The Nissan LEAF, 30,000 Km later

30,000 Km later, still driving like new

30,000 Km and still driving like new

It’s been 17 months since we first took delivery of our LEAF. Yesterday, as I was driving to work, I had to pull over and take this picture as we had just hit the 30,000 mark. For us, it’s an impressive milestone. I don’t think we’ve ever driven any of our past cars that much in such a short period of time, specially considering most of the driving on the LEAF has happened within the city. For comparison, our gas car only drove 12,000 Km during the same period, which shows that the LEAF is not a good second car like many say, but it is in fact the first car in our family.

30,000 Km also means a lot in terms of savings, for both our pocket and for the environment. Our gas car would have burned at least 2,500 liters of gasoline to drive the same distance, cost about $3,125 at the pump and thrown 6 tons of CO2 in the atmosphere. By comparison, the LEAF cost us about $470 in home electricity, without any gas, oil changes or tailpipes.

On a yearly basis, we drove 21,496 Km in 2012, using just $333 of home electricity. That’s $28 per month, or half of a Corolla gas tank, to drive almost 1,800 Km. Overall, we saved $2,150 in gas, oil changes and car insurance last year.

In terms of issues, the electric power train has been working flawlessly and I haven’t noticed any drop in battery performance or range. There were only two issues that required service under warranty and they were both unrelated to the electric power train: the parking brake actuator got stuck and had to be replaced, and more recently, the power lock actuator in one of the passenger doors also had to be replaced. Carwings remains the single most annoying thing on the LEAF. Nothing to do with the car itself, but with frequent outages in the telemetry service.

The LEAF has also proven to be a very low-maintenance car. The only item we had to replace so far was the cabin air filter, a $20 part that you can buy on eBay and replace yourself, though I only discovered that later, after having the dealer change it for me (for $70). Without any oil to be changed, regular maintenance services are only required every 12 months. They cost the same as any regular car, minus $50 because there’s no oil change! Regular 6-month services are optional but I decided to have them performed as well because they happen right after winter for us, and its always a good idea to have things checked and lubricated after all the slush, sand an salt from ‘the Ottawa roads. They are also considered a “minor” service and cost a bit less than the yearly service.

Finally and most important, the LEAF continues to be very very fun to drive! The instant torque, great acceleration, the low center of gravity (for sharp turns!) and all the quietness and comfort make it always a very pleasant ride.

On to the next 30,000!

11 comments on “The Nissan LEAF, 30,000 Km later

  1. Congratulations, Ricardo!

    And thanks for sharing your experience – I always enjoy the updates.

    (Occasional EVCO attendee & owner of ForkenSwift low-budget EV conversion.)

  2. Congrats. I live in Canada and am considering a 2013 Leaf as there is a nice price drop happening. Just a quick question, you mentioned in your interview that insurance was cheaper for EV’s. I did contact my insurers and they do not offer discounts for EV as yet. Seems only TD does. Can you tell me what insurers you used to get 20% reduction in insurance?

  3. Hi Richardo,

    I was one of first to drive the leaf as well in Canada but I could not justify the price at the time… BUT good news… my 2011 Nissan Leaf (blue) will be delivered today in Orleans!!! I ended up getting a Nissan Demo unit from Nissan Canada with 11k. My charger is installed in my garage and I made it portable to bring back and forth to my cottage… I have studied this vehicle extensively and would like to chat at some point…


    Larry Fleece
    2011 Nissan Leaf SL
    2010 Honda Pilot LX

    • Hey Larry!

      Good to hear it! Congrats on your Leaf! We can chat at the next EVCO meeting if you’re able to attend (see I’ll also be volunteering at the Sustainability Fair in Kemptville on Sunday, April 28th, 11am-3pm, North Grenville Municipal Centre — The fair is quickly turning into an “EVent” with 13 EVs confirmed. It will be a great place for you to meet other EV owners as well.



  4. Hi Ricardo,

    Are you attending the event in Chelsea on April 20 as well? Do you have more info for the Kemptville event I am looking at possibly attending. Also I was wondering where you got your roof racks? I have a Thule box for my Pilot and it will fit the leaf but I need the roof racks. btw… you work @ IBM – did you work at Cognos years ago? I worked there as well.



  5. Thanks for the info, if I go to the Kemptville event do I need to register? or where do I go with my car when I get there, is there a special area? I will try to attend. Thanks for the info on the racks. Actually I worked at Cognos years ago it was from 1988 to 1992… can’t believe it was that long… not sure if you heard of their Powerhouse product at the time it was big back then. I also have done Cognos 8 stuff as well. We have had our leaf for about a week now and its going great, we are out in Orleans and I have also used the charger at the mall. Did you hear about the $9900 Level 3 chargers being installed in the US now? huge discount… I think there is opportunity in Canada for these… Ottawa perhaps?



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