Jim Kenzie's white knuckle ride in the Nissan Leaf

  • Scenic cityscape of downtown Toronto Ontario Canada during a sunny day

I just spent a week in the Chevrolet Volt, and swapped it today for the Nissan Leaf.

But they forgot to tell me I was supposed to tweet/blog/Facebook/YouTube/Whatever on these things, so this is my first entry in this log, and it’s about the Leaf.

They also told me not to focus on “Range Anxiety” – the blog has been there, done that.

Yeah, but not with me! It’s totally different when it’s your butt on the line.

Or the Leaf in your custody, returning on a flat-bed – probably powered by a lovely green Diesel engine.

The Leaf was almost fully charged (using The Star’s 220 volt charging station) when I picked it up this afternoon. 141 klicks on the range chart – plenty to get me home to rural Milton.

The Star’s Alex Horkay, who has been shepherding these cars, told me that in traffic, the range is better because the constant braking regenerates electricity.

The ‘CARWINGS’ map showed my home well within the concentric circles of possible range.

Off I go.

Lakeshore, Gardiner, QEW, 427 – the usual creep-‘n’-crawl.

Especially on a summer Friday afternoon.

Once on the 401 though, I noticed I had gone about 25 km, yet had used over 50 km of the range of the vehicle!

I was in ECO mode and everything, and had grown four and a half digital trees on the dashboard video game that shows how “green” a driver you are.

But I wasn’t sure I was even going to make it home!

Long story short (I know, I know; too late for that…), I did get here.

But yes, those are my white knuckles on the steering wheel in the accompanying photograph.

Along with photos of the dash warnings about how close I came.

141 km of range turned into 9, hence needing 132 km of range to travel 82.1 km.


For the iTunes download (the modern digital way of saying “for the record”) the Volt was perfect – to the kilometre – as to how far it said it would take me, and how far it DID take me.

According to the Leaf’s charging display, it’s going to take 22 hours to bring the car back to full range. (The hamsters don’t run fast enough out here to generate 220 volts…).

Good job I have another press test car available this weekend.

Interesting too that the “low energy” warning light on the Leaf’s dashboard is in the shape of a fuel pump.

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