"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."
Pros: "Quiet, comfortable, Great air conditioner for AZ, Great acceleration up to 45 mph then tappers off."
Cons: "Sun visors aren't great."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Fun car to drive. We absolutely love it. So far our leaf is averaging 220 kw usage per 1,000 miles. At our electric. rates that is $24/1,000 miles of driving. I installed 6 solar electric panels which are producing 240( ) kw/month to offset our usage. We use the leaf for all of our 80 mile or less drives. That range will be extended as they add more charging stations. Above 60mph the battery drain rate seems to increase. If you go 75 mph on the freeway the range is reduced to between 50 to 70 miles depending on how much of a reserve you are comfortable with and how many hills you encounter. We use a 240V level 2 charger. With inter-day charging we occasionally put 130 miles on our leaf for the day. My 17 year old son drives his 4 teenage friends around on the weekends. The 5 teenagers fit comfortably in the Leaf. With the back seat laid down I can fit one bicycle in with the front wheel on or 2 bicycles with their front wheels removed. Plugging the Leaf in has been a lot less effort than I had imagined. I just pop the plug cover latch from inside the car before I get out the grab the cord and plug it in as I walk by the front of the car to go in the house. Electric cars are not for everyone, but the Leaf has worked out great for our family. (just wish we had two)"
"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."
"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."
"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!"
Pros: "Near zero emissions, fun to drive, cool technology, no more gas stations"
Cons: "Cheap sun visors, manual seats, no spontaneous errands more than 5 miles out of my way."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"While not for everyone, if you meet the target market for this car; daily commute under 70 miles, temperate climate, ability to have a 240 volt/30 amp charger installed, second gas/diesel vehicle for weekends and trips, I highly recommend the Leaf as a way to reduce your dependance on BIG OIL. Range anxiety is the issue most touted by journalists and commentors as the Leaf's achilles heel. If your daily commute is 70 miles or less, you will never have a problem with running out of power. Driving dynamics are much better than I expected. Power delivery is smooth and linear, handling is suprisingly nimble and ride quality is communicative without being jarring. Interior technology is superb with high-end features that you would expect in a $35K car. Interior surfaces are acceptable, but are definately a less than ideal combination. The only disappointment in regards to the interior is the sun visors and the manual seat adjustment, both have an econo-box feel to them and are a reminder that Nissan cut some corners in the interior to deliver the Leaf at a almost reasonable price. The exterior styling is distinctive and quite practical, but I like hatchbacks and wagons. At almost the same price as my Volvo V50 wagon, I think the Leaf is a great way to support alternative fuel vehicle development without sacrificing my comfort."
"The overarching impression from the Leaf is that it's a "real car." When you see a Leaf, you know it; its front and rear are both distinctive enough to distinguish it from similarly shaped hybrids. It's not an electrified version of a gas car, it's a model all its own — not unlike the Prius.
One of the most interesting features is a small solar panel atop the SL trim level's liftgate spoiler. Don't be misled; this little thing doesn't add range — it just trickle-charges the regular 12-volt battery. I'd be willing to bet the high-voltage battery pack loses more energy when sitting parked than the solar panel collects.
Due to the nature of electric motors, the Leaf has robust torque from a standing start — enough to spin the tires before the traction control intervenes, especially when turning after a traffic signal turns green. With a zero-to-60 mph time of roughly 7 seconds, off-the-line acceleration is sprightly up to around 45 mph, and then you see the rate begin to decrease — to a degree that you must be patient if you plan to pass at highway speeds. This is the nature of an electric drivetrain with no conventional transmission and only one "speed." The top speed is electronically limited to 95 mph. I found myself speeding inadvertently — a lot. This is always a good sign in a car. It reflects low noise levels, stability and confidence, things you don't always get in typical cars, much less in efficient ones.
In normal driving, the car's dynamics are agreeable, and this is all most drivers will ever encounter. If you push the car harder, it corners differently than normal cars do. Best I can tell, it's because the 600-pound battery pack lowers the center of gravity dramatically, even compared with the Chevy Volt. The pack is under the front and rear seats entirely, which positions all that mass low and between the front and rear axles. In a normal car, when you take a sharp turn the body leans and the inside wheels get light, making the outside tires work harder to hold the car on the road. In the Leaf, when the tires begin to lose their grip, they seem to do so in unison.
I'm struck by how simple it is, and I don't mean that in a bad way. The car has a battery pack connected through associated electronics to an electric drive motor that powers the front wheels through a few reduction gears and a differential. That's pretty much it. No clutches, no conventional transmission, no secondary source of locomotion."
"My Nissan Leaf is the most AMAZING vehicle on the planet. Think about it, the motor has only 7 or 8 moving parts, No transmission, No Gas No Oil, No Trnsmission fluid, Has full torque from 0 RPM, Very Quick and will take most V6 vehicles off the line, Runs with the big dogs on the freeway, I would like to say it will easily do 100 MPH but I won't because that's against the law (just trust me on this one), I was owner of an Auto and RV Service Center and I have worked on thousands of cars, trucks and RV's and nothing has impressed me as this NISSAN LEAF. This vehicle made WORLD CAR OF THE YEAR!. Plus NO EMISSIONs.
Note: My Nissan Leaf replaced my quad cab pick-up and the wife and I took the money we would spent on gas, oil and maintenance every week and put it in a savings account and two years later we have $9,020.00 dollars in the account. Also, If I was paying for electricity it would cost me only about $35.00 per month. However, sense I have Solar and don't have an electric bill, it is all pure clean and free energy. How many miles can you drive for free? If you want to go green this is the way to do it."
Pros: "Quiet, reasonable fuel costs, Clean and Green"
Cons: "100 mile range - for long roadtrips"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"As an early adopter, we pay the price to help the movement towards sustainable clean energy options. While the Nissan Leaf has limited range (~100 miles depending on driving conditions), it is a very practical car for our daily use (~50 miles).
The interior of our 2011 Leaf is spacious with significant headroom and legroom in both front and rear seats. A few blind spots exist in the rear piers of the vehicle. Side mirrors help address these blind spots, but hope this can be more adequately adressed in future models.
To long term ownership value is to be determined, however the benefits of reduced fuel cost and use of HOV lanes during commute times are a significant immediate benefit and added value of the vehicle.
Considering the Federal tax credit, state air quality rebate, HOV sticker - there are many early adopter incentives going on currently (2011 / 2012) that helped sway our decision towards an all electric vehicle. With the rising cost of oil/gas our monthly transportation fuel cost is now ~ 1/6!!!! While initial sticker is slightly higher than an internal combustion engine or hybrid vehicle of same features, the Total Cost of Ownership (when compared to ICE or hybrid cars) is actually less (no oil/oil filter changes, no timing belt / pump change).
The long term unknown is the battery life beyond warranty and how the warranty coverage will apply should we need to envoke coverage. We are confident that Nissan will honor their 96 month 125,000 mile warranty and that the car will provide enough power/range for our daily needs.
We plan to replace our other internal combustion engine vehicle when the electric rapid charging (quick charge) infrastructure has matured in California (and hopefully all of United States), and when a future generation mass market EV (from a EV technology and thought leader such as Nissan, Toyota, Tesla or other) can provide 300 miles of range in a vehicle priced under $40,000 after incentives."