The year 2015 marks Japanese carmaker Nissan’s successful completion of a decade of its operations in India. To celebrate this important milestone, the auto manufacturer organised ‘Nissan Carnival’ - a unique product-focused event where select customers, members of the media and auto enthusiasts were offered a first-hand experience of performance, handling and technology of Nissan’s current Indian portfolio at the Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida. The world's best-selling all electric vehicle (EV) Nissan Leaf was also there to give the visitors a hands-on experience of revolutionary zero emission transport.
I had never driven an all-electric vehicle before and was naturally excited. A driving course was created to show off the dynamic capabilities and sheer comfort of the Nissan Leaf EV hatchback, which has already sold more than 160,000 units worldwide with over 840 million fuel-free miles driven. The Nissan Leaf that I drove was a left hand drive model shipped in from Dubai.
Nissan Leaf is the world's first mass-market all-electric vehicle. An impressive 150 city kilometres on NO fuel (requires 8 hours of charge) makes a world of difference in your wallet. And of course, fewer parts under the hood mean less maintenance, so you will save on more than just fuel cost. With all the comforts of a conventional car, Nissan is aiming to promote the Leaf as a daily runner in various markets around the globe.
I always knew that the Nissan Leaf was going to be quiet but the smoothness of the ride is what really blew me away. The Leaf electric vehicle was butter smooth with 100 per cent torque off the line and seamless acceleration which will make an auto enthusiast smile. Leaf's 80Kw AC electric motor delivers 254Nm of torque, all of which is available from zero rpm (from 1 rpm, actually), which assured an engaging, whisper-quiet drive and with zero tailpipe emissions.
Nissan Leaf's low centre of gravity also means curve-hugging and easy control in the driver's seat and I put the Leaf through the paces on a slalom, quick cornering and sharp bend courses to discover what the Nissan Leaf was capable of delivering.
'Fill up' at home and you are good to go for 150 kilometres. All you have to do is plug it in like your laptop or mobile phone. And talking of charging, you have got options too.
Normal Charge - Your home charging dock will be your primary charging station, but you may also be able to charge at work and public stations. With the 240-volt home charging dock, Leaf SV and SL charge in as little as 5 hours, while the S trim charges in about 8 hours - or in as little as 5 hours with the available S Charge Package.
Qucik Charge - This available feature allows you to plug in at a fast-charge station, and reach 80 percent charge in about 30 minutes. Ideal for when you are out and about and want to top off your charge.
Opportunity Charge - Nissan Leaf comes with a 110/120-Volt opportunity-charge cable. Although the rate of charging is slow, this allows you to access charging anywhere there is a suitable outlet.
Public Charge Availability – In various markets across the globe, Nissan is working with government and private companies to develop a wide public charging network. For example, approximately 20,000 public charging stations will be in place in the US by 2015.
Leaf's compact lithium-ion battery is twice as powerful and half the weight of nickel-metal hydride batteries used in traditional hybrid cars. Its arrangement in the floor of the vehicle means interior roominess and decent cargo space. In the Leaf, you get double the trunk space of a Chevy Volt, with nearly 680 litre. That's up to five pieces of luggage or two golf bags, while still fitting your friends in back. Convenient 60/40 split folding rear seats can give you an additional 170 litre of space, providing more cargo space.
Every time you slow down, the regenerative braking system stores that energy in the Nissan Leaf’s battery. That means your car charges anytime you brake. Get enhanced regenerative braking by switching to B mode. Leaf is aerodynamically designed to keep wind resistance down and efficiency up. And a drag coefficient of 0.28 is impressive. Low-resistance rolling tyres also come as standard, and reduce the vehicle's energy output. Available LED low-beam headlights use half as much energy as traditional headlights. Plus, they are aerodynamically designed to maximise efficiency.
The photovoltaic solar-panel spoiler (SL trim only) converts sunlight into energy. It helps power your AC, your 12-volt outlet and your stereo. Interestingly, Nissan Leaf also tells you everything you need to know about range and energy consumption, all from your dashboard. So you can get the most out of every charge.
Although very brief, but I surely enjoyed my time spent with the Nissan Leaf. An all-electric car that boasts of zero-emission, zero-noise, and no fuel – isn’t that just great?
Nissan Car Features
Nissan will bring real-world demonstrations of autonomous driving cars to Britain next month.
In his 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) keynote, Nissan Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn announced several technologies and partnerships as part of the Nissan Intelligent Mobility blueprint for transforming how cars are driven, powered, and integrated into wider society. These technologies will advance mobility toward a zero-emission, zero-fatality future on the roads.
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