SA’s first electric car is here

By admin
26 November 2013

Nissan’s renowned, best-selling Nissan LEAF electric vehicle is now on sale locally.

What’s especially important is the LEAF is the first electric vehicle (EV) to be sold in South Africa.

Having already sold more than 87 000 units worldwide and travelled more than 472 500 000 kilometres with zero tailpipe emissions in the process, the Nissan LEAF is impressive.

Its fully electric drivetrain features a 24 kWh lithium-ion battery pack linked to a front-mounted 80 kW electric motor, which allows for smooth and silent driving. A punchy 254 Nm of torque is also available and, thanks to the electric motor’s on-or-off nature, the torque kicks in the moment the throttle pedal is depressed, for unprecedented driveability in all situations.

A switchable eco driving mode is available as standard which reduces throttle sensitivity and mimics the driving characteristics of conventional vehicles while also encouraging economical driving habits to maximise the batteries’ driving range.

Furthermore it has an aerodynamically-sculpted body which exhibits special features such as LED headlights for efficient energy use at night, eco-friendly tyres with low rolling resistance, and a roof spoiler with integrated solar panel which feeds the conventional 12-volt battery with solar power.

Keeping the batteries topped up is also a simple, cost-effective and technologically advanced process. A fully charged battery pack is able to power the Nissan LEAF up to 195 km either via a home-charge unit – which is supplied with the LEAF on purchase and allows the vehicle to fully charge conveniently overnight from empty in eight hours directly from the main electricity supply – or via a quick-charge unit located at one of the nine Nissan LEAF dealers in Gauteng which form part of phase one of Nissan LEAF roll-out in South Africa.

Each dealer features a specialised Nissan LEAF quick-charge station which enables an 80 per cent charge from zero in just 30 minutes, free of charge to Nissan LEAF owners.

Cape Town and Durban-based EV dealers will follow in the forthcoming rollout phases in 2014. However, the LEAF is probably going to be a niche seller as it’s quite pricy – it will set you back R446 000.

It comes standard with a three-year/100 000-km mechanical warranty and three-year/90 000-km service plan.

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