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In a survey of some of the 6,500 plus Nissan LEAF owners now in the UK, there came out some remarkable insights into the views of the drivers of what is generally regarded as ‘Britain’s favourite electric car.

Obviously the brand new research reveals quite naturally that there are significant financial savings to be made by owners of an electric car per se, but it also manages to bring out the fact that, for many LEAF families where the Nissan marvel was its second car, living in the real world with the Nissan LEAF has turned it into the main family car.

Nissan LEAF owners love the money savedGenerally it is agreed that the cost per mile of the Nissan LEAF is around 2p, so no surprises in the 89% figure that of those surveyed who reported significant savings against more traditionally-fuelled cars. In fact one driver worked out that he had spent just £400 travelling more than 22,000 miles in his Nissan LEAF, saving around £200-250 per month.

With this money saved, LEAF drivers also revealed some of the little luxuries that they treated themselves with with the savings made – some of which are understandable (holidays and solar panelling); and some of them reflecting more the type of person that drives a Nissan LEAF (3D printer and a vintage synthesizer.)

Nissan Motor GB Limited Managing Director, James Wright, said: “Electric car ownership was a big step for motorists to take when we launched the LEAF in 2011 but we are now seeing that owners who were bold enough to take that step are reaping the benefits.

“The issues that the naysayers said would hinder ownership have not materialised and, in fact, the feeling from LEAF owners is that they would never go back to a traditional combustion engine. We were the first to bring a mass-produced electric car to market, so it stands to reason that we are also the first to prove the genuine viability of electric motoring.”

Nissan LEAF owners love their carsNO TO CONVENTIONAL FUEL

But the one fact that is possibly the most surprising is that more than one in two owners stated that they would not go back to a conventionally-powered car having tasted the ‘joys’ of a Nissan LEAF, with 64% of them saying that the LEAF is better to drive than a petrol or diesel vehicle.

When it comes to driving, 41% said that the car had positively changed the way they drive and the experience was such that 95% of them were happy to recommend it to a friend.

93% of Nissan LEAF drivers said that the car was now the main family car, even if it had been originally got as a 2nd (or 3rd) car, with reasons being given for the change ranging from practicality to simple enjoyment of driving. For one owner the enjoyment was so much that he sold his own Aston Martin to buy a second LEAF so that he and his wife wouldn’t argue about who would take the Nissan to work every day.

And that argument about having to plan ahead a lot more with an electric car was put to bed with more than a third of drivers saying that they do not have to plan journeys in advance any more than they did before, with 89% of them charging up their LEAF overnight at home.

James Wright said that sales of the British-built model were “reaching tipping point”, with ownership now doubling month-on-month. In September, 851 Nissan LEAFs were sold – the highest monthly volume in one month in the European market since launch – and so far in 2014 more than 3,600 have been sold, giving the LEAF a 64% Pure EV market share, adding to the global sales (since launch) of 147,000.
Nissan_LEAF_Owners_FINALThe Nissan LEAF is available from Nationwide Vehicle Contracts here.