Nissan says demand for electric vehicles is now at a new high in Ireland with hundreds of consumers putting down deposits to snap up the new Leaf model without even visiting a showroom to see or test drive the car. That is not something I would recommend.
Nissan Ireland says it has taken more than 200 online deposits for the new car - which costs from €26,290 for the entry grade model to €32,600 for the top of the range model. Those prices includes the €5,000 Government purchase grant offered to electric vehicles and excludes dealer delivery and metallic paint. The new Leaf is in Tax Band A1, so €120 per annum is the rate.
“The demand for this car is simply phenomenal," says James McCarthy, CEO of Nissan Ireland. "We are selling it before it has even hit the showroom floor. We sold 400 Leafs in our best ever year and we are now on track to eclipse that record in April. There is no question we are at an inflection point and we expect to sell 1,000 Leafs in 2018."
Nissan Ireland says the unprecedented demand is being driven by its range which, on a single charge, has increased by 50 per cent to 378 kilometres (NEDC ), and by a growing awareness among Irish householders that switching to the car can save them at least €1,350 a year in fuel and road tax costs.
Government incentives, including the SEAI purchase grant of €5,000, the additional €7,000 SEAI grant for taxi drivers, the introduction of 0% BIK on company vehicles, and the environmental benefits of switching to a 100 per cent electric car, are also influencing consumers, according to Nissan.
“Consumers are conscientiously weighing up whether the car can save them money. The facts are driving demand. They are at least €1,350 a year better off for driving the 100 per cent electric Nissan Leaf,” says McCarthy.
The increased range of the new Nissan Leaf and not needing petrol or diesel to run it has given consumers the confidence to look beyond driving a conventional car or hybrid. Consumers seeking a 100 per cent electric solution now recognise that an average hybrid consumes 3.4 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres, which is about the same as a typical mid-range diesel car,” he added.
Nissan says it is not surprised by the response or by the rate at which consumers were placing online deposits to buy the car having introduced the option to do so on the www.nissan.ie website for the launch of the new Nissan Leaf.
The new Nissan LEAF features a sleek profile, sharp, dynamic look with excellent aerodynamics, and a low coefficient of drag (Cd ) of 0.28.
The new Leaf also gets a fresh interior design and connectivity offering drivers more space with optimum functionality. It is available in four grades – Visia, Acenta, NConnecta and Tekna.
The new Nissan Leaf offers a significant update over the previous models with a higher battery capacity, dynamic new styling and advanced technologies including ‘ProPilot’ and the Nissan ‘e-Pedal’ function, which allows drivers to start from a standstill, accelerate and brake and even bring the car to a controlled stop by using the throttle pedal.
The Japanese carmaker says ProPilot is a revolutionary driver assistance technology designed for motorway use. It combines steering assist, acceleration and braking that can help the driver workload in heavy motorway traffic and long commutes. The ProPilot system uses a radar sensor that detects the vehicle ahead and a forward-facing camera that detects lane markers.
ProPilot Park is a hands off, feet off automatic parking function that works with parallel and bay parking (forwards or backwards entry ). It will easily park the new Nissan Leaf when the driver selects one of the spots proposed by the system. By pressing the ProPILOT Park button, the car will fully manage the parking actions and automatically apply the parking brake when the manoeuvre is complete.
The new Nissan Leaf offers drivers complete confidence when it comes to safety. Standard features from entry grade include six airbags (front, side and curtain ), ISOFIX hook, antilock braking system, electronic brake force distribution, brake assist, and hill start assist. Traffic sign recognition and blind spot warning are also standard from Visia grade, as is intelligent emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist recognition. Advanced safety technology systems, such as lane departure warning, intelligent lane intervention, and rear crosstraffic alert, are also part of new Nissan Leaf's standard equipment.