The method of delivery of the new all-electric Nissan Leaf was a first for me.

Every previous Leaf I had ever driven had arrived on the back of a car transporter, while this one had been driven on the road from Nissan’s press car base.

That, in itself, was a serious mark of confidence in the extended range this new Sunderland-built car has to offer.

And it proved entirely justified as the new Leaf, with its decent real-world range topping 150 miles, is the first electric vehicle (EV) I have driven without suffering the slightest hint of ‘range anxiety’, something that comes as standard with most other EVs.

A typical day was a 75-mile round trip from Witney to Stroud Farmers’ Market, followed by a 42-mile round trip from Witney to Didcot Parkway – both journeys completed with the air conditioning continuously on full blast – still leaving 40 miles ‘in the tank’ at the end of the day.

But the fact that the new Leaf can cover roughly about twice the mileage of its predecessor – itself the UK’s best-selling EV – is only the start of a remarkable story.

With more conventional sharp exterior styling than the old Leaf, this zero-emission car combines a comfortable laid-back interior and the practicality offered by a car with plenty of space for five adults and their luggage. Some of the boot space is taken up by a pair of charging cables to allow the Leaf to be charged while at home and when out and about. Nissan recommends downloading the free Zap-Map app which gives the location of more than 5,000 charging points across the UK. It sounds a lot, but many more are needed.

The first charging points I checked out in Diamond Place, North Oxford, had a BMW i3 and a Volkswagen e-Golf happily plugged in and one of those points was a dedicated car club charger in any event. Later I took a look at the points at the Oxford Thornhill Park-and-Ride site to find them also occupied.

I do not aim to delve too deeply into the technicalities of the new Leaf, which has a 148 horsepower electric motor powered by a 40kWh battery, but rest assured if you own one you will quickly learn the difference between powering up the car on a CHAdeMO 50kW rapid charger, a Type 2 Mennekes fast charger, or by charging using a 3-pin domestic socket.

Instead let us concentrate on how the car is to live with and in a nutshell it is responsive, comfortable and impressively easy to drive.

From a standing start, the instant torque – more than a Juke Nismo RS – launches the Leaf forward with a 0-62mph time of under eight seconds, should you want to drive like that.

Chances are you will not because life in the Leaf is not about sizzling acceleration, but all about smooth, easy and undemanding travel.

That is greatly assisted by the e-Pedal system that is fitted to every model. It takes some time to get used to, but once mastered it pays off handsomely with economy and a smoother drive.

Turn on the system with the push of a button and the right-hand pedal immediately develops more resistance, forcing you to be much firmer to maintain swift progress. Lift off and the braking is surprisingly strong, bringing the car quickly to a complete stop, even going up and downhill, allowing really peaceful one-pedal motoring.

Steering is light and perfect for urban driving while the ride is firm, which means the car stays composed on twisting roads and only the worst potholes make their presence known.

Standard equipment is high level, with a seven-inch colour display dominating the dashboard controlling the audio, satellite navigation and Bluetooth telephone links. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also fitted.

A neat touch carried over from the original Leaf is the ability to set the car’s climate control to activate at a particular time, warming the car up or cooling it down before beginning a journey, allowing you to save battery charge by warming or cooling the car from the mains supply while it is charging.

Standard safety features include six airbags, anti-lock braking system, electronic brake force distribution, brake assist, hill start assist, lane departure warning, intelligent lane intervention and rear cross traffic alert.

The test car also came with traffic sign recognition, blind spot warning and intelligent emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist recognition.

Zap-Map’s online calculator estimates the average cost to fully charge the car at home in the region of £5.60 ­– about 3p a mile, a quarter of the fuel cost for petrol or diesel.

Other savings that come your way include being exempt from the London Congestion Charge and qualifying for the maximum government incentive for buyers of Ultra Low Emissions Vehicles (£4,500 at present). You will also save on vehicle excise duty as from the second year onwards, electric cars incur no charge and there are potentially large savings form company car users.

Last year one in two electric vehicles sold in the UK were made by Nissan – the Leaf and the e-NV200 van – and the new car will certainly persuade more drivers to ditch the internal combustion engine.

Auto facts

Model: Nissan Leaf Tekna

Price: £31,296 as tested

Insurance group: 22 (1-50)

Top speed: 89mph

Length: 449cm/176.8in

Width: 179m/70.5in

Luggage capacity: 13.6 cu ft


50kW quick charger: 40-60min

6.6kW on wallbox: 7h 30min

10A EVSE cable on domestic socket: 21h

8A EVSE cable on domestic socket: 26h 30min

Warranty: Three years/ 60,000 miles

Dedicated EV components: Five years/60,000 miles

Battery capacity loss: Eight years/ 100,000 miles