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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Last year we took my Leaf+ and my wife's ICE on holiday from County Durham to Plymouth (7 of us including teenage kids, their friends and a grandma) and this year did it again but with two Leafs; my wife having being persuaded to go electric a few months ago. I thought I'd share our thoughts about the experience.

I should say at the outset that I'm not blind to some of the Leaf's faults (mine has had clicking in both the steering column and the drive shaft rectified this year, for example) but I do like the car very much and last year's knowledge that two recharges could be done at full chademo speed gave us confidence for two electrics this time. Perhaps the single biggest stress was agreeing to insure my son (who turns twenty in a few weeks) to drive my car and then trusting him to it as well as zap map and half a dozen key charging apps!

Choosing double-headed units, our first stop was at Burton on Trent. A BT van was just moving off and so we topped up no problem. A nearby McDonalds aided the wait for the kids. Last year the next top up was Gordano Services just south of Bristol but noting the zap map comments about Ecotricity unreliability plus us now needing two units, we made alternative plans just off the M5 nearby. However, with traffic build-up (the first Saturday of the six weeks, not a surprise) we needed a bladder stop at Michael Wood services some 20 miles north. Amazingly, one of the units was vacant and working, so my son jumped on and filled up. Great to take advantage of, but we wouldn't see the kids again until Plymouth, scary!

In the short time we were at Michael Wood, we witnessed the naivety of other newbie EV drivers. One couple was content to top up their Niro on 7kw AC (even though we explained the time this would take) and another arrived in their ID4 just after my son began his charge. They had waited an hour for a charge at the previous services, only for it to then fail on them. Although disgruntled they were just going to queue again. Of course there'll be EV disgruntlement if people think they can rely on motorway services alone, but it doesn't take much to do a bit of homework on alternatives. Anyway, their problem. We pulled off just south of Bristol and topped up just fine with Instavolt.

Both cars did the 400 miles on a warm, occasionally damp day, on two top-ups with about 25% left in the tank at Plymouth. Traffic was extremely slow from north of Bristol to Exeter (extremely) which helped consumption. With a light easterlyish wind we averaged mid 3s kwh at 70 mph and 4 plus for the final leg with heavier traffic. A word here about the pro pilot. What a joy it is in heavy motorway traffic; using it in combination with the e-pedal in queues takes so much stress out of the situation with no footwork or serious concentration needed at all.

In Plymouth our accommodation unexpectedly had a Rolec wall charger, so although it only delivered 16 amps, it catered for our needs very well. Local Plymouth public charging has improved a bit in the last twelve months but we didn't need it.

The return journey proved to be just as uneventful as the outward. A bladder stop was needed in the oldies' car so whilst at Gordano we checked out the Ecotricity units. One was out of order and the other was in use with one other car waiting. So we kept with Plan A and joined the kids at a double header in Gloucester. According to the Instavolt app this unit was quite busy throughout the day, but we were fortunate enough to charge both cars together. Birmingham was quite busy (again this was a summer Saturday, so not unexpected) but the sat nav found us the best route and our second recharge was at Alfreton in Derbyshire. Both times we charged up at just below the maximum 50kwh, so didn't wait longer than an hour at either place. We had plan Bs and Cs at both locations but because of Instavolt's reliability we never needed them (refreshment options at both also). Due to much less congestion traveling back north, the journey home was two hours quicker too. It really was completely uneventful. And all precious cargo returned safely from a great holiday, the most important thing.

So what have we learned that others might find useful or interesting? Well the first thing is that the Leaf 62 can do a 400 mile journey without throttling either recharge, and is a pleasure to drive at any speed. Both cars were identically economical on each leg with the older one (14 months old compared to 5) generally having about 3% less in the tank after each full discharge, as perhaps befits the expected battery degradation.

The other thing to reiterate is to not expect motorway services units to be reliable or plentiful enough at peak traveling time. Plan the recharge stops to be just off the main highway, with a back up too, and things should be fine. On every occasion on both journeys, things were fine for us.

But it really wasn't rocket science. Two reliable Nissan EVs and a vaguely reliable plan. Happy days.
 

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GOLF GTE PHEV
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Last year we took my Leaf+ and my wife's ICE on holiday from County Durham to Plymouth (7 of us including teenage kids, their friends and a grandma) and this year did it again but with two Leafs; my wife having being persuaded to go electric a few months ago. I thought I'd share our thoughts about the experience.

I should say at the outset that I'm not blind to some of the Leaf's faults (mine has had clicking in both the steering column and the drive shaft rectified this year, for example) but I do like the car very much and last year's knowledge that two recharges could be done at full chademo speed gave us confidence for two electrics this time. Perhaps the single biggest stress was agreeing to insure my son (who turns twenty in a few weeks) to drive my car and then trusting him to it as well as zap map and half a dozen key charging apps!

