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Nissan Leaf hatchback (2011-2017) - MPG, running costs & CO2

The Nissan Leaf is extremely cheap to run thanks to the promise of 124 miles of driving for £2 worth of electricity

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The low running costs associated with the Nissan Leaf are one of its biggest attractions. It enjoys London Congestion Charge exemption and there’s no road tax to pay, either. Because buyers have concerns about the cost of replacing a battery – a new one comes to nearly £5,000, minus £1,000 allowance your old battery – Nissan will lease you one for a monthly fee. This costs from £70 a month, but increases depending on your annual mileage and the length of the lease.

Nissan Leaf range & charge time

The Nissan Leaf doesn’t emit any CO2 directly, so road tax is free. And like other electric cars, it’s exempt from the London Congestion Charge. And of course, there are no petrol costs to worry about, either.

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Nissan says the Leaf 24kWh will cover up to 124 miles between charges, while the 30kWh model is capable of 155 miles. In our experience, those figures are affected significantly by weather conditions and the number of ancillary features (such as air-conditioning) that you have running.

If it’s particularly cold, the range can almost halve, while if the ventilation system is blasting out cold air on a very hot day, 70 miles may well be your maximum in the standard car. Of course, the Leaf’s range is also affected by the same factors as a regular car’s fuel economy, such as your driving style and the amount of stop-start traffic and hills you encounter.

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A full charge costs as little as £2 and Nissan estimates running a Leaf will cost around £257 in electricity over the course of a year. With a single tank of petrol costing upwards of £60, it’s an enticing prospect indeed

However, if you intend to use the many public points that can charge the Leaf up to 80% capacity in only 30 minutes, it's worth noting that many of them now charge a network subscription fee to use.

Insurance group

The Nissan Leaf falls into insurance group 22, which is substantially higher than the group 15 and 16 ratings for the Renault ZOE and more costly than the group 21-rated BMW i3, too.

Warranty

The Nissan Leaf comes with a standard three-year/60,000-mile mechanical warranty, a three-year paint warranty and 12-year anti-corrosion warranty. This can be extended to five years at additional cost. The battery warranty provides five years or 60,000 miles of cover for the 24kWh model, should it significantly deteriorate during that time. For the 30kWh version, the battery warranty increases to eight years or 100,000 miles.

Servicing

Nissan Leaf services should be a fairly straightforward affair, because there are hardly any moving parts in the car compared to a conventional petrol or diesel-engined vehicle. That means it only needs to be seen by the dealer every 18,000 miles or 12 months – whichever comes sooner.

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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