The new Nissan LEAF has just made its European launch at the Nissan Futures show in Oslo, Norway. Paul Willcox, Chairman of Nissan Europe, mentioned that Nissan pioneered the electric vehicle revolution almost a decade ago and that the company had sold more EVs’ than any other auto manufacturer. The vision for the next decade would be to make bigger investments in infrastructure, advances in battery technology, and change the way people access and pay for the power in their cars. Nissan also announced it would showcase a Nissan Leaf Nismo concept car at the Tokyo Motor Show.
The car incorporates ProPILOT or Intelligent Mobility driver assistance technology which consists of three components: Intelligent Power, Intelligent Driving, and Intelligent Mobility. It can automatically maintain lanes, slow down and stop, start again, and follow vehicles in front at a safe distance. Nissan’s vision for the technology is to lower stress levels for drivers in these situations and make driving more comfortable. ProPILOT also allows for fully autonomous parking in virtually any space, using its combination of 12 sonar sensors and four cameras.
Nissan’s bi-directional charging system (Vehicle to Grid) enables it to feed its energy pack into local power networks e.g. residences and offices along with the energy grid. This functionality enables it to cycle its stored energy and not just receive it. It also covers the car’s electric motor and enables it to sprint from 0-62 mph in about 9.8 seconds.
The car possesses a 40 kWh Li-ion battery, giving it a range of 235 miles (378) km on a single charge and will soon introduce a model with a range of 310 miles. The speed at which the battery recharges depends on the power source. It can be as quick as 40 minutes from alert status to 80 percent using a 50 kW recharging unit, 5.5 hours via a 7.5 kW charger, 8 hours via 6kW, and 16 hours using a 3kW domestic supply outlet.
The new version of the LEAF has sleeker outlines which give it excellent aerodynamics. The cabin has a new 7-inch colour TFT monitor which displays the Safety Shield technology feature, along with the power gauge and information from the audio and navigation systems. It also includes the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for improved connectivity. The earlier characteristics remain intact however, including the boomerang-shaped lamps and blue-colored surface grille and rear bumper’s blue molding. It has a drag coefficient of 0.27 which makes it move almost as quietly as some executive saloons like the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class according to the company.
The Nissan LEAF 2 Zero with ProPILOT is currently priced at a little over USD $35,100 in Europe.