Tag Archive | "Nissan Leaf"

Nissan LEAF drivers racing towards one billion kilometres

The LEAF is Nissan’s first fully electric car and the owners of the LEAF are quickly approaching the one billion kilometres driven milestone.

As part of this accomplishment Nissan have created a number of animated stories, the first one being made around a Spanish taxi driver called Roberto San Jose. Roberto bought his LEAF in October 2011 and has covered 62,000 miles (100,000 km) making a large contribution to the aim of one billion LEAF miles. There are a number of other LEAF owners who have had these animations designed around them. Vito Mondelli, who resides in Bari in Italy decided to make a 100km trip to a charming town called Taranto. He was mocked by his friends as they didn’t believe he would make it in one charge of the LEAF’s electric engine, he proved them wrong. Nissan have also announced that they are making further animations based around Laura Farina, the first ever Nissan LEAF owner from Italy, and Sue Terry and Darren Golder from the United Kingdom. These animations describe how making the transition to an electric car has changed their lives for the better.

The LEAF being 100% electric leaves no trail of CO2 behind it when driving; you don’t have to pay congestion charges (London), road tax, of benefit-in-kind for businesses. With sat nav, rear view camera and climate control the LEAF is also not compromised of gadgets. The Carwings telematics SatNav system cleverly tells you the exact amount of energy that will be required to get to your desired destination, on top of this it also tells you where the nearest charging point it for increased ease of use. If its peace and comfort you are after look no further than the Nissan LEAF, at 21 decibels because the LEAF is 100% electric it statistically makes less noise than a crying baby (95db) and a ceiling fan (26db), ensuring you travel in comfort and silence.

Posted in Auto NewsComments (0)

Turning Over A New Leaf

The Nissan Leaf was launched in 2011 and to date the company have sold over fifty thousand cars worldwide. In many ways it is a very good car but with the drawbacks that afflict all electric cars. Potential owners remain concerned about range as the cars arrived long before the introduction of any meaningful electric infrastructure around the nation. Never mind – the Leaf has a market and is an ideal vehicle for urban lifestyles.

Nissan have been listening to customers and have announced a wide range of improvements to the next generation EV, which will be built, along with its batteries, at the successful Sunderland plant in the North of England. Production begins in the Spring. This seems like an admirably perfect time for a new Leaf.

Crucially, the range has been extended. The original car could manage 109 miles at best. The new maximum is 124 miles. It’s not a lot if we’re honest but that extra bit could just give buyers peace of mind in knowing that 100 miles should be reliably feasible. This is aided by a new heat pump which reduces electrical consumption in cold weather thus boosting range.

In addition to the standard eight hour charging arrangement, customers can now opt for a 6.6kW charger which halves charging time. Additionally, the charger has now been relocated under the bonnet which has freed up additional luggage space at the back. An amount of judicious re-engineering has bought the car up fully to European driving standards which means handling has been improved.

To further enhance performance Nissan have made some styling changes to the car which will improve aero efficiency. In keeping with the green credentials the new Leaf is more recyclable than its predecessor, not that owners are likely to be thinking that far ahead. The company has listened and they say that there are over one hundred improvements and enhancements on the new model.

Battery life is another concern expressed by customers. It would be a hugely expensive fix and nobody really seems to know how long they will last and how much capacity they will lose over time. To counter this Nissan have a new comprehensive warranty plan. There’s a five year / 100,000 mile guarantee for workmanship and defects and, because lithium-ion batteries lose capacity over time, they will be covered by a ‘State of Health’ clause to cover this. Thus, if the batteries wear out earlier than expected they will be repaired or replaced.

The interior has been improved too with new colours, more supportive seats with environmentally friendly fabrics and more equipment including the Around View Monitor. Overall, Nissan have paid attention to the reaction to the original Leaf and acted accordingly. The new Nissan Leaf is an attractive proposition for a large percentage of car users.

