Nissan are launching a new car this year called the Leaf. It is an all electric car and the first electric vehicle (EV) that has been designed totally from scratch to be all electric. There are other EVs but they have all been a development of a petrol/diesel vehicle… the Nissan Leaf is different… very different.
Imagine a car for the internet generation… connected to the internet, it is a technogeeks dream! Many cars have satnav… the Leaf takes it a stage further. The satnav is internet connected allowing real time data to be displayed and data that is important for an all electric vehicle. Data such as where charging points are and whether they are operational. Then there is the online Leaf community. All Leaf cars are connected online allowing sharing of performance data so you can see you your EV performance ranks. Being all battery driven, use of all power in the car is tightly controlled and so it makes sense to heat or cool the car while it is still plugged in and so you can control the heating and A/C via a web or smartphone interface. This is truly the most connected car yet.
Range is always going to be the big issue with EVs. The Leaf is very usable for everyday trips with a range from fully charged of about 100 miles. That varies depending on how economically you drive and on what power you use such as A/C but driven carefully and without heating or A/C that 100 miles could be extended. So far a Leaf have been driven over 130 miles which when you consider that over 75% of all car journeys in the UK are of 25 miles or less it shows just how practical the Leaf is.
This car isn’t cheap to buy but its running costs are truly frugal. No road tax, little maintenance and cost of fuel at about 1/4 of the costs of a traditional car makes it far better financially than its purchase price suggests. These costs can be brought down even further if you use dual-tariff (Economy 7) or even better, solar or wind power. With our solar PV system on sunny days our fuel costs will be negligible and almost totally CO2 free.
So, we have decided to get a Nissan Leaf and have placed the order. Delivery is not likely before July and more probably August or September but we can hardly wait to become one of the pioneers in practical electric motoring.