At Drive Green, we love the Nissan Leaf. We all know it is one of the most well built and reliable cars on the market today. But how well does it stand up to the hardships of constant use over a full lifecycle. We aimed to find out with the latest addition to our forecourt, a 2015 Nissan Leaf with 120,000 miles.
This car has worked tirelessly, day in, day out, clocking up an impressive 40,000+ miles per year. And it hasn’t exactly been charged how Nissan would recommend, with 4224 Chademo rapid charges and only 10 Level 1/2 standard speed charges.
In this article, I hope to take a look through this fantastic car and see how well it has coped with it’s hard life. We’ll take a look at the condition of the car, both in terms of it’s interior and exterior wear and tear, as well as the way it drives and any mechanical niggles. Then we’ll move on to the burning question for most prospective EV owners… What is the battery health like after a full 120,000 miles, more than most people ever put on a car of their own. Long past the 100,000 mile mark that people associate with the end of an ICE vehicles life.
Nissan is famed for it’s robust vehicles, hard wearing components, and incredible reliability. Even with out appreciation for Nissan’s manufacturing prowess, we have been genuinely taken aback by the condition of this car.
The interior has barely worn in all major areas. The seats have clearly had covers for the majority of the car’s life leaving the cloth fabric of the Acenta model Leaf in fantastic condition. The plastics haven’t faded or cracked and none of the buttons have the tell-tale wear marks of constant use. The only appreciable wear is around the driver’s cockpit, on the drivers door armrest and the central armrest.
We want to make sure this car is perfect in it’s condition for it’s next home so we will have both of these areas professionally retrimmed or restored and the interior of our high mileage hero will be back to it’s former glory.
When you cover 120,000 miles in a car over just 3 years, you tend to form a bond and respect that really shows in the cars condition. Our car’s one owner clearly cared for his Leaf as the car has no damage to speak of at all, not even a car park ding. The white paint is still vibrant and the optional Chrome Pack on this car still shines bright.
Other than a couple of slightly curbed alloys, this car could be forgiven for having 100,000 miles less.
Our Leaf has not quite reached it’s third birthday yet so it arrived to us needing a MOT and service. This gave us a great opportunity to have a look at the overall mechanical condition of the car after so many miles of use. Luckily for us, the car arrived with 4 almost brand-new tyres and everything good to go. Our high mileage hero sailed through it’s MOT and our resident mechanic commented on the great condition of the brakes in comparison to some of the lower mileage EVs out there that don’t get a chance to warm the brakes through on a regular basis.
I have now been driving this car for a few days and have not noticed anything about the way this car drives that shows it’s age. It still feels tight, and it handles great. The steering feels fresh and the car is as comfortable as it ever was.
This car is a testament to Nissan’s famous reliability. I have no reason to believe this car won’t last another 120,000 miles with another careful owner.
The Battery – What happens to an EV battery after 120,000 miles
I would imagine that a lot of readers have skipped straight to this part of the article. EV battery health seems to be the hot topic for most prospective electric car owners.
As a used electric car specialist, we are used to answering visitors concerns about older, used EV batteries.
Our experience has showed us that a high mileage car is certainly not something to be afraid of. In fact we have seen incredibly good battery health from some very high mileage cars. We are quite happy to say that mileage on an EV is almost irrelevant when compared to a traditional internal combustion vehicle.
Well I guess it’s time to put our money where our mouth is…
As with all of our Nissan Leafs at Drive Green, we can check the battery health and history of the car’s charging using the cars OBD2 communication port.
What we found was staggering.
This car has been rapid charged an incredible 4224 times. That is an amazing figure, and one that is way higher than we would normally expect for an EV in regular use. Over it’s 120,000 miles, this car has only been charged on a home or public standard charger 10 times.
If we are to believe the negative press about electric car battery life and rapid charging we would assume that this battery would be on it’s last legs.
Far from it. This car still retains an 88% state of health on it’s battery. Or in other words, 1% battery degradation per 10,000 miles. This car’s battery is still close to perfect after a huge number of miles.
To put this in perspective, at 120,000 miles, the owner of a conventional internal combustion engine vehicle may be thinking about the car as being past it’s usable lifespan. This Nissan Leaf is barely broken in and it’s battery is going to be happy to continue for a very long time yet.
Should you buy a high mileage EV?
We have always told customers at Drive Green, that mileage need not be a concern to the EV purchaser. You should look for a car that is the right price and condition for you. Mileage does not affect used electric cars in the way it does ICE vehicles.
Hopefully our experience with our super high miles Nissan Leaf can help encourage others towards a new EV for less than half the price of a new one.
Our high mileage Nissan Leaf is available to come and see on our forecourt now, and may well be under the ownership of one of our readers very soon.
We hope to keep updated on this car and to show the general public that EVs are a fantastically reliable technology and that you need not fear about batteries or long-term ownership.
This car has now been sold to one of our great customers. They hope to keep us updated as time goes on.