Posted in Auto News, Auto Shows, Car ReviewsComments (0)

Turning Over A New Leaf

Understandably, considering the amount of investment involved, Nissan would appreciate it very much if we would all buy an electric Leaf as soon as possible. To encourage us in this green endeavour they are using social media to promote their zero-emission cars. The campaign is called ‘The Big Turn-on’, which is a 100 day labour of love to demonstrate the benefits of electric vehicles, and to bust the myths that surround them through online influencers, owners, and celebrities. No doubt the terrible play on words was deliberate. In the interest of your sanity Motor Blogger will try to avoid using daft puns and the like in the rest of this article.

Those bright sparks at Nissan say that the idea behind the campaign is to encourage communities to support electric vehicles. They’ve got a website of the same name – as well as using the social sites as conduits – where prizes can be won and information gained. The original plan was to get one million people switched on to the Nissan Leaf but they have achieved that easily, Europe wide.

The city that achieves the most ‘turn-ons’ (and there was us thinking that Amsterdam has had that record for years) wins 30 Quick Chargers – which can give an 80% charge in 30 minutes – and the company plan to donate some 400 in all to aid the current efforts to speed up the electric infrastructure development. Additionally the most successful ‘influencer’ in each country will win a new Leaf.

As well as encouraging European drivers to consider the benefits of zero-emission motoring they also want to show that the Leaf is safe, environmentally friendly and cheap to run. They suggest that the vehicle range is sufficient for most local daily journeys. This would depend on the frequency, obviously. Mind you, range anxiety aside, the Leaf is a good car, winning top prizes on the award circuit around the world. It has achieved the five star safety rating from NCAP and comes with the expected air-con, sat-nav and parking extras.

Nissan say that the AC motor in the car develops 80kw of power and an impressive 280Nm of torque from its in-house developed laminated lithium-ion battery. Over night 100% charging from a normal source will take eights hours as is usual these days so no shocks there.

The drive towards electric motoring seems to be gaining pace despite the efforts of the nay-sayers. So why not log-on and turn-on to the Nissan Leaf?

Posted in Auto NewsComments (0)

London’s new hybrid bus is leading by example

With Mayor of London, Boris Johnson eventually stripping the bendy busses from the city streets of the capital, a new public urban mobility solution (don’t you just love today’s buzz words) needed to be devised.

Cue the New Bus for London, a replacement for the famous Routemaster that was recently revealed, drawing inspiration in its styling and engineering from the legendary London bus.

The famous rear step-off deck will make a return on the New Bus for London, as will a conductor, even though the bus can be operated without one. Two pairs of doors with Oyster card points and two staircases, front and back, will also feature.

More interestingly though, is that the new public transport vehicle has a hybrid power train.

The New Bus for London features a 4.5-litre Cummins turbo diesel engine acting as a generator to provide power to an air compressor for the bus’ brakes and steering, as well as delivering power to charge a 75KWh battery.

The battery provides power to a Siemens electric motor that delivers a twisting force of 1844lb ft – with it being an electric motor the torque is available from zero RPM too.

It’s the electric motor that does all the propulsion, with the diesel unit tuned to sit at optimum RPM for efficiency – just like the Vauxhall Ampera/Chevrolet Volt range extending vehicle – improving the bus’ ‘green credentials’.

But all this talk (or should that be torque) of the new ultra-efficient bus for the capital has left us wondering something.

With the government showing us the way to go and leading by example, why haven’t hybrids and electric vehicles experienced a bigger take up in urban environments, especially with a £5,000 government subsidy applied to such modes of transport?

Answer: they just aren’t good enough.

The crop of all-electric vehicles such as Nissan’s LEAF, Peugeot’s iOn and Mitsubishi’s i-MiEV just don’t have the range to make them functional. Nor are they able to be recharged quickly enough to make them practical.

Plug-in hybrids are getting there but still require a heavy internal combustion engine to be carried around all the time, effectively acting as fuel-economy sapping dead weight when not in use, as well as the hydrocarbon fuel they’re also carrying.

The Vauxhall Ampera/Chevrolet Volt – employing similar technology as the New Bus for London, with an on board engine acting as a generator for a battery/electric motor combination – appears to be the way forward though.

So then, maybe the real answer to the question of hybrid and electric vehicle take-up is they just aren’t good enough – yet.


Posted in Auto NewsComments (0)