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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Picked up my brand new Nissan Leaf nConnecta last week, and here’s a breakdown of how it’s been for me initially.

I’ve been driving a Mercedes diesel since 2015, an old-style A Class a180, then a more sporty B Class b180, so I’ve been used to cars with a decent amount of power, but not a huge amount in the way of features. Mercedes have always been a great company to deal with - sterling customer service, reliability of the cars - and good follow-up care.

However, I’ve gone from driving 350+ miles per week (two kids = lots of clubs/sports, plus commuting and other general driving) down to about 120 miles per week, if that. My daily commute is a 20mile round trip, and I decided to go for an electric car - both as a means of getting into the EV life, but also to reduce operating costs - and, as a bit of a treat to myself.

After a lot of consideration and research, I decided to go for the Leaf, partly because of the various grants and deals on offer, but also because a work colleague has owned two, and highly recommended them. He’s now a Tesla 3 owner - and took me for a test drive last week - but it was out of my price range, and beyond my needs. I’ll consider one in future. I went for a test drive in an e+ Tekna, and thoroughly enjoyed it. It feels like a decent-sized car - not unlike a Ford Focus. And due to design changes in the 2018/19 models, it no longer looks like the kind of vehicle a pensioner would own. It looks modern, stylish and “young”. I opted for black pearlescent paint, which looks cool - especially with the nConnecta blue trim.

So, I signed up for a PCP deal, and the Leaf arrived last week. After signing all the paperwork, we set up my phone (touchscreen Apple CarPlay is truly fantastic and responsive), adjusted all the mirrors and my seat, and once I’d been given a decent familiarisation session with the sales rep, I headed home.

I have to say, I really love this car. It’s taking me the usual breaking-in period to become comfortable with my new driving position and the various controls etc - but that’s all perfectly normal for a new car.

The first thing I’ve noticed is that you really don’t anticipate how powerful this car can be - especially when moving off, overtaking and negotiating urban obstacles, such as parked cars or traffic calming measures. It’s a really nifty, nippy car with smooth manoeuvrability and control. A few times, I’ve put the foot down and heard the wheels screeching or struggling to keep up with the torque - but I suspect that may have been as much to do with wet surfaces than anything. It’s a comfortable drive, and often, drivers in more powerful ICE cars are left wondering how on Earth your Leaf manages to leave them standing at traffic lights or a roundabout.

The car had a full charge when I left the dealership, and my journey home (approx 10miles - roughly the same as one leg of my daily commute) seemed to use up about 12% of the charge. Admittedly, I had the heating blasting and gave it a proper run-in to 70mph and beyond to try it out.

I signed up for a Nissan Connected Services account on my Mac (the dealer advised me not to do it on my I phone), but the verification email didn’t appear until the following morning. I had a spot of trouble getting the pairing verification code from the car (it’s not terribly obvious where to get it from), but when the email came in and I logged in, then verified my VIN, I left it to do its thing. It took a couple of attempts to connect - but pretty soon the services started verifying in the app, and in all, it took about 24 hours for all of them to appear. The next morning, I remotely set the climate before I left for work - and the car was warm and toasty in the cold, frosty morning. Before I got this car, I said to my wife that if only two things worked - CarPlay and remote climate control - I’d be happy. They both work really well, so far - so I’m happy. Remote climate can be slow to send to the car from the app, so I’ve been giving it about 10mins advance setup to make sure. I’ll monitor it as I go to reduce the time and conserve energy.

I don’t have my home charge point installed yet (it’s coming soon - I’ll update on that later), so I’ve definitely experienced what I’ve heard being referred to as “charging anxiety”. By the time I’d driven to and from work for two days, I was down to about 40%, and I knew I’d need to think about charging pretty soon.

I live in Scotland, so had ordered my ChargePoint Scotland card weeks ago, and I took a friend out for a bite to eat with the intention of charging up. By the time we arrived at the vacant charging spot in Glasgow city centre, I was down to about 23%. It was a fairly painless process setting up the charge - a 22kw type 2 - and we went for a bite to eat. I was able to monitor the charging remotely on my phone, and managed to get it up to about 30% by the time we were heading home. Unfortunately, the journey home knocked another 10% off the charge, back to 20%, and I was getting worried - so I stopped at a local service station near my home and used an Instavolt CHaDeMo to fire it up to 50% in about 10mins for £2.74. The following day, I hopped along to the Glasgow Transport Museum (5mins drive from my place of work) and charged up to 70% on a Fast Charger in about 20mins. I’m reassured now, that while I’m waiting on my charge point being installed, I can comfortably charge up for free (or very little cost) at local chargers.

