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Adventures in a Leaf #1

I've been looking at new cars for a while - but year after year my Toyota Avensis kept clocking up the miles and passing its MOT with minor work required, until this year when it became clear that a noise from the gear box might just be it's undoing - and so it was as I headed down the M1 to see City play Tottenham a loud noise and inability to change gear spelt the end. It returned home on the back of a recovery vehicle and then went for scrap.


In looking at new cars I wanted to downsize - a big estate has been great but with usually just me in it has seemed too big. I wanted something as environmentally friendly as a car can be - I'm aware that a bike & public transport would be much friendlier - but I've grown far to used to a car getting me to where I want to be to make such a radical change. Electric power, especially within urban areas where car fumes often fill the air could make it a cleaner environment for those of us with asthma and other bronchial issues, especially if we are able to generate that electricity from sources that don't just burn fossils fuels somewhere else. 

I'd looked at Hybrids but I wasn't convinced they were really the answer, they seem to be far too reliant on the petrol/diesel side of the engine but the totally electronic vehicles were either way out of my price range (Tesla etc) or needed re-charging far too often for the sort of use I envisage. (I really want to be a be able to get to Bolton/Manchester in one run from Coventry). However the 2018 Nissan Leaf seemed to change the possibilities - just about within price range with a re-charge required after 140 miles - could that be the answer. Yet a new car would be much more than I'd ever spent on a vehicle - did I really want to make that sort of financial commitment?

In the meantime, Chris had been forced to buy a new car. Her low mileage ten year old Skoda Fabia was written off by a stolen car and so she bought a 4 year old version with a 1.2cc engine. We had used it to visit Leeds & Scotland - the Avensis at that point had a leaking radiator - and I discovered that it was lovely to drive, perhaps that was all I needed, a similar estate version and let electric vehicles catch me up in another ten years time.

The next morning the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) announced that climate change was at crucial levels, we needed to stop eating meat and stop burning fossil fuels and waiting ten years to make my contribution was too late. Stopping eating meat was easy enough we had been heading that way for a while - but did this mean that if I could buy an Electric Vehicle I should do? Such decisions won't make an enormous difference on their own, but lots of small steps can do so. I also know that it creates other resource issues to make batteries etc - but a bike still didn't feel like an option! But there were other considerations - I began to look at how much I was spending on petrol - it was a shock! If electric charging was as cheap as advertised then the money saved on petrol could justify a new car instead of second hand one.

So when the Avensis finally ground to a halt and I walked into Nissan and they had the car I wanted available and we added up the money we had in various piggy banks and and found it was enough, the decision was made - lets give this a try.


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