Electric cars never really caught the fancy of many and especially so in India where diesel still rule the segment by a big margin. However, with the global trend catching up for the electric cars, India with its mentality of aping the West, would see an influx of electric cars coming in here. Since companies which don’t have much of a strong holding in here wouldn’t even think of putting in efforts to bring in their technologies, it is but natural that the established ones would try making an effort in bringing in their electric cars to India soon. One of them would be the Nissan. Their electric car project, the Nissan Leaf has won over many fans in the West and also the thing that it has been on the electric car buyers list for most of the times. It is very likely that we would have the Nissan Leaf in India soon enough and here is a preview of what is to be expected from this car.
The design is an all new thing and for most who identify Nissan with the Micra, would be an added bonus coz the Leaf looks like a beefed up Micra. The head lamps are similar in their approach like the 2011 Ford Fiesta in India. Moreover, there is a separate slot provided in the bonnet of the car through which one can charge the car. A single chrome grille and twin fog lamps mean that this car keeps it minimalistic. As for the tyres, they are 15 inch ones with a trendy alloy wheel design, similar to the ones displayed by BMW for their i cars. At the rear, the Leaf resembles the i20. But the tail lamps are so slim that they seem straight out of a concept vehicle, which the Leaf would be for most of the buyers and on-lookers. No tail pipe protruding out or for that matter, there isn’t a tail pipe at all, means that this one proclaims its green credentials very well.
Most of the plastics used in this car are made from recyclable materials. Imagine having a steering wheel which is made up of recyclable plastic water bottles? The gear knob selector is an easy to use thing. While most manufacturers try and botch up the interiors to have a Star Wars effect, Nissan have taken a cautious approach. There is a solar panel integrated on top of the roof of this car which enables it to derive energy from the Sun.
Nissan says that the Leaf has got a full range of 160 kms, however this would definitely vary according to the driving style of the individual. Given the right temperature, a particularly light right foot, flat roads and also tailwinds, the Nissan Leaf in India can achieve upto 180 kms on a single charge. There is an ECO mode in this car which enables it to tone down the throttle responses and allow the regenerative brake energy to kick in pretty much easily. This thing also extends the range by a good 10 %. The display system provided in the dashboard keeps on updating the available range and also gently warns one of the driving style which has to be adopted. The navigation system for this vehicle available in Europe also displays the navigation details but also shows veritable charging points on the go. A complete recharge takes about 8 hours.
For starting the car, one has to press a smart start button. Immediately a loud and clear chime would give the go ahead for this vehicle. Since this is purely an electric car, torque is available from 0 rpm. There is an 80 kW electric motor which delivers a good 280 Nm of torque and this enables it to have the Leaf a 107 Bhp equipped car like performance. Timings are said to be under 10 seconds for the 0-100 kmph dash. The Leaf is one of the most efficient vehicles currently on planet Earth. There is no engine in this car and hence the problem of changing the fluids or engine oil doesn’t arise. In the future, the question of “Will this much petrol take us there?” would be replaced with “Dude, is there enough charge in this car?” . The Nissan Leaf price in India would approximately be Rs 28 lakhs and at this price point, you get a cool hatchback car with decent seating for 5 and their luggage. Expected date of launch for the same isn’t available yet, however a positive estimate plugs it by 2015.