I’m getting into the habit of using the ePedal in slow-moving rush hour traffic, and sticking on eco mode in urban traffic where the speed limit is 20mph. Every little bit helps to conserve energy. I’m also getting used to not going mad with the heating if it’s not needed - I have the heat pack with my car, so the steering wheel heats up too, which is a treat - but I’m noticing a significant drop-off in charge when I overdo it a bit.

A few negatives are that I haven’t quite figured out how to use the lane warning controls, or the cruise control - they don’t seem terribly straightforward to activate and use, but I’ll study the manual a get into it. Another thing that’s taking a while to get used to is the change of size/shape of the car - and the general visibility, especially for parking. The all-round camera and parking sensors help with this, but I think the sensors are a bit too over-cautious, and I’m often pulling up while reversing when I probably don’t actually need to.

I reckon my charging anxiety will vanish when I have my charge point installed at home - and, it would seem that I probably only need to charge twice per week for normal commuting; once on a Sunday night, and then again on a Weds or Thu night to see me to the weekend. I may even factor in just charging at a free fast-charger once per week to reduce costs at home.

In all, I’m loving this car. It’s a smooth ride. It’s comfortable - with loads of premium features - and it feels more like a mid-range car than an EV. I’m looking forward to getting to know it better, and settling in to EV life.

I’ll update on my home charger installation when it’s done.
 

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I've had a Leaf for 14 months and your experiences match mine. It's a great first electric car. Life for you will certainly change when you get your home charger. I still get a thrill when i realise I am low on fuel and instead of having to drive to a petrol station I just walk out of the back door and plug it in. You can't describe that experience. I also love the epedal and rarely use the actual brakes. I also had a Mercedes diesel and I just had my Leaf serviced. The cost? £159 all in. This is about a third of a Mercedes service. You will also notice the range in spring summer is much improved. I get the full 150 miles during warmer weather.
 

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Propilot is a bit weird. You have to press the pro pilot button when you are at the speed you want to be at and then hit the set button on the steering wheel. Then it takes over. The steering assist isn't very smooth on mine so I have turned it off and just use it as active cruise.

Lane departure warning I turn off as there are so many badly drawn lines where I am it would have a fit. Forward collision warning seems ok. I don't seem to set off the warning unless someone does something silly right in front of me. I have seen it have a system warning once so I do wonder whether it's not calibrated quite right and that's why it's a bit odd with ProPilot too.

I find the leaf on 20c is nice and warm. Speed is more detrimental to range than anything. Above about 50mph it really falls off the efficiency scale.

The instant on of the remote climate seems to work straight away for me. The timed one does seem to need more advance warning. I usually use the heat now when I know I'm going to be leaving in the next 10 minutes or so. If it's plugged in I hear the charger clunk within about 30 seconds usually so I know it's working. Otherwise I can't tell as the heating of the leaf is very quiet. I had a zoe before and that sounded like a jet engine was taking off while it was pre heating.
 

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Great write up and welcome to the future. You won't go back to an ICE now ?
 
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Congratulations on your new LEAF, thanks for taking the time and trouble to do a write up, your experiences are useful to prospective new adopters who are thinking of taking the plunge.

Like wise I have found the 40KWh LEAF a great car, that's comfortable and reliable, a couple of tips you might want to try out:

I never use the ECO setting as it adds nothing to general economy or driving pleasure, I find ordinary drive "D" a bit too quick around town, so I always slip it into "B" mode. The simulation of engine braking help to keep within the speed limits while still giving a decent driving experience and really good economy, I keep "D" for A roads and motorways.

I don't preheat the car unless there is a frost on the car, as I drive off I set the temperature to 23°c and put the fan on level 6, after 5 minutes or so its's really warm, so I drop the temperature down to 17.5°c just to maintain the warmth and this uses very little energy. If it is wet outside I put the AC on as well to stop fogging up, but only if I have to.

