13th-Jan-2012: The Japanese car manufacturer, Nissan showcased one of its best-selling electric cars in the global car markets, Nissan Leaf at the recently concluded New Delhi Auto Expo. The car with the looks like a normal hatchback car, delivers a performance totally unimaginable from an electric car. The 160 km odd range from a single battery charge, the top speed attained by the compact five-seater electric car surpasses the expectations to touch the 140 kph equalling any other car driven by the conventional propulsion methods. The all-electric motor under the car bonnet pumps out a 107 Bhp and 280 Nm of top power and torque. Depending on the Government’s take on the electric cars at the next budget session, the Japanese car manufacturer might make a debut into the Indian car market with its first electric car. The next three months are crucial for India to turn around the perception of the Indian car market not only to Nissan India, but also for many other electric car manufacturers who are waiting for the next government policy on electric cars.
Nissan Leaf is a fully electric hatchback car. The car is not yet available in India because the company is conducting feasibility tests to launch this electric vehicle in India. Indian market is not mature enough to encourage electric vehicles as of now. Apart from high cost of manufacturing lack of public car charging points system deters their advent. However, Indian Government’s initiatives in the 12th Five Year Plan may change the situation for electric/hybrid vehicles in India.
Coming back to the Leaf, the small car has found over 20,000 customers in Japan, Europe and the US since December 2010 as Government of these countries gives incentives for zero-emission vehicles. Most of the car makers in India are now gearing up for Auto Expo and same is the case with Nissan. Nissan will display LEAF electric car. Nissan India already launched Nissan Micra and Nissan Sunny along with importing X-Trail and Teana sedan. Nissan will also show Nissan GT-R sports car during the show.
The Nissan LEAF is actually an acronym that stands for ‘Leading, Environmentally friendly, Affordable, Family’ car. The car was launched in 2010 in global markets like Japan, Europe and America. This Zero emission literally has no engine but runs on a battery. An electric motor fully powers LEAF and therefore leaves no question of combustion or waste gases emitting out of the hatch.
Following a voguish futuristic design, Leaf adorns sleek exteriors that are designed aerodynamically so that the Leaf can cut through the wind and get least drag. As the Leaf is an electric vehicle noise levels are zero as there is no engine to make any noise. Hence everything on the Leaf has been designed to operate silently. Wing mirrors, roof antenna, headlamps, curved boot and front bumpers-all are designed to give aerodynamics to the Leaf. Notch bigger than the Hyundai i20 premium hatch, the Leaf can seat five comfortably. It has more boot space than most hatchbacks and offers nearly all features its competitors do.
The nose of the Leaf has an open-able charging bay from where the Leaf gets its vitals. The charging port is two in number with one being the regular charge port at which the car can be fully charged in 7-8 hours and the other being the Quick charge port from where the car can be fully charged in 30 minutes. The 100% Electric vehicle Nissan Leaf is powered by an EM61 Electric Motor. This AC synchronous motor gives out 110 bhp of power and 280 Nm of torque. This electric motor is mated to a specially designed single speed automatic transmission. The Nissan Leaf is a front wheel powered car. Max speed claimed by Nissan for Leaf car is 144 kmph. Leaf can accelerate from 0 to 100 Kmph in just 12 seconds which again is astounding. It is being said that the Leaf can do roughly 160 kms in a single charge. Since it is like any other car, it gets safety features like any other car too. Leaf gets 6 air bags in all, 3 point seat belts with pretensioners, Vehicle dynamic control with Traction control system and tire pressure monitoring system. The hatchback receives 5 stars in the NCAP Safety ratings.
Inside the car technology is amazing. Parameters like motor temperature, electric current usage graph, distance that Leaf would travel with the current charge level, drive mode and odometer reading-everything can be obtained from the dashboard itself. A 7 inch color telematics display controls music system along with the GPS navigation and the other menu settings readouts. A reverse camera is also given in the car which helps in viewing vehicles and objects at back while reversing or parking.
Nissan India is surely gearing up to make its portfolio stronger in the Indian car market. The countdown for Auto Expo 2012 has already begun and so is the countdown for Nissan Leaf. The major competition of Nissan Leaf in India would be Mahindra Reva NXR, another electric car.
Nissan has worked very hard on its new electric vehicle, Nissan Leaf. Like any premium hatchback, the car has very chic and stylish design. The exteriors are sleek and are designed aerodynamically so that the car could cut all the way through the wind just like a knife cuts through butter. Even small things like wing mirrors are carefully shaped in an aerodynamic manner. The headlamps have a large shape which gives a robust look to the car along with LED kind of glow on it. The wing mirrors are aligned with the headlamps to cut down the wind noise. Moving to the front of the car, the front bumpers are elevated and have an even round shape, which is basically meant to amplify the aerodynamics on the front. Also the bumper gets fog lamps and a flat running chrome strip right across air dam. Another example of aerodynamism is the roof antenna, which reduced turbulence and wind noise. Nissan Leaf’s nose has an open-able charging bay. The charging slots are 2 in number, out of which one is a regular port that will take around 7 to 8 hours to get full charged, whereas the other one is the Quick charge slot, which would take only 30 minutes to fully charge.
