Is the Nissan Leaf really all electric? – Yes the Nissan Leaf is a true all electric vehicle. Car wrapping Unlike the Chevy Volt the Nissan Leaf has no auxiliary gas engine.
How long will the Nissan Leaf battery last? – With proper care and maintenance the battery is designed for years of use. However, over time it will lose some capacity. This will affect the range you can drive. Consider though that 70% of people drive less than 40 miles per day. So even as your battery ages and the range is affected, most people will not be affected. According to Nissan “the rate of reduction cannot be assured however, the battery is expected to maintain approximately 80% of its initial capacity after 5 years of normal operation and recommended care, but this is not guaranteed. This number may be higher or lower depending upon usage and care.” Until the Nissan Leaf charging infrastructure is fully developed this does not appear to be a vehicle for long commuting drivers.
What can I do to help maintain battery capacity? Nissan recommends the following practices for maintaining battery capacity:
1) Park or store in moderate temperature
2) Drive moderately (not aggressively)
3) Use Eco-Mode
4) Don’t exceed 80% state of charge when using quick charge.
5) Use long life mode when storing vehicle for extended periods of time (over 30 days)
What is the range I can go on a single charge?- The Leaf is designed to go 100 miles on a single charge however, the exact range will vary depending on a number of variables. According to Nissan range is most affected by the following:
1) Climate Control- the more extreme the temperature is outside, the more energy used to heat or cool the cabin.
2) Speed-higher speeds require much more energy to overcome wind resistance.
3) Driving Style-smooth acceleration and deceleration will extend range aggressive acceleration and deceleration will decrease range.
4) Cargo and Topography-heavy cargo and driving up steep long inclines will reduce range.
Is there a special charger needed for my home?-Yes the home charging system will require a 220/240V 40 amp dedicated circuit connected to a breaker. The charger will need to be hard wired directly to the circuit by a certified electrician. Nissan expects the average home charging dock installation in a typical new home to be approximately $2000.00 plus tax and license fees. Federal tax credits may offset 50% of the cost (up to $2000) through Dec. 2010 unless the government extends it further.
Is there a timer that allows you to set when charging starts and stops?-Yes you will be able to set a charging timer in the car. You will also be able to control the car’s functions and charging from any computer or smart phone that has internet access.
Will the Nissan Leaf be built with any recycled materials? Yes, parts of the Nissan Leaf are made from recycled material and are designed for both recoverability and recycle ability. For instance some of the plastics in the Nissan Leaf will be made with used water bottles.
Will the Leaf require maintenance?-There is very little maintenance. No oil, no oil filter, no air filter, no radiator, no spark plugs, no timing belt.
Tax exempt, Congestion Charge free and costing buttons to fuel. That’s the claim from Nissan, which today revealed its new Leaf electric car will be available to lease in the UK from £397 per month.
Nissan will take a £3850 deposit for a personal contract purchase scheme and then charge £397 a month.
It confirmed the Leaf will be exempt from road tax, Congestion Charge in London and – in some cities – parking charges. Charging costs will be low, too, making the Leaf a tempting proposition.
What about the residual value of the Nissan Leaf?
Secondhand price analysts at CAP predict the electric Leaf will retain 47% of its price after three years/30,000 miles. That’s when you factor in the Government’s £5000 incentive.
Alternatively, because this is a PCP finance scheme, you can hand the Nissan Leaf back to your dealer after three year and walk away, refinance or buy another Nissan.
According to Nissan and CAP, this makes the Leaf a better buy than rivals. Take these figures with a pinch of salt (manufacturers tend to pick their rivals’ specs very carefully), but the residual value (RV column) still makes interesting reading for any electric car sceptics: