I love Nissans and I am pretty excited about the Nissan LEAF which is the one of the few 100% electric cars in Australia. Naturally there's a huge waiting list so even if I wanted to buy one now I wouldn't get one anyway for a few years, I'm sure.
But just looking at it, its a nice sized car, and it doesn't look tiny like the other electric cars I've seen. In fact, it looks about the size of my old Mazda 3. (Images from Caradvice.com.au.)
The inside looks roomy, and looks like it could at least put 2 boosters in it for the kids.
It even comes with a whole host of extra technophile features that are totally unnecessary but make you feel like you're driving some sort of futuristic car. These include:
- A timer for the airconditioner that can get you to warm up the car at 6.30am before you start to drive for workat 6.45am
- Built in SIM so it can constantly updates itself with new info
- Apps on your iPhone or Android so you can see how much charge you have left in the car, or even tell it to start charging remotely (if the car is plugged in)
It has a little 12V solar panel on the rear spoiler that helps power many of the interior accessories.
So how far can it drive? On a full charge, the car can go 170km it says. Not bad for city driving. Not sure if that would be ok for me when I drive about 100km a day but if I had no side trips, it would probably be ok for a trip to work and back. With the air-con on, it probably brings it down to about 120km.
So how do you charge one of these babies? Well, there are 3 ways to charge it.
- Home. You can charge it at home if you have the right power system installed - an electrician can do that for you apparently for about $200. It takes 8 hours to charge up a depleted battery.
- Charging stations. I don't know where there are any of them around here, but that would be pretty cool.
- Fast charge can be done from a 415V power system so you can rapidly get it to 80% in 30 minutes.
According to Caradvice.com.au, the car drives very well.
When it comes to drivability, the Nissan Leaf is an interesting car. You’re actually going to feel it accelerate just like you would in a sportscar. It’s a bizarre sensation given there is no engine noise. It feels and sounds like a Japanese bullet train about to hit cruising speed as it accelerates from the lights. With 280Nm of torque available from a standstill, the Leaf is much more lively than a Prius and many other cars (no official 0-100km/h figures yet).
Steering feel is very light, much like a Lexus. That makes it easy to manoeuvre around town and get in and out of car parks.
- Alborz Fallah, 2012 Nissan Leaf review
I am pretty excited hearing this. I would really like to have one! Here is the full list of energy saving features that the vehicle has.
Automatic lights-on system
LED headlamps with load-sensing leveller
High luminance LED rear combination lights
Full colour rear view monitor, with vehicle width/distance display function
Rear windshield wiper (intermittent)
LED high-mount stop lights
Active safety features
VDC (Vehicle Dynamic Control [TCS functionality included])
ABS (Anti-lock Brake System)
EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution)
Passive safety features
High-strength safety bodyshell
Impact-energy-absorbing body construction to mitigate pedestrian injuries
SRS airbags for the driver and front passenger
SRS side airbags for the driver and front passenger
SRS curtain airbags
Two-stage load-limiter-equipped double pretensioner seatbelt for driver and front passenger
Emergency Locking Retractor (ELR)
3-point seatbelts for all seats
So, in a few years, guess what I'll be driving! :D