What is the difference between a Nissan Leaf and a Tesla Model S? Arguably a fair bit when you consider the technology, size and power. However in the real world they are both EVs and give you that supreme EV experience which can only leave you smiling!

Last week I was asked to babysit a Nissan Leaf. Although not the standard Blue Cars blue it was still cute, stylish and fashionable. It was brilliant! No stoping at the petrol station this week, but I better remember to plug it in at home. I took the red Nissan Leaf across Auckland as I went about my errands. It was smooth, reliable, it never stalled, nor did it struggle. Up hill or down hill. Perfect at lights beside the boy racer who thinks he is the bee’s knees in his loud, gas guzzling, beast of a car. 

Why you ask? Because take offs were smooth, quiet and powerful. There is no ’trying’ to get up to speed, all of the torque is available instantly. You press the accelerator and it just happens. No emissions, just quite clean motoring all in the name of saving the planet. 

What about range you ask? The little secret with these cars is not only is there already enough charging points to get you around Auckland; but on every little hill you can re-generate and put another couple of kilometres back into the battery – hows that for free motoring?! Here’s the technique: ensure you are up to speed at the top of the hill, when you start to go down hill stop pressing the accelerator. This takes the load off the battery and allows the motor to use gravity to assist it down hill. Going down Constellation hill on Auckland’s motorway at 80kmph (there was traffic so not able to go faster)  I added another two kilometres onto the range; and again down the Harbour bridge. Pretty cool eh?

So having travelled from Mt Eden to Browns bay and return to Mt Eden via Mt Albert I would have easily added 10km to the range – just by regenerating on the down hill. How is range anxiety even a thing? 

Having driven both the Tesla Model S and a Nissan Leaf around Auckland I honestly can’t choose my favourite. Both are beautiful to drive – they glide, they’re quite and I am doing my bit to save the planet. 

What is your next drive going to be like? 

BlueCars Nissan Leaf
Carl Barlev's Tesla Model S