I love my electric car! It’s nippy and smooth to drive, all at the same time. Somehow it seems to glide effortlessly along and I can weave in and out of traffic very easily. I use it for all my local errands – family shop, trips to the gym, plus the never-ending Mum-taxi drop offs and pick ups……At night, I plug it in when I finally get home and it is fully charged the next day, ready to go.
I rarely use up more more than 30% of the battery going about my usual day, so I don’t really have any concerns about the battery life. It took a little getting used to on longer journeys into London – I learned to drive just a little bit slower to conserve the battery – although when we get our new Nissan Leaf next week, it will have a longer range and I can then really put my foot down😉. The free congestion charge and almost free parking in Westminster always make up for the extra 5 minutes in the car!
Most of all, I enjoy the engine quietness and the ‘smug value’ that comes from knowing that I am doing the right thing for my children by not adding more polluting emissions to the earth’s atmosphere. On top of that, it makes financial sense – a new car (let me say that again, a new car – I have NEVER had a new car before!) for just a little more per month than we previously paid for fuel. It’s a no-brainer for me.
An overhaul of UK car tax rules will increase the cost of motoring – but not if you’re buying a Nissan LEAF
On April 1, the system for taxing new cars in the UK, known as Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), is being radically overhauled (click here for details). The revamp will make it more expensive to run certain types of low-emissions cars – but the Nissan LEAF, the world’s best-selling electric car, will remain exempt from tax.
If you’re confused by the changes, or uncertain of what they mean if you’re considering buying a new car, here’s a quick guide.
How car tax works now
The amount of VED you currently pay is based on your car’s CO2 emissions. There are 13 VED bands: vehicles that emit between 0 and 130g/km of CO2 (think electric vehicles and certain hybrids) don’t pay any VED in their first year. After that, vehicles that emit 101-120g/km of CO2 have to pay between £10 and £30. The duty jumps from there, to at least £100 for cars that emit 121g/km of CO2 or more.
From April 1, only vehicles that produce no emissions while driving, such as the Nissan LEAF, will be exempt from VED in year one. Vehicles that produce 1-50 g/km of CO2 pay £10; those that emit 51-75 g/km pay £25. VED then leaps to £100 for vehicles that emit 76-90 g/km. From year two on, CO2-producing vehicles costing less than £40,000 pay an annual rate of £140 – with a £310 premium for cars that cost more than £40,000.
Zero emissions, zero tax
Cars that produce 0g/km of CO2 and cost less than £40,000 will remain exempt from VED for their lifetime. The fully-equipped, five-seat electric Nissan LEAF falls into that category – and it’s also exempt from congestion charges. So as well as fuel costs of as little as 2p a mile, buying a safe and reliable LEAF could save you hundreds of pounds in tax.
When it comes to fuel efficiency, the British-built Nissan LEAF remains ahead of the pack – because it uses no combustible fuel at all.
When buying an electric car it is nearly always worthwhile to get a dedicated charge point installed at home.
It’s more convenient than an ‘occasional use’ or ‘granny’ (13 Amp) charge cable because you don’t need to reel it up and put it away each time.
It will also be significantly faster because a dedicated charge point can provide more power without the risk of overheating. Also some electric cars, such as the Renault ZOE, don’t come with such a cable and buying one yourself can be very expensive (£500+).
The good news is that the installation of domestic charge points is subsidised by the UK government.
There are 3 decisions to be made when selecting the type of charge point for your car:
Tethered or Untethered
Tethered or Untethered
There is usually the choice of a ‘tethered’ cable (it is fixed to the charge point) or an ‘untethered’ cable (it plugs into and can be removed from the charge point).
Untethered has the advantage of allowing different cables to be connected (for example you can use the same charge point for a Nissan Leaf and a Renault ZOE). However, most people choose tethered because it avoids the inconvenience of connecting a cable whenever you need to charge (usually daily). It also reduces the risk of the cable being stolen.
A charge point with a tethered cable will usually cost more than an untethered one (typically about £50 more) because of the cost of its cable.
If you choose untethered you will need to use your own cable to connect to the car; it is the same cable that would be used to connect to a public charging point. It may come free with the car, for example the Renault ZOE or the Nissan Leaf with the 6.6kW charge option come with one. Otherwise you will need to buy one (we can advise you on suppliers).
All untethered domestic charge points supplied in the UK come with a Type 2 socket on the charge point, just as all public charge points now have (or at least officially should have) Type 2 sockets. Similarly all charge cables have a Type 2 plug at the charge point end.
