Home / Auto News / News article: Three Days With the Nissan Leaf: An Emissions-Free Adventure in Tweets - AutoGuide.com News
 |  Nov 25 2011, 2:15 PM

New car reviews are often carefully crafted pieces of prose. They’re well thought out with plenty of reflection by the author about the vehicle’s relevance, its target audience and how it stacks up against segment rivals. What they lack, however, is a sense of authenticity that comes from unfiltered opinion and reaction. Where you can get that, in 140 characters of less, is Twitter.

Recently AutoGuide.com Editor-in-Chief Colum Wood (@ColumWood) had on-loan a Nissan Leaf electric car as a press tester. If you’re a follower then you already know this as he tweeted incessantly on the car. For everyone else, we thought a journalistic experiment might help, compiling all the relevant tweets into a diary of sorts, documenting life with an electric car and running here, on the much more conventional medium of a News Blog.

See below for a look at what really goes on before a review is published and follow @ColumWood for immediate reaction on the latest car news.

 

 

DAY 1

Leaving to pick up the Nissan Leaf now. Already feeling the anxiety. Will it get me home?
21 Nov
Let the afventure (sic) begin yfrog.com/g0vcdqwj
21 Nov
From Mississauga to [removed for privacy] in the @NissanLEAF. Stopping for groceries. 27 km (17 miles) to go.
21 Nov
I’m freezing. Drove the Leaf without heat for half the drive because I was worried I wouldn’t make it.
21 Nov
@NissanLEAF keeping me healthy. Walked from grocery store to Walmart because I’m not sure the car can do it AND get me home.
21 Nov
I’m home! I made it and 18 km (11 miles) left to go on the @NissanLEAF
21 Nov
Plugged in, but is it charging? yfrog.com/nvm3pirj
21 Nov
22 km (14 mile) charge right now. 17 hours to go… Yikes. wonder if it will be ready for my 5:45 commute time yfrog.com/gyr9niqj
21 Nov
14 hours left to charge the @NissanLEAF @nissancanada At 28 km (17 miles). Wish carwings app auto-updated, although I guess this helps build excitement
21 Nov
Heading to bed @NissanLEAF needs 10 more hours to charge fully. At 48 km (30 mile) range now. Odd, it was 9.5 hrs 30 mins ago.
21 Nov

DAY 2

Ready to start my 60 km (37 mile) commute. @NissanLEAF says 2 hours left to full charge, 81 km (50 mile) range. Wish me luck.
22 Nov
I stalled leaving the house and I got one extra km of range.
22 Nov
Sweet. Actual display in the @NissanLEAF says 120 km (75 miles)! Enxiety (sic) is fading away.
22 Nov
Hope EV charge port near my office is free
22 Nov
Never been so happy to see one of these things. Let the charging begin. yfrog.com/khh4btej
22 Nov
Just figured out the #chargePoint EV charger. Took a few tries, but it’s working.
22 Nov
I’m so spoiled. Now I have to actually walk to the office… Two whole blocks.
22 Nov
Glad I did my homework. The EV charger at the Tiff Bell Lightbox isn’t on the map. The only other charger is 20 mins away at the Sheraton.
22 Nov
Whoa! Not only does the carwings app reach the Leaf 2 floors underground. Only 4.5 hours left to a full charge!
22 Nov
If the Leaf costs me $2.75 to charge and I do that twice a day, it’s probably not much less than a Prius to run.
22 Nov
Is it proper etiquette to leave the charge port once your EV is fully charged? Guess I should make room for another. 3 hrs to go.
22 Nov
My manly car guy says EVs are stupid but my inner car geek is loving the @NissanLEAF @nissancanada
22 Nov
10 minutes until a full charge of my @NissanLEAF.
22 Nov
Is it free? Or did I just have to use my credit card to get it started? yfrog.com/khixxctj
22 Nov
Odd that this spot isn’t reserved for EVs and PHEVs. yfrog.com/hsdwmjmbj
22 Nov
Carwings app says 118 km (73 mile) range and full charge. Moved the @NissanLEAF from Tiff building to @vertscope and it said 165 (102 miles)!
22 Nov 

