Nissan LEAF and That Unwanted Christmas Jumper

Manchester Guardian's Adam Vaughan cheekily suggests that if you want to avoid winter range anxiety in an electric car, wear a sweater.

Published: 03-Jan-2011

One thing that's not mentioned in the hype for the Nissan Leaf – which is being touted as the first "mass market" electric car – is that you'll need a good jumper. Or at least that's what I found when I took it for a spin during the chilly pre-Christmas weather.

The Leaf is available to buy in the UK from March, costing a hefty £28,350. But from 1 January, the government will be subsidising the price of this and other electric cars to the tune of £5,000. So what's it like?

Driving the Leaf to Charles Darwin's old home, Down House, in Surrey it began to snow. But switching the heating on has an unfortunate side-effect – the battery-range display plummeted from 77 to 54 miles. You can see why people talk about "range anxiety" with electric cars, even on this one, which officially goes for 110 miles on afull charge. Fortunately, having the lights and Radio 4 on don't have such a dramatic effect.

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