We are most likely the biggest enthusiasts about electric cars in New Zealand, and we cannot resist a chance to talk about the Nissan LEAF, especially as the second-generation LEAF is about to hit New Zealand streets! As the first mass-market all-electric vehicle, it’s a hallmark of the EV movement, because it brought the chance for eco-friendly, zero-emissions living to the doorstep of every Kiwi in NZ.
The first-generation Leaf has been sold to over 360,000 people all around the world. While it started out in Japan - its country of origin - the LEAF has since hit roads in America, Europe, and Oceania. It has also gained various accolades such as the 2011 World Car of the Year, and 2011-2012 Japan Car of the Year. The second generation was released to Tokyo in September of 2017, then followed in North America and Europe in early 2018.
Until now, we’ve been deprived of this model in our showrooms, but that’s all about to change. The EV community in New Zealand is buzzing at the news that the LEAF will be coming to our shores mid-2019, so in honour of this development we’re going to shine a spotlight on Nissan’s pioneering all-electric model.
A Breakdown of the LEAF Generations
There are two generations of Nissan LEAF on the market as of 2019. The first was released in 2010, and continued in production until 2017, when the second generation replaced it. The good news is that the first generation is still available in many showrooms for second-hand electric cars for those who want an EV at a more affordable price point.
Now the second-generation LEAF is dominating the all-electric market, with its primary competitor spot awarded to the luxury brand Tesla, although Hyundai is demonstrating some grunt in the mass-market as well.
2019 LEAF has two incarnations – the first is the entry-level second generation with a 40kWh engine, and then the second is the LEAF E+ which boasts a 62kWh engine. New Zealand has a definite release time for the entry-level model, but unfortunately there is no ETA yet on when the E+ will grace our lots. However, the entry-level is nothing to sneeze at, so let’s break it down a bit further.
The Entry-Level 2019 LEAF
Coming out at miles above its predecessor, both literally and figuratively, the 2nd-gen is an excellent model for almost every kind of person. That’s our opinion, but here are the facts as they stand so that you can decide for yourself.
On a single charge, this LEAF will take its driver a full 270km, which is a range of 100km more than its previous incarnation – this is owing to an almost 20kWh increase in its battery capacity (from 24kWh to 40kWh). While this does pile on the charging time somewhat, the stationary charging point installed at-home for every new LEAF owner, as well as the 60-minute quick-charge time, makes charging easy. You’re able to leave it on charge while you sleep each night, and the next morning you’ll have a full-electric car more than capable of getting you from A to B.
However, as we all know, owning a car is usually a lot more than just needing something to get you from A to B. Let’s take a look at some of the features the 2019 LEAF boasts.
First of all, we have Nissan Intelligent Mobility. Designed to give the driver more awareness on the road, the Nissan Intelligent Mobility system contains a few separate systems that work in tandem to increase your safety on the road. Today, we’re going to focus on the two biggest.
Nissan Intelligent Driving – The ProPilot™ System
There are two primary technologies that Nissan has developed for this system: the 4-way laser reading capability, and an 8-way camera system for maximum visibility. The cameras and scanners combine to form a 360⁰ view of the world around the car, meaning that it can make choices such as when to merge and when to change lanes.
The car can also detect obstacles, pedestrians, and other cars at intersections as it drives around, incorporating this knowledge into the autonomous drive. However, the driver is never left out of the loop, due to the dashboard display of what the car sees at all times.
Nissan Intelligent Power
The Mobility system is dependent on the sustainable, zero-emissions power sources that drive every Nissan LEAF engine. Instant torque provides power to the driver, while the electric drivetrain provides power to the car. The following quote is from Nissan, and we feel that it’s fairly accurate to what we see in their models today – “Nissan’s leadership in electric vehicles demonstrates not only our commitment to progress and the environment, but also to bringing cleaner, quiet power and transportation to the world”.
So, all things considered, the LEAF remains the leader in the EV mass-market across the world, and we see brand new innovations and technologies that will change the future of driving in that little 5-door hatchback.
Join the future
Get in touch with us today to learn about your options. From large to small electric cars, there’s something for everyone in our showrooms, so join us in the future now.