Chris 'n' Steffie

Gaming, adventuring, DIY



Goodbye, Bulby!

The time has come for our LEAF to go back.

The GFV was £15,000. You can get the same model and same age for half of that, so, unfortunately it is not a sensible choice to keep it.
Over our 2 year ownership, it has consumed 4353kWh. At our unit rate (9p per kW), this works out to:

  • £391.77 total cost for just under 24,000 miles!
  • 1.6p per mile!

This doesn’t include any charging away from home, but we only ever used free charging points.
We would definitely have another LEAF, they are simply amazing!


LEAF running costs – year 1 (under 1.5p per mile!)

Happy birthday LEAF!


We have done 11,500 miles in it in a year. Our finance allows us to do 12,000 – so we were on the mark with our estimations!

Our level 2 (6.6kW) charger was supplied with an energy monitor, here is the readout:


That’s 1868.9kW. We pay £0.09 per kW (sometimes referred to as a unit) for our electricity. Some simple maths:

1868.9 x £0.09 = £168.20

That’s right, a year of travel in our EV has only cost £168.20. The car it was replacing cost more than that a month in fuel alone!

If we look even further, we can calculate the cost per mile:

£168.20 ÷ 11500 = £0.01463

So, what does this mean? It means that the EV has cost us about 1.5 pence per mile!


Any other costs?

  • Tax – free
  • servicing – £99 a year (required by contract, there are almost no moving parts to go wrong though!)
  • Insurance – same as any other car
  • Charging away from home – we only use free to charge sites, with lifetime subscriptions
  • MOT – exempt as the car isn’t over 3 years old (if you get an EV van – then it is ALWAYS MOT exempt)
  • Fluids – only washer fluid – no coolant, oil, or anything else that goes into an ICE (internal combustion engine)


Now we win a prize, right?

Short adventure

No Geocaches this time around. Just out for a quick walk the other day. Trying our best to do at least 10,000 steps per day.

One of the places we enjoy walking around is Savernake Forest. It’s a huge forest to explore, and only about a 20 minute drive. It’s quite a hilly route, so much so that the LEAF will consume about 35% of it’s battery on the way there, but only 8% on the return journey (we weren’t even worried the first time…)!

Not only is there a campsite, picnic area, toilets available – you can also drive on the various roads throughout the forest, making it easier to find your favourite spot.

A dinosaur footprint?
Steffie pretends to chop wood
Chris keeps a look out

We have also started to play ARK Survival Evolved, that may have bled through into our day to day lives somewhat.

Rapid charging and bike rack painting

Our local Nissan dealership has had a broken Rapid Charger for our entire ownership, recently they have had a replacement which works:

IMG_20160109_121856.jpgThis is great news as it allows us to charge quickly for free! Also, if we have an unplanned journey to make, we can swing in and get a quick charge before setting off.


On the other car, the bike rack is starting to show it’s age. Being at the back of the car, I can imagine that it takes a fair amount of abuse from salt, stones, and anything else the car can throw behind it. Some time was spend rubbing it down and giving it a new paint job:

IMG_20160116_115520You can see how rusted and tired it was looking, so a quick trip to a DIY store to buy some wire brush attachments for my cordless drill and some paint to get the job done:

IMG_20160116_115843Taking the tow ball and rack mount off were no trouble at all:

I have to lay the nuts and bolts out in order so I don’t forget where they went

The mounting plate was given a good brush before reassembly. The drill did a fantastic job of rubbing away all of the rust from the bracket, it was certainly a lot easier than doing it by hand:


I hung it up so I could prime it with some metal primer. It is supposed to help prevent rust, as is the final paint. We will see how well that does in the future. I will be happy if it lasts a couple of years – if not, it can get powder coated…


…although I should have realised that hanging it up against a fence panel was a bad idea, as it would rub the paint off! Above you can see it hanging from the garage door, where it won’t rub against anything. A small piece of the bracket was missed doing it this way, but that was easily touched up after the bracket had been mounted.


Some copper grease when reassembling to make sure that it is just as easy to remove next time.


And the final product. I tilted the 12N (black) and the 12S (grey) connections for towing upwards to make them easier to plug in and out.

I don’t think water will get trapped inside – I will check regularly to make sure that it isn’t happening. I don’t use covers for them, as they fall off and hold water inside. I spray the contacts regularly with a water repellent.

The side-by-side comparison. I think it looks a lot better – even if the latter picture was taken in the dark! Next time I might go for a satin finish rather than a gloss – although I’m sure it won’t stay shiny for long!

10,000 miles later…


We have now hit over 10,000 miles in the LEAF! It works out to 1.4p per mile!

Camping with an EV

It works!


Camping with an electric car

Soon we will be taking our LEAF on a new adventure. Camping.

We have caravanned for a long time, but only one of us has camped in a tent before. We thought taking the LEAF would be a great idea to really cut down on cost and have a cheap trip away.

Charging was priority number one. From our caravanning time, we are familiar with campsites and their infrastructure. They are fitted with a blue commando socket, the ‘brick’ charger pulls 10amps, so I found a commando socket to trailing 3 pink socket adaptor. Put the two parts together in a weatherproof container and gave it a test charge:


Works well. Hopefully it’ll work just as well on a campsite. When booking, we enquired about plugging the car into the hook ups – just to make sure that they were happy with us using them, and that the infrastructure was up to pulling a continuous load for up to 12 hours.

I’m used to sleeping on a small roll mat on the floor, this year we thought we would be a bit more comfortable:


Camp beds plus an airbed makes for a comfortable place to lay – hopefully nobody will fall off!

7kW LEAF charger has arrived!

Our 32Amp, 7kW charger has been installed for our LEAF. This means that we can charge between 2-4 hours, rather than the EVSE (brick) charger which takes 10-12.

IMG_20150410_192112Also, we are getting the hang of driving economically, as such we are now seeing 100 miles range on the GOM (guess-o-meter):


That’s 1% of battery per mile driven. Looking really good.


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