The Leaf will be sold in Ireland as a complete unit including the battery, which means there will be no hidden separate monthly battery leasing charges.
Leaf will go on sale next February at an all inclusive retail price of €29,995. It is a more competitive price than I expected and as a result it makes electric vehicles a real option for the Irish family car buyer.
Additionally there is an array of other government incentives both fiscal and non-fiscal currently under review that may further defray the costs and increase the benefits of owning and charging a Nissan Leaf in Ireland – these combined with the ESB’s commitment to install home charging points free of charge to the first 2,000 electric vehicle customers makes the Leaf a really tempting option for the first people to reserve a car.
Maintenance costs on the Leaf will also be lower as there are fewer moving parts. And average annual running costs for the Leaf are expected to be about €20 per month. Overall, Nissan say that Leaf customers can expect to save 80 per cent on running costs compared to traditional vehicles.
There will be just one version of Nissan Leaf available in Ireland. It will be well equipped with features such as 16” alloy wheels, fully automatic climate control, satellite navigation, cruise control, a rear parking camera, and a quick charge socket. Safety equipment such as driver, passenger, side and curtain airbags will be standard along with Electronic Stability Control. Equipment will also include the very distinctive LED headlamps which is a first for Nissan.
Innovative smart phone connectivity will allow an owner to control many elements of the Leaf’s functions remotely – including telling the car when to re-charge, to heat or cool the interior of the car before starting a journey and many more remarkable features.
The satellite navigation on the Leaf can connect directly to a global data centre via the telematics system giving owners updates on charging points, driving patterns, etc.
Power comes from the 80kw AC motor which develops 280 Nm of torque, enough for a maximum speed of more than 140 km/h. Thanks to the near instant response from its 80kw electric motor, Nissan Leaf offers startling performance from a standstill. Furthermore, this performance is delivered in near silence with no vibrations.
The electric motor is fuelled by a laminated lithium-ion battery with a power output of more than 90 kw. The 48 module battery is mounted under the seats and floor of Nissan Leaf, thus ensuring a low centre of gravity for near roll free cornering with excellent ride comfort. The battery is produced by Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC ), Nissan’s joint venture with electronics maker NEC.
A full charge delivers a potential range of 160km which research indicates will satisfy the daily driving demands of most customers. Global research indicates that the average daily mileage for 80 per cent of the world’s population is below 100km and below 50km in Japan and the UK.
Nissan also say that significant second-life uses for EV batteries are expected to generate a positive impact for electric vehicle residual values.
A series of roadshows will take place in the autumn of 2010 to give potential customers a comprehensive test drive experience. Nissan Ireland will begin taking reservations for the Nissan Leaf within 60 days.
In the meantime, customers who are interested in becoming one of the first owners of a Nissan Leaf can secure the option of a preferential place in the queue by using the pre-register facility on www.nissan.ie/leaf-reservation