Living with a Leaf – Week 3

Its week three of driving an electric car and its time to venture a little further afield writes Geraldine Herbert

According to Nissan you can do 250 kms between charge but my own experience up to now had been quite different if you use the heated seats and air con pretty much like you normally would it depletes rapidly. Battery kilometres,  it seems are significantly shorter than real kilometres. Many mornings setting off on what is a round trip of only 7 kms to the local school would see the range reduce by up to 20 kms.

As a result I had spent the last two weeks not straying far from the safety and reassurance of a charging point. But by the third week, confidence was growing in my ability to cultivate trees on the dashboard and I was ready to embark on a longer journey.

Chief among which was a trip to Belvedere House  and back for a Treasure hunt. 120 km round trip, two adults in the front, and two children in the back in car seats  would surely test whether a Zero Emission car could really provide reliable transportation as our family car.  I could cope with the range anxiety but not actually running out of charge on the way home, I may be forced to jettison one of the kids to lighten the load and improve the range.

But before embarking on the family trip to Belveldere house I did a run to the airport. At 90kms of a round trip it should be well within the range of the Leaf and it was. For one glorious journey on the way to the airport I left with 166kms on the dash and arrived at the airport with 155 still intact, my 45km journey had taken just 11 kms in range thanks to my new eco friendly driving.  The return run burst the fantasy when I managed to use close to twice the actual range but even so it was a significant turning point.  For the first time I realised that range could be managed, unlike the fuel gauge in your car, it was only an approximation and could be extensively extended under the right conditions.

So week three was breakthrough week, we had scaled the reasonable “long distance” heights in our new family car, and returned from our Treasure hunt without having to stop to charge the car or ring for breakdown assistance.

Living with a leaf – week 1

Living with a leaf – week 2


Nissan Leaf SVE (30KWH)
Engine:  80kW(@3008-10000, 254@0-3008
Max speed:  145km/h
0-100 kph:  11.5 seconds
Emissions :  0g/km
Model price range: €21,490 (Test Car €26,390)
No of Doors: 5 doors
Euro NCAP : 5 stars
Fuel type:  Electric
Fuel Economy (combined cycle):  0 L/100km
Boot Capacity Seats up:  355 litres
Car Seats: 2 Isofix fittings in the rear
Length: 4445 mm
Width: 1770 mm
Height: 1550 mm
Wheelbase: 2700 mm


Living with a Leaf – Week 1

Living with a Leaf – Week 2


For more information check out Nissan.ie Nissan Ireland Facebook page or follow them on twitter here.

Geraldine Herbert

15th November, 2016

Author: Geraldine Herbert

Contributing Editor and Motoring Columnist for the Sunday Independent and editor of wheelsforwomen. Geraldine is also a regular contributor to Good Housekeeping (UK) and to RTÉ Radio One, Newstalk, TodayFM and BBC Radio. You can follow Geraldine on Twitter at @GerHerbert1

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