The Nissan Electric Car: Is the Nissan LEAF going to bring electric cars to the mainstream?
This is the first car that I can get information on through a local dealer and not some website in America or a speciality dealer I have to travel hours to see!
Here's a video of the Nissan Leaf at the 2011 Irish Motor Show in Dublin.
The Nissan LEAF is a hatchback 5 seat electric powered car and is designed to compete with a 1.6l engine car according to Nissan. This is the type of car most families have as a second car in Ireland and I think the range wonít be a great problem as if people buy it as a second car it usually wonít need to be driven more than the 160km range in one go. Even if they buy it as a city car it would do a pretty good job and you wonít stand out in it as for an electric car it looks pretty good, as there have been some brutal looking ones!. It has also won the European Car of the Year 2011 award which is a huge boost for electric cars and shows the progress that's being made.
It has all the electric car trimmings like regenerative braking, an aerodynamic body and even more like low voltage LED lights which Nissan donít even have on any of their other cars yet. The Nissan electric car can also connect with your with an app on your phone to see how much itís charged, so you can check up on your car while you sit in the coffee shop relaxing. Sat Nav, climate control, cruise control and a rear parking camera all come standard on the Irish version of the car as there is only one model coming to Ireland. These all seem like power draining and mostly unneeded devices but thatís the way they went so I guess weíll just have to wait and see.
So now for the more technical parts, itís going to have an 80kW AC motor and li-ion batteries supplied by Automotive Energy Supply Agency (AESC), which is Nissans venture with NEC electronics. The batteries have 90kW output and the motor supplies 230Nm of torque.
Well the Leaf has been in the USA since December 2010 and in Ireland since March 2011. It costs $25,280 after a $7,500 tax incentive in America and Ä29,995 here in Ireland after a Ä5,000 government tax incentive. According to the dealers the average running cost for the Nissan electric car should be Ä232 a year, which according to Nissan is 80% less than a ďtraditionalĒ vehicle. They are also are keen to add that there is no leasing the batteries and if you buy/lease the car then you buy/lease the car as a whole.
I think the Nissan Electric Car is certainly a one I could like as it can instantly replace the car I drive at the moment (a diesel Peugeot 207) and it even sounds like it would be a lot fancier and have better acceleration.
The only drawback would be the price as itís quite a lot for the class of ICE car itís trying to compete with. The great thing though about Nissan making an electric car is the kick up the ass itís after giving the government to start putting in charging points throughout the country! Even the ESB have started to get on the charge point situation and thereís a plan to put in 135 charge points in my city alone. Hopefully Iíll start actually seeing them soon but even having a plan is a start!
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