If the cable is tethered then you need to tell the installer the type of plug you want at the car end. This will depend on the car:
Type 1 socket: Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, Kia Soul EV
Type 2 socket: Renault ZOE, BMW i3, VW e-Golf and Hyundai IONIQ
The Type 2 or ‘Mennekes’ connector is the official standard in Europe and should eventually replace the Type 1.
A dedicated charge point can provide higher powers than a typical occasional use charging cable which will run at 10 Amps, equivalent at 230 Volts to 2.3 kilowatts. The charge will take place at the highest power that both the charge point can provide and the car can use.
There are two common power levels:
16A = 3.5kW: This is the maximum charge level of the Nissan Leaf 3.3kW, the Mitsubishi Outlander and the VW e-Golf.
30A/32A = 7kW: This is the maximum charge level of the Nissan Leaf 6.6kW, BMW i3, Kia Soul EV and Hyundai IONIQ. The standard Renault ZOE can use this level, in fact anything up to 22kW.
The higher power reduces the charge time so a typical EV battery will charge in about 8 hours at 16A but in about 4 hours at 32A.
It may be best to install the highest power charge point you can afford; even if your current car can’t use all the power, the next one almost certainly will be able to.
Nissan has taken to social networking and microblogging site Twitter to announce the reveal of its next-generation all-electric vehicle.
The Japanese auto manufacturer tweeted on Friday, March 10, that the company’s all-new Nissan Leaf EV will be officially revealed in September and will go on sale before the year ends.
Nissan tweets about the official release of its all-new Nissan Leaf. A September unveiling of its new Leaf means that excited fans could possibly see the all-electric vehicle at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The design of Nissan’s all-new EV is said to take inspiration from the IDS concept. The IDS concept debuted at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show.
The Japanese auto manufacturer’s tweet specifically said that the all-new Leaf “will be globally revealed” in September. The tweet also mentioned that the vehicle will “go on sale before the end of the year.”
The current Leaf model has a range of 107 miles on a single charge. The next generation model is said to have increased mile range, possibly close to the Chevrolet Bolt EV’s range of 238 miles.
Asked if the all-new Nissan Leaf electric vehicle would be able to compete with Chevrolet’s Bolt EV at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show, Nissan research and advance engineering Vice President Takao Asami answered,
“We can get to 200 or even 300. We can.” He further added, “The question is cost.”
The technology behind of the electric vehicle will most likely be the same one on the Renaut Zoe EV. The Renaut Zoe EV debuted at the Paris Motor Show in the previous year. The electric vehicle uses a lithium-ion battery pack supplied by LG Chem who also supplied Chevrolet with the Bolt EV’s battery. The Renaut Zoe EV, however, only boasts of a humble range of 189 miles compared to the Bolt EV.
Good news for those who want to join the Electric Revolution, but prices have seemed too high. Like any new market, the Electric car market is evolving and changing. As the early buyers of a few years ago are trading in their cars, there is a growth in the stock of high quality, low mileage electric cars.
So, to meet growing demand we are now providing second hand electric cars to meet our customers needs.
Deal of the week: White 2015 Nissan Acenta 24 kWh
£500 deposit, £199.99 per month
Nissan are helping with Dealer contributions on selected cars. This deal therefore has an additional £1000 contribution from Nissan enabling you to get this terrific deal:
White 2015 plate Nissan Leaf Acenta 24 kWh with only 8000 miles on the clock.
£500 deposit, £199.99 per month payment for a 3 year PCP lease with 8,000 miles per year.
We are pleased to announce new lower-priced deals for the Nissan Leaf (from 1 March 2017) – and with free fuel! The big news is that the deal includes the supply and installation of a free home charge point.
We are able to offer a brand new Nissan Leaf at very low rates allowing you to save on motoring expenses while driving away in an affordable brand new car. It’s a spacious car so ideal for a family. If you’re spending a lot on petrol, then you can pay for the car with what you save on fuel. You get to drive a new car for free!
We are offering the Nissan Leaf Acenta and Tekna (each in 24kWh and 30kWh versions) on 3 year PCP; this stands for Personal Contract Purchase and is currently the most popular way to buy a car because of its flexibility. You put down a low deposit, pay an affordable monthly fee (less than many people spend just on petrol), and drive away a new carwith fuel included. At the end of the term you can choose to pay an optional lump sum and keep the car, or you can just give the car back and upgrade to the latest model.
It’s like a mobile phone contract, but with miles rather than minutes included.
