Living with the Leaf

It’s been a bit of struggle trying to get out on the open road for our trip with the latest round of lockdowns. Fortunately for us being based in Northland, we weren’t forced to isolate in our home like our friends in Auckland, so we’ve been living with the Leaf as our daily driver before we embarked on our roady.

From a 100% charge in the morning it starts off with around 170km of range. Before I got the car, I was expecting a range of around 120km, so this was a pleasant surprise. Once it’s loaded up with the five of us and the A/C turned on, it drops to around 160km when we’re on the road. It doesn’t sound like a lot but after living with the car for a week and going about our usual commutes, it’s actually been more than enough. As I get more comfortable with the car I’m finding myself confidently leaving the charger at home, instead of stashing it away in the boot every morning just-in-case.

One of the most impressive things about upgrading an EV is the difference in the road noise. It’s amazing just how much difference it makes to driving on long, gravelly roads when you don’t have the drone of the engine noise layered on top of shouting kids and my Spotify mix. The driving experience is actually really soothing after the school drop off.

I didn’t really know what to expect from an EV, other than the hype around the performance of the Model S. The Leaf has been the most fun I’ve had driving in a long time. It doesn’t look fast but the car has no trouble going up the steep hills and passing over-aggressive Ford Rangers.

We’re really looking forward to getting on the road because the car doesn’t make driving feel like a chore. We haven’t left yet but already I feel confident that between fast charges and our usual stops, range anxiety isn’t going to be that big of a deal.