REVIEW: THE NISSAN LEAF (an electric car)

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A silver Nissan LEAF pretty much landed in my lap last October (2013).  
I definitely was not in the market for a new car, but when my neighbor practically insisted that I go to the Nissan dealership ASAP! and get a LEAF, I was intrigued to say the least. At that time, I was very sick of paying for so much gas every week, now that I moved the factory from Portland, Oregon to Atlanta. I had an hour plus commute each day in the new Atlanta Tooth Soap® factory location, and my gas car was costing me a pretty penny to keep fueled.
IT WAS THE INCENTIVES THAT GOT ME
Georgia had incentives to buy both of ONLY two electric cars available in the USA last October.
The TESLA also came with rebates and tax incentives, but at $1000 a month for a lease payment, I wasn’t interested.
The Nissan LEAF incentives offered $8000 in rebates, plus a $5000 tax credit. Basically, I put down the first payment of $325, and I drove away with my first electric car!
Actually, truth be told, I didn’t exactly drive away with the LEAF.
I had it delivered, because I’d driven my gas car to the dealership, and neither of my daughters had their licenses yet, so they could not follow me home.
My driveway that once housed just one car now looked busy, with two cars parking their business.
There were now two mobiles, one electric and one gas. I knew one of them had to go.
After 2 weeks of driving the LEAF, my gas car, a luxury sedan with luscious, chocolate leather interior, was sold within two days to the highest bidder.
There is more behind why I sold my gas car last October, but this isn’t the time or the place; let’s just say I sold the gas (hog) car because I felt guilty polluting the air with toxic emissions. 🙂
I WILL NEVER FORGET THE FIRST TIME
Since the LEAF was delivered to my home, and I did what I normally do at the Nissan dealership when I buy a car, which is to NOT TEST DRIVE (don’t have time!), I had not even sat in the LEAF prior to it being dropped off in my driveway. All I knew was that the car was electric, it was a Nissan (which I trust because I have owned a few), and it was a killer deal to be able to get one.
After being delivered, the LEAF sat in the carport for a few days, before I drove it for the first time. I was hesitant to turn it on for some reason.
I had no idea what I was in for with the Nissan LEAF.
The first time I sat in the car and turned it on, it literally felt like I was in the most elegant SPA. The cloth seat fit so perfectly. It was elegant and simplistic, just the way I like it. The chimes that turned on in the car upon starting it left me speechless.
It was like this car dropped right out of heaven and was a perfect match. EVERYTHING about the car, from the way it enveloped my body to the silent engine, to the zen-like chimes that played upon gently pressing the button to turn it on, all of it was just perfect.
I remember sitting in the car for a moment in awe.
It was like the car made up for a bad relationship I had in my life. It was just such a perfect match. Maybe I was on to a new chapter and the LEAF was leading the way?
WORRIES IN THE FIRST MONTH
If I was to stop now, the Nissan LEAF would appear to be the most perfect car in the world, with no problems whatsoever.
Beautiful people, let’s be honest.
Nothing in the universe is perfect except for the Creator, so left me fill you in on some of the subtle challenges that the Nissan LEAF brought into my life.
Firstly, driving an electric car exclusively means you worry sometimes. It is not like you can just pull off the highway and find a supercharge station when the power gets low. Yes, there are more and more of them popping up in various locations, but it is not like having access to a gas station.
The Nissan LEAF gets approximately 80-90 miles to a charge, so that means my day consists of estimating how many miles I will need to drive that day, or more like, arranging my day around the miles I have available.
When I drive to work, it takes about 45 miles total, up and back. When I get down to 30 or so miles, I get nervous.
It is not possible for me to drive to and from work, and also pick up my daughter (who lives in Baltimore now) from the airport. I run out of miles and can’t charge it fast enough when at the factory.
I have had my daughter take the MARTA, because I don’t have enough miles on the LEAF to be able to get her from the airport. If I am working, and I have to take my daughter to an appointment, I sometimes can’t do it because of not enough miles (80). Instead, I’ll work from home that day, and put in extra hours at the factory the next day.
