Car charging is as standard – an ordinary 3 pin plug socket or street charging point. Interestingly unlike other electric cars with the charging socket essentially where the petrol cap would usually be, the Nissan Leaf charges through a cap in the centre of the bonnet.
A single charge should take you around 100 miles and only cost a couple of pounds. This is not much more than the cost of just 1 litre of petrol or diesel and how far does that take you?! However due to restrictions on distance and the availability of a national charging point network outside the main cities e.g. on motorways, this is really a city-based car, ideal for commuters, shoppers and those whose daily driving is local.
The Nissan Leaf is comparable to an equivalent sized ordinary car in terms of acceleration, speed, comfort etc. The main distinction is the cost. It retails at £23,350 and that is after the Government’s £5,000 electric vehicle subsidy.
At least the Nissan Leaf will be UK made, manufactured in Sunderland. Whilst battery powered at the moment, the industry is looking to hydrogen fuel cells as a better source for the future. This would significantly extend the range of electric vehicles but the technology is some way off.
The report also highlighted the usual concerns with the need for electric vehicles (and in fact, anything electrical) to ultimately be powered by renewable sources – the ‘elephant in the corner’ of the electric car industry. They are only green until you take into account how the electricity is generated. This is something which requires significant and co-odrinated action by Government and industry.
The bottom line at the moment though if you are considering an electric vehicle for whatever reason, although an expensive outlay the Nissan Leaf is a good looking car, with decent performance.