As Nissan Leaf is an electric car, the noise levels are nil because it is devoid of an engine. Therefore, Nissan Leaf has been intelligently developed and designed to function silently. The special type of wiper motor also makes bare minimum noise. Looking at the car’s side profile, Nissan Leaf is considerably long along with its tail, which is stretched with a round curve.
The large doors on Nissan Leaf give the car a very airy feel and look. With five spoke feather light 16 inches Bridgestone Ecopia alloy wheels adds more charm to the look of the car. The door handles are huge and has a chrome finish on it that enhanced the look and gives a good grip to the person opening it.
From front moving to the rear of the car, Nissan Leaf has a wheezing out curved bulge, which is purposely designed to enhance the aerodynamics and boot space. The tail lamps have different looks and appear to have a waterfall feel on them. These tail lights have 12 red LED lights that function as stop lamps. Nissan Leaf’s rear bumpers are similar to that of front. However, the back of the car sports a reverse camera along with a trivial wiper, which also makes less noise as the front one.
What adds more appeal to the exteriors of Nissan Leaf is the massive slim spoiler together with the stop lamp, which is flawlessly slopped to the inferior wind noise. On the left at the rear, Leaf is embossed and on the right side of the tail gate, Zero Emissions stands out proud. As Nissan Leaf is complete Eco Friendly vehicle, Nissan is written in blue. The slats beneath the rear bumper are present to cut throughout the road wind commotion with 2 stop reflectors placed on them. The car also gets a 12 volts secondary solar battery along with a solar battery charger that powers music system, power windows and power steering. Nissan Leaf also gets darker shade rear window glass also know as Privacy Windows. On the whole, the exteriors of the new Nissan Leaf are futuristic, trendy and stylish. The finishing done to the vehicle is pretty good and clean.
Length: 4445 mm / 175.0 in.
Height: 1550 mm / 61.0 in.
Width: 1770 mm / 69.7 in.
Wheelbase: 2700 mm / 106.3 in
With beautiful exteriors, Nissan Leaf has pretty stunning interiors too. Nissan has put in its heart and soul to make it as comfortable as any other luxury hatch. The cabin of the car has been done with bright beige color. The front seats are comfortable and has height adjustment feature. The upholstery used for the seats is of high quality that offers a very calm ambience. The 3 spoke power steering is colored in beige and has audio, Bluetooth and radio controls mounted on the steering wheel. Also the steering wheel’s height could be adjusted manually with utmost ease and comfort. The electric usage graph along with the motor temperature and charge graph makes you aware how much charge is being used and how much battery is still left. The car also sports a multi functional display wisely placed in the centre of the dash, which comprise of odometer reader, drive mode and other imperative parameters of the car. The Center console of Nissan Leaf features 7 inches of color display, which works for the music system, GPS navigation and other miscellaneous menu settings. There is a special system, known as CARWINGS that runs on Nissan Leaf and monitors the exact battery state, charging status and amount of charge left. This system also allows the user to preprogram the charge time of Leaf.
Furthermore, adding more glory and comfort to the interiors of Nissan Leaf, the company has not forgotten to add a powerful MP3/CD/FM/AM player with AUX port along with USB port and iPod connectivity that also comprise of the satellite radio choice. The 6 speakers throws out high quality audio sound and the smart GPS system installed could identify the nearby charging station all by itself. One can also set the air conditioning temperature of the car or stop/start charging of Nissan Leaf by the means of special application on your Smartphone. Moreover, the electric car possesses three exquisite drive modes that include Eco Drive, reverse apart from the park mode and Drive. The Eco Drive is very intelligent, once you have shifted the knob and using the Eco drive mode, the car can run about 25% on low speeds. This mode is best suited when battery is low.
The back seats are comfortable just like the front ones and can adjust three adults contentedly. Nissan has provided 3 height adaptable headrests at the rear seats and distinct from other electric cars, Nissan leaf has ample of boot space. The car ropes in a munificent 33 litres, which is more than enough to hoard baggage for a family of four. The consumer will get a handy charge cable with a neat carry case that could be placed in the corner of the boot.
The interior dimensions of Nissan Leaf are close to perfect and could adjust a tall person without any trouble. There is more than enough of legroom and headroom space so that neither the driver nor the passengers are uncomfortable while travelling.
The acceleration and pick-up of Nissan Leaf is pretty remarkable. The car claims to acquire maximum speed of about 144 km per hour. What’s interesting is that Nissan Leaf can accelerate up from 0 to 100 km per hour in merely 12 seconds, which sounds astonishing. In a single full charge, the car would be able to run for about 175 km. Leaf will take around 7 to 8 hours to get fully charged and once it is charged properly, it will zoom away to the city without any tension of refueling.
