Say hello to a less expensive way of driving when you take a seat behind the wheel of the world's best selling fully electric car - the Nissan Leaf. Going electric means bidding petrol and diesel a fond farewell and filling up by plugging in.
Charging the Leaf is simple with the charging port disguised at the front underneath the blue Nissan badge. Simply press a button on the Nissan Intelligent Key that is standard across all models and the charge door pops open just like a fuel cap.
The Leaf is available with a 32A home charging unit and an optional 6.6kW on-board charger. It can also be charged while you're out at one of the growing network of charger ports.
While the Leaf is different to most other cars on the market, it still offers five seats to comfortably transport the family and everything needed for a day out with 370 litres of boot space. This capacity can be increased thanks to 60:40 split folding rear seats to open up a generous 720 litres of space which is big enough to transport a mountain bike, among other things.
Available in a range of eight body colours, the Leaf has been aerodynamically designed to reduce wind resistance and noise while keeping efficiency up. For example, the sculpted headlights are cleverly able to deflect airflow around the door mirrors.
The LED headlights use half as much energy as traditional headlights, meaning that you have more battery power for the road. If that wasn't clever enough, the Leaf is available with a solar-powered radio which converts sunlight into energy to help you power the air con and 12V outlet as well as the audio system.
Choosing an electric car might be a purely financial decision, but it is also highly likely that you feel you have a level of care towards the environment and want to try and reduce your carbon footprint. The Leaf is 95% recyclable and its cloth seats are partly made from recycled bottles.
Stay on top of 'range anxiety' thanks to the Leaf's specifically designed dashboard display which tells you how much energy you're using while driving, how much is left and more. You'll always have the information you need to get the most from every charge.
Quietly navigate the roads and stay in touch with the world thanks to the NissanConnect EV telematics system which combines navigation, entertainment and the information to manage your electric car. Using the companion app, you can pre-heat or pre-cool your Leaf and manage its charging status while it's still plugged in; you can remotely schedule a charging time or activate the climate control, wherever you are.
NissanConnect EV also features hands-free calling, audio streaming, USB connectivity and enhanced voice recognition. The built-in sat nav system sits within the 7" touchscreen and is able to highlight points of interest along your journey such as restaurants, cashpoints and charging stations.
The Leaf may not be considered futuristic any more as a result of a growing electric car market, but that doesn't mean that it can't have the latest in modern technology to enhance every drive. Using the colour reversing camera and Around View Monitor, you can get the full picture of your surroundings on the touchscreen display. Not only will this help you to park easily - even in tight spots - but you can see any immediate dangers such as pedestrians in a car park or children running into the road.
There are a number of things that you can do to make sure that you get the most out of a single charge such as driving at constant speeds, minimising rapid acceleration, setting a moderate cabin temperature and pre-heating or pre-cooling the car while it's still charging. You could also use ECO Mode or B Mode. ECO Mode limits the motor's output, slightly increases regenerative braking and reduces air conditioning. B Mode produces more aggressive regenerative braking which converts some of the energy you lose from braking into extra charge for your battery.
The Black Edition Leaf is built to impress and will undoubtedly raise your profile on the road. The Pearl Black exterior body colour is complimented by genuine 16" Nissan black painted alloy wheels and stylish black painted mirror caps. The Leaf is given a sportier look courtesy of the black rear roof spoiler; the sporty look and attitude is further enhanced by the privacy glass.
Unsurprisingly, the interior design is a sleek and stylish black to match the exterior accents added to the Black Edition Leaf. The simple and classic materials are coupled with small details such as special electric car 'LEAF' Black Edition design accent floor mats that are custom-fitted.
Oil changes and maintenance of complex components will become a thing of the past when you switch to the fully electric Leaf. Without an internal combustion engine or traditional gearbox, there are fewer moving parts to worry about. Unlike hybrid models, the Leaf's battery pack is stowed in the floor, as opposed to being wedged between the boot and the rear seats.
When it comes to choosing your battery, the Leaf features an advanced 24kWh or 30kWh rechargable lithium-ion battery pack. The British-made battery pack has an NEDC range of up to 124 miles with the 24kWh battery or up to 155 miles if the 30kWh battery is employed. The battery is protected for five years or 60,000 miles, whichever occurs first. At the end of its service, the lithium-ion battery pack is 99% recyclable and will be dismantled and have its components separated for them to start a second life.
Being fully electric means that it has zero CO2 emissions which has a number of additional financial benefits. Firstly, the Leaf qualifies for the maximum £4,500 Government Plug-In Car Grant which reduces its cash price and monthly payments if you are looking to purchase the car on finance. Secondly, electric cars do not pay any road tax - even when the new rules come into place (if the list price is below £40,000). Similarly, cars that are registered with the DVLA and have a fuel type of 'electric' do not need to pay the London Congestion Charge, saving £11.50 every time you travel into the congestion zone. Finally, the cost of 'refueling' is dramatically reduced with charges averaging around 2p per mile.
You can choose to either buy your battery outright for £5,000, or you can decide to lease the battery for a monthly fee. Below is a price grid based on the number of months the battery would be leased for and the mileage limit.
|Months||7,500 miles per annum||9,000 miles per annum||10,500 miles per annum||12,000 miles per annum|
Nissan Leaf 24KWH Visia Flex
Nissan Leaf 24KWH Acenta Flex
From £19,190* / £20,790**
Key Features in addition to Visia:
Nissan Leaf 24KWH Tekna Flex
From £21,190* / £22,790**
Key Features in addition to Acenta:
Nissan Leaf 30KWH Black Edition Flex
Key Features in addition to Acenta:
*The Nissan LEAF Flex is an innovative solution that makes it easy for you to own the Nissan LEAF: you just buy the car and lease the battery. The process is simple and totally handled by Nissan. You can modify the contract at any time and our call centre will always be on hand for customer support. You will have total reassurance that the Nissan FLEX warranty covers the performance and the durability of the battery. Roadside Assistance is provided for the duration of your battery lease contract, however long that may be.
**Price for 30KWH battery