I have seriously had to change my life to accommodate this electric car. Granted, not everyone who drives an electric car is without another alternative, but in my case, I think I am giving a true reality of what goes on when the electric car is the only mode of transportation in a small family.
Many times, if you drive up to the Tooth Soap® factory, you will see my electric car charging. I have an extension cord that trails out of the front door. I am known as the lady who is GREEN in my business complex. People laugh when they see the Tooth Soap® sign and then see the car charging in the front. Hey, at least I stay true to my mission! 🙂
THE PANIC IT BRINGS
If there is one thing I never want to happen, it’s running out of POWER! I have been most hyper-vigilant when it comes to charging the LEAF since I have had it, and especially since I sold my gas car and was depending solely on my electric happiness.
It is not like AAA can just drive up and offer a charge if you run out of power!
Maybe they will be equipping their trucks with charging devices soon, but even a SUPERCHARGE takes 30 minutes, so you can see a quick fix is not possible if one runs low on power in an electric car.
I would say that running out of power is my only and worst nightmare when I think of driving my beloved LEAF.
I even considered getting a TESLA, because I love driving an electric car so much, but only having 80-90 miles to work with daily is a stress I have accustomed myself too.
Even though the Nissan LEAF has been a challenge in my life, like with many things that bring us hardship, I have grown to love it. I have to admit that I adore this car more than any other car I have owned. I am a car person, and have been blessed to own very nice automobiles in my lifetime. None of them compare to this little electric car. I just dig it.
7 REASONS WHY I LOVE THE NISSAN LEAF SO MUCH
1. GENTLE: The Nissan LEAF is an extremely gentle machine, and I love that part of it, to be honest. Sometimes it is hard to tell if it is running. Gentle and quiet is the LEAF.
2. QUIET: The engine is so quiet, if you drive up behind a person, they will turn around and have a look of shock on their face when they see a car behind them. They are always surprised when they see the car is so close to them, without them knowing (hearing the engine). And no, I don’t sneak up on people with my LEAF as a game. 🙂
3. QUICK: The Nissan LEAF is very FAST… which is something I didn’t really care about before, but now that I have these fast electric wheels, I admit, I really enjoy it. I can get to the fast lane quickly and seamlessly in the LEAF.
4. LIGHT: Electric vehicles are much lighter than their gas brethren, so they are quicker on the road. Sometimes I feel like I am flying in my LEAF when I drive on the highway. That part surprised me actually. I somehow thought an electric car would be slow (think golf cart), but that is not the case with the Nissan LEAF.
5. SPACIOUS: The roominess is awesome! The Nissan LEAF is roomy and has a HUGE trunk! I can’t believe how much I can fit in the LEAF sometimes. And I do shlep a lot of stuff to the Tooth Soap® factory, sometimes big buckets of coconut oil that get delivered to my home when I am not at the factory to sign for deliveries. The LEAF doubles as a delivery truck sometimes!
6. NON-TOXIC: The Georgia incentives were everything when it came to me getting this car. Without them, I wouldn’t have that extra tax advantage and I would not have been able to save so much money on gas all these months. My luxury sedan was killing my wallet (and the environment) when it came to gas every week, and now I don’t have to deal with that. The LEAF is sort of non-toxic. 🙂
7.  SAVINGS: I still have not noticed any increase in the power bills, either at home or at the factory, where I do all of my charging. I have yet to charge my LEAF at a SUPERCHARGE station. I will say though, whoever has some extra cash should invest in the SUPERCHARGE stations, especially at grocery stores or malls. What a way to keep customers shopping! They would have to roam in the store for at least a half an hour, which means they are bound to buy some things!  🙂
MAINTENANCE
I am at the Nissan dealership right now, typing this, waiting for them to let me know when my LEAF will be ready.
Why am I here?
Did the LEAF crumple and break?
Is it covered under warranty?
Will I be without a car for long?
STAY TUNED beautiful people, there is more to come!
Until next time,
Gabriala Brown

P.S. I have nothing to do with Nissan other than being a lover of their fine, quality cars. I have not received any type of compensation for this post and have written it all on my own, with no prompting from anyone else but me, myself and I. 🙂

 

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