Electric is here to stay baby

I've driven an Electric Nissan Leaf for three years now, so a cynic could say I've served my penance for mother nature and that I could return to the dirty world of fossil fuel with my head held high but guess what? You can keep fossil fuels and regular trips to the garage because I'm a convert. No, Im not a tree hugger, badger campaigner, stop cutting the hedges and save the dolphin type of chap, in fact the only things I get heated about lately are Man Utds away performances and the latest Donald Trump announcements. I know, I know the latter really arent important but the former definitely is.

Actually one of the best things about the Leaf is that Donald Trump would hate it and that gives me a bit of a kick every time I switch it on. Anyway, I have a habit of digressing but I was just about to tell you I had taken on my second Leaf from Edgars Rowrah and it was the easiest decision I've ever made. Trust me I've thought longer over whether its to be a tea or cappuccino!

The new leaf has a higher power battery, not that I ever had any issues with the old one. I used to charge it three times a week overnight and send the car an email first thing in the morning to switch on the heated seats and climate control,, yes you can do that with the Leaf so no more cold mornings waiting for the windows to defrost, its all done ready for your arrival in the car a bit like an electronic concierge. Anyhow, I had a meeting to attend in Grasmere and with the A591 Lakes road still impassible it was either the diversion from Hell via the M6 or the springtime pleasures of Hardknott Pass. For those of you who have never done Hardknott and Wrynose Passes let me just say they have to be on your bucket list and preferably before you end up as a possible cardiac patient because while stunning, they aint for the faint of heart. For me it was the first time over the pass in a Leaf so I did have a little fear in the back of my mind that it could be embarrassing but I needn't have worried. About half way up the first part of the pass and it was going well but I was worried that the Leaf was holding back a little until I remembered to switch it out of Eco mode which greatly reduces the supply of power. It should be called something far more exotic though such as turbo boost or launch control because that's exactly what it did halfway up the pass. It went into launch mode causing me to pull back sharply on the power because this baby would have eaten up Hardknott and spat it out. The fabulous but sometimes hairy thing about this wonderful Pass is that rather like The Duke of York, once you've marched all the way up, you have to march all the way back down and that's where the fun really starts. The fun starts there because as regular Pass drivers know there's an awful lot of braking going down the other side and the wonderful Leaf generates electricity every time you brake, now isn't that a cool trick!

I plugged it in at Grasmere for an hour during the meeting and then set off back over the same Pass but this time having got the hang of how much electricity I was going to use, I switched on the heated seats and steering wheel and trust me the latter is a blessing to anyone with bad circulation or arthritis! I got back home with 16 miles of charge to spare and four christmas trees on the dashboard. Yes, Christmas Trees because for some reason known only to Mr Nissan the Leaf rewards you with a tree every few miles of ecological driving and four meant that I had been really kind to mother earth while having a cracking time behind the wheel.

One more thing worth noting when you are out on a journey in the Leaf is the sound system by Bose. Its quite incredible and feels so immersive that even the Blues sounded really good. Yep, the Leaf has it all and some, more tech than the space shuttle, the smoothest of rides due to there being no gear changes and some really potent power when you need it. Go Leaf Go!


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