When you do get around to using the Propilot, please don't use the auto steer function whilst going through roadworks on the motorway. This is because the system doesn't recognise cats eyes that tend to used at roadworks for lane management, also the lanes are narrower and the system doesn't cope well with narrow lanes. The auto steer will also pick up on white lines that have been removed as well, which can be a bit of a shock, just make sure "you" do the steering through road works and everything will be fine.

Welcome and if there is anything you need to know or are not sure about then post here or on the dedicated NISSAN LEAF 40KWh forum, there is usually somebody who can help, enjoy the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys. It’s much appreciated. I’m enjoying being a part of the forum too.

One other thing I forgot to mention was that I hadn’t quite understood the concept of the two charging inlets on the car; the Type 2 and the CHAdeMO. I had initially thought they were just two different connections - with the CHAdeMO being the faster. I now (think) I understand that the car has an on-board Type 2 charger that maxes out at 6kwph (although I was getting more like 8kwph when charging on a 22kw charge point), and the CHaDeMo is for faster charging (50kw+).

It’s definitely something people need to be aware of - because the charging times are pretty slow at 6kw, and may not get you much in a short space of time.
 

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drivers in more powerful ICE cars are left wondering how on Earth your Leaf manages to leave them standing at traffic lights or a roundabout.
Welcome to the world of EVs!

Interesting write-up, and like most of us here, you'll never want to go back to ICE.

Regarding Type 2 and CHAdeMO: The Type 2 socket is what you'll use overnight when your home charge point is installed (there are special EV tariffs that give you an ultra cheap overnight rate - 4 hours at 5p/kWh for Octopus Go - see my referral link if interested), and CHAdeMO is what you'll use at rapid chargers when on a longer journey somewhere.

There are also "destination" charge points at places like shopping centres where you might spend a while - these are mostly 7kW, and you use your own Type 2 cable that's in the boot.
 

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I got my 40kw Leaf Tekna in November 19 and being my first EV im pretty impressed so far. I was going to get a wallcharger but ive been able to use the 3pin plug charger for most of my needs. My work has Polar chargers so I can use those and theres a free charger 10 mins walk from my house (good excuse for an early Sunday morning walk).
My commute is 15 miles a day so its ideal for my needs, you just have to get used to a different style of vehicle usage.
hopefully when my smart meter is installed I can make better use of the Octopus cheap rate electricity!!
 

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Just to add, if you've not already noticed, there is a dedicated Nissan forum where you can get Leaf-specific advice and information.

Oh, and try to avoid using public tethered Type 2 charge points - these are 22kW or higher and as you know, the Leaf can only charge at 7kW on the Type 2 socket. These should be left for cars like the Zoe, which is the only type of rapid charger they can use - especially if you are going to leave the car for any length of time. These posts usually have CHAdeMO (and CCS) as well.
 

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Did you notice a big away-from-lights, motorway 50/60 overtake difference between the +62 and the 40 ?
 

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What's the battery management system like these days for the Leaf?

It was not very good on the earlier Leaf's.
I have an early LEAF 2.Zero, I have had the "RAPIDGate software fix" the 1st Rapid charge of the day is in the order of 20% SOC to 92% SOC in 45 minutes (I do this regularly and cold weather doesn't have any effect)

Let the state of charge go below 20% SOC, and the overall charge is slower but can still make 80% in 45 minutes.

On the 2nd Rapid charge of the day you can usually make 80% SOC in 45 minutes just as long as the battery temperature is below 49°c (just below going into the red section of the temp gauge)

On the 3rd Rapid charge of the day - severe RAPIDGate - basically forget it.

The LEAF 62KWh - although it has no active battery cooling; does better as the battery only seems to heat up at half the rate of the 40KWh version.

It looks like NISSAN have abandoned 100KW CHAdeMO Charging capability of the 62KWh in favour a maximum 50KW maximum charging capability, according to their latest brochure.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I didn’t notice any difference. I’m sure there will be, but it was a 30min Drive - motorway, then urban. The e+Tekna and the nConnecta pretty much perform the same as far as I can tell.
 

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Good news - the developer of the My Leaf app has just announced that he’s updating his app this weekend. Up until now it hasn’t worked with the 2019 models, but after the update it will. It logs into Nissan Connected but uses a much better front end. Specifically, there’s an obvious icon on the front page for setting the remote heating/air conditioning.
 
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