This is an old post, preserved for reference.
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For the last three years, I've been driving around in a Mark I Nissan Leaf electric car, and it's been great. Three years ago, there weren't that many of them about, but they have certainly picked up. When I got it, things were a bit uncertain, there were lots of neighsayers warning the battery pack would go bad and cost half the price of the car to replace, and also that it would never be practical etc. I was pretty confident it would be fine, but to minimise the risk, I took a three year lease. At the end of that the car goes back to the leasing company and if it does need a new battery, that would be their problem.
2022 Update: I still have the 2016 Leaf that was on order when this was written. That's nearly 10 years of driving electric cars and would not go back. I don't like the styling of the current Leaf, so I am happy to stick with this one, it recently passed it's MOT with no problems, other than the tyres which were starting to show their age. They would normally we worn out by this age, but the regenerative breaking on the Leaf puts less stress on the types than traditional breaks.