Nissan Leaf is powered by EM61 electric motor, which is very powerful and strapping and give a tough competition to any other electric vehicle in the global car market. Performance wise, the Nissan Leaf electric motor churns out about 109 PS of power accompanied with 280 Nm of torque. The driving range of the car is over 160 km per 100 miles. It merely takes 10 to 12 seconds to touch the mark from 0 to 100 km per hour. The 24 laminated lithium ion batteries has a power density of 2.5 kW/kg and takes 7 to 8 hours in charging via normal port, whereas only 30 minutes to get fully charged via quick charge port.
Being an electric vehicle, one would assume that it won’t give as much of mileage as other diesel of petrol cars will. But, if you assume the same thing, then you are absolutely wrong! Nissan Leaf has an EM61 electric motor installed in it, which delivers a mind-blowing 80 kmpl mileage. Nissan Leaf is successful in producing around 109 PS of power, which is pretty satisfactory for 1.50 ton car. The power is accompanied with 280 Nm of torque and as it is an electric vehicle, the torque comes as slow as on 0 RPM and stays till 2730 RPM. The peak RPM on Nissan Leaf is around 10390.
Nissan Leaf runs on 192 laminated lithium ion batteries that are positioned right under the floor of the car. These batteries have the ability of producing 360 Volts and 24 kWh of power. The electric engine is intelligently coupled with a specifically developed solo speed automatic transmission. The EM61 electric motor churns out maximum power of 109 PS along with 280 Nm of torque.
The new Nissan Leaf has got ample of accessories, which comprise of intelligent GPS system, center arm rest smartly positioned with a little storage space underneath, center console with several clever divisions and Bluetooth and iPod connectivity. The presence of a MP3/CD/AM/FM player with AUX port and USB port makes sure that the passengers are not bored during long drives. There are about 6 speakers that are placed in an even manner to let out the sound consistently around the cabin. The air conditioning system in Nissan Leaf is quite powerful and certainly provides relief in hot-humid climate.
Nissan Leaf is 100 percent electric vehicle and is a front wheel drive. The car has got power assisted ventilated disc brakes on all four wheels. These power assisted vented brakes are regenerative kinds, which means when the brakes are applied, they support the batteries in charging to some point. Nissan Leaf also features electronic brake distribution system along with anti lock braking system with brake assist plus an electro mechanical hand brake. The car is quiet even when one uses the push start button to start the engine. There is no noise, no vibration as there is not even a single mechanical engine installed in Nissan Leaf.
The safety features of Nissan Leaf are also remarkable. The car gets 6 air bags for the safety of all its passengers, including front and rear. The vehicle dynamic control together with Traction control system makes the drive much safer and sound. Also the three point seat belts and tire pressure monitoring system is customary on the new Nissan Leaf. Nissan Leaf victoriously passed the NCAP safety session with a five star rating.
Nissan Leaf has five spoke feather light alloy wheels, which are peculiarly designed and developed for this exclusive electric car. Nissan Leaf runs on extraordinary 16 inches Bridgestone Ecopia tyres, which ensures a very smooth and non-bumpy ride.
With such soaring fuel prices, the demand for electric vehicles is increasing day by day and Nissan has tried its level best to offer the best electric car to people. However, at present, the company is trying to do its homework on the chances of getting Nissan Leaf to the country with certain tax rebates from the Indian government. Nissan Leaf is stylish, chic and trendy and could be the best substitute for a petrol car. Being an electric vehicle Nissan hasn’t compromised in terms of safety features too. This car is nearly perfect for a family of 4. If Indian government gives some tax rebate on Nissan Leaf, this car will become a regular site on the Indian roads
The price of Nissan Leaf is a bit on the higher side. It is expected that this electric vehicle by Nissan will come with a price tag of Rs. 12,00,00. Apart from such high cost, the country is lacking in public car charging points system, which means, if your car battery drains out in the middle of the road, you won’t be able to charge it in the public place. So far, the official debut of Nissan Leaf will be done in the Auto Expo 2012.
While Toyota grabbed the top rank for the third successive time in the annual Best Global Green Brands report, published by International brand consultancy Interbrand, another Japanese carmaker Nissan became the “top riser" in the report. Nissan ranked fifth, rising 16 places from last year and reaching the top ten for the first time, noted for its leadership in zero emissions mobility with the Nissan LEAF 100% electric vehicle,
Nissan's answer to Toyota Prius Hybrid, the Leaf has certainly brought the success its maker expected. The car has already brought so many awards globally, now it has set yet another milestone by selling 10,000th unit in Europe.
The Goodwood Festival of Speed is the only event apart from the Formula One races where spectators have a chance to view the latest F1 cars and their drivers in action. The upcoming 2013 Goodwood FoS was originally planned from the 5th to the 7th of July, 2013. However due to a clash with the German Grand Prix, the Goodwood FoS will be re-scheduled to play out from the 12th to the 14th of July, 2013.