93% Of Nissan LEAF Owners Use It As Main Family Car

Nissan LEAF in the UK


Nissan LEAF Pricing in UK

Nissan LEAF Pricing in UK

Nissan UK has released a ton of information obtained via surveying 6,500 LEAF owners in the UK.

Here are some highlights:

  • More than nine in 10 owners (93%) use the Nissan LEAF their main family car.
  • 64% of LEAF owners say it’s better to drive than a petrol or diesel vehicle.
  • One man even sold his Aston Martin to buy a pair of Nissan LEAFs.
  • 89% of those surveyed reported significant financial savings against more traditional (ICE) cars.
  • 95% of LEAF owners would recommend it to a friend.

For more insights from the survey, refer to the Nissan press release below:


More than half of owners say the LEAF outperforms traditionally-powered alternatives
Financial savings free up spending on everything from holidays to eye surgery
One owner sells his Aston Martin to buy two Nissan LEAFs

More than nine in 10 owners (93%) use it as their main family car, 64% say it’s better to drive than a petrol or diesel vehicle and one man even sold his Aston Martin to buy a pair of them in order to avoid domestic fights.

These are just some of the insights from a sample* of the 6,500 plus Nissan LEAF owners now in the UK.

The brand new research naturally points out the significant financial savings made by owners, but it also highlights how living with the Nissan LEAF in the real world has turned it from a second car into the main family car for many motorists.

With a cost per mile of just two pence or less**, it is understandable that the majority (89%) of those surveyed reported significant savings against more traditionally-fuelled cars. One driver calculated that he had spent just £400 travelling more than 22,000 miles in his Nissan LEAF, with many reporting savings of £200-250 per month.

With the savings made, LEAF owners have been treating themselves to little luxuries including a 3D printer, a vintage synthesizer, holidays and many installing solar panels on their homes for virtually free motoring.

Nissan Motor GB Limited Managing Director, James Wright, said: “Electric car ownership was a big step for motorists to take when we launched the LEAF in 2011 but we are now seeing that owners who were bold enough to take that step are reaping the benefits.

“The issues that the naysayers said would hinder ownership have not materialised and, in fact, the feeling from LEAF owners is that they would never go back to a traditional combustion engine. We were the first to bring a mass-produced electric car to market, so it stands to reason that we are also the first to prove the genuine viability of electric motoring.”

More than one in two owners admitted they would not go back to a conventionally-powered car, 41% said the car has positively changed the way they drive and a unanimous 95% of them were happy to recommend it to a friend.

Nine in 10 now use it as their main family car, citing everything from practicality to simple enjoyment of driving. One owner ended up ditching his Aston Martin to buy a second LEAF to avoid arguments with his wife about who would take the Nissan to work every day.

More than a third said that they do not have to plan journeys in advance any more than they did before owning an electric car, especially as 89% of them charge up their LEAF overnight at home.

Only recently, Nissan Motor GB Limited Managing Director, James Wright, said sales of the British-built model were “reaching tipping point”, with ownership now doubling month-on-month. Boasting 64% Pure EV market share, more than 3,599 cars have been sold in 2014 – almost double the volume sold in 2013 (1,812 in total). In September alone, Nissan’s all-electric family car sold a record 851 cars – more than double the number sold in the same month last year and the largest volume ever sold in one month in a European market.

Nissan’s Sunderland factory has built 24,000 LEAFs, with 147,000 sold globally since launch.


Notes to Editors

* Survey completed by 76 current owners of the Nissan LEAF. Research undertaken by Nissan Motor (GB) Limited.

** From 2p per mile is based on (i) overnight electricity costs (British Gas standard tariff unit rates for a customer paying by direct debit as at 1 May 2014, assuming seven hours of charging at the night rate and one hour on the day rate), and (ii) a range of up to 124 miles per full charge (assuming 95% efficiency). Actual consumption and range may vary due to driving style, road condition, air conditioning and other factors outside of Nissan’s control.

About Nissan in the UK

Nissan Sunderland Plant produces the Nissan Qashqai, Note and Juke and the 100% electric Nissan LEAF
Production of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles began in 2012
Total plant volume since 1986 stands at more than seven million units with 80 per cent of production exported to 97 markets worldwide
Total investment made and announced since then is over £3.5 billion
501,756 units were produced at Sunderland plant in 2013
In 2013, one in three cars built in the UK was a Nissan.
Sunderland Plant currently employs more than 6,700 people
Nissan’s European Design Centre is located in Paddington, London and employs around 65 people
Nissan’s European Technical Centre is based in Cranfield, Bedfordshire and employs around 1,000 people
Nissan’s sales and marketing headquarters in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire employs around 190 people

About Nissan in Europe

Nissan has one of the most comprehensive European presences of any overseas manufacturer, employing more than 14,500 staff across locally-based design, research & development, manufacturing, logistics and sales & marketing operations. Last year Nissan plants in the UK, Spain and Russia produced more than 695,000 vehicles including mini-MPVs, award-winning crossovers, SUVs and commercial vehicles. Nissan now offers 24 diverse and innovative products for sale in Europe today, and is positioned to become the number one Asian brand in Europe.

Categories: Nissan


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23 Comments on "93% Of Nissan LEAF Owners Use It As Main Family Car"

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We use my LEAF for most travel with the family. If I’m at work, my wife has her ICE vehicle to use. I have a hard time believing only 64% think it’s better to drive than an ICE. Smooth acceleration, no gear changes… it’s like angels are pushing the car.

I agree that the 64% seems low. I’m guessing that this was one of those multiple choice questions and probably 30% responded “about the same” with only a small number responding that the gas/petrol/diesel car is better.

