Nissan LEAF

Nissan leaves its mark


09 March 2018

NISSAN says that its new all-electric LEAF model is the fastest vehicle in the world – as far as sales are concerned.

The company, which supports 40,000 jobs in the UK, introduced the latest version of the car to its production line in the North East just a few weeks ago.

Now it has notched up 20,000 orders throughout Europe and is selling at the remarkable rate of five per hour, making it the fastest-selling electric vehicle.

More than 300,000 examples of the car have been bought since its introduction eight years ago, and the new version is a vast improvement over that original vehicle.

The new e-powertrain achieves an output equivalent to 150bhp with torque, or pulling power of 320Nm.

This makes it very sprightly, with acceleration to 60mph in just 7.9 seconds and a claimed driving range between charges of about 170 miles.

Driven slowly and steadily, it could theoretically manage to cover up to 250 miles between charges, with a full re-charge taking seven and a half hours at a high-efficiency wall box.

It can also be charged up to 80 per cent capacity from a high capacity 50kw charger on a warm day in about an hour.

In this latest guise there is about 40 per cent more battery power, with an increase in pulling power of about a quarter.

The latest model features what Nissan calls ProPilot, which enables the car to automatically slowdown and stop where traffic flow ceases in a single lane of vehicles.

It will then start to follow the car in front when the flow resumes. Also included is ProPilot Park for fully autonomous parking.

The vehicle’s new e-Pedal technology enables drivers to start, accelerate, decelerate and stop simply by increasing or decreasing the pressure applied to the accelerator. When the accelerator is fully released, the regenerative and friction braking systems are deployed automatically, bringing the car to a complete stop and harnessing energy to recharge the battery. The car holds its position, even on steep up and down slopes, until the accelerator is pressed again.

Standard features from the entry grade include half a dozen airbags, electronic brake force distribution, brake assist and hill start assist. Traffic sign recognition and blind spot warning are also standard from Visia grade, as is intelligent emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist recognition.

Advanced safety technology systems such as lane departure warning, intelligent lane intervention and rear cross traffic alert are also part of the new model’s standard kit.

The latest version of the Connect EV Navigation System includes Bluetooth connectivity plus DAB radio, and in addition to standard navigation features it also includes real-time information on the nearest charge points, whilst Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also available.

One of the most popular features is the ability to set the car’s climate control to activate at a particular time, warming the car up or cooling it down before beginning a journey. This allows users to save battery charge by warming or cooling the car from the mains supply while it is charging.

The LEAF is made at Nissan’s Sunderland plant alongside the Qashqai, Juke and Infiniti Q30 models.

More than 8,000 employees are involved in the deign and manufacture of these models, generating a further 28,000 jobs in the supply chain and 4,000 more in the dealer network.