An electric vehicle is a perfect balm to uncertain (and sometimes rocketing) fuel prices — it is a well-established fact. And beyond economic reasons, an EV has the potential to contribute less to pollution. As good as an EV is, the range has always been the deal-breaker. Unless you’ve bought the new generation Nissan Leaf.
Nissan claims the Leaf will do 311km, based on the New European Driving Cycle, squeezed from the company’s new 40kWh lithium-ion battery. It is impressive how far this electric hatchback can go, more so if your daily commute totals to about 60km.
The Nissan Leaf is sold with a 6.6kW (Type 1) Wall Box Charger that will take you approximately seven hours to get a depleted battery full. Nissan has done the math — you only pay RM20.64 to fully charge the Leaf. You can also find the same wall box in shopping malls, R&Rs and a handful of fuel stations. Or, drop by one of 17 ETCM locations around the country to use the wall box for no money.
There are quicker ways to charge up; actually, there are three. Get yourself to ABB Malaysia in Subang Jaya, Nichicon in Bandar Baru Bangi or PLUS Ayer Keroh R&R in Melaka where you’ll find the 50kW CHAdeMO quick charger. With this, you’ll only need about 60 minutes to get the Leaf’s battery from near-empty to full.
The battery powers a 110kW/320Nm AC Synchronous Electric Motor mated to a single-speed reduction gear. This Leaf features the e-Pedal that lets you accelerate, decelerate and stop with one pedal — the accelerator pedal. You press the accelerator to move forward and release to slow down until it comes to a complete stop. The regenerative and friction brakes are automatically applied when your foot comes off the pedal.
The Leaf’s new, sleek look gives the car a Cd of 0.28. The exterior features new Diamond Inspired Holographic Grille, Boomerang LED Daytime Running Lights, Headlamps and Rear Combination Lamps, Iconic Two-Tone ‘Floating’ Roof and 17-inch Diamond Cut ‘Turbine’ Alloy Wheels.
Inside, the seats are wrapped in Alcantara for elevated comfort. Other things to note are the flat-bottom leather steering wheel, 7-inch multi-info display meter and climate control timer that you can set cool down the Leaf at a specific time. Being a hatchback, the Leaf has a respectable boot space of 435 litres. That space is expandable to 1,176 litres when you put the rear seats down.
In terms of safety, the Nissan Leaf is armed with Nissan Safety Shield technologies. This suite of safety tech included forward collision warning, forward emergency braking, ride control, trace control and Intelligent Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection; to name a few.
This made-in-Japan electric vehicle costs RM188,888 on-the-road without insurance. ETCM is also offering a subscription program where you only need to pay RM3,500 monthly for three years to use the Leaf. It all adds up to the Leaf being cheaper with the subscription versus the standard hire-purchase loan.
Before you flinch at the price, the Nissan Leaf has meagre running costs. Being an EV, there are no more oil changes, spark plugs and radiator belts to replace. So in the end, you’ll be saving more than you know.