Published on February 13th, 2016 | by Cynthia Shahan


10 Uses For A Silent Nissan LEAF

February 13th, 2016 by  

Driving the LEAF has been such a different kind of driving experience for me. The LEAF has lit my imagination. I recently thought up 10 uses for a silent Nissan LEAF, with more to come.

The LEAF, like every all-electric vehicle, makes almost no sound (beyond the quiet beeping sounds when backing up). Initially, due to the silence, I started considering a career shift. Maneuvering in such a noiseless fashion, like a Native American scout silently taking information, clandestinely gathering knowledge in concealment.

033 copyWithin a week of driving the LEAF, I thought (entertainingly) I might become a private investigator. Sure, now I can get in and out of tricky situations with the LEAF, adeptly and silently.

Carrying that thought on, here’s a list for anyone else considering a new path in life, using the LEAF or another fully electric vehicle:

10 Uses for A Silent Nissan


  1. Private Eye / Private Investigator
  2. Secret environmental field research agent; Greenpeace Investigator
  3. Undercover Cop
  4. Paparazzi
  5. Guardian Angel
  6. News photographer wanting to get an inside story
  7. Operative
  8. Business Spy
  9. Underground Taxi Service — serving those who want to avoid the press, the law, the in-laws, the
  10. Mom or Dad wanting to spy on their teenage children

Hmm, another idea just hit me, perhaps Solar Man will hire me.

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About the Author

is a Mother, an Organic Farmer, Licensed Acupuncturist, Anthropology Studies, and mother of four unconditionally loving spirits, teachers, and environmentally conscious beings who have lit the way for me for decades.

  • LEAFican

    The Nissan LEAF is not completely silent. There is a vehicle sound for pedestrians emitted. You really can’t hear it inside the car with the windows up but pedestrians can. Unfortunately in 2018 NHTSA will mandate a change in the sound for all EVs to make it much louder and most unpleasant. I drove a vehicle with a speaker to simulate it. It sounded like a diesel truck. Even when an actual diesel truck was passing me I could still hear it.

  • David Galvan

    My Leaf is not silent.

    In the U.S., below ~20 mph it has the VSP (vehicle sounds for pedestrians) high-pitched whine.

  • Jenny Sommer

    Does the Leaf drive with lights off? My car automatically switches on lights when it gets dark and I start the motor. Not so great for hunting…might need Leaf for that…how many boars would fit in the back?

  • Ronald Brakels

    Bees. The stress of being moved from farm to farm may be contributing to colony collapse disorder amoung honey bees. Being transported in a silent Nissan Leaf, or perhaps an electric truck may prevent their nerves from being frayed. (And while we’re at it we may as well transport a few eels as well to keep the bees safe from salmon attack.)

  • omar

    In a conservative community like our you can add: “take your girlfriend from the door of his house without bringing intention of her family”, will be very helpful …

    • cynthia Irene

      very good!

  • JamesWimberley

    – Hired assassin. The car has no heat signature when stopped so won’t show up on thermal imaging cameras.
    – Wildlife filmmaker. (Sorry, Craig Teller got there first)
    – Don Juan. (Green girls, trysts, elopements.)

    • cynthia Irene

      Wow. Thanks my list was too short. Maybe I can get the editor to add some more.

  • Ramon A. Cardona

    I think EV’s are perfect for: first car for teens, for retired folks that do not drive too far, as second car in the suburbs, city government services, military staff cars, private security services, universities/colleges services, mall security, etc. Feel free to add to the list.

    • Bob_Wallace

      If you’re talking about limited range EVs like the Leaf then you’ve probably covered a lot of the drivers.

      But when you include 200+ mile EVs and rapid charging the only drivers eliminated are those who need some sort of special form vehicle which has not yet been built. In my case a high clearance, 4wd, not large, crossover type EV. I’m a little niche….

    • Marley

      Transporting my cats: they get nervous in my ICE car and I’m sure the motor noise doesn’t help.

  • Ronald Brakels

    The silence of electric cars is very good for transporting fish of the order Anguilliformes. Which is why my Nissan Leaf is full of eels.

    • S Herb

      I fear that you have mistranslated from the Hungarian.

      • Ronald Brakels

        Yes, I’m afraid you’re right. That should have been, “Do you want to come back to my place, bouncy-bouncy?”

