In the electric vehicle race between Tesla and Nissan Leaf who wins?

Cheltenham's Cleevely EV has a wealth of expertise in electric vehicles. The team considers the strengths of both vehicles in an expert review for Gloucestershire drivers.

By Emma Luther  |  Published
The servicing and maintenance of electric vehicles is much less than a petrol or diesel vehicle.

Are you torn when it comes to choosing an electric vehicle?

SoGlos caught up with Matt Cleevely, the owner of Cheltenham's Cleevely EV, to find out his thoughts on how a Tesla and a Nissan Leaf compare when they're put through their paces, as well as the overall performance of electric vehicles, so you can decide if they're right for you.

Average purchase price 

Nissan Leaf

A new Nissan Leaf ranges from £28,995 to £36,445 but there are often deals to be had on these prices.

A used or pre-owned Leaf can range in price from £8,000 to £30,000. These prices depend on vehicle specification. There are five different spec levels to consider.


Tesla has four models available on the UK market at the moment. You're looking at the Model X, a large family people carrier; Model S, a large executive saloon car; Model Y a family hatchback and the Model 3, performance saloon. The model prices range from £48,000 to £120,000, as each comes with different performance specifications too. 

A used or pre-owned Tesla tends to be priced from £25,000 upwards. 


Nissan Leaf

The Leaf is very standardised across the board. The performance level only alters based on the age and performance ability of the vehicle. The Leaf drive train and motor system is the same on each vehicle and the specification is based on the trim level within the vehicle.


The Tesla has more of a performance variation ranging from all wheel drive performance with dual motors to one powering the front axle and one powering the rear, as well as single rear wheel drive options. The Tesla drive train and motor are the variation within the vehicle and the internal vehicle trim level remains the same.

Fuel efficiency

When considering whether to go for an electric vehicle this is an important consideration.

An EV is much more energy efficient than a petrol or diesel vehicle. This is down to the way the vehicle uses the energy. Providing a cost for this is very dependent on the EV owner's situation.

Unlike fuel prices which are quite standardised from petrol stations, within a small margin of each other on price, electricity prices vary greatly. This can be anything from a zero fuelling cost for the EV owner who is able to charge their car for free at work during their working day, to someone who is relying on motorway charging infrastructure which is more expensive.

A lot of EV owners refuel overnight, when electricity is cheaper and not so in demand, and arrive back at their vehicle when it is charged and ready to use.

Driving experience

The driving experience of any EV is fun and enjoyable, as the electric motor provides instant torque, therefore the vehicle pulls away more quickly and smoothly than the petrol or diesel alternative.

All electric vehicles have an automatic gearbox. But this isn’t like a conventional automatic, where you put the car in drive and let the transmission shift through gears. There are no distinct gears for the car to select, simply because an electric motor doesn’t require gears. The motor spins in one direction to go forwards, and the other to go backwards – and that’s it. In built up or high traffic areas this makes for a much nicer driving experience, whether it be a Nissan Leaf or a Tesla.

Servicing costs

The servicing and maintenance of electric vehicles is much less than a petrol or diesel vehicle. The first thing to remember is that there is no engine to service, so there is a huge cost saving of the engine oil and filter replacement instantly. The servicing of an EV is more maintenance based to ensure your vehicle is safe and reliable.

The Cleevely EV verdict

As a family we have had both a Nissan Leaf and Tesla. The Nissan Leaf was our first EV and it was fantastic for most of our needs up until we needed a vehicle with more range as a family car, so along came the Tesla.

As EV owners ourselves we understand the vehicles well and are able to give experienced advice on our own knowledge and understanding and usage. So come and have a chat with us and we can help choose the right vehicle for you, from a Nissan Leaf to Tesla, we know sharing from experience is best.

For more information call Cleevely EV on 01242 308006.

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