The next evolutionary step for the Nissan Leaf

The Nissan Leaf was enthusiastically received by consumers upon its debut in 2010, with 20,000 pre-orders clocking up in the United States alone. Nissan even had to stop taking reservations in the US until many of the initial orders had been delivered.

Such was the popularity of the Nissan Leaf, the vehicle managed to receive numerous awards from multiple organisations, such as the inclusion by Time magazine as one of the 50 best inventions of 2009.

Other popular awards received by the Leaf include the European Car of the Year award in 2011, EV.com’s ‘2011 EV of the Year’ and, perhaps most notably, the car-award-pinnacle World Car of the Year accolade, also in 2011 – seemingly a great year for the Leaf.

Sometimes styled as: ‘Leading, Environmentally friendly, Affordable, Family car’, the Nissan Leaf is a five door hatchback electric car, with an official range of 117 kilometres, by the US Environmental Protection Agency, and 175 kilometres on the New European Driving Cycle.

As you would expect with a fully-electric vehicle, the Leaf manages a low energy consumption of just 0.212 kWh per kilometre, as well as its combined fuel economy at 99 miles per gallon gasoline equivalent.

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Described by CarBuyer.com as ‘a pioneering machine and one of the most comfortable, quiet cars on the road’, the main feature of the Nissan Leaf is the fact that, as one would also expect with a fully-electric vehicle, the car produces zero emissions.

What Car? magazine remarked that the Leaf is ‘fast, fun and comfortable’ and, although they describe the car as ‘pricey’, they counter by explaining that the car ‘costs peanuts to run and you get stacks of kit included.’

Fast forward to 2013 and the new Nissan Leaf is ready to further conquer the eco-car world, with improvements over its predecessor including an extended driving range, greater recyclability and more interior space.

In addition, further improvements to the new Leaf model include better charging performance, more equipment and greater choice – as three versions of the vehicle are now available.

The nose of the car has also been subject to subtle styling changes that have improved its already impressive aerodynamic efficiency.

Although many would expect a motoring giant like Nissan to solely design their cars, many of the changes to the Nissan Leaf have come about as a result of feedback from pioneering Leaf owners.

The Nissan Leaf has earned the highest customer satisfaction rating of any Nissan model, with a score of 93 per cent, thanks in part to Leaf drivers becoming enthusiastic advocates of zero-emission mobility and of the car itself.

By monitoring the feedback provided by Leaf owners on internet forums, and by holding regular owner events to gain further input, Japanese car manufacturer Nissan has incorporated many of the suggestions into the all-new Leaf model.

In addition the feedback provided by drivers of the Leaf, Nissan has also been able to receive feedback from aggregated data from the unique Carwings telematics system that is at the heart of every Nissan Leaf vehicle.

As previously mentioned, the new Leaf features numerous improvements when compared with the previous version.

One such improvement regards the powertrain, now assembled together as a single stack, which is based around a high-response motor powered by Nissan-designed lithium-ion batteries. The motor is mounted underneath the cabin area to lower the centre of gravity for optimum handling.

In addition, by moving the charger from the rear of the vehicle to a new position underneath the bonnet, the luggage area has been increased by 40 litres – meaning that the overall boot capacity is now a massive 370 litres.

Key improvements have been made to the Leaf’s e-Powertrain, including reduced internal friction and a more efficient battery and energy management system.

A new 6.6kW on-board charger will permit an owner of a Leaf vehicle to use the latest generation of chargers installed in domestic and commercial properties, in order to permit the use of 32 amp charging.

Using the new 32 amp charging option, rather than the conventional 10 amps delivered by a typical domestic socket, means reduced charging time for the Leaf – effectively cutting the conventional charging length in half, from eight to four hours.

The all-new Nissan Leaf will be available to purchase and test-drive from your local Perrys Nissan Dealership in Blackburn.