        • Martin

          I hope for yours sake that you are either single or you girlfriend/wife does not read the comments on this site, since it is Valentines Day today, otherwise you may be in the dog house for quite a while!

          • newnodm

            As open-minded forum participants, we must not assume Ronald’s gender preference. Or even species preference. Remember too that he comes from a place where the North is warm, and they call winter “summer”.

          • Martin

            I am sorry if I offended anybody with my comment, it was to be in jest,

          • newnodm

            I very much doubt anyone was offended. I just wanted to throw the “species preference” line at Ronald.

  • Martin

    Cynthia, do you know of any government service, like the post office, or any delivery company that is stating to change their fleets to hybrids or EV’s in any country?
    All have one thing in common, drive daily, more distance then the average people and mostly in high density urban areas.
    Most of them ‘sit’ at night and can be recharged then, as well lots of stop and go traffic, perfect for EV’s.
    That way those companies, etc could do a number of things: reduce cost, set an example for the general public, reduce emission in urban areas etc.

    • Ronald Brakels

      The posties are switching to electric scooters instead of petrol ones in Australia. I now can no longer tell when the mail has been delivered.

      • Martin

        Is the mail delivery done the same way as in Canada, they stop near your drive way, leave the engine running, get out, go to your mail box, drop your mail then get back in and drive, say 50 to 200 feet to the next house?T
        That would be in a semi urban areas, in the urban ones they drive to the starting point of the route, do the mail on foot and then drive back.
        Now look at the potential of: cost savings, less fuel used, air quality improvement and of course emissions reductions..

        • Ronald Brakels

          Wow, they do things weird in Canada. The posties here just drive from letterbox to letterbox on the footpath. They don’t get off their bikes. I suppose in city centers they might deliver mail by foot, but if they rode their little motorbikes into the lobbies of buildings no one would try to stop them. We’re talking about people who have survived more bird attacks than Prometheus. You don’t want to mess with them.

        • Canada has moved to a central mailbox per neighbourhood. We used to have door to door delivery just a few years ago, but that was done-in by cost saving government program. Now everyone on the street drives up to the central location and opens their own individual box, glad I don’t live beside one, the fumes would drive me mad! Thankfully, we have two of the three electric cars on the street, and more of the folks here are considering going electric.

          • Bob_Wallace

            We have the same thing “way out in the mountains” in California. Makes huge sense. The delivery vehicle stops starts far less. We all stopped at our mailboxes out on the highway anyway. No change for us, except that we now sometimes have a chance for a bit of interaction with friends and neighbors. The side of the cluster box gives us a neighborhood bulletin board.

            I saw these neighborhood cluster boxes used in France in the 1970s. They made huge sense to me and I’ve wondered why it took so long for them to spread to North America.

      • Hans

        In Holland they just come by bicycle. No change needed 😉

    • scott whitaker

      In my town of Roanoke, Va. the meter maids are all in EV’s.

    • cynthia Irene

      Not offhand. This is a good thing to look into. I talked to a law enforcement officer and he said they really want the hybrid or electric vehicles — but do not have them yet. Hopefully all government vehicles will become electric at some point in the near future.Yes, the post, the newspaper — and certainly the undercover law enforcement need to have them.

  • No way

    I wish the guy who comes with my newspaper at around 4 in the morning would go electric….

    • JamesWimberley

      For decades, milk was delivered in the UK early in the morning by near-silent electric floats.

      • No way

        Some things were better in the past. =)

      • dogphlap dogphlap

        I remember those days, but they were not silent. The clanking of the glass milk bottles signalled there presence.

    • Yes, but what will keep the delivery boy from having his window down and stereo blasting at 4am 😉

  • Craig Teller

    Great article. For a moment, I thought Shahan might be ego-tripping because of the glamor photo on the front page. No, she was in private eye mode and having great fun.

    Hey, a Nissan Leaf might also be useful for nature photographers who need to get up close.

    • Haha. And good call. 😀

    • cynthia shahan

      Thanks Great Idea. Wish I had thought of it — put it on the list.

      • Martin

        Has any of you seen that commercial,on TV, or other places for the hybrid, forget what model, driving through a forest with deer and the deer no spooking?
        I thought it was rather cool.
        I have seen commercials for hybrids, different models, but the the only EV I have seen in a commercial was for the Volt and in the commercial they talk only about the range limit of the Leaf.

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