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15 October 2013

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Plenty Of Autonomy With The Nissan leaf


It's bigger sisters are the 20065 Pivo and Pivo2 concepts, which set the basis for the Nissan Leaf. With the invention of lithium batteries, which give much more miles with a single charge. This doesn’t mean you can drive to the other end of the world without several stops to charge it up, but it gives enough autonomy for everyday town usage.

Range Of 124 Miles

Nissan claims that the Leaf, depending on model, temperature and individual driving style, can do up to 124miles, more than what people normally do in a single day. Electric cars are still more expensive to buy than a normal one, and if considered that it doesn’t allow you on long trips that can be enough to put you off, but there is some help from the government for people who chose a green vehicle, and the Nissan plan that allows the buyer to rent the battery cuts down the price to a reasonable amount.

The design of the Nissan Leaf was carefully refined, to give the perfect blend of appealing and aerodynamics. On a vehicle with limited fuel, it is important to optimize its use. This is why for example, the headlamps have that particular shape to direct air away from the mirrors, or why the spoiler is there, so that the drag coefficient is lower. Inside quality is very high, with carefully chosen materials and colours that make it look and feel spacious. The driving position is higher than expected, but is due to the position of the batteries (they are in the floor so some space is taken by them, resulting in higher position).

The dash is neatly designed, with a computer system in the middle that works as a satnav, multimedia system and also allows you to monitor the vehicle’s status. Little tricks that you can play with is the app that allows you to tell your car to turn on the air conditioning from your mobile, so that you’ll find a nice and chilled (or warmed up) place when you hop in. As you’d expect engine noise is absent (in fact electric engines are very silent) and road noise is well insulated. The aerodynamic shape also ensures that there is no wind noise at speed.

Batteries Do Make The Leaf Heavier

Lithium batteries are much more heavy than a tank of petrol or diesel, so the result is a vehicle that is about 200kg above the average, but it doesn’t feel so. Its 107bhp electric engine does a great job at pulling around this car. Body roll isn’t too bad, grip very good and suspension insulates the passengers from most of the irregularities on poorly surfaced roads. The steering of the Leaf can feel a bit annoying at times, as it has 3.3 turns end-to-end whilst most drivers are used to 3, but once you know it, it’s easy to drive, especially around town.

Despite having a very limited range, and being very pricey if you decide to buy the whole pack with the batteries, there are very good options you may want to consider. For the price of 10gallons of fuel, you can rent a battery pack for a year (on limited mileage), and a full charge costs about £2. Most of people will find the range good enough to go to work, take the kids to school and back and do more with a single charge. Road tax is absolutely nothing. And you also get 7”touch screen with satnav and multimedia system, Bluetooth and iPod connection, LED headlamps, privacy glass, rear parking camera, automatic lights and wipers and keyless entry.

Contributed by: Leasebam.

Image Source: ruhrmobil-E / Flickr - Licensed for reuse under Creative Commons 2.0
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