One year ago I moved into a gated community brimming with electric car charging points.
Beforehand, I hadn’t given much thought to the EV explosion. As one in the majority of carless Londoners, I could offer you names of a handful of brands with electric cars to speak of and little more.
The points piqued my interest. Day in and day out, I would see normal-looking (hell, even nice-looking) cars plug in for a charge before silently slipping away.
As an eco-conscious woman with a penchant for the open road, I had to get involved.
In the end, I did so with the Nissan LEAF – Europe’s best-selling electric vehicle of 2018.
The decision was easy. I was taking a road trip from London to South Wales’ Brecon Beacons and the LEAF seemed to be the the most efficient choice to travel the 220+ miles electrically.
Before setting off, we plotted a route out on Zap Map (Nissan’s own website uses the app as a travel guide) to ensure the journey’s two hour-long breaks were at spots we could find electric charging points.
Though its impressive 200-some mile range may have got us there on a single charge we were faced with freezing temperatures, traffic and a need for bass-heavy road trip playlists – all of which drains the range.
(Planned pit stops are key to avoid range anxiety.)
Beyond that, we were as good as gone!
With bags loaded and push-button ‘engine’ revved, I began to notice the LEAF’s little luxuries. Everything in the car was smarter and slicker than expected; keyless entry, digital screens, parking cameras, bluetooth Bose audio, hands-free calling, et al. All working to make every second spent on the road enjoyable.
The LEAF is also, bizarrely, a lot of fun to drive. Silent, but deadly (if you will):
Its e-Pedal lets you accelerate, brake and come to a complete stop with a single pedal. Its Propilot (and Propilot Park) helps keep you centred, covers blind spots and even parks for you with the press of a button.
A heated steering wheel and seats don’t hurt, either.
By the time we reached Long Hare Barn we were looking up parking permit prices to support a longer-term investment.
The two-cottage site, Little Hare Barns, is part of Premier Cottages’ new collection of properties with EV Chargers which made it the perfect destination for our EV-centric trip.
The weekend was spent walking around the Beacons, cooking up a storm in the super-stocked kitchen, playing board games next to a roaring fire, making friends with locals in nearby pubs, and nursing our New Year’s hangovers in the cottage’s beautiful expanse.
We simply popped the LEAF on charge the night before we were due to drive back and motored home to the Big Smoke with ease.
I would do it all again in a heartbeat and couldn’t recommend this exact trip enough.
A week’s stay in Long Hare Barn for five starts from £592.50 and a three-night weekend from £474 (www.premiercottages.co.uk, 01873 811200)