Impression: Nissan LEAF 2010

Impression: Nissan LEAF 2010

It says that in years we’re going to electric drive. Although in the 90s some electric cars have entered the market, allows us to look forward for a much larger current zero emission models. One of those is the Nissan LEAF, which will sells worldwide in the coming years. Are we ready for the electric car?
The smart electric drive, Peugeot ion, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, one by one all-electric models are powered in the future of the marketplace. These two-to four-seaters pretend an interesting and environmentally friendly alternative to mobility in and around (in more densely populated) cities. Since they are compact, agile, easy to park and emit nothing is not a bad idea. Nissan’s first electric car is designed differently, says more.

Frog Eyes
The LEAF has the size of a golf and is known as a comfortable five-seater for the C-segment. The Japanese have him given a familiar hatchback silhouette and not – as various hybrids – from an egg-shaped raised. Despite this, the LEAF offers a lot of attention. Not only by its silent power but also some sleek, futuristic details. So the rear of the LEAF narrow and sculpted transparent. The nose then provides not a classic radiator grille. At the spot where the ‘flycatcher’ were are now hidden gateway to the plug for refuel. More than in the nose smoothed headlights adorn the large, effluent toward the windshield. Especially from the side, they look like frog eyes stabbing the nose, just like the new Micra and Note. Whether the overall end result attractive or not, Nissan has surprised through LEAF.

Hybrid interior
A small analog stick, start button and a central digital instrument with a TFT screen for navigation, trip computer and radio we have already seen. The digital counter house provides new information that are inextricably linked with electro-technique, the fuel gauge has been replaced by one that the energy store displays and at the place where the temperature of the coolant should be is the battery temperature seen for what it’s worth. There is also a digital meter with balls created that expresses how much energy is being asked if the road is recovered during braking. Such energy meter may be quite useful for energy efficient driving aids, but we saw rather that Nissan has even more eye for materials, for a vehicle in this segment and that price is the dash a bit too different, that we did not expect .

The light color makes the LEAF-cabin feel more spacious than it really is, but you can find it with four persons seated. The rear legroom is decent but not more than that, our free centimeters crown abound. The front seating is focused on a comfortable seat, but with a longer session would provide more support to the lower limbs. The driver can not complete this ride attitude familiar reason that it only restricts height adjustable steering wheel, something that the first two generations of Toyota Prius hybrid top happens to be characterized. Too bad, because riding LEAF wants too much.

Eagerly pedal power
The power consists of a 109 horsepower electric motor. A value is put in force again with the torque of a diesel, 280 Nm. Given that the nature of each traction motor is readily available, and accelerates the LEAF directly, dependent on the state of “pedal power”. You bet you can surprise a lot of motorists at the traffic lights! Especially since this acceleration in the absence of a transmission in a streak remains intact, like a car with a continuously variable transmission driving. But without (howling) engine noise. The LEAF runs silently because the electric motor grunts, growls, hisses or hums not. Only a murmur switched to pedestrians below 30 km / h draws attention, and then only for pedestrians. The downside of all this hidden force that Nissan was just another part of the LEAF had to change. By a wide range of measures, the LEAF own words to 50 km / h quieter than many executive car as the Infiniti M. Well above the speed remains the LEAF a very quiet car, tire noise is easily eliminated and what remains is a breeze here and there along the windows. Electric cars in the LEAF is actually quite relaxing!

Tree planting
Even at higher speeds, the LEAF is performing very well, overtaking be adequately picked up and it was not an art limited 144 km / h on the highway’s reach – in which the digital speedometer than 160 km / h indicates. In ECO mode, the LEAF many more are encouraged to accelerate the right pedal is less sensitive to movements of the foot – a measure that energy efficient drive’s control but eventually does get irritated because it very clearly does. Green mode does hold the position on longer range. With “a full tank ‘is usually the LEAF 160 km away, in the ECO mode, there are about 10-15% at. Reduce speed regardless of drive condition also provides a clear profit, the technique, the energy produced is released into extra kilometers. The impact it has is immediately visible on the range meter. Only down side of the brake system is that it gives more back pressure, which also went quickly. A clean driving finally delivers something else, a tree. Like the leaves and twigs at Honda, Ford, you can get into a tree LEAF deserve. The greener you drive, the faster the tree is established.

If you are accustomed to the assertive power of the electric motor and just riding along with traffic that tree is planted soon. The too light and numb steering and not optimal sitting position is keeping you there from sporty to drive with the LEAF. Moreover, the range decreases rapidly then, something which in turn raises the question if you can charge. In the Lisbon area, there was ample opportunity to recharge the LEAF. Portugal and a lot of other countries is setting up infrastructure for electric cars. All operational load columns are stored in the device, allowing you to press a button to the nearest charging location driving. Oddly enough in Portugal up to 220V power. If the batteries are empty then reload takes one hour or eight.

Since the ‘tank cover’ the nose is open during charging and the charging plug simply leave peeling, one would still have to think about a special lock. Mealy neighborhood kids or angry neighbors after a comfortable night’s sleep you literally keep your work by pulling the whole thing. There you are not charged with battery.

Almost to order
The LEAF is to order from next spring for a price of 32,839 euros. It is three years warranty on the car include Nissan and guarantees 80% more battery capacity after 5 years use. Shortly before 100 copies are delivered to the Amsterdam business, as our capital commitment to diligently promote electric cars with grants, free parking and a private pillar loading. Just before the summer (June), the LEAF in our showroom, which is still pretty early, along with Portugal and the United Kingdom we have the first of Europe’s turn. The U.S. and Japan have half of the LEAF-production has taken on, some 26,000 pieces. By the end of next year, the LEAF will be fully introduced.

We all need the LEAF? That depends. If you drive less than 150 km per day – according to Nissan, which is about 90% of all drivers – then you can use the LEAF without a problem on the road. The precise on-board computer keeps kilometers still to go in the holes and with a quiet and keep driving route there is still more mileage to achieve. Also, by recovery of braking energy reduces the range unnecessarily rap. The electric aware of the LEAF excellent place to bring the smooth acceleration and the speed is often higher than think. It remains calm on board by the silent operation of the electric insulation. The criticisms of the LEAF-used interior materials, seated behind the wheel and insensitive to light control – more than in other cases not specifically for this type of car . And that’s actually not very positive!

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