Choosing double-headed units, our first stop was at Burton on Trent. A BT van was just moving off and so we topped up no problem. A nearby McDonalds aided the wait for the kids. Last year the next top up was Gordano Services just south of Bristol but noting the zap map comments about Ecotricity unreliability plus us now needing two units, we made alternative plans just off the M5 nearby. However, with traffic build-up (the first Saturday of the six weeks, not a surprise) we needed a bladder stop at Michael Wood services some 20 miles north. Amazingly, one of the units was vacant and working, so my son jumped on and filled up. Great to take advantage of, but we wouldn't see the kids again until Plymouth, scary!

In the short time we were at Michael Wood, we witnessed the naivety of other newbie EV drivers. One couple was content to top up their Niro on 7kw AC (even though we explained the time this would take) and another arrived in their ID4 just after my son began his charge. They had waited an hour for a charge at the previous services, only for it to then fail on them. Although disgruntled they were just going to queue again. Of course there'll be EV disgruntlement if people think they can rely on motorway services alone, but it doesn't take much to do a bit of homework on alternatives. Anyway, their problem. We pulled off just south of Bristol and topped up just fine with Instavolt.

Both cars did the 400 miles on a warm, occasionally damp day, on two top-ups with about 25% left in the tank at Plymouth. Traffic was extremely slow from north of Bristol to Exeter (extremely) which helped consumption. With a light easterlyish wind we averaged mid 3s kwh at 70 mph and 4 plus for the final leg with heavier traffic. A word here about the pro pilot. What a joy it is in heavy motorway traffic; using it in combination with the e-pedal in queues takes so much stress out of the situation with no footwork or serious concentration needed at all.

In Plymouth our accommodation unexpectedly had a Rolec wall charger, so although it only delivered 16 amps, it catered for our needs very well. Local Plymouth public charging has improved a bit in the last twelve months but we didn't need it.

The return journey proved to be just as uneventful as the outward. A bladder stop was needed in the oldies' car so whilst at Gordano we checked out the Ecotricity units. One was out of order and the other was in use with one other car waiting. So we kept with Plan A and joined the kids at a double header in Gloucester. According to the Instavolt app this unit was quite busy throughout the day, but we were fortunate enough to charge both cars together. Birmingham was quite busy (again this was a summer Saturday, so not unexpected) but the sat nav found us the best route and our second recharge was at Alfreton in Derbyshire. Both times we charged up at just below the maximum 50kwh, so didn't wait longer than an hour at either place. We had plan Bs and Cs at both locations but because of Instavolt's reliability we never needed them (refreshment options at both also). Due to much less congestion traveling back north, the journey home was two hours quicker too. It really was completely uneventful. And all precious cargo returned safely from a great holiday, the most important thing.

So what have we learned that others might find useful or interesting? Well the first thing is that the Leaf 62 can do a 400 mile journey without throttling either recharge, and is a pleasure to drive at any speed. Both cars were identically economical on each leg with the older one (14 months old compared to 5) generally having about 3% less in the tank after each full discharge, as perhaps befits the expected battery degradation.

The other thing to reiterate is to not expect motorway services units to be reliable or plentiful enough at peak traveling time. Plan the recharge stops to be just off the main highway, with a back up too, and things should be fine. On every occasion on both journeys, things were fine for us.

But it really wasn't rocket science. Two reliable Nissan EVs and a vaguely reliable plan. Happy days.
(y)
 

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Nissan Leaf 24 Tekna '64 reg
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I settled in for an interesting read, thinking to myself "gosh, taking 62 reg Leaf on 400 miles trip, and 2 of them!".

Then realised you are talking about modern 62 kWh Leaf's with 200 miles of range. As long as chargers don't give you problems, it should be as uneventful as driving ICE car.
 

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NISSAN LEAF 62Kwh
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Nice write up, thanks for sharing, I am the same, I always charge to 92% when on a run, the LEAF is really good for charging with it's flat charging curve.

I always have full confidence in CHAdeMO, you can always get a charge as long as the charger is working, even a slow charge is better than no charge. It might be just my perception, but I wouldn't have the same confidence with CCS.
 

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2018 Nissan Leaf 40kWh Tekna - love it
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1,530 Posts
Yes, we'll done and thanks for the write up. I too like the Leaf and have been thinking of upgrading from the 40. Took the opportunity to do some test drives with the intention of moving to a 70 - 80 kWh model. This is now on hold because the Polestar and Enyaq were way too expensive to lease and both have other but different shortcomings. The Arya is taking too long to arrive so now think I might get a short PCP on a Leaf 62. I really do like Leafs.
 

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GOLF GTE PHEV
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I watched a CarWow video comparing a Polestar & M3 standard and M3 LR and it didn't compare very favourably.
The Leafs are the best value, most reliable, and you'll be supporting British jobs.
 
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