Nissan Leaf is a 5-door compact hatchback all-electric car produced by the Japanese automobile manufacturer Nissan since 2010.
In 2018, a second-generation Nissan Leaf was released. This second-generation Leaf was built on a similar platform to the previous generation; they are almost similar, only this new Leaf can travel much further and has more power.
The Leaf’s range on a full has increased from 117 km to 364 km (EPA rated) during its product life cycle, thanks to some minor enhancements but the major improvement is the use of a larger battery pack.
Through December 2019 the Leaf was listed as the world’s all-time top-selling plug-in electric car.
Interior & Exterior
The Leaf is comfortable and good to drive. In 2013, the Leaf’s interior got extended, improving the interior space. At the back seat, a six-footer can sit comfortably. In 2013, the Leaf came with improved aerodynamics – a new regenerative braking system, its weight was reduced, and suspensions were much firmer improving the car’s overall stability. For the base model, standard features included climate control, steering-wheel audio controls, Bluetooth, electric power windows, height-adjustable driver seat, adjustable steering height, and keyless start and go.
Standard features on the 2018 Nissan Leaf include SiriusXM satellite radio, Bluetooth, hands-free text messaging, automatic headlights, and a 7.0-inch display screen.
The SV trim comes with alloy wheels, fog lights, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, NissanConnectEV telematics services, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a DC fast-charging port.
To keep the Leaf’s center of gravity as low as possible, the battery which is the heaviest part of the car was situated below the front seat and the rear passenger’s foot space. The Leaf’s protruding headlamp keeps the direct wind away from side mirrors which helps reduce drag and noise.
Battery & Charging
In 2016, the Leaf was tuned again and came with a new 30 kWh battery which proved to be considerably better than the old 24 kWh. This new 30 kWh battery has a 160000 km (100000 miles) or 8 years warranty and in Japan, there is a battery refurbishment program.
The Leaf comes with an SAE J1772 connector for charging on the AC main 120/220 volts. Charging the car for an hour on the main electricity, it regains 8 km (5 miles). Other versions have a CHAdeMO port which speeds up charging as a fully discharged battery can be 80% filled in 30 minutes. However, it is not very much recommended to use fast charging as it shortens a battery’s life span.
In 2019, the Leaf Plus was released and it came with a new larger 62 kWh battery pack that can take up to 364 km (226 miles) and a new bigger and more powerful 150 kW motor. The 100 kW CHAdeMO chargers can be used to charge the new battery.
The Engine & Transmission
The 2018 Leaf comes with a new motor that can produce 110 KW (147 HP), and this motor is powered by new 40 kWh battery packs that can run the Leaf up to 243 km without charging as per EPA ratings. The new Leaf still makes use of the 6.6 kW SAE J1772 regular plug connector for normal charging and the 50 kW CHAdeMO fast charging, but for the European market, it uses a Type 2 connector.
The Leaf uses a front-mounted electric motor to drive its wheels. This motor that produces 80 KW (107 HP) was powered by a 24 kWh lithium-ion battery pack and when the leaf runs on a downward-sloping road, the Leaf’s motor regenerates electrical energy that charges the batteries. The Leaf is powered by some advanced technologies (such as CarWings and telematics) that allow the driver to remotely control some functions via computer or smartphone. The Leaf accelerates from 0-100 kph in 9.9 seconds and has a top speed of 150 km/h.
The 2018 Leaf also features some new intelligent driving technologies, which are available on only two trim levels. First is the ProPILOT advanced driver assistance system which is a system that is used while driving on a single lane on the highway making driving less stressful, more relaxing, and easier for the driver. Secondly, there is the ProPILOT park which is a technology that when activated it takes control of the steering, gear selection, braking, and automatically guides the car into a parking slot. Lastly, the third technology is the e-Pedal which is a technology that allows the driver to start, accelerate, decelerate and stop the car by adjusting the pressure on the accelerator pedal. When the driver fully releases the accelerator, regenerative and friction brakes will automatically apply and bring the car to a complete stop. The car will remain at that position whether it’s downhill or uphill until the driver presses the accelerator again.
Some trims were initially equipped with the telematics system CarWings. The 2G cellular network was used from 2011 to 2015. In 2016 Rebranded NissanConnectEV, it is provided free of charge to owners, if equipped, depending on year and trim. It offers GPS data for routing as of 2017 and for locating charging stations. It may also provide 2-way communication with the car which enables monitoring of charging status and remote control of the climate system.
Nissan Leaf is a full Electric vehicle that offers a good driving experience, comfortability, and space. The leaf is attractive looking when it passes and you cant hear sound. It is better for town trip driving and not good for long-distance travel. The Leaf is good but its prices are somehow not affordable for many people. Its price starts from USD 3,860 depending on the year of manufacture and trim. The spare parts for Nissan Leaf is still a challenge in most Africa Countries because Nissan Leaf is not popular but in the near future the Electric vehicle, in general, will be a must to own because the price of gas will be higher. You can purchase the Nissan Leaf on BE FORWARD.
Originally published May 14, 2020, updated Oct 23, 2021
Written by: Josephat Lukaza