The two versions have different sizes of battery and so have different ranges. Regarding this, Nissan says:
With an NEDC range of up to 124 miles (LEAF 24kWh) or up to 155 miles (LEAF 30kWh), it’s easily enough to cover most people’s needs.
We’d say this is optimistic and suggest that in typical use the standard 24kWh Leaf has a range of 60-90 miles, and the new 30kWh model has a range of 70-110 miles depending on ambient temperature and how you drive. Anyway, the 30kWh version clearly has a significant improvement in range and we would recommend it to most customers.
The Acenta is the mid-range model of the Leaf, the Tekna is the top-end model.
These are the current Leaf monthly prices (from 1 March):
Fuel Included Mileage
The other terms are as follows:
You pay a deposit of £999 when you order.
Fuel included: you get 10,000 miles of free electricity over the term (this is at the Economy 7 rate though you are not required to switch to Economy 7).
You get free road tax and congestion charge exemption.
Nissan will arrange installation of a free home charge point.
You get free telephone and email support.
The standard colour is Solid Red (metallic paint adds about £17 per month – contact us for details).
The prices include the battery.
If you were to go over the agreed mileage you would pay excess mileage of about 10p/mile.
Coverage: We have bases and suppliers in Milton Keynes, St Albans, Northampton, Bedford and Leicester allowing us to supply all around the Midlands (including London, Luton, Oxford, Rugby, Kettering, Coventry, Nottingham and Birmingham). However we can deliver via Nissan Retail Group dealerships all around the country – just contact us for details.
Europe began 2017 with solid growth of plug-in electric car sales, up 31% year-over-year according to the EV Sales Blog report. In total, roughly 19,000 units were sold, which is not only the best January ever, but also one of the better months ever.
Renault ZOE took an early lead with 2,602 sales (up 80 percent) after securing 1st place in 2016.
In second place was the BMW i3 (1,818), which gives us one way to compare sales of different battery sizes. Renault is seeing better sales of the new 41-kWh ZOE, while i3 continues to sell the 33-kWh i3. Obviously, these cars are quite different, but with EVs, range does matter. And, if BEV sales are so tightly connected to battery pack capacity/range and price, we are eager to see the Opel Ampera-e later this year.
Nissan LEAF keeps seeing strong sales in Europe, taking 3rd place in January with 1,386 sales (up 29%). This EV’s battery increase – from 24 kWh to 30 kWh – wasn’t all that dramatic, and the Japanese manufacturer needs to do more soon. The top three BEVs sold in Europe totaled 5,806 units, which was 30.5 percent of all plug-in car sales. Tesla sold some 819 Model S (#7) and 586 Model X (#11) EVs.
THE Taxi Centre – one of the UK’s leading suppliers of cars to the taxi industry – has taken delivery of its first batch of 100 percent electric Nissan LEAFs as it predicts a major surge in demand for the market-leading model during 2017.
The Glasgow-based company – part of Vertu Motors plc – has taken an initial batch of 15 LEAFs but forecasts making more than 100 sales in the next 12 months and more than 300 the year after.
Allan McGinness, General Manager at The Taxi Centre, said:
“The LEAF has a proven track record in service with taxi operators large and small across the UK and can really help them achieve massive savings.
“We’ve been waiting for the right electric vehicle for the taxi industry and we’re convinced the LEAF is that vehicle.”
There are currently more than 200 Nissan EV taxis in operation across Britain, with dozens more on order and many taxi companies and local authorities taking steps to replace diesel and petrol equivalents with cleaner and cheaper EV alternatives.
Last year it was revealed that more than three million UK taxi miles had been clocked up in all-electric Nissan taxis. Had the same distance – equivalent to six journeys to the moon and back or 120 times around the world – been covered in the diesel vehicles the Nissan EVs replaced, it would have cost an estimated £350,000 in fuel.
However, with average running costs of just two pence per mile, covering three million miles in the LEAF would have cost around £60,000 – a massive saving of £290,000.
With zero tailpipe emissions, the model would also contribute to improving air quality in the towns and cities in which they operate.
The number of new cars registered in the UK hit a 12-year high in January, with electric vehicles taking a record share of the market, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
The industry body had warned of a slowdown in the motor trade in 2017 because of the impact of the weak pound, but there was no sign of deceleration in the first monthly numbers of the year.
Drivers registered 174,564 cars in January, up 2.9% on last year, to reach the highest monthly level since 2005, the trade body said.
Alternative fuel vehicles, mainly electric cars, such as the Nissan Leaf, increased by a fifth to reach a record 4.2% share of new vehicle registrations, beating a previous high of 3.6% in November last year.