The electric vehicle revolution is continuing and 27000 plug-in electric vehicles and hybrids have been sold throughout 2015 which further indicates a 90% increase compared to 2014. According to Nissan, one of the main reasons for the increase in consumer demand is due to the number of electric and hybrid vehicles which are available on the market.
There are a total of 30 vehicles available at the moment, compared to the six options on offer which were released back when the original Nissan Leaf was launched in the year of 2010. In terms of EV ownership, the Leaf is still regarded as a viable route and it comes with a £20,790 price tag for the entry-level Visia trim 24kWh version.
At the moment, Nissan has decided to tackle the issue involving range anxiety with their new 30kWh Leaf. It has been claimed to have a longer 155 mile range. The battery unit is still the same in spite of an increase in the battery capacity.
The battery’s construction has been revised in order to increase density while introducing new cathode and anode materials. Therefore, the Leaf weighs 21kg more than its24kWh stalemate. However, at the same time, speed and performance remains the same.
Meanwhile, the 30kWh Leaf will be available in mid-level Acenta and range-topping Tekna trims only and the prices start from 24,490 pounds, once the 5000 pounds subsidy has been added by the government. Moreover, it comes with an added bonus of eight-year/100,000-mile warranty on the battery. The interior quality may not be good but it is definitely great.
It comes with a solid construction but there are also a few hard plastics which remains dotted about in the cabin. If you want the driver’s seat to be adjusted for comfort, it is quite easy. When you press the start button, the car will greet you with a charming tone once it sets itself up.
Once the footbrake is released and the drive mode is selected, you will experience a slight whirr while the Leaf starts to seamless and quietly surge away.
Once you start accelerating hard, the 0-30mph mark is reached swiftly but the car somehow feels a bit pedestrian while picking up speed. This means that overtaking requires some prior planning. However, it is most used in towns and this is where the vehicle is responsive enough to make the most out of gaps.
After you speed up the Leaf, it is quiet and impressively refined. Wind noise and excessive tyre roar stays away and due to this, driving the leaf is a great experience. Once the speed increases, the noise level increases but it doesn’t reach a point where it becomes intrusive in nature. Bumps and road intrusions are handled perfectly by the leaf and the ride remains completely smooth.
Even with bigger potholes and undulations, riding the Leaf remains a smooth and pleasurable experience.
The mid-level Acenta trim is equipped with the 30kWh Leaf and it comes with a lot of excellent features like automatic climate control, changing camera, a 7.0in infotainment/sat-nav system along with Nissan Connect, introduction of telematics, nearby charging location information and the choice to activate charging and the climate control through a smartphone or computer.
Meanwhile, the Tekna trim comes with a Nine-speaker Bose sound system, LED headlights, 17inch alloy wheels, and heated mirrors along with heated front and rear seats.
The Leaf electric has received a bit of extra range from Nissan but when it comes to battery-operated vehicles, things look quite grim when it comes to sales. This is the condition in Europe at least where it only seems to react to tax payer handouts.