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I’m the kind of person whose phone battery alert is always angrily flashing red. It drains lower and lower until I snatch a frayed charger lead from somewhere and give it a little boost. And then some kind of vital phone session — a work call, an urgent dip into Instagram— pulls it off charge and it’s hovering at 10 per cent once more.

I’m also the person who (in times before our current situation of staying at home) arrived at the petrol station after the LOW FUEL warning had been flashing for several journeys.

All of which made me nervous when I took delivery of a fully electric car last month, and put it to the test as our family wheels for a week.

The Nissan Leaf is no hybrid, got-your-back-if-you-forget-to-charge-it car — but one you need to keep topped up, or find yourself stranded in the middle of nowhere. (Or, in the case of my pre-lockdown working mum-life, stranded somewhere between home and my two-year-old or four-year-old’s schools, the station, or Tesco.)

And as the Nissan guy who dropped off my Leaf e+ Tekna showed me all its snazzy features  — (one of my favourites was the heated steering wheel: no more frozen paws on the school run) — he caveated every single one with  “of course, you’ll see they all drain the battery faster and it’ll show your range figure dropping off.”

Interestingly, other cars also seemed to pull in and wait for me to pass far more than if I’d been in my usual Fiesta. I can’t say whether this is because the whizzy-looking Leaf commanded respect, or because — even behind the wheel — I look about 14 -years-old and the other drivers were worried about their “no claims bonus”. Either way, it was useful.

My week going electric ended in tears. Not mine, I love the Leaf; only its restrictive size puts me off buying it (any playdates or future sprogs just won’t fit in its back seats). But my toddler actually sobbed and the four-year-old curled his lip in sadness when Nissan come to pick it up again. “Mama, I don’t want to go back to our noisy car which is Bad for the World.”

Looks like our next car will have to be electric.


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