Find the answers to some frequently asked questions  about owning an EV here:

Running Costs2019-04-24T13:19:15+12:00

Driving around town the Leaf can be expected to travel 6.5 km / kilowatt hour (kWh). The kWh is the standard unit of electrical power that is sold to homes by power companies. If your power is costing typically 25c / kWh, this equates to 3.85c / km to drive your Leaf, reduced off peak rates can bring this closer to 3c / km. Compare this, for example, to a Hybrid Prius @ 12c / km, or Toyota Corolla @ 24c / km. These figures are approximations based on around town driving and petrol costing $2.29 / Litre. Servicing costs are also much lower than petrol driven cars, there is no internal combustion engine to service! See Servicing section for more details.


Using a 10 Amp or 16 Amp socket takes approximately 5 – 6 hours for a 100% charge and about 4 – 5 hours for 80% charge. If your battery still has say 50% charge in it, then it will only take approximately half these times to get to your desired level of charge.

The charging cable which comes with Japanese imported Nissan Leafs is not compliant in New Zealand and is replaced with a New zealand compliant one upon arrival. There are several options to suit different needs. We recommend this cable as a starting point.

Alternatively, a dedicated charger or 16 Amp sockets can be installed at your home by a qualified Electrician for approximately $300 – $500. Whilst you can use a standard household socket to charge, it is advisable to have an Electrician check the capability of the circuit and whether it is able to take the load of charging a vehicle. Installing a dedicated charging point directly to the main fuse board in your house can supply up to 32 Amps, at which the later model Nissan Leafs are capable of charging. This doubled charging current halves the charging times.

We recommend Lind Electrical who are based in Torbay, Auckland. Allen has many years experience as an Electrician and drives an ENV-200 and is well versed in the requirements for charging at home. Allen would be happy to give you a quote. You may contact him on 09 972 2588

Other accessories for charging are the Mini Plus Adapter which will allow you to charge from a standard 3 pin, 10 Amp plug to a 16 Amp caravan socket found at most NZ camping grounds.

When out and about, Fast DC charging is possible for the Leaf. This charges to 80% charge from flat in 30 minutes. These are growing in popularity in public places. More common are the public standard AC charge stations.

A comparison of charging types can be found in the following table:

Socket Amps kW Max charge time
Standard NZ 5 1.2 12 h
Standard NZ 6 1.44 11 h
Standard NZ 10 2.4 6 h
Caravan 16 3.6 4 h
Hardwired EVSE 30 6.6 2 h
DC Fast Charger 50 Up to 62.5 30 min

Credit: Sam Holford’s Leaf Buyers Guide v1.1, 26 December 2016

Nissan recommend that that the battery is charged to 80% as much as possible, as opposed to 100%. This will give longer overall battery life and capacity.

Driving Range2019-06-07T11:03:39+12:00

The range of the Leaf is about one third of that of a petrol car, which is not an issue because you can ‘fill up’ wherever there is a 240V 10 Amp or 16 Amp socket. These are commonly found at home, at work, at a friend’s house or your local camping ground etc.  Fast chargers are also available nation wide and can be located through the PlugShare webpage or mobile App- you can view the embedded version here. The mindset of topping up your battery whenever convenient is the way to optimise your EV driving experience.

For a 24kWh the range is 150km and a 30kWh Leaf 200km on a full charge. Under normal circumstances 120km & 160km (respectively) is more realistic. The range is influenced by:

  • driving in ECO mode and/or (B) mode versus DRIVE mode
  • using air conditioning or heating
  • urban versus motorway speeds
  • 80% or 100% charge
  • driving style

A 40kWh Leaf has a driving range of 300km, however 250km is more realistic and is a similar experience to that of the older generations. Over time, one gets better at driving efficiently by learning how to take advantage of regenerative braking and coasting down hills etc. Remembering to top up daily and planning distances is part of optimising an EV.


The battery in a Nissan Leaf is either a 24kWh, 30kWh, or 40kWh Lithium-Ion pack depending on model and specifications. The 24kWh and 30kWh battery packs are made up of 48 individual battery modules, it is not a single sealed unit. As with similar battery packs in hybrid cars, like the Toyota Prius, in the unlikely event of a problem occurring it is most commonly in a single module. They say that over this life the battery may reduce its capacity by up to 20%. Be assured however these batteries are very very reliable and it is extremely rare that they give any problems. The failure rate is less than one in ten thousand, significantly better than a petrol car!


With the lack of a petrol engine in the Leafs the servicing is mostly of a diagnostic nature. Servicing costs are less than an internal combustion engine car (ICE vehicle) because there are fewer mechanical parts to maintain and no traditional transmission etc. Servicing can be done at any EV qualified service centre that has standard modern diagnostic equipment. The servicing requirements are limited to the car’s standard parts- i.e. wheels, suspension, brakes etc. and a diagnostic check of the electrical system. Examples of regular servicing are:

Service at 12,000km, or 6 months:

  • Rotate tires
  • Inspect the following:
    • Axle & suspension
    • Brake pads & rotors
    • Drive shaft boots
    • Front suspension ball joints
    • Steering gear and linkage
    • Steering linkage ball joints

Service at 20,000km, or 12 months:

  • Replace brake fluid
  • Replace in-cabin micro filter
  • EV Battery Usage Report
  • Rotate tires
  • Inspect the following:
    • Axle & suspension parts
    • Brake lines & cables
    • Brake pads & rotors
    • Charging port
    • Drive shaft boots
    • Front suspension ball joints
    • Reduction gear oil
    • Steering gear and linkage
    • Steering linkage ball joints

A typical annual service on a Nissan Leaf is approximately $139 incl GST plus standard pricing for items such as brake / steering fluid and coolants.  The  air conditioning cabin filter (sometimes referred to as pollen filter) should also be changed regularly and these are usually and additional cost of approximately $28.

If you are in Auckland your Nissan Leaf can be serviced at Nissan New Market or Blue Cars Ltd which is based in Avondale.  To book in for a service you can call the Blue Cars team on 09 836 3159

Considerations when purchasing2019-04-24T13:39:55+12:00

There are several factors to consider when purchasing an electric vehicle. The EV industry is new in New Zealand and it is growing rapidly! The New Zealand government has a goal for 64,000 EVs on the road by 2021. From this you can guarantee infrastructure is being developed by power companies and other private organisations.

Some areas to consider when purchasing are:

How do you use your current vehicle? Commuting to work only/small journeys around town? or Longer distances more often?

Range of vehicle: Do you drive long distances (over 100km) often? or Do you commute short distances?

Costs & Savings: With the savings from running an EV compared to your current vehicle, could you put this towards hiring a vehicle for longer distances?

Charging: Do you have a mains power socket close to where you park your car? Do you need to charge quickly?

There are many more factors to consider. Please get in touch, we will be happy to answer any of your questions.

NZ Electric Vehicle Car Guide2019-05-22T13:03:35+12:00

This document has been complied by Sigurd Magnusson, Wellington, NZ. It is updated monthly. Questions, corrections, feedback to sigurdmagnusson@gmail.com or 021 42 12 08. Please share this document.

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