INTRODUCING THE NISSAN LEAF

FEEL THE RUSH

Get the best of both worlds with instant acceleration and surprising power alongside an effortless, quiet drive performance — all with zero exhaust emissions. Command the road with every twist and turn, as LEAF’s low centre of gravity ensures ultra-smooth handling. It's a driving experience unlike any other.

Nissan has sold more than 420,000 Leafs (Leaves?) globally since the first generation launched in 2010, so it's not a stretch to call the Japanese company one of the innovators in electric vehicle development. Certainly as we know it in 2019 anyway.

The new Leaf has a 40kWh lithium-ion pack, a 110kW/320Nm motor, and a real world driving range of 270 kilometres – given average consumption of around 14kWh per 100km, which this writer managed without much fuss. It also uses many parts cast in Australia at Nissan's 24/6 Dandenong plant.

How long does the Nissan Leaf take to charge? You can fill up the Leaf from empty within 24 hours using a household wall socket, but if you spend around $2000 to buy and fit a 7.2kW/32A home charging unit, that is cut to 7.5 hours. A public DC CHAdeMO rapid charger will get you to 80 per cent in about an hour, though the majority of EV owners charge at home or the office.

On a side note, one nifty feature the Leaf offers is the requisite hardware for bi-directional charging via a PCM. This means the Leaf can actually charge off-peak and then power your house or business later, becoming a mobile power station/energy cloud. This is being trialled in Australia for 2020 launch.

One of the cool things about any EV is the actual driving experience. Obviously there’s no exhaust note, but there’s an instantaneous hit of torque that punts you away from intersections very quickly. The 1594kg Leaf’s 0-100km/h time of 7.9 seconds is sprightly enough for some fun.

The other thing to adjust to is the regenerative braking system that captures wasted energy and sends it into the battery. The switchable Eco Pedal decelerates the car at up to 0.2g when you lift off the throttle, using friction, meaning you scarcely need to touch the brake pedal.

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