Keep in mind that there is about a 1-in-20 data entry error rate on surveys like this, whether from misreading the question or just clicking the wrong button, so 95% is as close to unanimous as they get.

Tesla owners would have answered 100%.

LEAF’s EV powertrain might be smooth (which is NOT unique to LEAF, just about everything electric are similar), but its overall performance is actually lower than a similar sized family sedan in braking, handling and 0-60mph…

If we are to use the classic Marketing analogy, the LEAF (and EVs in general) have not yet “crossed the chasm” into the mainstream but the LEAF has definitely moved from the “innovator” phase to the “early adopter” phase. People who got LEAFs in 2011 were mainly “innovators” who expected to pay a premium and expected teething pains. People who get LEAFs today expect them to be cost advantageous and while willing to go through a learning curve expect the technology to work the first time.


Continuing the analogy, in order for the LEAF to enter the early mainstream it will probably need 150 miles of real range. At that point almost any family or other group with multiple cars would find the LEAF an ideal choice for at least one of the cars.

I think you are being a bit pessimistic.

In many markets the Leaf is already beyond early adopter stage.

Also, even with 80ish miles of range, the Leaf can immediately replace one car in most multi-car households, and in fact be that household main car.

With 150 miles range and a reasonable QC infrastructure, it can be the *only* car in a large proportion of single-car households.

Well, no, not according to the definition of “Early Adopter” and the early mainstream in the Crossing the Chasm high-tech product life-cycle. Yes, in the SF Bay area and LA, for example, you do see a lot of LEAFs, but even there market penetration is still at pre-mainstream levels. The thing to understand here is that the term “early adopter” in the Chasm model is different than what it has come to mean colloquially. In normal conversation we tend to use “early adopter” in the manner that the Chasm model uses for “innovator” – the first people to buy the product and who expect to pay a premium and tolerate the early teething pains. The key insight in the “Chasm” model is that it is relatively easy to get innovators to buy a new, exciting product and even to move to the early adopters who – in the Chasm definition – are still willing to try something new and not fully proven but won’t pay a premium and expect it to work the first time without problems. The challenge is moving from there to the mainstream – people who only buy after the product is well established and considered a… Read more »

I wonder how many of the 93% of owners who use the Nissan LEAF as their main family car are single.

That’s a good point. You would hope that Nissan had a control question that asked how many people live in your household.

I would guess almost none of them. But who cares? Just because the Leaf fits best as one of many cars does not diminish its role as the primary car in those cases.

I’m glad to see Nissan acknowledging this. While the Leaf cannot be my only car, it absolutely is my main car.

What’s more telling is the number of people who say they will never go back to a conventional car. The Leaf is blazing a path, exposing people to the joys of driving electric. The cat is out of the bag.

I’m back to one car (LEAF) and I have not had to borrow or rent a gas car since I got it. I do use the auto train twice a year but I would use it no matter what car I had.

“a unanimous 95% of them were happy to recommend it to a friend.”

I do not think that word means what you think it means.


The phrase “main family car” implies there is more than one car, so this is use of leaf as backed up by an ICE car. Also, two or more cars automatically classifies the respondents as mainly married, fairly well off families.

That’s my thoughts exactly. It’s great with one car being ICE and another being BEV.

We use the BEV literally every day and if we have to go on long distances (once every few months at most), we’ll take out the ICE.

The range is more than enough for So. Cal driving for a day. It’s fun to drive (acceleration from 0 is quite nice), and it’s dirt cheap to drive. A lot less guilt driving it than driving that than the ICE.

Actually holding on to a paid-off ICE vehicle, and leasing a Leaf for $200 monthly, saving over $100 monthly in fuel, along with Zero congestion tax, it’s easy for a single person to have an ICE as a backup for the rare longer trips.

The 64% thinking it drives better than an ICE car is the only statistic that surprises me. There aren’t many cars I would rather than drive than this–all of them would have a manual transmission and either be a twin turbo straight 6 or a V12 (the only other inherently balanced engines), so I’d say the Leaf drives pretty nice. So much so that stepping into a Tesla doesn’t considerably better the experience.

We love our Leaf and can’t imagine buying another ICE car.

There is “driving smoothly” and there is “driving with performance”.

LEAF isn’t exactly all that great in terms of 0-60mph, handling or braking.

Saying that Tesla isn’t much an upgrade over LEAF only indicates that you haven’t really driven a Tesla or just drives slowly.

ModernMarvelFan wrote:
“Saying that Tesla isn’t much an upgrade over LEAF only indicates that you haven’t really driven a Tesla or just drives slowly.”

I own/lease both cars and am fully qualified to speak on the issue. My wife and I drive the Leaf more miles and more often than the Tesla simply because the Tesla costs too much to let it get dinged up in parking lots everyday.

This survey doesn’t say anything.

If you buy an EV and don’t use it primarily, then what is it good for? People aren’t that stupid.

The cars that family don’t use as often are more special purpose cars such as convertibles, sports cars or pickup trucks. The main appeal of EVs are its cost of ownership, so the more miles you drive it, the better. It is no brainer.

you don’t need survey to show that.

Do you ever have anything positive to add about the Leaf? Sometimes if you can’t say something nice, you shouldn’t say anything at all. Even Thumper knows that.

I wonder if Nissan could/would make a range extending trailer (with batteries), and a fast DC port on the rear of the car to connect the trailer, for extending the drive, and make the trailer QC capable too!

“New for 2017, the Nissan Electric Caravan!” Imagine the field day for Top Gear! 🙂