Here’s some thoughts on our experience;
- An experience, a challenge & an adventure!
- We very much enjoyed it, but it wasn’t always the most relaxing holiday!
- Travelling “little by little”, we’ve seen lots of interesting places that we wouldn’t otherwise have seen.
- We’ve met lots of people and we were very impressed with all the spontaneous help we’ve had when we needed it most!
- We’re very glad we took the car train from Nice to Paris and back, as it would have been too much otherwise.
- We know we’ve sold at least one LEAF with this holiday 🙂 (Callum, I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!)
- Quote from Alex: “There’s holidays and there’s adventures, in adventures things don’t always go right. This was an adventure wasn’t it?”
- Organised networks of charging points are a must! E-laad / ChargeYourCar / NI-ecars / ESB-ecars were all very good. We also really appreciated having a contact that we could phone in case or problems. (OK that’s really only since it is early days, but it was reassuring, thanks!)
- France and Scotland are sadly lacking any form of organised chargepoints. In Scotland I know they’re actively working on it. In France, there are localised networks of chargepoints both in Paris and in Nice, but nothing national. Also, the older charge points in Paris are being dismantled, and the new autolib system is no use (2hr charge max at those points)!
- Hotels have been very willing to let us charge (apart from the Chimay brewery hotel – which is very dissapointing for what used to be my favourite beer). It would be handy if more hotels would install actual charging points – or even just outside sockets (so that we can sleep with the window closed 😉 )
We really really like the car, but there’s a few things we’d like to see improved:
- Ventilation! It is impossible to have ventilation for the windscreen without also putting on the airconditioning. This just seems daft. We don’t want to be using extra battery for the airconditioning when a little outside air would do fine. This must be fixable with a software update.
- Up-to-date charge point information in the car’s navigation device. One of the chargepoint networks told us it takes between 6 and 9 months (from the time they send it to Nissan) for a new point to appear in the car. That’s just rediculous. Can we not get realtime OCPP info in the car ?
- The charge box delivered with the car is fixed at 10A. It would be really easy and very handy to make it switchable 6/10/13/16 A. We used OpenEVSE for this…
- And then, last but not least, the range. We’re used to electric cars (our Saxo has 90km realistic range), but the range on the LEAF was sometimes a little dissapointing for the battery capacity (double that of the Saxo). At 90-100km/h average, you really can’t expect much more than a 120-130km. OK, we were heavily loaded 2 adults, 2 children and 124kg of luggage (of which 23kg for cables and charging equipment!),. At 60km/h average you probably could get the announced 175km.