ELECTRIC cars have made great strides in terms of performance and practicality in the few years since they first appeared on our roads.

I can recall testing one of the very first well over a decade ago which could only manage 14 miles on a full charge and had reliability issues – it suddenly discharged itself with no way to open the recharge flap meaning a call to those helpful breakdown people!

Fast forward to 2024 and my latest test vehicle was the 2024 Nissan Leaf – 150 miles plus range, 0 to 60 in a shade under 8 seconds and lots of standard kit.

Plus if you want to go even further there’s the Nissan Leaf e+ with a bigger battery, which gives a range of up to 239 miles with 214bhp compared to the standard car’s 148bhp.

Our test Leaf was in entry level Shiro trim and came with two charging leads meaning powering up via a 7kW wall box three pin home charger will take 7.5 hours. The e+ takes 11 hours while a 50kW fast charger will get the standard car’s battery from 20 to 80 per cent charge in an hour.

If you keep the battery topped up every time you park then range anxiety shouldn’t be an issue so you can enjoy the Leaf’s quiet, refined and comfortable ride and the many driving aids.

One of which is Nissan’s e-Pedal system which uses resistance from the electric motor to allow you to drive with just one pedal – without having to press the brake unless in an emergency. Once you get the hang of it the system can boost your range but if you just can’t live with it the e-pedal can be switched off for normal driving.

The Leaf also has Nissan’s ProPilot driver assistance which includes adaptive cruise control, lane assist and traffic jam assist, which can control the car in slow-moving traffic.

The standard Leaf has that 148bhp electric motor which gets its energy from a 40kWh battery while the longer range e+ has a 62kWh battery.

Every Leaf also comes with automatic emergency braking (AEB) and pedestrian detection as standard along with blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

Other standard kit on our Shiro version includes smart 17” alloy wheels, power fold mirrors, LED running lights at the front and tail lights, rear privacy glass, heated seats all round and a heated steering wheel, front and rear USB ports, adaptive cruise control, an 8” central touch screen infotainment system and 360 degree cameras plus auto lights and wipers.

After a week with the Leaf I found that regular overnight charging kept it topped up and ready to go – I even got used to the e-pedal system, completing several journeys without even touching the brake pedal.

First introduced by Nissan in 2010 the Leaf was the world’s best-selling electric car until Tesla took that title a few years later but the recently refreshed Leaf remains one of the front runners in the electric vehicle market.

Our Shiro version with optional Artic While special paintwork is £28,790 on the road while a range-topping Tekna will cost you £31,995.

For more info go to www.nissan.co.uk

By Motoring Editor Steve Howarth