We put the car straight on the charger, which is of course the slowest charger, as it gets plugged into a normal socket. This seems like the worst mistake a dealer could make when handing out one of these cars - having someone instantly worried about getting home - on their first journey!

Anyway, after a few hours on charge we decided to go out for a drive. It drives really nicely, smooth and quiet, apart from the fan and splashing of the puddles. We drove around town, just to get used to the car; more the automatic gearbox than anything.

We also tried to plug it into a carpark charger, which turned out to be simple.

Overall, I'm pleased to have the opportunity, but tonight has made me much more cautious about the idea, and also more resolute that we should have the 32A / 6.6kW charger at home.

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