"After waiting almost a year, I finally took possession of my EV just last month. It is everything I hoped for and more: truly a 21st century car. If I forget to plug it in, it emails me. If it gets low on charge, it calculates a route to the nearest charging station. It has timers to charge during off peak hours and timers to pre-heat and cool the vehicle in summer and winter. If the car has been sitting in the sun for hours, I can turn on the A/C from my computer or smart phone before I leave the building. I get instantaneous feedback about my driving habits, allowing me to drive smarter, stretch my mileage and reduce my costs. The telemetry is impressive and I have access to an incredible amount of data.
Don’t believe the anti-EV noise machine out there. This isn’t a glorified golf cart. This is a REAL car, and most important to me, it’s fun to drive. My other car is a Mercedes SLK 280 hardtop convertible roadster and I know what a fun drive is. The leaf has 100% torque instantaneously and will beat my SLK off the line.
This is the perfect commuter car for me. I live in San Diego, which has ideal weather conditions for an EV and, ironically, some of the highest gas prices in the country. Instead of filling my tank for $70, I’ll be plugging in my EV in my garage for about $9. My cost is 3 cents a mile PERIOD… no oil changes, no tune ups, no transmission fluid, no air filter, no hassles. It sure beats 25 cents a mile. My EV and I now mock Big Oil."
"We've only owned our Leaf for a few weeks, so our experience is still limited. However, I wonder why another owner who uses his car 20K a year and wants to drive more than 65 m/h bought this car? Our situation seems perfect for a Leaf, as we use it to commute and do local errands averaging 25 or 30 mi/day on weekdays. Even if the battery does eventually degrade by 20% as reported in hot climates like Arizona, we'd still be okay. So we're happy so far, and with a Prius for long trips our total gas savings over our previous car arrangements offers direct energy cost of about 25 percent of what we paid when we had a Nissan van and a Corolla. And we only use 17 percent of the gas we did before. Take that Big Oil."
"I love this car. My Leaf is the most advanced mass produced vehicle currently available. Others talk about the feeling of passing gas stations in their Leaf, I love the feeling when passing 5000 miles and not needing to go in for an oil change. You're emitting zero CO2 to operate, couple that with solar at home and you're carbon neutral for transportation.
I drive 54 miles during commute hours daily, all freeway miles and I have around 20-30 miles left at the end of the day. I know I'm not the most efficient driver, but I guess the idea here is, if you use your car legally, <65mph when posted, it'll out perform the detractors' low ball stats."
"I just test drove a 2011 Leaf with 6000 miles on it. I have a 56 mile round trip commute so I asked for a long test drive since the dealership is two blocks from my work. So I drove it from the dealership to my house and back. The drive is mostly freeway miles with only one big hill and a few small ones. I put on the a/c and head lights to try to see what it could do in extreme conditions. When I left the dealership the range meter said 84 miles. When I got back to the dealership I had gone 57 miles and the battery level was all the way down and the miles indicator was flashing a low battery warning for the final 3 miles or so. I was very disappointed that the Leaf could not go 50ish miles on the freeway in ECO mode at 65 mph without completely running the battery down. I was glad I took it for the long test drive before buying it expecting to get at least 60 plus on a full charge. The ride and everything else was very good, just couldn't worry about the mileage everyday of my commute, so I didn't buy it."
"This 2013 LEAF SL is our second LEAF. We had a 2011 SL on which we accumulated 12,000 miles in two years. Yes, we are low mileage drivers. Why the upgrade? Improved range, leather interior and some other feature upgrades - such as optional Bose audio and around view monitor that uses four cameras to check out surroundings while parking.
LEAF is not for everyone. With it you can't drive from San Diego to Las Vegas. But with all of the money that you save on gas, you will be able to fly to Vegas, save time, and save money. The number one question I receive is "How far will it go?" My answer is consistent - if driving range is that important to you, this is not the right car for you. But if you fit the EV profile - daily drives total less than 60 or 70 miles (which is roughly 80 percent of the market according to various studies), LEAF is near perfect. The EPA range is 75 miles, but many drivers report the dreaded range anxiety as mileage increases, which is why I posited 60 to 70 miles above.
Annual energy cost (according to the EPA) is $500 for someone driving 15,000 miles each year. The average new car achieves 23 miles per gallon (combined) and will consume $2,550 worth of gasoline each year at current gas prices. $2,050 energy savings each year of ownership adds up to significant savings. These numbers will need to be tailored to your own annual mileage.
Pros? Time savings (no hunting for gas stations then waiting to fuel, and charging while we sleep). Reduced operating costs (no oil & filter changes, no tune-ups, no waiting for the above). Reduced dependency on oil.
Cons? Nissan could have used a better quality material for the carpet. The floor mats help, but the carpet material is cheap. If that's the only con... I can live with it.
Would I do it again? I already did!"