About to start another commute in the @NissanLEAF. Much more confident in the range already.
22 Nov
Interesting! Leaf actually tells you how many more miles you’ll get my turning off the climate control.
22 Nov
The Leaf is now plugged in for the night. Current 45 km (28 mile) range and 14 hrs to charge. That is, if I don’t get the pizza delivered.
22 Nov
So preoccupied with the Leaf that I left the office without my laptop. I’ve never done that. And I’m supposed to work from home tomorrow.
22 Nov
My wife wonders if there might be long term side effects to pumping so much electricity at your home to charge a car like the Leaf.
22 Nov
DAY 3
Leaf is fully charged this morning. And we’re going to shoot video. 141 km (88 miles) of range to do it in.
23 Nov
Fascinating! They even made the engine look like a 4-cyl. #leaf yfrog.com/khw04ctcj
23 Nov
Leaf test car only has 1500 km (932 miles) on it. In three days I’ll put 400 (249). My guess is most journos don’t have a 60km/40 mile commute each way.
23 Nov
The Leaf is like a 100 mpg car that can only hold 1 mpg of gas.
23 Nov
Nissan says 21 hrs on a conventional 120v. 7 hrs on a 240.
23 Nov
My Leaf just gave me the “low battery charge” warning. No turtle yet though.
23 Nov
Returning the Nissan Leaf. yfrog.com/j2fc9gij
23 Nov
Returned the @NissanLEAF yesterday. While still only a solution for a select few I’m amazed at how REAL it is.
24 Nov

 

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  • omri

    So , eventually what do you think about it? how much is it’s real range?
    let’s not forget that it’s a new car with low miles driven.
    like all batteries in the world , with time their life gets shorter..

  • Colum Wood

    I’m currently writing up my complete review so you’ll have to wait for that. I can say that I was impressed that I actually was able to drive it daily, even though I did have to charge it twice a day. There are obviously issues of range and charge time, but even small increases year over year will make this a more realistic vehicle for a lot of people. As for the car itself, it’s a solid machine and much peppier than the Prius. As for real range, I’d say 65 miles or just over 100 km is to be expected. It is much better around town or just crawling in traffic. Highway driving really kills the range. As for the battery life issue, I’ll be interested to see how it lasts. Recently Consumer Reports did a test of a 10 year old Prius and found it’s mileage was the same as when new. Not to knock other industries, but people expect A LOT out of their cars and it seems automakers test their products to much higher extremes.

  • Laurie

    What an absurd blog. If you had a home charging station, you would not be worried about the time to charge, it easily charges in a 4-6 hours. I drive my leaf all over with no issues and in Eco mode can even drive further than the estimate mileage, PKU it is super efficient and even gains battery charge in heavy traffic – no need for a charging station at work or elsewhere if you commute is less than 60 miles. I drive my car all day and never charge until I plug it in in the evening. This car is fabulous!

  • Edward

    Colum, appears technology makes you anxious. I suggest you stick with a rotary dial land line telephone, dial up AOL, over the air TV, and 45 rpm records until you’re more comfortable with the 21st century. Just saying…

  • Varun

    @ Laurie great comment. I have driven my leaf 2000 miles in one month and i have managed to drive without range anxiety after the first week. In the first few days i tested its limits and went on zero miles on the E-meter and got nervous after i learned how much i can push it i started driving with the heat on with only like 7 miles on the meter with 7 miles to go driving 50 mph on the highway. The leaf is great and i saved $250 in gasoline compared to my higher electric bill. Best part never went to a gas station,never checked my oil level, never checked anything just drove it stress free. even raced it to 94mph a few times with a full charge and only a 10 min drive. :)

  • Varun

    this guy is an idiot for not atleast upgrading the nissan charger to a 220 volt or getting the home charger which charges from 0 to full in 7.5 hours enough time to drive 90 to 100 miles a day with a 3 hour charge in between. Seriously dude dont test a car if u dont have the proper equipment. will you test a sports car on 87 octane ???? no you wont!